Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tokyo Station

Tokyo  Station. We had been here a few days before, catching the train from Narita Airport to here, then a connection on the Shinkansen to Kyoto. We had also caught the Shinkansen from Kyoto back to Tokyo earlier that morning, and a number of local trains as well that afternoon. Each time we were on a time schedule, waiting to meet friends, waiting for ticket offices to open, waiting for connections, then finding hotels, so there had been no time to explore the station itself.

We finally got time to explore on our way back from an afternoon adventure to the suburbs. Six of us had caught a train to the Ghibli Museum. Once again I was playing follow the leader, but taking the time to look around to see if I could catch a train by myself. There we signs in English if we looked for them, and if I had done the research, then I could have found my way by myself ( I think!)

The Ghibli Museum is about a half hour train trip from Tokyo Station. It was raining ( compliments of the typhoon) so we were busy trying to keep dry rather than taking note of our surroundings. The museum is one to Japan's famous animation studio, ( and their answer to Disney) and was actually quite interesting. There are no pics from this little adventure as it was raining quite steadily and no pics were allowed inside. We did stop for a late afternoon tea with one of the best rhubarb tarts I have eaten.

Once again we caught the local train back to Tokyo, and this is when we got to explore. We had bought lunch here earlier in the day, and that was an experience in it'self. We had found what we thought was a small supermarket, but was actually a take-a-way food area. They sold all kinds of meals in containers, all with Japanese writing as to the contents. The idea was to purchase your container of food, then go to the back corner and have it heated for you. As we could not read the contents, and asking the locals with their limited English was no help, we had opted for the pre-cut sandwiches that we found.

The station is huge, much bigger than that of Sydney Central Staion.  There were east, west, north and south entrances just to get me even more confused. One of the girls had a map of the station to help us find our way around.

There were shops for just about everything, clothing, food, restaurants, bars, hotels, you name it. It would be very easy to live down in there & not have to come to the surface except for sunshine. We found a restaurant to have dinner, I forget the name, but very English upper class inspired. The food was interesting, English  type beef stews with slight Japanese flavours, all served with rice of course. It hit the spot well.

It was after dinner that we ventured outside in the rain to get these pics. The building is certainly not what I expected in the center of Tokyo. It looks like it should be sitting in the English countryside.

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