Our day was one of mixed feelings. Mark and I are happy to be here in Japan, but on our day of arrival we learned that his grandfather was not doing well and that he only had a few days left. We learned this morning that he had passed away. Marks grandfather was a great man. So strong and full of life. Full of positive energy. Growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with my own grandparents because they passed away before I got to know them. Marks grandparents always treated me like their own grandchild and for that I will be forever thankful.
I can however remember my Lola Saning as being my favorite person in the world, so I can imagine how Mark feels. When she passed away, she was in the Philippines and I was in the Netherlands so I didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye. Being in a different country from your family is never easy, especially on these occasions. Opa Rien, you will be greatly missed!!!
With only 5 days of Tokyo and so much to see, Mark and I made a list of things we really didn’t want to miss. As we already missed the tuna auction (boehhh) and canceled seeing Mount Fuji, we decided to go to Senso-ji early in the morning. We were still very tired from our busy day and once again slept a little longer. We arrived in Asakusa to see the Senso-ji at around 12:00.
The Senso-ji temple is an ancient Buddhist temple and the oldest in Tokyo. It was very busy when we arrived, with a lot of schoolbuses and schoolchildren.
After visiting the temple and the shrine, Mark and I strolled along the grounds of the temple. It had a small garden which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Before we left, I wanted to do an omikuji: this is a ritual performed with wooden sticks and a silver canister. First, you put 100 yen in a slot, then pick up a canister and start shaking it. After a while, you take out a little wooden stick out of the canister. There is a symbol on the stick, written in kanji. The next part is the most difficult: the symbol matches one of the drawers and you must take a paper out of one of the drawers. Your fortune is written on it. My fortune unfortunately was not a good one. I was advised to tie the paper one of the poles nearby and ask the Gods for a better fortune and luck next time 😉
One of the most characteristic area’s of Tokyo surrounds the Senso-ji temple: Asakusa-jinja. You can do lots of shopping around here! Mark and I really had a historical feel in this neighborhood.
Our next stop was the Tokyo Sky Tree tower for a nice view of the city. It was cloudy that day, but we hoped to get lucky anyway. The walk from Asakusa took about 20 minutes. We came across a guy pulling people around in his cart. We didn’t think he was going to offer us a ride when he saw Mark 😉 Bit too big I think haha! We ended up not going up the tower due to the clouds, but had some Cold Stone Ice Cream instead.
Since we still had some time left we decided to visit the lesser known area’s of Tokyo: Naka-Meguro, Daikanyama and Ebisu. I loved Naka-Meguro! Most of the ‘action’ is a long the canals. This area was so different from the Tokyo we had experienced. So many trees, not many people and lots of stylish boutiques and cafes. Reminded me a lot of area’s like New York’s Greenwich. Very hip and on trend. Daikanyama was very upscale and chique, with lots of expensive stores and restaurants. it was nice to walk around but not an area I would revisit. We ended our evening with dinner in Ebisu. I liked Ebisu in the evening with lots of people our age hanging around in bars.
Tomorrow is our last day in Tokyo and I feel kind of sad about it. I knew I would love Tokyo, but I didn’t know I would get attached to it so soon 😉