After the excitement of David & Yuki’s wedding day, we had an easy day on Tuesday with a bit of a slow start.
We decided to go to a place named Asakusa in which there is a very large temple named Sensi-ji. However, I entered an incorrect location into the travel guide on my mobile phone and instead, we ended up on the other side of town in a similarly named area called Akusaka. We realized that we in the wrong place when we look mat the local map in the station, so we backtracked by subway across town to the correct location.
The temple is reached through a very large gate (with an enormous lantern) that was frost built in 942 AD. From the gate, a colonnade of covered shops leads up to main temple. After looking at then many interesting things, we reached the main temple gate, only to discover David’s host parents, the Takemotos, were also there. After lunch, we returned by train to the major centre of Shibuya which has one of the busiest intersections in Tokyo. I estimated that every time the lights changed, over 1000 people crossed the road. We finished the day having dinner in a little upstairs restaurant back in Shinjuku.
Our plan for Wednesday had always been to spend the day with Yuki’s parents. Before we left, we had breakfast with Stefan and Birge, who were leaving Tokyo, in the afternoon for Shanghai.
Nariake and Fumiyo Sagiura lived in a town called Tsukuba (pronounced as Scuba to my ears) which is about 60 km NE of Tokyo. It is a relatively modern city and home for many Japanese research institutes, including their space agency where David’s friend Dim works.
We were met by Yuki’s Dad and we drove to Mt Tsukuba where we travelled almost to the peak in a Funicular Railway. We had lunch on one of the little tourist cafes at the top and then us three men walked right up to the summit. After returning back to the car, we went to Yuki’s parents very nice house for an early dinner. We had a long discussion and reviewed the success of the wedding, along with some comparisons about life in Australia. I think that Yuki’s mum and dad plan to come to Australia for our local wedding celebration and it will be nice to be able tom return some of their very warm hospitality.
On our final day in Tokyo (Thursday), we caught the train to Omotesando and then walked down the very posh tree lined avenue with all of it’s designer shops to Harajuku. This is a very vibrant area of Tokyo and full of shops and boutiques for the young and trendy. I could have sat on the side for hours watching people and their fashions. We finally ended up in a part of Yoyogi Park where the Meiji Jingu Shrine is located. This fastidiously kept area commemorates the Japanese emperor Meiji and his Empress Shoken who died in 1920.
We had an hour to kill be fire we needed to be back at our hotel so we caught the JR Circle line and did the long loop of the city. We were eventually in time to catch our airport limousine bus back to the airport and this ended a very special trip for us.