Day 5 - 09/10/09 - Tokyo (Japan)
This was to be a busy day. We needed to find accommodation for the night, and we also wanted to visit the Imperial Palace and gardens. We began the day by Walking down to Otachimachi. Once there, we spotted a hotel and it all looked good, so we booked and they minded our backpacks for the day (much to our relief). We were right near the station, so it was just a short trip into Tokyo on the train.
From Tokyo station, we walked to Imperial Palace only to find that it was closed on Fridays... we were not impressed! It was then decided that we would go for a walk to check out Tokyo Tower. We got a little lost along the way as we were not sure what we were looking for exactly and the map we had only showed major street names.
Along the way, we found nice fountains and gardens, and even came across an orchestra that began to play "Waltzing Matilda"! We were quite excited over this and began singing as we looked around the stalls that were being set up around the garden. It is a long weekend in Japan this weekend, and we believe this is what the market and orchestra were about.
We also found Atago Jinja (Shinto Shrine) which was atop of a number of steep stairs. The stairs are famous for success in life - so we were happy to have climbed them!
When we did finally locate Tokyo Tower, we went to the 150m observation (of the 333m tall building) and took in the amazing sight that is Tokyo and it's surrounding skyline. Unfortunately, Mt Fuji was mostly covered in clouds, but was still an amazing sight. It was then time to head back to hotel, check in and collect our bags, before taking a few minutes to settle in and then enjoying a very yummy dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Day 6 - 10/10/09 - Tokyo & Kyoto (Japan)
Another early morning today - we needed to get to Tokyo train station and try to locate lockers for our backpacks for a few hours (this was easier than we expected) and then to get to the Imperial Palace. We had until 1:00 to get back to Tokyo for our train to Kyoto.
We again walked to the Imperial Palace and were allowed to enter this time. We were a little disappointed as you could only walk around gardens, and most of the buildings were fenced in. The garens were beautiful, however we would have loved to have been able to see more of the buildings and what was inside. There are so many gardens that we have walked through, and Jess does not like this very much...
It was then a walk back to Tokyo station to wait for our train to Kyoto. Once the train arrived at the station, there were cleaners that boarded and cleaned every one of the 16 carriages, and spun the seats around so that everyone was to face the direction the train would travel (The platform was the end of the line, and a dead end).
After the 2 1/2 hour train trip, we walked 3km to our new hotel, Rhino. By the time we arrived and allowed ourselves a few minutes to settle into our new rooms, we were just in time to make it to dinner at the hotel restaurant before they stoped cooking.
The plan for tomorrow (Sunday) is to hire some bikes and ride around Kyoto to see the sights - Temples, Castles, etc.
Take care - Jess & Scotty