Japan of the '80's
Panda - Ueno Zoo
Narita, Tokyo and Taito, Japan
A friend and I had a long weekend and we headed off to visit Japan.
In Japan we visited three cities; Narita, Tokyo and Taito. We flew into and left through the Narita International Airport. The airport is located between the Pacific Ocean and Tokyo Bay and is surrounded by a number of small rivers.
Japan is a country made up of islands. The country of Japan consists of 6,852 islands. Tokyo is the capital and largest city of Japan. We arrived at the airport, purchased yen and waited for the Limousine bus that arrives every 15 - 20 minutes. We were the first to arrive in line and the last to get on the bus. You make a reservation for this bus, but a reservation does not mean you get a certain seat, it means that you are guaranteed to have a seat on that bus. When the bus arrived the people ran for the door and shoved until they were all on, then the bus driver helped us put our luggage below and then we entered an already packed bus. This bus ride cost 3,000 yens and lasted two hours.
Once we arrived in Tokyo we hailed a taxi. It was late when we arrived a the hotel, so that first night we just stayed in our room. Next morning, we decided to try some local food for breakfast. We found a quaint little café style place to eat and the food was good. Then for lunch we tried another small café thinking this was the way to go. We tried the food and it was not good. We went in search for something to eat we could recognize. We came across a McDonald’s. We ate a hot apple pie and a medium coke the cost was $6.50 American dollars.
We then took the Toei Subway to the Asakusa-Senso-ji Buddhist-Shinto Temple. The Toei Subway cost between 160 and 240 yen. It has 106 stations and 4 lines. The subway route is on computer which is mounted to the inside wall of the subway train. The routes are color coded and easily figured out. The ride was uncomfortable for we were stared at constantly. Apparently women do not ride the subway unaccompanied by a man.
The Asakusa-Senso-Ji is the oldest temple in Japan. This temple is located in Taito, Japan. The building was rebuilt after being burned during WWII. This temple was originally built in the mid 600’s. It was made to the goddess Kannon. A goddess for the fishermen of the Sumida River.
Asakasa Temple is located off Nakamise-dori a shopping street. You enter the Kaminarimon gate leading to the temple yard. Between the yard and the gate is huge caldrons, one for washing hands and one of burning incense. You wash your hands, then you as you pass the next caldron you wave the incense toward your body. You proceed on into the yard and a flutter of pigeon will take off.
Then for 100 yen you can get a prediction sheet for the future. You take the container with the sticks, shake it, draw one and note the number. You continue into the temple and find the drawer with the corresponding number, open it and you find a printed sheet. The predictions are; Good luck, medium good luck, average, medium bad luck, and really bad luck. If you should draw one of the bad predictions you take it and tie the sheet of paper to the stands or a tree which are located all around the yard. If you attach the paper to the tree the bad luck will not follow you home.
Information on the temple;
Open sunrise to sunset
5 minute walk from the Asakusa Station
Diver City, Japan
Just across the Rainbow Bridge, in the middle of Tokyo Bay, is a place called Diver City in Odaiba, Japan. The island is an artificial island constructed in 1853. Recently, it has become the home of a giant robot. It is a RX78-2 1/1 scale model of the Gundom from the long running science fiction media series. There is a Gundom Show every hour during the months when the weather is warm.
Another place children and adults can enjoy is the Ueno Zoo. It is the oldest zoo in Japan. It was founded in 1882 and covers 35.2 acres. This zoo is involved in the international breeding cooperation which is working to keep endangered species alive. This zoo has Panda bears, Hokkaido brown bears, Okapis, aye-ayes lemurs, pygmy hippos, Japanese macaques and wild cormorants-aquatic birds which are all endangered species.
Zoo hours 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on some Monday and Tuesdays check to make sure it is open.
Cost; Adults 600 yen, Seniors 300 yen, Students 200 yen, and children 0 - 12 are free.
Address; 9-83 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Museum of Criminology
A gruesome, but interesting place to visit is the Museum of Criminology at Meiji University. It tell the story of crime and punishment in Japan. You will find guillotines, iron maidens, torture techniques used through the ages in Japan and more.
Information on Criminology Museum
Kanda Surugadai, Chyoda-ku
Sumo Town, Japan
If you are interested in attending a sumo tournament they are held in January/May/September. Each tournament is 15 days in length. The tournaments are held in Kokugikan a stadium which seats 10,000 visitors. There is a museum and gift shop where sumo goods can be purchased. The museum/gift shop is located in the stadium which is open 10-4 M-F, they are closed on holidays and between exhibitions during tournaments. The museum is free. Kokugikan is located in Ryogoku - Sumo Town. Ryogokiu is the center of the sumo world. The stables are where the sumo wrestlers live and train. If you would like to visit a stable, you can view the morning sumo practice, but you will need to make advance application by phone. This costs is approximately 10,000 yen for a single person and 4,000 yen for a guided tour. You must be accompanied by a Japanese speaking guide.
Address; 1-3-28 Yokoduna, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Never miss an experience
The taxi rides, limousine bus rides, hotel, food, prediction sheet, subway and the airport tax cost the $300.00 and a $20.00 draw on the ATM two days and one night in Japan. We took home many memories of Japan. I have been told that Kyoto, Japan is awesome in the spring when the cherry trees blossom. I would like to visit one of the hot springs of Japan. My advice is if you get a chance to go, “never miss an experience.”
I also visited Korea on this trip read about that part of the trip below.
Republic of South Korea
- Seoul, Republic of South Korea
Seoul, Korea home to fifty percent of the population of South Korea.