We awoke on our first full day in Kyoto with some big plans. There were quite a few locations we wanted to tick off our boxes in Kyoto and we only had so many days to see them. We decided to head over to the Imperial Palace as it was supposed to be prime sakura (cherry blossom) viewing. There is a web site that lists the various locales within Kyoto and the status of the cherry blossoms in that location – ranging from peak viewing to not blossomed. The Imperial Palace was a short subway ride and walk from our AirBnB.
The Imperial Palace actually sits in the middle of a very large park. Upon first entering the park, you could see that others had the same idea of checking out the cherry blossoms. With it still being mid-morning, the lighting was actually quite good for picture-taking and so we did like the other tourists and posted in and around the trees. We didn’t actually go to the front of the Palace and elected to check out the Shirakumo Shrine, which is located towards the south-eastern portion of the park.
I lost my original post for these days. Oh well, I’ll just re-start it and not try to re-create the old one that I had made.
So it was our last day in Tokyo and at the awesome Park Hyatt. Before leaving Tokyo I wanted to try to get at least one run in while in Japan. I decided to head up to the fitness center in the Park Hyatt. This is located up on the 47th floor. If you’ve seen the movie Lost in Translation, there is a scene where the main characters are swimming in this pool. I didn’t get any pictures because you’re not supposed to take pictures in the gym area. To actually get up to the fitness center you have to go through their spa (and actually tell them you’re a guest to get up there). They have a row of treadmills that face outward towards their floor-to-ceiling windows. You have this great overlook of the city and being so high up you get a bird’s eye view. It was a nice way to wake up for the day.
After sadly leaving the wonderful confines of the Park Hyatt, we made our way back to Tokyo Station by way of Shinjuku station for the ride over to Kyoto. Prior to taking the bullet train (Shinkansen), we needed some lunch. Within the underground mall area of Tokyo Station is Ramen Street. This was our first experience with ordering from a vending machine. So you walk up to a vending machine and can choose the type of Ramen you want (as well as any extras such as extra noodle, meat, other things), put money in the machine and then it spits out a ticket. You give the ticket to the attendant and wait in the line outside the restaurant. Once there is an open seat, they take you to it and then your food shows up. This place also had a paper bib for you to wear in case of splatter from the ramen. It was very tasty.
After a restful sleep, we awoke and ordered some room service and then decided to head over to the Imperial Palace area along with Tokyo Station and the many things around that area. The weather was still fairly overcast and rainy, my wife was very smart and brought an umbrella.
We walked around the outer perimeter of the Imperial Palace but didn’t try to go inside. We started to get hungry and went looking for a snack.
Near Tokyo Station is the KITTE building, which houses a lot of stores as well as restaurants.
I had read about it on a web site and since we were right there, we stopped in. It was still fairly early in the day so they weren’t letting people go up onto higher floors. So we headed to the basement and walked around where they had little shops of various food items and small trinket type things. We got some Chicken Karaage from the convenience store. This is essentially their version of chicken nuggets. I also had an Onigiri (which became a theme of the trip). Onigiri are triangles of rice wrapped in seaweed and filled with various items (I ended up trying some that had tuna salad, smoked salmon, fish roe, egg, etc). Continue reading “Tokyo Day 3 & 4 (Japan 2017)”→