Saturday, December 25, 2010

Last day in Tokyo

Well this is the end of our Japanese leg of our holiday. Today we had a look around Ueno park just near where we were staying (not a suburb I would recommend - adult content neighbourhood). It had some interesting sites and old shrines. It was here that the Edo empire fell in the mid 1800s to be joined to the rest of japan and become Tokyo.
From there we went to the Imperial Palace gardens. They were beautiful, well kept, but not amazing.
Then we went to find the Pokemon shop which was very kitchy, but not very interesting. The best part was the free stickers given to the boys at the train station exit. As we were about to leave for another train we spotted a garden. It was beautiful. Well laid out, nice lakes, coi, large egret/heron type birds, rocks and hills placed in significant locations and lots of flowering cherry blossoms. In some ways much nicer than the imperial gardens.
Then we went to Asukasa where we had a lovely lunch. The boys pointed out that this was their first christmas lunch out, and I am pretty sure it is mine, too. We looked around, did a bit of shopping and then headed for akihabura. I am currently sitting in a cafe while the boys are all playing arcade games in the sega tower. I am sure they will come and find me again sometime.
Things I noticed about japan - there are bikes everywhere and no- one wears a helmet. Some bikes have baby seats on the front and on the back.
The whole country is accessible to vision impaired people especially if they use a cane. The footpaths have a textured yellow strip down them which change texture as you come to lights or a crossing. The pedestrian lights make different noises and there is Braille everywhere.
There are a lot of vending machines especially for drinks - the stat I heard was 1 machine for every 5 people!
Everyone is very polite. The train ticket inspector bows at the door before he leaves the carriage, and this is normal. Shop staff all call out hello, goodbye and thank you whenever anyone comes or goes and everyone waits in tidy lines at the train platforms where the trains pull up exactly where the platform markings are.
It has been a completely different culture in japan, but definitely one I could get used to - except the rice for breakfast! Talk to you again from Paris.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Tokyo, Japan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you all! Love the Johns' The blog is great!