Final day on Tokyo

Train and river in Tokyo
Train and river in Tokyo

The bird we could not identify yesterday turned out to be a varied tit which is quite a common in Japan.

For the last day we were to make the most of our short time left. The plan was to take in some shrines, a market, a park, and possibly some shopping. The shrines were close to the hotel so we walked, Yushima Suido, looked quite old and was dark and just a little run down, the next one, Kanda Miyojin Sama, was one of the famous ones, very old but had been rebuilt in reinforced concrete in 1923, after an earthquake, it is very colorful and is linked to the famous fish market, and other markets. It also has a small horse in a pen. We saw a couple of nannies caring for six toddlers who they were pushing around in a wheeled play pen that looked well engineered. It was standing room only for the kids who all looked to be enjoying themselves. From there we headed towards the market on foot and by a stroke of luck we ended up in Akihabara and had to endure looking at camera and technology shops this holiday lark can sometimes be very hard work, in fact we needed an early coffee break.

Tokyo City skyline from the the imperial palace

The Ameyoko market was easy to find, it sells just about everything from fresh fruit and veg, through fish, died goods, watches clothes you name it they sell it. We wandered around taking it all in without being tempted to purchase then jumped on a train to Tokyo station to have a look at the International Forum, building.

The forum building is an impressive piece of architechture all glass and metal beams all built into the shape of a boat. It’s main reason for being is conferences, concerts, some shops and place for tourist to look at. It must have been quite an extravagance as in the vast atrium the is a lot of space that could have been used for offices in such a populous city. Next we went and had a sit down in a park before heading into Ginza to find the Tokyo metropolitan police museum, which although all the exhibits were in Japanese was quite interesting. In the foyer they had some how managed to get a helicopter, which I sat in while Helen took my picture. It was getting cold so Helen decided we needed something to eat so we headed deeper into Ginza to find something. We chanced upon an Italian that sold picollo pizzas which went down well with a small beer, whilst Helen looked for a department store in the guide book. The department stored turned out to the equivalent of Harrods or Selfridges quality goods no doubt but also over priced. Helen purchased a couple of presents in the traditional Japanese department, then we headed of to have another look at Asakusa, we had liked the shops there an the shrine is the most impressive we have seen albeit a little bit touristy, but then that it’s a what we are.

A local shrine in Tokyo

From the shrines we walked through some shopping arcades and then came across a area we had only touched on during the week it is a whole district devoted to kitchen ware. The shops don’t just specialise in kitchen ware they tend to specialise in one aspect for example we looked around knife shops, bamboo goods, metal good, cookers, plastic goods, it seemed that there were no general kitchen shops. I overheard a western looking shop assistant explaining the different types of knives in French, which was very interesting. By now we were all shopped out, so we headed back to the hotel one Metro and a JR East train. We went to our favourite noodle restaurant and I had a dish with tempura prawns and the obligatory noodles in broth, and Helen had fried tofu and noodles.

Back at the hotel we packed and got an early night alarm set for just after 06:00.