Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tokyo Day 2 with Grandma and Grandpa

 We talked with the hotel travel service and got information about Tokyo Sky Tree for day two's adventures.  I knew we wanted to see Sky Tree and I also wanted to check out Asakusa.  The lady told us that if we wanted any hope of seeing Sky Tree then we needed to be in line very early.  So, we headed out the door at around 9.  When we got there we had about a 45 minute wait in line, but the line moved constantly, so it didn't seem that long.  We ended up in line next to a couple from New Zealand who was finishing up a tour around the world so I was able to listen to a few fun stories from their trips.

The elevator was fast!  The fastest we went was 600 meters per minute.  It was a very smooth ride.

The tower was completed in 2012 and at 630 m (2080 feet) is the tallest structure in Japan, second tallest structure in the world, and the tallest tower in the world.

The Boy at 350 m

We have now seen the city at 150 m, 250 m (both from Tokyo Tower), and now at 350 m

That's where we're headed once we get down from here...Asakusa

On our way to Asakusa we saw the buildings below

Spoons, forks and knives, really big spoons, forks, and knives poking out of the building

Cool bulls ya got there!

Sensoji Temple (Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple in Tokyo.  According to legend, two brothers fished the statue of Kannon out of the Sumida River.  They returned it to the river, but it kept coming back to them.  So, Sensoji was built for the goddess of Kannon.  It was completed in 645, making it the oldest temple in Tokyo.

Nakamise Dori 200 m shopping street leading to the Temple

I didn't get a picture the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), it's a little smaller than the one here.  This gate is the Hozomon Gate.  It was built in 1964.
According to Japanese tradition, the Nio are two strong, scary guys that guarded Buddha.  From what I've read on the internet, they are kind of like Alpha and Omega.  The statue on the right has his mouth open and signifies birth.  The statue on the left has his mouth closed and signifies death.  The gentle demeanor of the Buddhist religion justify the use of such monstrous deities as protection of cherished values and beliefs against evil.

One of two wooden Nio (Deva King)

This is the bottom of the black and gold lanterns
 I have no idea what the purpose of the statue below is, but I thought it was very interesting.  They were all looking toward the temple.

There they are looking toward the temple, I don't know why I got a shot that didn't have the temple in it. 
Five story pagoda

Sky Tree in the background....old and new in one shot

I guess he liked these doors, he asked me to take his picture up there

Dragon painted on the ceiling of Sensoji

Looking for ice cream
 That night we went to check out Shibuya.  This was our first time seeing it at night.


Lots of people!!
 After walking through the intersection a couple times we headed out to find dinner.  We stopped at the Yakiniku House for dinner.  WOW!!  Yummy!!  Best yakiniku we've had yet!

Our table decoration...ginger

Garytt cooking tongue

Tongue and coke...yum!  :)

Kenzie cooking beef

Pork and veggies

She tasted, and liked (!), hot green tea....that's MY girl!
We decided to take the bus from the hotel to Shibuya and back.  This was our first time on the bus.  It was super easy to get on and figure out where we were going.  But, I wasn't a big fan of the stop and go every two seconds.  It's definitely not as smooth as a train. 

 We finished the day with a swim in the pool with a few friends that happened to be there from Yokosuka....they were gone by the time I took the picture.