Tokyo – The last few days

Sorry about the lack of updates, Japan was pretty non stop and yesterday I was too knackered to write anything of sense!

As I’m so far behind I’m going to condense the last few days of Tokyo into one post.

Thursday we headed out to Tokyo Bay to go to Megaweb. This randomly named place is a kind of shopping centre with a Toyota area as the centrepiece (you can probably guess which part of Megaweb we were there for!). The first section of the Toyota area was like a massive showroom of all of the current range of vehicles, as well as some exhibits and things to play with. We had a browse around and Mo found the car for her, a Toyota Vellfire – mainly because of the seats (the front passenger one was the same as this)…

 

We also both had a shot on their racing simulator (Gran Turismo 5) and their safety simulator which showed the difference all of Toyota’s various electronic safety systems made to the handling of a car.

After that we went downstairs to the historical museum to look at the various old road and racing cars they had. Obviously I took lots of photos, many of which only have cars in them, so some of you might be a bit bored with some of them  (Mum K… 🙂

Toyota Corrola Levin

We then headed back into town and, because the weather was so cold and horrible, ended up taking shelter in the Panasonic building. Inside it was a bit like a fancy IKEA which various rooms laid out showcasing the Panasonic technology. The best ones obviously being the toilets with automatic opening lids when you went near them, a button to raise or lower the seat (which might actually solve the age old question of whether it should be left up or down…!) and the usual options of heated seat, bidet, etc.

On the way home we went in to a bar which had a happy hour sign outside, which we hoped read ‘All you can drink for 500Yen’ but actually read ‘All drinks 500Yen each’ – so we just stayed for one and instead went back to the hotel to try our jar of sake. Strong stuff!

Martin and Mo in the smallest pub ever - this was us at the bar! Mo drinking sake in her Kimono - how Japanese!

Friday we went up to the Shinsho-ji Temple which was a completely different experience to the high tech Toyota and Panasonic sights of the day before! The temple has a huge lantern as you come in through the main gate, it dwarfed the 2 of us.

Mo under a rather large lantern

Once inside, you go through a bustling market place full of stalls and shops selling tourist gifts, clothing and food. We went up to the temple itself and watched as people threw coins into a large box before saying a prayer at the temple. On the way out we stopped to take a couple of photos and an old Japanese guy came over to talk to us – he had very good English and barely took a breath as he told us about the differences between the cultures of West and East for about 10 minutes! Then it was lunch time, and we decided to go for an authentic Japanese ‘sushi-go round’ restaurant – where everything is on wee plates on a conveyor belt. You just take what you want and you’re charged at the end based on how many plates you have – there are various different colours and patterns of plates that each cost a set amount.

Sushi Go Round!

We then went into the shopping district of Ginza for a look around – however the horrible weather didn’t make this overly enjoyable, and the drowned rat look didn’t seem to fit with the posh shops we were looking at. We walked through an area that was sort of outdoors with plants growing up the walls and a few small round ‘rooms’. Each one had a famous brand on it and a small selection of their products. Before we could work out the point in it a woman approached us and explained that each room was actually a lift that took you down into the shop belonging to each brand. So she took us down into the Swatch Watch Shop that she worked in. She had good English and was very friendly, even after we made her realise we wouldn’t be buying anything!

In the Swatch lift at Ginza

Once we got finished in Ginza we headed for the subway to take us back home, and saw some interestingly named cafes!

Mo's Cafe Auntie Anne's!

For tea that night we headed up the street to a Japanese restaurant where the food was awesome – unfortunately the language barrier meant we ordered 3 main courses instead of 2! But we still ate them so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

On the Saturday it was another horrible day of wind and sleety rain but we braved it and headed out on a boat tour to see some of the sights. We ended up on the same boat as what we guessed was a Japanese stag do, judging by the banter they were having and how quickly they finished their bottle of whisky!

Japanese Stag do - I don't think he liked that drink!

Once off we headed to the Tsukiji FIsh Market, the largest fish market in the world, unfortunately the place was quite quiet as it was early afternoon but it was still an impressive site – and another world record holder we can say we’ve visited!

Mo at the Tsukiji Fish Market...looking as wet as a fish!

Sunday was our last full day in Tokyo and we took the metro up to see the Imperial Palace grounds. We’d planned to hire a tandem to ride around the grounds but it turned out that wasn’t available in the off season – although we only discovered this after Mo had asked a rather confused looking policeman if the bikes outside his office were for hire!

The police bikes Mo's tried to hire!

It seemed strange to see such a large area of park land in such a packed place as Tokyo. We had a walk around to see the main gate and the moat, as well as the fountains. We then went to look at the statue of a fairly serious looking ancient Japanese warrior before heading back into the centre of Tokyo.

Mo in the Imperial Palace Grounds Martin outside the Imperial Palace main gate Ancient warrior at the Imperial Palace

We took a quick stop at the sushi place that we had visited on the first day before walking back to the hotel to pack. Out to tea at a pizza place 5 minutes walk from the hotel that we discovered sold by far the cheapest wine we’d seen anywhere, and that was still quite nice!

Tokyo – done!

Martin and Mo - Last night in Tokyo

Nagoya and Kyoto coming soon – I promise!

4 Comments

  • mum k says:

    I was absolutely riveted by the Toyota information!! (pause to blush cos of lie) What an amount you two pack into a few days! I think you are doing really well with your blogging – take your time or it will begin to feel like homework. Looking forward to my skype catchup. love to both xx

  • Mum M says:

    Having three car loving sons i take the Toyota info all in my stride !! Yes indeed you do get
    around – your months of preparation paying off.
    Oh yes that’s the best excuse ever to get more food !
    Lots of lovexx

  • Mum M says:

    Meant to say about the cafe names Mo – there must be one of us everywhere!!

  • Lynsey and Evan says:

    Hi Martin and Mo, hope you’re keeping all those car photos for Evan. We’ve been checking regularly for more car photos although he also loves the bullet train cos it also goes fast, 200 mph he tells me. Evan now planning his round the world trip! Lots of people asking after u at work, so u r missed 🙂

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