Texans in Japan – Day 7

April 10th, 2010

We got up this morning and headed to Azabu Juban. This area is famous for upscale shopping. All three of us thought it was famous for “everything looks the same”. It was completely boring. The only highlight of this area was being able to

Cherry trees in bloom

Cherry trees in bloom

go into a full scale Japanese super market. We could only identify about 5% of the goods in the store, as most of the packaging didn’t give away what was inside.

From here, we rode the train to Asakusa to see the Sensoji Temple. This is the largest shrine in Japan. Apparently, Saturday is the day to go to the temple as there were hundreds upon hundreds of tourists there. The temple face is being preserved/renovated, so the entire facade was covered in cloth to protect it from the elements. It made exterior photos impossible. We walked around a bit, had our fortune given to us for $1 (You shake a container that has a slim stick come out. The number that is on the stick is the fortune paper you receive.), and took photos of the surrounding gardens. We say a “geisha in training” girl outside of the temple. She was about 12 yr. old and dressed in all of her finery. Simply beautiful.

img_0840The area around the shrine is surrounded by various shops including clothing, restaurants, camera stores, and stationers. We bought a few small trinkets for family, and then Tony took me into Nakamisa, a kimono/robe shop. He spoiled me by buying a navy robe in a cherry blossom design. I’m sure I will treasure it until the day I die.

We had lunch in a restaurant that served both sushi and cooked Japanese food. Tony had sushi (including salmon roe), and Dakota & I had pork over rice with a cooked egg on top. We did more window shopping, but didn’t find anything we had to have.

From there we went to Akihabara. Tony had been debating on buying a camera. He found one he really liked, but he wanted to check the yen/dollar value online first. Unfortunately, the yen rose today, so our dollars were worth even less. It made the camera that he wanted the same price as in the U.S. It just wasn’t worth buying here and carrying home.

Shopping beside Sensoji Temple

Shopping beside Sensoji Temple

As we were in the electronics district (and I wasn’t really interested in most of the shops), I asked if I could sit a while. I encouraged the guys to park me on a busy corner with chairs, so they could go off and explore. They went off to go look at tiny, handheld computers. Tony said that we can’t get them in the U.S. I know he would love bringing one home to the envy of all his friends. They ended up not buying one afterall.

The night lights of Akihabara glowed like Times Square. It would’ve been great to

Akihabara at Night

Akihabara at Night

take long exposure photos, but the constant stomping of pedestrians made it impossible. A few quick photos, and we were off to our hotel.

We called it an early night by heading to the Hilton Honors floor for a drink and some appetizers. We have been spoiled all week with few business men/tourists using the Honors floor. The weekend is a whole new thing. We weren’t the only ones enjoying a drink & snacks.

We will be leaving Japan in two days. I think I will be sad to leave. We’ve done so much, but seen so little of this beautiful country. The people are shy, but friendly. The environment is cutting edge, but treasures it’s history. There is so much to see, and so little time. We will try to fit in something new tomorrow. Only two more days to go.

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