Just a short walk from the markets is the Hama-rikyu gardens. We walked around here for a while. The trees were very old including the 300 year old pine. It was beautifully presented and maintained. It belonged to the sho-gun as his private gardens. It even had a place for him to do his duck hunting.
From here we boarded a boat and went up river to the shrine area. It was a lovely day, not too cold, and being on the water was fantastic. We went under lots of different types of bridges and then got out at the shrines. We walked to a noodle shop for lunch. There was a guy in the window making the soba noodles fresh for all to see and then we went and ate them with tempura shrimp and beans. There was also a radish dish from a radish that is only harvested every 3 years.
Then we went on to the shrine and temples. They were traditional bhuddist Japanese temples and right next to it was a shinto temple, too. There is a festival over the next 3 days so there were market stalls everywhere selling the paddles and shuttle cocks for the festival. It was all very bright and lively.
From the temples we got on the subway again and went to some very beautiful Japanese gardens. The trees still had some autumn colour, the bridges were old and interesting, there was even an old cherry blossom in flower. There were beautiful lakes, fish and ducks. It was very peaceful right next to tokyo's main baseball stadium and amusement park. Quite a contrast.
The last stop for the day was to a local government building that had an observatory deck so we watched sunset from the 45th floor. It was great.
Now we are resting before we go and find something for dinner and experience the local night atmosphere.
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