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Friday adventures (Shiba Park, Zojoji Temple, Tokyo Tower and evening walkabout)

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Some morning show for you...

On Friday I woke up early even before the clock started ringing. I felt nice and warm under my two blankets =) It was about 6.30am. My window curtains were shut and strangely enough I didn't bother to open them... So I switched the lights on, turned TV on, took out my maps, brochures and notes and started to plan where to go. I was waiting for my mom to arrive at about 11 am so I had plenty of time to kill. Watching some silly morning shows reminded me that sun should be out already so I opened the curtains and discovered that it was indeed nice and shiny! Yep, there are still people like me out there who burn precious energy without thinking... Anyways, there was one weird thing on TV that utterly swept me off my feet, there were some images from Onbashira Festival (as I found it later on the net).

View from the window on Tokyo Tower
What I saw was quite shocking - they showed some town or village (I presume - Nagano area of Japan - Internet source) there was a contest (tradition) involving dragging tree logs down the hill... Yes, guys, true story! There were many people standing up on the hill and they had a huge log prepared for a ride down the hill. The log itself had some ropes attached to it and there were some guys on top of it with lots of men around helping to maneuver it (though it was useless in my opinion as the log goes down the hill with a lightening speed...). I thought that I'd get a heart attach watching it, I tried to capture it on my camera but it was useless but I was lucky enough to capture the shocking image of it later when I was in Kyoto so you'll see it somewhere later in my blog.
View from my hotel room window
I'm sure that this scary festival ends up with plenty of injured people... Go figure...

My mom arrived at about 11.30 (that *smart* woman messed up with my instructions and instead of getting off the bus at Celestine or Tokyo Prince hotel she got off at Tokyo Station! She had to catch a taxi which cost her 2000 yen to get to Tokyo Grand), we decided to drop the things unpacked and went out to explore surroundings. First, we went to near-by Celestine Hotel where I found my sought after Internet. Then we went to Shiba Park which is about 10 minutes walk from Celestine or 15 minutes from Tokyo Grand. It was so beautiful I couldn't believe my eyes, - there were lots of Cherry trees and most of them were blooming.

Shiba Park
There were not so many people around considering it was Friday afternoon. We took our time walking around watching the beauty of nature... It brought out some of my childhood memories when I was a kid spending time at my grandparents country house with Cherry trees garden. My grandparents had slightly different type of Cherry trees - the ones I was able to shake standing under and indulging myself in pink petals rain... Naughty but oh! so lots of fun =) Back to the story, we walked around a lot in Shiba Park and saw some places dedicated for Cherry Blossom viewing - there was some sort of plastic cover under the trees for those who want to sit under. We went down to the entry of the Park and saw some guy in a suite playing flute, he was standing and playing facing the wall.
Shiba Park
I think he was some office worker taking his break and relaxing in his own way, though I must say - he played beautifully. After that we went to Zojoji Temple Complex. There were many buildings and all of them were surrounded by Cherry Blossoms, I felt very lucky to be able to see such incredible views...

Then we went up to the Tokyo Tower, it was about 10 minutes walk from the Temple through the Cherry Blossom alley. Before my mom realized that I'm up to climbing up to the highest available for viewing point I quickly bought the tickets to visit main observatory (150m) and special observatory (250m), it cost us 1420 yen each and up we went. The day was nice and shiny but still not that clear enough to see mount Fuji. Anyway it was very exciting to look around and not so scary as I imagined at the back of my mind.

Shiba Park
Special Observatory is much smaller than Main and you have to wait for your turn to visit it but it's worth it! Not scary (may be just a little =) ). After that we went out and (like other overgrown kids) I had fun hugging one the Noppon brothers - funny pink Tokyo Tower mascot. 

We took some time walking around the Tower and then turned back home. But wait! It takes two (idiots) to get lost in broad daylight... The funniest thing is that both people are sure which way to go and it's definitely the other way around from the other. You can feel that you are somewhere near by but no matter which way you turn - nothing looks familiar even if you compare street map with the one you have in your hand... What happens next - you start attacking innocent Japanese people who have no understanding of English whatsoever.

Shiba Park, Glorious Cherry Blossoms
It made us hungry eventually and somehow my mother was able to get us back on track by capturing another innocent soul of a weirdly dressed young lady who told us that we were actually standing at the back of Celestine Hotel... I took the opportunity to check out my email and then we went to some family restaurant. 

We saw menu samples at the restaurant window and decided to try it out. Something that looked more or less familiar. Really, I don't even know where to start. There was some sort of a vending machine standing inside with all those pictures of menu samples and prices and everything written in Japanese... I don't even have to say that I felt stupefied even though I finished Uni (it is of no help at all in such situations, believe me.

Shiba Park, view on Tokyo Tower
..) After watching closely some other customers I finally figured out hot to use that powerful machine and got the ticket for the meal. We got a table and I realized that there were only two women in the whole restaurant - my mother and I... Why is that there were no women around? I don't really know but it felt weird. Instead of the plate I ordered we got the whole bunch of small plates on the tray. There was a large bowl of plain rice (which my mom won't ever eat and neither am I fond of or would eat unless we spend a week on a deserted island without food), a bowl of some sort of fine chopped raw cabbage (a killer for a traveler unless you take some pills from bloating), a bowl with some sort of soup (I guess it was miso soup but I'm not hundred percent sure) , there was even a bowl with some pieces of raw fish and finally a large plate with baked vegetables + two nice beef burgers and two small sausages - the dish from the picture that I ordered and there were some other bits and pieces that I don't quite remember.
Shiba Park
As you can guess it was more than enough for two people. Oh yeah, and there was no cutlery except for chopsticks. Ok, it's too late to teach my mother to use chopsticks - she would rather poke me in the eye with it out of pure fun and I'm not that good with chopsticks anyway, so to much amusement of those guys sitting around us - I took plastic fork and knife out of my magic backpack =) 

After that we went back to the hotel to have some rest. My mom took a nap while I was reading some brochures. I didn't feel well after the restaurant, I think that my stomach wasn't quite happy with the sauce that came with the burgers so I decided to drink some tea and discovered that there was only green tea in the room (forget about sugar, no such thing =)).

Shiba Park, place kindly designated for Cherry Blossoms viewing
But I drank it anyway and the moment I finished it I realized that it was a bad idea... I needed black tea, normal black tea no matter what. With all my hustle and bustle I woke up my mom and we decided to take evening walk with some shopping at some convenience store.

I so much wanted to go to the bay to have a look at the Rainbow Bridge but as usual we took the wrong turn and went in thoroughly opposite direction. It was a bit chilly outside but we still had a nice walk around. On the way back we bought some lifeline supplies - Lipton black tea, coffee, sugar, milk and something else that we missed so badly and I don't remember now. Even though it was late I was still up to Rainbow Bridge viewing but my mom was petrified that I might take another wrong turn and we will get lost on the streets of Tokyo forever so we headed back to the hotel.

Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom Heaven
We sure needed some good rest since tomorrow we had a booked trip to Mount Fuji and that would be another story =)

Finally at the hotel I took the pictures of Tokyo Tower covered in a *diamond veil* lighting and went to sleep.

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Some morning show for you...
Some morning show for you...
View from the window on Tokyo Tower
View from the window on Tokyo Tower
View from my hotel room window
View from my hotel room window
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park, Glorious Cherry Blosso…
Shiba Park, Glorious Cherry Bloss…
Shiba Park, view on Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, view on Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park, place kindly designate…
Shiba Park, place kindly designat…
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom Heaven
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom Heaven
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom web...
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom web...
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park
Shiba Park, Entrance. City contras…
Shiba Park, Entrance. City contra…
Shiba Park, Entrance
Shiba Park, Entrance
Shiba Park, Entrance (yeah, yeah, …
Shiba Park, Entrance (yeah, yeah,…
Zojoji Temple
Zojoji Temple
Zojoji Temple
Zojoji Temple
Shiba Park + Zojoji Temple + Tokyo…
Shiba Park + Zojoji Temple + Toky…
Shiba Park, Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossoms
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossoms
Shiba Park, Cherry blossoms up clo…
Shiba Park, Cherry blossoms up cl…
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossoms
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossoms
Shiba Park, some cute little doggi…
Shiba Park, some cute little dogg…
Shiba Park, Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, Tokyo Tower
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom alley
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom alley
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom alley
Shiba Park, Cherry Blossom alley
Guess what? Yet another shot of To…
Guess what? Yet another shot of T…
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
On the grounds of Zojoji Temple
On the grounds of Zojoji Temple
Another Cherry Blossom shot.
Another Cherry Blossom shot.
Zojoji Temple complex (and another…
Zojoji Temple complex (and anothe…
Zojoji Temple complex, City contra…
Zojoji Temple complex, City contr…
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple square
Zojoji Temple square
Zojoji Temple
Zojoji Temple
Humongous Zojoji Temple
Humongous Zojoji Temple
Zojoji Temple with Tokyo Tower
Zojoji Temple with Tokyo Tower
...another Cherry Blossom viewing.…
...another Cherry Blossom viewing…
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple complex
Zojoji Temple Complex
Zojoji Temple Complex
Zojoji Temple Complex
Zojoji Temple Complex
On the way to Tokyo Tower
On the way to Tokyo Tower
On the way to Tokyo Tower
On the way to Tokyo Tower
On the way to Tokyo Tower
On the way to Tokyo Tower
Sculpture in front of Tokyo Tower
Sculpture in front of Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower leg
Tokyo Tower leg
Under Tokyo Tower leg
Under Tokyo Tower leg
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and As…
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and A…
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and As…
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and A…
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and As…
View from Tokyo Tower. Ueno and A…
View from Tokyo Tower. Roppongi Hi…
View from Tokyo Tower. Roppongi H…
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
Looking down...
Looking down...
Tokyo Midtown, Shinjuku Subcenter,…
Tokyo Midtown, Shinjuku Subcenter…
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View on Zojoji Temple complex
View on Zojoji Temple complex
Odaiba, Fuji TV, Rainbow bridge!
Odaiba, Fuji TV, Rainbow bridge!
Looking down...
Looking down...
Going up to the Special Observator…
Going up to the Special Observato…
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower (Ivar, you h…
View from Tokyo Tower (Ivar, you …
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
View from Tokyo Tower
Going down...
Going down...
Going down...
Going down...
Yet again, going down =)
Yet again, going down =)
Sweet little legs
Sweet little legs
Lights in the elevator
Lights in the elevator
Friendly Tokyo Tower staff lady
Friendly Tokyo Tower staff lady
The area where you cant make pict…
The area where you can't make pic…
Souvenir shop inside Tokyo Tower
Souvenir shop inside Tokyo Tower
Thats a rear (ok, Id say seldom …
That's a rear (ok, I'd say seldom…
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Guarding Fox in front of the Shrine
Guarding Fox in front of the Shrine
Guarding Foxes
Guarding Foxes
If Im not mistaken - thats *Cele…
If I'm not mistaken - that's *Cel…
Some tall building for you
Some tall building for you
...and it looks much better throug…
...and it looks much better throu…
On the way back to the hotel
On the way back to the hotel
Night walk around
Night walk around
Keio University at night
Keio University at night
Night walk around. Some contempora…
Night walk around. Some contempor…
Contemporary art up close
Contemporary art up close
Ferrari Dealer through the window …
Ferrari Dealer through the window…
Tokyo Tower, view from the hotel. …
Tokyo Tower, view from the hotel.…
I got lucky! Tokyo night view with…
I got lucky! Tokyo night view wit…
...and another shot of Tokyo Tower…
...and another shot of Tokyo Towe…
Tokyo
photo by: maka77