WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN IN 2008:
All the information in the Japan travel guide of that adventure, including Kyoto, Osaka, Himeji, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miyajima and the Japanese Alps
The truth is, and now that we have been two days we can corroborate it, that Ryokan Fukudaya has been a great success. When we started looking for hotel deals in Tokyo, we knew that on this occasion we wanted be near Shibuya, what we did not expect is what we commented on DAY 38 upon arrival, that we could be in full EDO period in the middle of such a futuristic place.
On the way to our already usual Shibuya stop, and with our usual water and coffee from the vending machines (230 YEN), we continue to be surprised at everything we find in our path, sometimes we come to think that we are in a real comic with decorations everywhere and with a lot of things that we would not guess even in a thousand years what they are, but that is also part of the charm of Japan, as the amount of false products the Japanese have at their fingertips in their eagerness to seem "somewhat more western".
At these hours the busiest crossing in the world is desertedIt seems incredible but we can cross without fear of the human tide that you always see in front. This is Shibuya and thanks to this we can contemplate calmly the Hachiko monument which gives its name to the square where it is located. Hachiko was a dog that waited in front of the station for his owner day after day to leave his job, a day came when his owner no longer returned because he had died, but Hachiko kept waiting day after day in front of the station , not wanting to move from there in case one day he saw his owner appear again (our Tomcete sure he would also wait forever) ...
We take a subway (460 YEN) and then another (280 YEN) that will take us to the first stop of the day, the Tokyo Sky Tree, formerly known as the New Tokyo Tower. It is a broadcasting tower, restaurant and viewpoint built in Sumida and It is the tallest tower in Japan and the world, with a height of 634 meters and that was inaugurated a few months ago, on May 22, 2012. The entrance costs 2000 YEN per person until the first viewpoint.
When we arrive we immediately realize that our planing today will take some delay, since many people want contemplate Tokyo from above Like us and the clear sunny day helps us to achieve it.
From here we can see stunning views of Tokyo in the 360º viewpoint (and that we do not climb to another height that can still be, from where the vertigo must be considerable)
Helped with the explanations of the panoramic posters we can distinguish from here the Tokyo Tower, the Ueno neighborhood, the nearby Asakusa area, Ropongi, etc ...
After being about an hour enjoying a panoramic view of Tokyo, we went down again to continue on our way. The views of the Sky Tower from here they are really impressive
Our destiny is the Asakusa area, although before we stop to buy our tickets (3,040 YEN) to our third stop of the day, Odaiba, but this is another story that has to wait a bit. (ISAAC NOTE: How times have changed. What in 2008 was a small "house" for sale, today is now a modern building where you can see buildings of great architectural beauty in the background.
Asakusa is one of the most colorful and interesting districts of Tokyo. It developed around the Senso-ji Temple and today it is a very famous tourist destination. According to a legend dating back a thousand years, two brothers went fishing one day to the Sumida-gawa river in eastern Asakusa and their net was entangled in a small statue of Kannon, the Buddhist personification of infinite compassion. Therefore a monastery was created in honor of Kannon, with a great sense of piety, which gave rise to the Senso-ji Temple.
Before starting our walk it is time to fill the stomach and we look for a typical Japanese place, tiny and pleasant, where to have breakfast (3,300 YEN). How do we understand absolutely nothing of the letter, we ask the first thing that appears ... What will it be? We do not know but surely something delicious like all the food in Japan.
Just turn we found the Kaminarimon Gate and Nakamise Market. The first is one of the most famous visit points and it is the one that will welcome us to Asakusa, it has a giant Chinese lantern that is the reference icon and that gives entrance to the Nakamise commercial district until reaching the Temple.
This walk until you reach the Temple, is almost impossible, because of the number of people who are visiting all the little stores that are on each side of this walk. Here you can find Lots of souvenirs. I personally love the typical Japanese things: the famous Kokeshi dolls that are cool, there are all colors, sizes and with different kimonos, a variety of Japanese chopsticks, fans, t-shirts, Japanese-type Japanese lamps, little houses and like not the spectacular Kimonos and Yukatas, they are a real wonder. Will you give me one Isaac next time? We take memories for everyone (10,900 YEN) and have a soda (430 YEN)
In the end we find a huge open space, partially occupied by the Hozo-mon gate and behind the Kanon-do room, with the Five-story pagoda to the left that is fifty-three meters, being the second highest in Japan and the Demboin Temple that cannot be visited because it is the house of the priest so it is a private Temple that could only be accessed with a pass.
One thing for my curious is that in all the Temples there is a small construction where we find multitude of incense sticks to which people approach so that the smoke floods it and thus drive away evil spirits. You also see a kind of source that has several little cups for people to drink or wash their hands and a panel with hanging papers that you have previously taken in exchange for alms and that predict your future. Are the mikuji
As for incense, it is one of the great Japanese traditions and aims to achieve the connection between the material and the spiritual. Its aroma favors the creation of a warm atmosphere that facilitates relaxation, concentration and relaxation. And as for water it is a way to purify yourself. We, of course, mimic ourselves and gladly comply with Japanese traditions, we find most interesting. If I loved this area with only one Temple, I don't want to imagine how I will enjoy Kamakura ...
We finish the visit in the Tenoki Sebsihu and the Asakusa Chapel also known as the Kanon Temple, goddess of mercy, is the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of the most important, as Isaac did DAY 15 of your trip to Japan in 2008
Once we contemplated all this we headed towards the Water bus station to catch the futuristic ship, another amazing thing from Japan, and head to Odiaba.
This ship is called Hikina and has a capacity for 171 passengers and it's all glass so you can contemplate the views of Tokyo, as you travel on it. In addition, it has a difference with which Isaac was in 2008, and here you can climb to its top.
One of the best views is that of the famous Rainbow Bridge as well as the escalestrix that are part of Japanese life or television buildings already arriving in Odaiba.
The truth is that the view already disembarked from the Rainbow Bridge are really incredible. It is a true engineering marvel.
Our goal in Odaiba is to enjoy an hour in a Japanese Onsen, some thermal baths to relax. Isaac did not try them in his previous stay and, although they do not become those celebrities that could be found in the mountains, it is an essential experience.
We seek our destination by taking a walk through this artificial city, built in the past as a fortress and nowadays as a commercial and entertainment area which revitalized this island. On the promenade we can see the Tokyo Beach Decks a shopping center of shops and restaurants, the statue of liberty and the Fuji Tv building and even from afar we can see the East Ferris Wheel. After walking for a long time we arrived at our destination with more desire than ever to take a relaxing bath and enjoy the pleasures of the Japanese.
Specifically this Onsen, the first built inside a theme park in the traditional Japanese style, is composed of natural hot springs. Bathing in its waters has many healthy effects on the skin, having separate indoor bathrooms in men and women and mixed outdoor baths to enjoy outdoors with your partner. But it is not only composed of thermal baths since it's like a mini city, with places to eat with a variety of styles, shops to buy almost anything, activities for adults and children, and stays to take a little nap. !!! These Japanese have it all in mind !!! !!!Here we go!!!!
We are welcomed by the Onsen's pet, a chicken with his yukata on. Once inside the first thing you do, as is customary in Japan, is take your shoes off and the next thing go for your Yukata, because here in the Onsen you don't need anything else, no swimsuit, no toiletries, no money (when you enter they give you a wristband that has a barcode that you pass at the time of eating or wanting to buy something and they automatically write it down to your account, so you don't think about anything other than relaxing).
But how handsome is Isaac with his Yukata hahaha how good it looks! Already looking like authentic Japanese, we travel the Onsen to see everything it has and place the main attraction to go straight to it once we have eatenHow could it be otherwise, sushi and sashimi, of course (Alex, are you coming?)
With a full belly we are ready to relax and try each and every one of the thermal baths of this mini city of relaxation. The first thing we will do is go together to the foot circuit that we must have enough dust because we can't stand until the end, haha. We prefer to have them cut before doing the circuit again ... This is called relaxation.
After enjoying a little of the outdoors and the sole, it came time to separate each one to relax with them of their kind and also totally naked. This gets interesting…
I enter a hallway to a ticket office area where I will leave my yukata and take a mini towel which, as I discover once inside, is not to cover your intimate area but to dry your sweat. Can you imagine my face? If you have succeeded, it is a poem ...
Inside there lots of pools with different temperatures and some are even outdoors. After overcoming the shock of meeting the Japanese (this will keep it for my "personal conscience") I enjoy the bathrooms as one more. I would stay here all day, although in such a place you miss a company to chat while you soak. When I'm already wrinkled like a raisin, I decide it's time to take a shower and go out to meet Isaquito ...
The shower like everything here in Japan is not like we are used to, well I at least. There is a kind of dressing table with a bench to sit with your mirror in front and with a lot of “potricoles” (as I say) for hair, body, face. Come on ... a joy! but it is not a dressing table, it is a shower. Yes Yes. You have a shower cuff sitting. It is a pimp. But everything good ends at some point and it is time to leave this little paradise. That does seem to be in a cloud and within that cloud is also Isaac with the tension on the ground, hahaha ...
We pay all the consumptions of our card in addition to the entrance (8,170 YEN) and continue our way. We return to our starting point by seeing, again, the Mt. Fuji rising in the distance over the huge city of Tokyo. A really beautiful picture.
It also turns out really futuristic traverse with the monorail "flying over" first the water and later the buildings, leaving the ground many meters below, as well as roads, other rail transport or pedestrian walkways (740 YEN). Later we moved to the subway (320 YEN).
We return to our starting point, the Shibuya crossing, and as today is the day we have decided to enjoy the Japanese night (what our body allows us of course), I decide to pay a visit to the awesome store just for girls (13,545 YEN) in the district, Shibuya 109, and that has nothing less than nine plants. What a joy! What a pity of a Richard Gere ... Meanwhile, Isaac, take a coffee at the Starbuck (620 YEN) and update the page for the family
ISAAC: I never thought that among so many people could distinguish that "Spanish" coming with their bags full of gifts ... Looking for Paully?
It is time to return to the hotel to "get ready" for a night that promises to be long. On the way back we see a place that catches our attention and that causes Isaac's eyes to get out of his orbits. Is a restaurant specialized in puffer fish, a typical dish here and that Isaac has long wanted to try. The site name is Torafugutei Shibuyaten and it's only about 10 minutes from the main crossing.
He puffer fish or fugu is a Japanese delicacy that contains a deadly toxin In the liver and ovaries it is able to withstand extreme heats. In fact, only highly specialized personnel with a special license can serve you. And here we are! We must recognize that the place is a cool, with private wood and low tables, just for us.
In addition to not losing opportunity to ask for one of the best sakes, we start testing a kind of sashimi or tessa de fugu. Here all dishes are made from puffer fish.
The fugu really is a winter season fish, which is when the poison levels are lower, however we could not miss the opportunity to try it in many of its dishes. The next to arrive was a kind of barbecue called Yaki-fugu and finally a mixture of egg, rice and fugu Of which I no longer remember the name.
With total sincerity? !! WITHOUT MORE !! What would friend Joseba say. Although they could "disguise" it in different ways and sake helps us digest it better, it is an insipid fish, at least to our "Galician" palate. Total 7,880 YEN
Best of all, is that after this "base" it is time to Take a copichuela for Shibuya and see the atmosphere. Above all I am very curious to see the Japanese dressed as Lolitas ... something that I love but I would not dare to put.
If Isaac knew right now what I saw in the Onsen and that I will tell him in the next few days, he would not miss so much the look in the Japanese with his miniskirts and his heels ... although we must recognize that there is no shame here for clothes They put on.
Our initial idea was also to sleep one night in a love hotel, so we headed to the Atom area. the Asia Club and the Womb going through the famous hill of love of Dogenzaka.
Copichuelas and lovers of the European, the Japanese have fun in this area "using" the famous Love Hotels for hours ...
Really its procedure is very simple Even for those of us who don't understand Japanese. He check a vacancy at the hotel (many of them have drawings of themed rooms, which more cool), the room is chosen, checkin is done (sometimes automatically, sometimes with a black counter where they do not see your face) and is usually paid once you leave with the hours used and key deposited at checkout. Prices change, between € 70 and € 150 for those who want to sleep as an experience.
But although we wanted it, today it will not be our case, because trying to see everything possible of Tokyo leaves our forces at the end of the day on the floors with which we will settle for a curiosity ride returning to our comfortable futon of our Ryokan
Now yes, with water supply for the night (440 YEN)… !! Good night Shibuya! Thank you shelter us one more night ...
Isaac and Paula, from Tokyo (Japan)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 30,190 YEN (approx. 321,17 EUR) and GIFTS: 24,445 YEN (approx. 260,05 EUR)