Friday, June 26, 2009

Japan Day 14 - Meiji Temple, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Tower

By Leo

This was our last full day in Tokyo (we leave early in the morning the next day) and so we tried to get some last-minute sightseeing and shopping done -- stuff we hadn't done yet that we really wanted to do.

That included Tokyo Tower, which looks exactly like Paris' Eiffel Tower, as well as the Meiji Temple and the huge Roppongi Hills complex.

We started by heading to Shibuya, doing a little shopping and a lot of walking. We went to Dean & Deluca's (a little New York gourmet deli) and packed a picnic to take to Yoyogi Park for lunch. I was thinking sandwich stuff and fruits, but the kids wanted some pre-packed lunches such as Indian butter chicken and naan and tandoori chicken, or a pasta meal. I just had this asparagus and tomato salad plus bread, while Eva had a salad.

Eva after lunch, with her ever-present cup of coffee.

Eva and the kids at the Meiji temple tori (entrance gate). Meiji temple is the most popular Shinto shrine in Tokyo, and is really really lovely. It's set in the middle of Yoyogi Park and has wide gravel paths, very serene, leading up to the temple.

Eva and the kids again.

Here's Rain, picking leaves over a little gutter that the kids used as a racing track -- they raced leaves floating along the water. OK, I joined in too. :)

Maia, Rain, and Chloe drinking from the fountain at Meiji temple.

Noelle around this tree at the temple with really cool roots.

The kids looking at little wooden plaques with prayers from different visitors.

Here's one prayer written by a youngster from Singapore, wishing for his/her papa to slim down to at least 80kg.

After the temple, we took the subway to Roppongi Hills, a new development in the Roppongi district (often known as a red-light district). Roppongi Hills is a lot of things, but mostly it's really huge. It has a couple of really large towers, and you can go to an observatory at the top and see all of Tokyo. Within this complex are things such as: several shopping complexes, an art gallery, a library, a hotel, luxury apartments, offices, parks, many many restaurants, fountains, and more. We didn't see all of it -- we didn't have time. We just looked at this really cool spider sculpture (a favorite of Seth's -- he didn't want to leave it) and looked around the shops (really expensive ones) and then had ice cream at Coldstone.

After Roppongi Hills, we walked a good distance to Tokyo Tower. Here are Eva and the kids in front of the tower. I took it while on the ground. :)

You have to buy tickets to get to the observatory on Tokyo Tower, which was a disappointment because I was hoping to run up the stairs, but apparently that isn't allowed. The views from the observatory did not disappoint. You can walk around and see a 360 degree magnificent view of Tokyo. Above is one shot I took.

Here's another.

And as we left, I took a shot of the tower beautifully lit up.

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