My friend Lenny is visiting Japan from the US this week. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I got to hang out with and show him around Tokyo. I am nowhere near a great tour guide and got us lost a few times (actually, I’m never lost; I just like to take the long route), but overall it was a good experience for me and hopefully for my friends.
I met Lenny and his friend Merrily in Nippori where they were staying, and after a traditional onigiri (Japanese rice balls [triangles]) breakfast, headed off to the train station. We went to Ueno to activate their JR passes but found out that we had to wait until 10:30, so we went to Ueno park for a while. While there we were lucky enough to get a free tea ceremony. Even better was the fact that it was also Free Day at Ueno Zoo. Yay for free things. We checked out the zoo for a while and saw all the cool animals. The Ueno zoo is much different than most other zoos as the animals have a much smaller living space and you can almost touch them in some cases. After the zoo we went to Tokyo station and looked at the Imperial Palace grounds. Lenny and I decided to have a race across the park; I won It being Sunday, we then went to Harajuku to see the… um…gothic people I guess. Although, some of the costumes the people wear are far from any categorization. This Sunday there was also the St. Patrick’s Day parade going on. We enjoyed watching the parade, and enjoyed jumping the barrier and joining the parade even more. Then a ramen lunch followed by a walk to Meji Jingu Shrine. After some deliberation on what to do next we went to the Tokyo Tower to get a night view of the city. The tower was crowded with people and there was even a line to get down from the top. We then took a quick look at Roppongi.
Make sure to see the pictures for the other days too: (more…)