Japan Day 11 4 01 2014

Today was the last day of our Rail Pass but Mom didn’t want to go back on a long ass train ride. Instead we opted for a 12 minute ride to Ueno. Besides a fantastic Zoo, Ueno Park hosts a plethora of Museums, a beautiful Shrine, and an amazing walkway lined with trees…oh and a Starbucks. 

Oddly, we got lost inside the Ueno train station and ended up at a clothing store…funny how that happens. Eventually we found our way to the outside world (with the help of two very friendly police officers) and were soon on our way into the park. The first order of business was Starbucks. After we had finished our breakfast bakery and drinks we were on our way to seeing the Sakura trees (cherry blossoms). I have never experienced so much natural beauty before.The trees were incredible (you’ll just have to check out the pictures once I get a chance to upload them to FB). We walked down path after path with canopies of the most delicate and beautiful flowers. The sun filtered through the petals to cast a maze of shadows on the ground. 

Around every corner was a new sight to experience and photograph. New temples to walk around and let the serenity wash over us. A Shoganate (I know I spelled that wrong…I’m tired, deal) tomb to give our respects at. And two Museums to walk around in. We ate street food – I had shiro dango and Monkey had a ‘huge amazing hot dog’ (her words.) We listened to a Japanese bagpipe musician. I was so impressed that I bought his cd….and yes I said Japanese bagpipe musician….he signed my cd…but I have no idea what he wrote. We did talk for a little bit…he studied in Scotland for a while…go figure LOL

After more than four hours of almost solid walking, we decided to head back to Ikebukuro. Monkey wanted to look for dresses and I wanted to look for….something….I can’t say….deal. Neither the dress nor the something was found so it was back to the hotel. Once there we decided to go back to Tobu for a nice dinner and maybe a movie.

Dinner was amazing! Monkey had steak with gravy sauce and braised veggies, I had the roast beef rice bowl (which came with dessert) and a beer, and mom had the biggest burger covered with a creamy cheese sauce all over noodles. Mom and I were stuffed (Monkey at most of the dessert – a mini brownie, a shot glass full of matcha pudding, and a scoop of fresh strawberry ice cream), but Monkey was still hungry…go figure. We paid and went to the movie theatre to check out what was playing. I want to see the next Garu movie – Zero Black Blood. However, the next showing wasn’t until 10:30 and I didn’t want to wait that long (it was a little before 7pm.) Instead we decided to poke around the stores at Tobu and Lumine that we hadn’t been to before. Of course all the cute clothes were at least $100 so we left to adventure around the areas of Ikebukuro that we hadn’t been to yet this time. 

We found a store that Monkey really liked but there wasn’t any outfits that she absolutely had to have….read…I’m not paying over $100 for a dress and shirt combo. Mom’s knee was staring to hurt so it was back to the hotel for us. I led them back to the hotel a different way, which completely confused both Mom and Monkey…it was priceless!

And so here I am, sitting on Monkey’s bed writing this and not really wanting to get up and move. 

Tomorrow is Harajuku and even more walking…..LOL

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