July 14, 2011

Tokyo Morning Tour

Taking a short morning tour of Tokyo was very convenient for us since this was our last day. We had a glimpse of Tokyo even if almost all the shops were closed since it was January 1st. We were the only people in the tour so we had the whole bus for ourselves. That was great because we had the cute tour guide for ourselves. Since it was only us, she was not strict with time and we can spend extra minutes.
Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower
Our first stop was Tokyo Tower. Once the tallest structure in Japan, but now not so big. It had a 360 degree view of Tokyo. You would also see the new Tokyo Tower called the Tokyo Sky Tree, which is still under construction that time. Here are some snapshots from Tokyo Tower Main Observatory.
View of Tokyo and Mount Fuji from Tokyo Tower
Zojo-ji Temple
Reiyukai Temple
Odaiba View
New Tokyo Tower (Tokyo Sky Tree)
Some parts had glass floors which was scary to stand on. There were lot of souvenirs in the tower. The most interesting was the customizable coins. It's the best souvenir ever. You had to buy a coin first. Costs around 400 Yen. Then you would place it on a stamping machine to stamp your desired phrase or name. Cool right? You could also purchase a key-chain that would hold the coin.
Tokyo Tower Glass Floor
Tokyo Tower Souvenir Customizable Coin
Customizable Coin Stamping Machine
There are also other attractions inside Tokyo Tower. Aside from the main observatory 150 meters high, they have the Special Observatory which is 250 meters high. The tower also houses the Wax Museum and Space Wax. It was not part of our tour so we weren't able to visit them.
Our next destination was Asakusa Temple. Since it was January 1st, the place was so crowded. Inside the temple's compound, there are lots of souvenir shops and food stalls. There you would see various Japanese street foods. We tried the Dango and Takoyaki. More on Asakusa Temple.
Asakusa Temple
Shops at Asakusa Temple
Imperial Palace East Garden
We were suppose to visit the Imperial Palace East Garden, but unfortunately it was closed for preparations for the event the next day. January 2 is the day when the palace doors are opened. This happens only twice a year. This is when the Emperor of Japan shows himself to the public. The alternate destination was the double bridge instead of the east garden. But again, the next day is a very important event so even the bridge is closed. We were only able to see the palace from afar and walked around the park near the Imperial Palace. 
Imperial Palace Double Bridge
Main Road front of Imperial Palace
Park Near the Imperial Palace
Park Near the Imperial Palace
Samurai Kusunoki Masashige Statue in the Park Near the Imperial Palace

Our last stop was Ginza District. The tour bus dropped us at Ginza and the tour guide explained how to got back to our hotel on our own. Weird right? But that was their package with the tour. There are so many well-known high end brands at Ginza. The sidewalks are wide and very clean and modern. As said by our tour guide, Ginza was one of the first places in Japan to be modernized and apply western style buildings. The first department stores was established at Ginza.  Again, it's January 1st so sadly the shops were closed. More on our visit to Ginza District.

Ginza District
After Ginza, we went straight to Roppongi Hills via subway.

More details on our 2010 Japan Christmas and New Year Tour
More details on our 2010 Japan Itinerary

No comments: