Freitag, 27. April 2012

April 27 - Tokyo

Anke and I got up at 9 a.m., took a shower and were not really satisfied with the hostel, that actually had been awarded some years ago. We were on the top floor (3rd floor) but there were only showers on the 2nd and 1st floor (only 3 showers per floor). There also were 2 toilets on each floor, but the toilets didn't have a sink, so after using the toilet on our floor we always had to goone floor down and wash our hands there. This time the bathrooms were for men and women (but you could lock the door when you were in the shower). According to this the showers as well as the sinks were really dirty... And additionally every time I was in the bathroom there was somebody standing next me who was having a cold and blowing his or her nose into the sink...
Anyway.... After taking a shower we went to the closest Lawson to buy our breakfast and it took us some time to find something because it was a small store and it was difficult to find something we knew at least halfway how to prepare:-) I bought 2 types of noodles (one instant and one already prepared) and when we returned to the hostel I asked the receptionist how to cook and prepare respectively.

At 12:00 Anke and I started our sightseeing tour even though it was supposed to rain all day long.
Our hostel was close to Asakusa, and there we spent the following 3 hours with shopping and looking around at the sales stalls and visiting the temple that belonged to that area as well.

Asakusa is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi (literally "low city"), one of Tokyo's districts, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives.
Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

typical composition of crosswalks in Tokyo
Kaminarimon Gate

shopping street between Kaminarimon Gate and Sensoji Temple

sales stalls
Anke shopping

eating potatoe ice cream:-)
nice shoes, right?:-)

Gate to Sensoji Temple
Anke and I
5-story pagoda

5-story pagoda
Sensoji Temple

inside the temple
 Hi Ramona, how do you like that pink Fiat?:-)
in the neighbourhood of Asakusa

Actually the picutres of Asakusa I took in 2006 were much better because the sun was shining and less umbreallas were seen. I was thinking about replacing some of those pictures by my old one's but I decided: no palliation!

From Asakusa we took the subway to Akihabara, a shopping paradise for electronic, PC, anime etc.
First Anke discovered some small bike-lights for her kids (again nice shopping for her:-) and then we spent some time in 8-story building (unfortunately it wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside) where we were wondering what people spent their money for: f.e. fancy "dolls" that could be dressed in whatever taste you have and on the 1st floor we were wondering if we just missed a sign saying "men only". There were lots of business men after work, looking for toys, mainly small female dolls posing and dressed very sexy....

Anke at Akihabara

the implied 8-story building

view from the building

view from the building
Even though it was still raining Anke and I decided to end the day with a walk in the Ueno Park. The two of us needed "something green and quiet" after all the impressions of a big city.

monument of Saigo Takamori
Shinobazu Pond in the rain and half-light

Shinobazu Pond in the rain and half-light
From Ueno park at around 18:15 we started looking for a restaurant. Both of us were really tired after a that long sightseeing day. Walking in a big city always makes me very tired, so my feet were aching and Anke's back...
After a while we found a Japanese-style restaurant, so it was Anke's first time to sit on the tatami-mat floor and having a meal while sitting on her heels (in Japan men have to sit cross-legged and women have to sit on their heels). They served special rice and we were enjoying our break from 18:30 to 19:30.

Anke's first time in a Japanese-style restaurant

our dish
From the restaurant we went back to our Youth Hostel and I already went to bed at 22:00.
But before we could fall asleep we were disturbed by our neighbours' alarm clock, that was ringing constantly (the walls of that hostel were thin like paper and we could hear everything that happend in the next rooms...) Our neighbours weren't in their room and so my knocking on the wall was without any success. After a while I was so pissed off that I went down to the receptionist (luckily she was still there) and she went up with me, opened the door of our neighbours' room with a 2nd key and turned down the volume of the mobile phone). After that I could sleep ver well:-)

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