Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Last full day in Tokyo - gardens and conveyor belts

This is pretty much it for the vacation recount. I'll put together a summary tomorrow for anyone who missed anything, but you won't have to hear about cultural sites across the Pacific for a while.

I think.

No promises.

If someone gives me a trip to Asia for funsies, I'm not turning it down, ok? And I'll probably write about it. Just want the record to be straight.

Our last full day in Tokyo was spent catching up on shopping and relaxing and sights that we weren't able to see earlier, the first of which was the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, which is not open every day, only certain days.

The traditional Japanese architecture, beautiful gardens and impressive stone walls are well worth the visit. As are the "tickets" they make you carry around while you're inside. (I think it is to be certain that everyone leaves when the close the park each day, but given we've never seen anything like it before, it was a bit of a curiousity.) Show us the tickets, Alex:

The garden encompasses former areas of the Edo Castle. Most of what you see are guardhouses, thankfully, they are very pretty guardhouses.

The guardhouses are separated by long tranquil walks around the impressive walls.

And every now and then we saw a lovely building in an area we weren't allowed to go to.

Oh, and it was a lovely day, not like the day before, when gray skies covered Asakusa. I love the traditional Japanese architecture when the sky is blue.

After the park, some shopping, some working out and some swimming at our hotel, Alex and I headed out for dinner.

Our last dinner in Tokyo was at GinSen for some quality conveyor belt sushi. Mmmmm, sushi delivered on a conveyor there anything they can't do?

Or if you prefer, you can ask the nice sushi man to make you something special and he just gives it to you.

As you can almost see on the wall behind the sushi man, each different color plate has a different price. You take all the sushi you want, stack up your plates and the nice lady counts them at the end. We did a pretty good job of trying everything, wouldn't you say?

And the tap on the counter? Free hot water! To go with all the free matcha you can consume. So cool!!

After dinner, we headed back to main street in Ginza, Harumi-Dori, in pursuit of dessert. If I've learned anything living in Chicago with Garrett's popcorn, it's that when locals stand in long lines for a food product, you must join them!! Alex and I had seen long lines of Japanese people standing in line at this Belgian waffle store a couple days prior and we knew we had to join them.

Sounds stupid, right? Waiting in line for waffles? In Japan? But we had to know.

Oh, and about the waffles? They were so amazing that we ran by the store again before heading to the airport the next day for another batch. Wow. So. Good.


  1. seriously, those waffles are the bomb. that's an expression, right? I think I hear some miscreant youth refer to something as "the bomb" once or twice now, so it must be with it and hip. Alternatively, I could say something along the lines of, "those waffles were crazy sauce" (ie, good). But I don't know that I can pull that off.

  2. Isn't that the truth about lines filled with locals...And the power of suggestion-now I want some Garretts.