Exploring Different Parts of Tokyo

Today, we had a great day learning how the subway, Metro, JR and train system works in Japan/Tokyo. In some ways it is very easy to learn, and in other ways, it was frustrating. There are at least 3 systems in the massive railway system and some pre-pay tickets works on some lines and not on others. You have to pay careful attention to your choices and routes or you end up paying more than you expected. But once you get the hang of it, it is easy to get anywhere in Japan and Tokyo.

The toilet seats take some training though…they are all very advanced and running the Android OS, but since I am on vacation, I am not going to try and install a root kit on one of them…

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We met some old friends today and travelled around some different areas of Tokyo – they are stationed in the nearby US Naval air station (Jack and Kate Halligan) and we had a wonderful day exploring the city together.

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We first went to the Nezu shrine and park…and it was a huge collection of people, a local wedding and many sellers of snacks and food like a US based flea market.

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Gorgeous day and scenery, but very crowded with lots of people….we were one of the rare Western tourists…the historical symbolism was very awkward and uncomfortable to get used to though…

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We also visited the nearby zoo (Ueno) which was a nice delight…I am not sure I have ever seen a giant panda this close before. He was chowing down on some bamboo like it was going out of style…

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Yes, it was a gorilla.

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We then trekked over to Harajuku to hang out with the youngsters.  On the way we ran into religious parade of Falun Gong…they were looking for some tourists to join their parade…

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It is a famous set of streets where the young and hip come to see and be seen with the latest styles and trends. Lots of fun. And yes, it was crowded…but never felt at risk or unsafe. A fun afternoon to stay the least.

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