This was our one day of bad weather. The day before there was some rain, but the heaviest was while we were on the train. Not today! We got soaked but we didn’t let it stop us!
|Start and end of the Cruise: Hama Rikyu (right) and Asakusa pier (left), with view of SKYTREE and the Asahi building|
After sleeping in, we headed downstairs for an American breakfast at the New Sanno. It was delicious. After we (over-)fortified ourselves, we headed out into the elements (so brave, ha ha). First, we went to the Hama Rikyu gardens, an old imperial duck hunting grounds now turned city park. It’s very beautiful with lakes, gardens and a tea house. It’s a funny incongruity to see such a beautiful garden flanked by skyscrapers on three sides (the fourth side is the Sumida River). We were there to catch the Sumida River Boat Cruise. There were two signs with different times and fortunately I listened to Dad (hi Dad!) and we caught the 10:00 boat up the river towards Asakusa. The boat first stopped at Hinode Pier, which would be the place to catch it if you didn’t want to pay the garden entrance fee (only Y300, as are many historical tourist destinations in Japan).
Then we went up the river for a 40 minute cruise where we saw 13 architecturally different bridges, the sumo stadium (Ryogoku) and finally, Asakusa pier. It’s a really nice, mellow way to see Tokyo from a different vantage point.
|Sensoji Temple and Pagoda. Not many pictures were taken today.|
Asakusa was where we got soaked. We walked up the Nakamise and bought some yummy rice cracker streets. Then we went into the main building of the Sensoji temple, a famous Buddhist temple. There’s an Old Edo feel to the area and in sunny weather, it’s delightful. We made a dash for the train station in a (futile) effort to stay dry. We took the train to Ometasando and ate in the cute, French-themed food court. Then we walked down Ometasando-dori and admired the modern architecture. We tried to find a wine bar Mom and I had been to last time but time passes and 6 years later, the wine bar was no more. We strolled along the main Harajuku street which was interesting but a little sad since Mom was unable to find a Hello Kitty iPhone case for her iPhone 4 (single tear). We tried hard though!
|Seen around Tokyo: Mixed message gnomes (smiley face, wait, what are the gesturing?), dog boutique with gross dog and “cute outfit,” donuts in bags because that’s where they belong and a baseball poster made out of flowers|
Then, it was off to the New Sanno to dry off. That night, we went to Pizzeria Sole y Lune and had some delicious pizza right near the hotel. Then it was off to bed!