Japan: Days 2, 3, 4

July 31, 2011

We woke up about 5 AM and didn't have much to do (obviously). We did go back to sleep about 7 AM and slept for a couple more hours...jet lag isn't much fun. The plan was to head out to Ueno Park and Zoo.

Ueno Park is a huge park in the middle of the busy city. The thing about large cities is that parks are the place to get away from the craziness of it all. Similar to Russia, where living space and outdoor space is usually quite small, large parks are the place to getaway. Ueno Park is one of those places.

Ueno Park has several Japanese temples and shrines. I don't know a lot about the beliefs behind the temples so I won't comment much on that, but there were several people that would come and pray at them. They are quite beautiful places.

One of the big attractions at Ueno Park is the zoo. We quite enjoyed walking around the park and looking all of the animals. It rained a little bit while we were there, but overall it was a lot of fun. So much walking was really killing us - especially our backs.

Awesome chipmunk in Ueno Zoo.

On our way back to the Metro, we found a nice little market that we stopped by and walked along. It reminded me of the rionik's in Russia and there was plenty of junk. We stopped by into a store and picked up a little junk food. Later in the evening, we found another store fairly close to our hotel and picked up some more food.

August 1, 2011

We were starting to get more accustomed to the time difference, but still didn't sleep quite normal. We got out of the hotel at about 11 and headed out to an aquarium. Considering Japan is such a small area that is totally surrounded by water, they have several aquariums. Tokyo Sea Park was located just off the coast and in another beautiful park. They had some pretty cool fish and other things, but in my opinion, Sea World is cooler.

Cool looking fish at Tokyo Sea Life Park.

After the park, we headed out to Ginza. Ginza is known as the shopping district for it's high end shopping stores located in it. Gucci was really the only store I knew in the area, but I'm not a big shopping person. My wife knew several of the stores and they were definitely high end places. We went into one Japanese store, Mitsukoshi, and bought my wife a skirt. Also we grabbed some food while on the top floor and we looked out over the area that we were in.

View from Mitsukoshi.

August 2, 2011

We were absolutely exhausted by Day 4. We had been walking, walking, walking and our backs were killing us. That didn't stop us though. We headed out to Asakusa to one of the most well known temples and shrines in Tokyo. The area is huge for tourists. The area was quite beautiful and in front of the temple, you walk down this long aisle of sellers where you can buy souvenirs and food. We walked around the area for a bit and then found some little waffles baked in the shape of fish that were stuffed with cream and other random things. I wish we had gotten a picture because we actually returned a couple more times just to get them they were so good.

Water and trees at the park.

We took a fairy ride along the river to another gorgeous park. We loved the park itself and it was quite beautiful and so quiet compared to the city. By this time our feet were hurting and we had a long way to go before getting home. We took several breaks along the way, but we made it.

After resting up and grabbing a bite to eat at the local bento box place (japanese fast food type place), we went to another store in the area to see if they had a better selection of food. It was slightly larger, but nothing like you find here in the states.

One of the things that we found most surprising on our trip was how expensive fruits and vegetables were. Bananas were reasonably priced, but compared to what we pay here in Utah, we couldn't believe them. Considering how much we love fruits and vegetables, it would be tough to live there. Check out this guy's post about prices. It's insane!