Adventuring Abroad: A Tour of Tokyo, Part II

Hello friends! Today we’re continuing our tour of Tokyo. So far we’ve visited Tokyo Tower, the Meiji Shrine, and the Imperial Palace East Garden and, of course, had our Japanese lunch. The afternoon was full of more amazing sights, starting with the Hama-Rikyu Garden. You may think that we were pretty well ‘gardened-out’ at this point, but honestly nothings better than a walk through the park on a sunny day, and, as our guide told us, the Hama-Rikyu is a lovely example of a typical daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) garden from the Edo period.

This looks like several trees, but it’s actually a single 300 year old pine

The beautifully manicured gardens included several lovely walkways

Tidal pond, teahouse, and cityscape

After our walk through the gardens, it was time to hit the water on a cruise of the Sumida River, which winds its way through the city before emptying out in Tokyo Bay.

A view of the recently opened Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan, and the second tallest in the world

The bridges on the Sumida River

The Skytree reflected in the Asahi Beer Hall, the headquarters of Asahi Beer. If you can’t tell from this shot, the building is meant to look like a tall glass of beer 🙂

The Asahi Flame (colloquially known as ‘the golden turd’)

Our cruise ended in Asakusa, where we were met by a ninja! Well, he was an actor portraying a ninja, but he had swords and some pretty good ninja moves, so we were all suitably impressed.

Ninja!

We arrived in Asakusa to visit the Sensoji (Kannon Temple), but to get to the actual temple, we had to make our way down the Nakamise Shopping Street. I mean that quite literally – the road to the temple was packed on both sides with tons of shops that sold just about anything you could think of. It seemed a bit strange to us to see this jam packed shopping area leading to one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan – but, we quickly  got into the spirt of things…

Cat stuff for sale?!? Yup, I can get into this

Nakamise shopping street

From chopsticks to clothing to swords to fans to masks…this street sells just about everything

Getting close – the temple is in sight!

I’m saving the Asakusa Kannon Temple for Part III because it really is something to see and, as I mentioned, it was right near the top of my ‘must see’ list of Tokyo (and it did not disappoint). If you can’t wait, you can head over to Flickr for some pictures in the meantime, and you can also view more shots of Tokyo and Hama-Rikyu while you’re there.

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