I left Texas on the 8th in the early morning and landed in Tokyo on the 9th, in the afternoon. You can read all about the flight and getting into Tokyo here – this post is the second half of my super long day into Tokyo.
After checking in and dropping off my bags, I headed out right away. From the hotel I walked to Asakusa, an area popular with tourists that’s about a 30 minute walk away. The main attraction: Senso-ji temple. I visit every time, because 1) it is close to the hotel, it’s 2) where the better food is around the hotel, and 3) it’s still full of life at night.
I walked around the temple a bit before dinner. Just before leaving the temple, I noticed that everyone was staring into the horizon and taking photos of the sky. It turns out that the full moon had risen, and it was orange and huge! Unfortunately it wasn’t big enough to make any photo attempts worth sharing, especially without a tripod and a bigger lens.
For dinner I stopped for ramen at this tiny shop just off the temple area. This bowl of ramen was really unusual, for two reasons. First, the egg had a double-yolk. Apparently this was a big deal and this restaurant’s signature touch, because it was widely advertized in the window and on the walls (in Japanese only). The egg felt much larger than a regular extra-large chicken egg, but all I know is that they come from somewhere near a mountain that’s 2038 meters tall (a quick Google search turns up Mount Iwate, “one of Japan’s 100 most beautiful mountains”). Perhaps it was a goose’s egg? Who knows. Second strange thing about this bowl of ramen was the addition of lemon zest. At first it was different and fun, but in the end it was a bit too much. Overall though, it wasn’t a bad bowl of soup – just an unexpected one!
On my walk back to the hotel I went to the shores of the Sumida River (not a big detour really, just one block away from where I was needing to be) to try to get a better shot of that moon. Unfortunately, by that point clouds had rolled in and it has gotten smaller. However, I still took a few pictures because the moon was beside Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest radio tower. We had seen Skytree under construction during our last visit.
I made it back in time to the hotel for my scheduled soak in their private bath. Traditional baths in Japan are not like baths back home: here, it’s treated more like a hot pool. You wash yourself first, then you enter this really hot bath that does not get drained. I mean, it does get drained, I just don’t know how often. Anyway, this one is on the top floor with a view of the city, and it’s pretty nice because it is private! In most hotels the bath is communal. After such a long travel day, my tired body really needed that hot bath!
Now it’s finally time to get some sleep! Hopefully I have a good night’s rest because I have an early date with some fish tomorrow.