After an awesome few days in Ishikawa Prefecture with our dear friend, Keisuke, Sean and I headed out from Kanazawa on a bullet train bound for Tokyo Station.
Keisuke helped Sean select tickets for the train ride, and he made sure that we were sitting on the lefthand side of the train so we could see Mt. Fuji from our window!
We arrived in Tokyo Station around 5 in the evening and were instantly snatched from our peaceful, Ishikawa states of mind and into go-go-go-Tokyo mode! Tokyo Station is an energetic hub that is quite intimidating to non-Japanese-speakers/readers. Suddenly we had to find our way to the correct line and the correct train on the correct platform to get to our hotel. Luckily, the women at the information desk were super helpful and informed us that we were looking at a Metro map, but our hotel’s closest station is a Japanese Rail (JR) station. With a new map added to our arsenal, we went to the right place to get to the Suidobashi JR station.
We stayed at Hotel Niwa, which is lovely. It is very close to Tokyo Dome and Korakuen Gardens and just a few minutes’ walk from the Suidobashi JR and Metro stations, the Korakuen station, and the Jimbocho station.
On our first night we grabbed some tasty Indian food nearby and then took a train to Shibuya to admire the lights, the huge screens, and the massive crosswalk. Pardon my lack of photos here; it was cold and raining!
Over the next three days, we:
– visited the Meiji-Jingu Shrine near Harajuku Station.
– ate at The Crayon House on the Omotesando, which has an amazing mostly-vegan lunch buffet (a great place to be surrounded by the cutest kids you’ve even seen because the restaurant is attached to a children’ book store).
– checked out the amazing Sensoji Buddhist temple and ate a tasty mochi treat from one of the stalls along the pathway from Asakusa Station to the temple.
– left Tokyo for my sister’s old stomping grounds (she lived in Japan from September 2009 through October 2010), Shin-Urayasu. Shin-Urayasu is a cute town along Tokyo Bay that is just one JR train stop away from Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea, where my sister worked! Scroll over the photos for descriptions.
– took a nice stroll through the beautiful Korakuen Gardens.
– bought an awesome sake set — five cups and a carafe — from a street known for its wholesale kitchen supplies (Kappabashi Street).
– had a lovely meal with Sean’s childhood friend, Tomo. It was pure luck that Tomo was available for dinner during the weekend that we were in Tokyo. He and Sean hadn’t seen each other since they were 9 years old, so it was quite the reunion! Tomo took us to a restaurant that specializes in Kaga food, which was awesome; we learned to love Kaga food while staying there just a few days beforehand! It was such a treat to spend time with Tomo. They’re going to make sure it doesn’t take them another 20 years to see each other again!
– walked around the Ginza and then walked to the Imperial Palace. We had just a little bit of time before we had to leave for the airport on our last morning, so we just got to admire the palace from outside the gates. We promised ourselves that next time it’ll be the first place we go!
Overall, it was a fantastic adventure with the man I’m going to marry!