Sunday, June 24, 2012

Japan - Day 4

      Yesterday was tourist day.  We met Keiko, who is just as fun as all her previous guests have said.  She fixed us a nice breakfast of grilled salmon and tofu- which i tried for the first time and actually liked- and a soup that was too fishy for my poor picky self, but that looked splendid.  Normally, James would have gobbled his and mine too but he was still recovering from our late dinner at the Japanese barbeque place last night. Keiko got us to the train station and we set off for lunch.
     There we were met by Keiko's friend and coworker Kotaro, who is working on his English and who volunteered to act as tour guide.  He took us shopping down a crowded and famous shopping area.  We had fun looking at all the shops and bought a few items.  Then we went to a lovely peaceful tree- lined temple area, where we glimpsed a traditional Japanese wedding taking place and stopped at a temple shrine for the ritual washing of hands and mouth.  They had charms for sale for a variety of ailments and good wishes.  (I bought one on a key chain for traffic safety for Rob- who will be driving all too soon...)
     We had a really good ramen lunch with Kotaro (I found one with pork-no fish!- and tried my best to slurp acceptably, if not enthusiastically.)  Then we met up with Keiko and went to a fun souvenir area with lots of trinkets and hot pressed filled cookies that won James' heart.
     We went to another temple area, this one with trained monkeys-that I didn't like, and beautiful Temple Dog statues that I did.  Keiko and Kotaro were wonderful, taking pictures everywhere and patiently waiting while we looked in all the shops.  We also visited the Tokyo Sky Tree, which was very Space Needle-ish, I thought.  Keiko bought a souvenir of it for us as we had brought a model of the Space Needle for her.  We finally went our separate ways and, by the time we made it back, I was sooooo tired.  My feet were sore, my hips were sore, my back was sore....  this tourism stuff is hard work!
Our pretty breakfast with Keiko

 Shopping in Harajuku

                                        With our marvelous guide Kotaro

 Heading toward the temple at Mejii Jingu. We saw a traditional wedding briefly there too!

Really a lovely location. Taking photos with Kotaro

The ritual washing of hands and mouth at the temple
Ramen again for James- he could live on it

I wonder why Japanese always do peace signs in their photos?

At a different temple in Asakusa

A view inside the temple

We loved the stone temple dogs

Shave ice with Keiko

A view of the Tokyo Skytree- and golden cloud- we think....

This is my Suica pass holder.  It clips on your belt and has a retracting leash so you can scan it when you go through the gates.  They think it's a cloud.  I think it's something else...

Back view of pass holder
Crepes are all the rage in Tokyo

What a great idea- I wouldn't mind if this one caught on locally

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