We arrived in Tokyo midmorning without much planned except a hotel to drop our bags off. Although people had warned us that transportation in Japan would be difficult because they speak little English, we didn’t have a problem communicating to the train ticket agents about where we needed to go and how to get there.
What we should have done: purchase a suica card while at the Narita airport. But we didn’t, because we weren’t thinking about how complicated public transport is in Tokyo.
Tokyo is the largest city in the world. Including the surrounding area, Tokyo has upwards of 3o million people. Because of that, we had a hard time settling on a district to stay in. We finally picked Asakusa.
A historic district, much of the older buildings were either destroyed in an earthquake in 1923 or American bombings in WWII. However, there are still nice cultural pockets in the neighborhood to enjoy. Jordan learned that this is one of the few places in Japan left that we could spy a real-life geisha in. Sadly, we didn’t see one, but we did see lots of girls in traditional dress.
There’s also a pretty cool temple/shrine in the neighborhood.
Senso-ji is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The two statues in the gate behind Jordan are the god of wind and the god of thunder. During the Edo period of Tokyo, brothels and theaters cropped up in the neighborhood, beside shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Today it’s a great place for souvenirs, Japanese food, and enjoying a beer.
Across the river is SkyTree, a massive tower/mall opened in 2012. At 634 meters tall, it’s one of the highest structures in the city. Inside is an aquarium, planetarium, gardens, and many restaurants.
Everyone here plays Pokemon Go, and SkyTree has an amazing pokemon center. Jordan had to have his photo taken with it, as you can see.
Behold, the tower:
We had a lovely view of the city. Towers and buildings stretched as far as the eyes could see. By the time we’d explored Asakusa and Sumida City, it was night and we decided to save the rest of Tokyo for tomorrow.