Just after the wedding both UltraBob and Tomoko caught colds so UltraMom and Heather were faced with a day stuck in the house or wandering Zushi on their own. That seemed rather dull to me, so I offered to show them a bit of Tokyo while the newlyweds rested.
At 14:06, I met them on the train platform at Tokyo station and we headed up to Asakusa to see the temple and do some souvenir shopping, followed by a stroll along the neon-drenched main drag of Ginza, then maybe a relaxing foot massage and dinner with Tod.
We never made it past the shopping!
The shops and stalls that line the street leading to Senso-ji are chockablock with gifts and foods. Standing at the big gate, you can barely see the temple in the distance, so highly decorated are the lane and the stalls. Everything is colorful and bright. There are crowds of people sauntering along, looking at samurai swords, key chains and rice crackers. We made it to the temple, sniffed the purifying smoke, got some mikuji, took pictures and then went back along the lane to shop.
I love visiting Asakusa, and it’s been a long time since I have been there with newcomers. I did my best to balance storytelling and education with letting them explore and discover things on their own. And no trip is complete as a “tourguide” without learning something myself. One of the shopkeepers showed us how to tie an overflowing shopping bag’s handles together to make it easier to carry.
We did meet Tod for dinner, but only after stowing all of the purchases in a train station locker! I didn’t count exactly how many things they bought, but I know there were two huge shopping bags full, plus a plastic grocery bag stuffed with extras. Everyone on their gift list is getting something Japanese for Christmas, I bet.
Hope we’ll have another chance to see some sights before they return to the US.