Monday, August 25, 2008

Tokyo--Day Three

Time to leave Disney :-(

Now we had to conquer the ever-intimidating metro system. Once we got to the train station we had no idea where to go since all of the signs were in Japanese. We just floated along with the crowd in hopes that they were going in the right direction! We had to buy tickets from a vending machine. That was fun. Everything was in Japanese! When we finally got on the train we were ok...until we had to switch trains. That was a bit of a stressful moment. Once you purchase a ticket you must hang on to that ticket because you need to use it to get through to different lines. If you take more than 30 minutes to get to the next line you have to buy another ticket!

We finally made it to the Hiro-o Station and had to carry luggage, baby, stroller and Tyler up several flights of stairs. Not fun. I guess we looked pretty lost (which we were!) because a nice older Japanese woman stopped to give us directions and she spoke English! Whew...I just wanted to hug her. While we were talking with her a white guy came up to Chris and started speaking German to him. He was like...WHAT?? The guy kept talking and then said...oh, English? I guess we looked German.

We had to walk a couple of blocks to our hotel but once we reached it I wanted to jump for joy! The New Sanno is a very nice hotel. I enjoyed it very much. We were given a family room with an adjoining room which is a lifesaver when you just need the kids to go to bed but you want to have some relaxing time!

After recovering from our subway trip for a little while we were ready to go again. We headed towards the Meiji Shrine and Harajuku (which is where the teens get all dressed up). Once we arrived we went to place called Kiddy Land. It was 6 floors of toys! Each floor had a different theme such as Hello Kitty, Power Rangers/Transformers/Legos, etc. We spent quite a bit of time in there. They had the craziest toys I have ever seen.
Next we went to Oriental Bazaar which is a multi-floored store that sells neat Japanese artifacts and souvenirs. I got this little ceramic sumo that is SO cute and a wooden Geisha. I could have spent a while in there but shopping is not really an option with 3 kids.

On to Meiji Shrine. It was built to honor the Meiji Emperor and his consort. This was quite the stroll through woods but so worth it. It was a very peaceful sanctuary in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. We we got there we participated in the hand and mouth washing ceremony which purpose is to cleanse yourself before you pray. The boys liked this part and they were VERY clean afterwards.
Once inside the temple Logan saw a man doing his ceremonial prayer which consists of clapping your hands, rubbing them together really fast and then bowing (repeat this several times). He was fascinated with it and decided to do it himself although he had to add a karate pose at the end. It was so funny but a little embarrassing because I didn't want anyone to get offended! Oh well....boys will be boys.

That's the end of day three.