Raining hello kitty and Kishu inu

Our room at Hotel Niwa, Tokyo
Our room at Hotel Niwa, Tokyo

Late start again, I think it is the jet lag, in the middle of the night we wake up then fall asleep only to wake up at 09:00 feeling tired. That would be late evening at home, so our body is saying time for bed but we need to get up. Helen insisted on some fruit and veg in our diet so last night we bought a couple of bananas at one pound each for breakfast, as well as a small jar of instant coffee.

We headed off at about 10:30 the plan to go to a kite museum, and then play it by ear from there. When we got to the station it was a bit more challenging, we could not figure out which way to go turn put we were true trying to navigate with two different maps one for the Metro and the other for JR East train company. We spotted that we could get to the electronics district from the station so we jumped on the train and got off at Akihabara, which is the Tottenham court road of Tokyo, but multiplied up about 100 times, shop after shop with separate floors devoted to different kit, computers, cameras, peripherals, tablets, phones etc etc. We choose one store and did all the floors officers were reasonable bit not out and out bargains the main thing was the choice. We popped thorough a short of bazaar shop which had lots of small stories selling specialist products, plugs, chips, radios, transformers, wires etc etc. Helen soon got bored, but did make a purchase of some more headphones for the flight back. We spotted a coffee shop for a rest and a fag break for Helen then headed back to the station to find the more museum, it had started to rain.

Tokyo stock exchange

We figured out the train to a station near the kite museum, but spent some time walking in heavy rain try to find the museum, which is located on the fifth floor of a building which had a restaurant on the ground floor which was owned by the guy who put together the collection. The museum is full of kites with little explanation but there was kit collectables from all over the world, and it only cost 200 yen to get in. Whilst in the warmth of the museum we consulted the guide book the nearest attraction was the Tokyo stock exchange, where for free you could have a look around the exchange and the museum. We arrived dripping wet from the rain we were the only people without an umbrella. We passed through security with even though we set off the metal detectors. The museum was small and explained the history of the exchange. We passed through the actual exchange observation deck, then Helen spotted a coffee room with a smoking area a coffee to have a fag, I had a coffee from the vending machines which offered a wide choice .

We bought some souvenirs from the reception then left. It was raining stop we consulted the guide book an decided the next destination should be the communication museum in the NTT offices, it was shut on Mondays like many of the museums, so we went to the Tokyo station. At the station we figured out the best way to experience Japanese food. They have food halls which serve all shoes of different specialties we went to an soba noodles restaurant and had a lovely bowl of noodles in a broth came with tempura prawns. We decided that on future nights we would head out to a similar place to eat, lots of choice an they are used to foreigners. When we had finished eating Helen noticed some people smoking so asked for an ashtray, she was disappointed to find we had been sat in the no smoking area, foiled yet again!

As we had eaten well and it was early evening we went to a large building with shops and bars for a look round and a beer heading back to the hotel. Turns out to be a building full of posh shops selling stuff we neither like r could afford, so we want back to the station to get the train back. We jumped on a rapid train which did not stop at our station of choice, se we got off two stops later and crossed the platform onto the more local train for another stop then got off at our station, or so we thought. We are sure we got the name right but it was not the station a quick lookout the map outside and we figured there was only a five minute walk to the hotel. We went through another interesting district with more food establishments, it seems there is no shortage of restaurants in Japan. We stopped off at the seven eleven for some breakfast bits then retired to our room with the hope of getting u a bit earlier and a bit less tired.

Cragside on a rainy day

A bedroom in Cragside

We were not up early the weather forecast was rain so we took our time and had a cooked breakfast. We left the house just after 11:30 destination Cragside National trust property, originally owned by the Armstrong family. Armstrong seemed to have invented hydraulics, the house was the first to be fitted with electricity, and many things to do with water for example fire hydrants.

The house is also impressive built in to the steep hillside. The whole world had the same idea as us and were visiting the house, when it rained the house became even more packed. The tour of the house was full of the usual victorian paraphernalia, paintings, shell collections etc.

Stormy weather over weir

After the house we had a look at the engineering bits in the power house which is a bit of a trek up and down hill, we saw a Bullfinch pair on the way. The formal gardens seemed to be a work in progress or were between seasonal display.

Later in the day the sun came out and I managed a few pictures. We stopped off at the tea room the Buttery lemon cake was great accompanied by a cappuccino.

The women went to look round the shop whilst N and I went to look at the pump house and iron bridge, then see if we could join up to the NT as with the discount on offer we only needed to make one for property visit to be in pocket. We regretted not joining on the Farnes as there was an extra 10 quid on offer. We spent the refund at Lidl on the way home.

Mad dogs …

Wet and windy

… and englishmen and women, go out in the Norfolk rain and wind. After the early start for the seal trip we had some time on our hands, so after coffee we decided to go for a walk out on the marsh in the wind and the rain.

Down the high street of Blakeney then at the quay turned right toward the wildfowl  pond the take the restricted byway toward the sea, you then cross over the sea defences and can head out on to the marsh. On a nicer day there would have been lots of birds to look at, but today was not the day for that. We got soaked on the front  side walking out and then the backside got wet on the way back in.

Back at the hut we had cheese sandwiches, and spent the afternoon watching a film. You might even get a film review later.