IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
I have lost count of the times I have transited through Narita Airport over the last five years, the best route for the journey between Leesburg VA and Singapore. This past May however, was the first time I actually got to go into the city of Tokyo and get my first real experience of Japan.
Taking advantage of yet another conference that my husband was attending, we took the opportunity to tack on a few days of holiday to explore, although a few days is not nearly enough to do Tokyo justice. We stayed in the Roppongi Hills area at The Grand Hyatt. This was a pretty good location, the Hotel is linked to a Mall, Art Museum and Observation deck, with pretty plazas and art installations. The metro was very easy to access, and once you get the hang of it, pretty easy to get around Tokyo via the metro and train systems. There are also lots of shops and older streets with great restaurants within an easy walk.
On a recommendation from the Hotel concierge, we were directed to perhaps one of my favorite restaurant experiences anywhere. Yakotori Ganchan, is a teeny tiny place, barely enough room for 15 to 20 people. We had no clue what we were doing, and upon first glance of the menu were pretty scared, until we realised they also had the menu in English!!! Thankfully, the language of ordering a drink is pretty universal, so of course I had to have Sake. I loved the way they poured the sake into a glass which stood in a ceramic bowl. A "Ganchan" pour is when the sake overflows from the glass into and up to the brim of the bowl. It was so much fun to sit at the counter and watch the guys preparing the skewers over the open flames. All the food was so delicious, I especially loved the vegetable sticks and some kind of dip that everyone receives as an appetiser, so fresh and delicious to nibble on whilst you are waiting for your skewers. Have to admit, we were not adventurous enough to try the chicken gizzard. We loved this place so much, we went a second time.
Of course Tokyo would not be Tokyo without a temple or two. There are many more than two, but we chose to visit The Sensoji Temple, and explore the shopping streets of Asakusa which surround this lovely Buddhist Temple. So much to look at in this area, both temple and shopping wise. There are many statues, pagodas and gardens surrounding the main building. To see many more pictures, visit my Tokyo, Japan page - here.
Perhaps my favourite part of visiting this Buddhist Temple, was the opportunity to make an Omikuji or paper fortune. I paid my 100 yen fee, drew a stick from the box which had a number on it. I then found the corresponding drawer, and drew out my paper fortune. I got #59, bad fortune, just my luck. Oh well, I tied my fortune onto the iron rods, hoping to "carve out my own fortune" as instructed. I found this fun description of drawing an Omikuji here, courtesy of Matcha, Japan Travel Magazine.
Your mind is unsettled wondering to leave or stay. All your deeds and works are both indefinite, suffering from so many troubles. The moon want to be clear and brilliant, but dark clouds come over it. Your mind doesn't stay sill and will loose right away.
We barely touched the surface of this amazing City, so much to see and do. Certainly a place that is worth a return visit. For more ideas of how to fill your time, check out this post from Tsunagu Japan, Japan Travel Information Platform, 50 things to do in Tokyo.
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