Tokyo, Japan with my Man!
So this post is super late! We are already in Hong Kong and I haven’t even updated you on Shanghai. The internet at the hotel was HORRIBLE! It wouldn’t let me log on to anything. So, without further ado… From Kyoto, we got to Tokyo via the bullet train. I think it’s like the 3rd fastest in the world! For traveling across the central region of Japan, we got there in a quick 2 hours. The train even looked super fast!
We arrived in the late morning and dropped our luggage at the hotel before heading to Yanaka, a small market and shopping area that was unimpressive. BUT, on the way we found a local running store! Yippie!
It started raining once we got to our next destination, Uneo Park. Everything was wet and I was cold, so Todd was kind enough to fork over $3 for the smallest coffee of my life. No Joke. Thankfully, there were free refills, so I went back about 5 times, haha.
From there, we went to Asakusa, another market/temple combo. We were hoping to find some good street food, but had no such luck and ended up asking the hotel staff for a good sushi place.
The next morning we went to Japan’s largest market- the Tsusiji Fish Market. It is a working market, not a tourist attraction and you could tell. The workers were driving around on fork lifts and didn’t care if you were in their way, they had business to do. It was rows and rows of fish, both alive and dead. Some were being processed and cut up and some were being sold whole. Both individuals and businesses were doing the buying. It was so huge we almost got lost in the mayhem, but found our way out!
A few blocks away was Hama Rikyu Gardens, a large ancient garden. It was nice, but would have been awesome in the summer when more plants were blooming. We did find one cherry blossom tree that had a few blossoms on it 🙂
Lunch was the bomb.com. We went to this Turkish place we found the day before. It was $10 for all you could eat and drink (tea/lemon water.) My kind of place! We started off with salad, Jasmine rice, chick pea masala, this finely ground chicken curry mixture and a dark meat chicken/spinach dish. Then they brought out the best part… Naan 🙂 Next came a kabob, camel meat- weird, but so freakin good- and fig dip for the naan. Throughout the meal, the crazy owner came around with different things to sample. Lamb kidneys (wasn’t a fan), dates (nature’s candy, we both took 2), fried sausage things (tasted like hot dogs), Iranian almonds (cashews) and my favorite thing I tried- lamb BRAINS! YES! Brains. They were actually pretty good. The texture was weird, but not bad like the texture of fat. It was such a fun experience. We even sat on mats on the floor with our shoes off.
After lunch we visited Japan’s President. OK, not really, but we visited the Imperial Palace where he lives. It’s kind of like The White House, in that you can’t get close to it (in fact, there is a huge moat around it) but you can get pictures of it. It is in the center of the city and surrounded with an awesome 5k running path. I was super jealous of all the runner’s going by.
That afternoon we went to Tokyo Tower. During the day it’s nothing special, but at night it light’s up and is quite impressive. It was modeled after the Eiffel Tower, if you can’t tell. Remember, it gets dark at like 4:30, so this was at like 5. I’m still not used to it getting dark so early. There was no real way to get a good picture with it in the background, so enjoy this awesome model photo, haha…
It took little convincing from Todd to go for a run in the morning. I mean, it’s been a week since I ran and he could tell I was itching to get out there. I let him sleep in and made my way to the Imperial Palace to knock out a good run.
We try and get a picture of every country we visit’s flag, but hadn’t found one in Japan anywhere. During my run, I came to the rescue and finally found one! The next morning I ran again, while Todd got pictures of the flag and the ones of me running above.
After my first run, we grabbed breakfast at the hotel, did some laundry and just hung out for a bit. We’ve been go go go and needed a little brake. Later that day, we went to Yoyogi Park. It’s described as being “Central Park like.” There were performers and musicians all around. The most unique group was wannabe Grease dancers. They had the moves and slicked back hair like John Trevolta, haha. Along the path was a shrine, little lake/pond, and tons of sake in decorated wooden barrels.
For dinner, we came across this little restaurant that hand made Japanese Udon noodles right there and grabbed a bowl for dinner. The broth was super tasty and the noodles were thick and just perfect. We went there the next day for an early lunch before our flight to Shanghai and the guy remembered us from the night before. We ordered one regular bowl to split and he made us a large bowl and said it was a “present”, haha. Guess he could tell I’m a carb lover!
Random, but on one of our walks from point A to B we came across a Tokyo 2020 Olympics sign and I just had to take a running pose pic, because if I can’t make the 2016 trials, I WILL make them by 2020. I mean, I already have a pic soooooo it HAS to happen, haha.
Since this post is late, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope I haven’t bored you with our Asian Invasion recaps yet, because I have plenty to come, haha. When I wrote this post I was on a plane to Tokyo, like I said, and by the time I end up posting it I’ll be in Hong Kong. Boy does time fly!