Welcome to Day 5 of Janet and Randy's Japan Adventure 2017
Monday, April 10th, 2017
Woke up to sunny skies for a change. After spending the last 2 days walking around, Randy thought it would be nice hit up a yoga class to stretch things out. He walked over to the Bikram studio in Ginza, but when he got to the building, for some reason he wasn't able to take the elevator to the 11th floor (where the studio was). He couldn't find any other way to get access to that floor, so he ended up just coming back to the room. It was a 7am class and I saw no one else that was attending. So I'm not really sure what happened there.
We went to Starbucks for breakfast, then went across the street from the hotel to Hibiya Park to take some photos. Shortly after getting back to the hotel, we got a message from Charlene and Lionel saying that they were ready to meet up with us to go check out some cherry blossoms. So, we walked over to Shimbashi station to meet up with them and then hopped on a train to Ueno Park.
The park is a very popular place to view cherry blossoms, as there are a couple of long paths lined with cherry trees, and the branches hang over the path, creating a tunnel of flowers. We wandered through one of the paths closest to the train station, then went further into the park where there was another path along a pond. During the spring, it is customary for people to have picnics under the cherry blossom trees, so along the first path there were areas sectioned off for people to sit and eat. We took a ton of pictures of all the blossoms and slowly meandered through the park. And I got to carry little Toby for a while. And the two of us even photobombed a few selfies that were being taken.
Around noon, we decided to head back to the station to find a place to eat. After perusing some of the restaurants, we decided to try out a pork katsu restaurant. This restaurant was really interesting because they had these ceramic bowls on the table containing different katsu sauces, so you could mix the different flavours together to make your own sauce. They also brought a bowl of sesame seeds with a pestle for each of us - to grind the seeds to our preferred consistency. The meals that we had all ordered ended up being these huge platters of food (could barely fit it all on the table!). The meals had the pork cutlet, some tamago, cabbage, miso soup, rice and then 3 bowls of various things that we couldn't identify. But it was all tasty (and filling)! I think I tried most everything, and even though I couldn't tell what it was that I ate, it was all good !
After lunch, we parted ways with Charlene and Lionel, as we wanted to head to Asakusa, and they were going to wander around the park a bit more, then head back to the hotel with Toby. So, Randy and I hopped on the subway to go to Asakusa and the Senso-ji temple.
It was early afternoon when we got there, and the whole area was packed with tourists (we were hangin' with a few thousand of our new best friends). It was hard to get any pictures without people(new friends) trying to take selfies in front of you. We wandered down the Nakamise shopping street that led from Kaminarimon Gate to the Senso-ji temple, took a few pictures, and then headed out a gate onto the less crowded side streets. We wandered (read: getting a bit lost) through some of the local shops before heading back to the subway, and back to our hotel.
Once back at the hotel, I ended up lying down for a nap as I hadn't slept well the night before. Slept for a couple of hours - which felt great.
Shortly after dark, we headed out to take some photos of some of the cool places under the nearby train tracks (like this and this). We then went back to the ramen place near the hotel - but this time I ordered fried pork over rice with a ginger & garlic sauce, and Randy got some pork katsu curry. His curry sauce was a beef sauce, and even had slices of beef in it. Both were really delicious and hit the spot. Then it was back to the room to hang out and work on the travel journal. Trying to decipher Discovery Channel in Japanese.
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