26 April 2009

Off to Hakone

We gotta pack up and head to the JR to get there this afternoon. We will have little internet access for the next couple days but I will be sure to write posts and upload them when we can.

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rain rain go away

Yesterday was pretty miserable. When I posted last, we thought that we would be fine with our North Face jackets (which have gotten mistaken for Canadians by some of the subway riders here) but we were wrong.

We took the subway over to Kokuritsu-Kyogijo so we could try to hit a flea market. People have flea markets in the rain right!? um no. At least our walking wasn't a total loss as we were able to see the national gymnasium and future Olympic venue if Tokyo wins the 2016 bid. We then hopped back on the subway to get on a nice warm car to Asakusa.

Asakusa is a little enclave of the old Tokyo. The main draw is the Sensoji temple that was built in the 7th century. Even in the pouring rain it was packed with tourists and Japanese alike. We took very few pictures as there was so much water and we didn't want to ruin the cameras. While the temple is beautiful, the food there is awesome! Leading up to the temple there is a main shopping street (and there are side street shops as far as the eye can see) that are selling trinkets and snacks. We stopped for some red bean cakes that were pressed into various shapes. It reminded me of the donuts my family gets at the Del Mar Fair as they were still warm right out of the press. yum! We walked a little farther and went to a booth that Charlton had visited last time to get some fried mochis. We picked up a green tea and an apricot one. They were both tasty too. So after seeing the temple and having enough snacks was time to get some real lunch. We wandered the side streets for what seemed like forever looking for a cheap well-like noodle shop. And we couldn't find anything! Think it must have been because it was in the touristy part and the fact that we didn't want to head to a bar. So we went back to the main drag and found a Yoshinoya and got a bento and a rice bowl. Delicious! It was there that we found out that most of the contents of my purse had got wet...Sony reader, camera, baseball tickets etc. Not cool. However, I did make a little Japanese friend who instructed me on the fine art of eating my rice bowl. He was so cute and reminded me of my grandpa. Now I will know what spices to put on my pork next time!

After lunch we headed to the subway to go back to Ginza and hit the Sony Building that we had neglected on our last trip. Saw 4 floors of new products, but I was expecting a little more wow factor. Although the movie room playing Final Fantasy was pretty cool.

Then it was back to Ikebukuro to visit the Toyota Auto Salon which was a huge showroom of all their Japanese cars. We had a blast running around in there seeing the Wish, Crown and Bb. And it was nice to be dry! Then it was back to the hotel to gear up for the Giants v. Dragons game.

We went to the Tokyo Dome for our 6 o'clock game (borrowed umbrella in hand) and was greeted by throngs of cheering fans. I have never seen such a scene at a baseball game! They had chants memorized and they were all in sync. The beer girls were a scene as well, with beer buckets on their backs. So much fun. However, we were both pooped and left after the 5th inning or so and headed back to the am/pm to get some more grub and crash here and try to get warm. We both fell asleep watching the Office, missing the end, that's how exhausted we were.

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