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Japan Trip 2016 Update 11

10 July 2016 by

Today was intended to be a relaxing day before our visit to Tokyo Disneyland. A much needed sleep in, a late breakfast and the teachers had already established a meeting place, as they usually do, for us to be briefed or debriefed regarding what we were doing or just did. This included the custom of taking turns in sharing responsibility for the MacKillop prayer and identifying an aspect of the prayer that was relevant to us and our current experience.

We walked across the park and to the Seven 11 again to either get money, drinks or both. We continued on to the train station for another train trip and made our way to Asakusa Kannon (Sensoji) Temple, a popular, colorful, Buddhist temple. In fact, Tokyo’s oldest – built in 645AD. The day was hot and humid and the Temple seemed rather busy with people. We first entered through the Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon), walked through a shopping strip as long as 200 meters (Nakamise) and then through the second gate (Hozomon). We were stopped at this gate by a surprise conversation with 6 very young Japanese Scouts who spoke in their best English and, after photos, provided us with handmade paper cranes. We arrived at the temple, acknowledged and returned with some shopping time on the way back.

We were thankful we arrived here as early as we did as it was rather crowded on our way out. We set off on our way back to near the train station so that we could board a boat for the Sumida River Cruise.

We cruised for around 40minutes from Asakusa to Hinode Pier. There was a total of 12 bridges on this route and the river got invariably wider the further we went. It was pleasant because we weren’t walking, yet it was still hot and humid.

Escaping from the sun and the heat, we bought food and drink from the nearest Lawson store and ate it in its backroom. This was crowded and we enjoyed a laugh in the air-conditioned comfort. Refreshed we caught another train to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Technology (Maraikan – future museum) situated in a new building in the Odaiba District. Here we spent time viewing and participating in exhibits. It was a coincidence that The Ninja Exhibition was current and it was timing that we got to see Asimo (the humanoid robot) jump, kick a ball and dance.

Leaving Maraikan we set off for a train ride across Odaiba District bound for Tokyo. This was eye-catching as we crossed Tokyo harbour on a train making our way to Tokyo station. We had dinner at Tokyo station in a strip of shops purpose built. There was an array of options here.

After another train ride to Shinjuku and the shuttle bus back to our hotel it was time for an early evening as Disneyland beckoned.

 

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