Saturday, August 10, 2013

Spring Breakers: Tokyo

Oh boy! It's taken me soooo long to get through this vacation post that we're just about to get ready for our next trip. Blogger FAIL. Many apologizies and thanks for sticking around. Anyway...on with our last stop in Japan, Tokyo.

After spending the night in Hakone we took the looongest bus ride ever to Tokyo. On the way there we stopped by the Mt. Fuji visitor center in hopes of catching a glimpse of Mt. Fuji herself. Unfortunately it was a very gloomy and overcast morning so we didn't get to see her and all her glory. We also made a quick pit stop along the way to get some lunch at a rest stop. I wish the food at American rest stops was this good. YUMS!

By the time we finally made it to Tokyo we visited the Edo-Tokyo museum. They had all kinds of exibits about pre-war Tokyo. Everything was very interesting especially with our tour guides explanations of things as we walked through. One of the most amazing things there was seeing all of these intricate miniature models that were created to show what life was like back then. We also enjoyed learning how much work goes into making a traditional Japanese wood block print. So much so that we ended up buying a print for ourselves.

The next day we had a free day to spend wandering the different parts of Tokyo. Our tour guides provided us with a pre-loaded suika card so that we could get around on the JR trains and subways. At first we thought it would be relatively easy to navigate their subway system since hubs and I have used subways in other countries with ease. But the Japanese subway system proved to be a lot more complicated then we anticipated so we stuck to the JR trains instead.

As you'd probably expect, we spent our free day shopping in the many different districts of Tokyo. We started in Harajuku, but since it was a week day we missed out on seeing all the colorfully dressed teenagers roaming the streets. After shopping around Harajuku we moved on to Shibuya and then Akihabara. Lastly we made our way to the department store filled Ginza district.

On our last day our tour guide took us to Asakusa where we walked up and down the many streets lined with vendors selling yummy goods and cute knick knacks. After hubs and I shared our lunch of karaage chicken and yakisoba our guide recommended that we take a stroll the Sumida River while we waited for the other tour members to finish their shopping. We were so happy that she shared this insider tip with us as we strolled along the river lined with sakura trees in full bloom. Whenever the wind would blow we were showered with the delicate blossoms falling from the trees above. It was nothing short of magical.

With that, our tour of Japan came to a close and we flew back to Hawaii for the final leg of our epic vacation.

Missed out on the other parts of this series? Check it out our posts about Hawaii, Singapore, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Nara/Hakone.

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