Tuesday 13th November 2012
We woke up a bit late this morning so swapped the schedule over and did our “last day” things today.
We bought one-day passes for the Metro so we could scoot about all over the place, and this cost ¥710. You can also get a one-day pass which does the Metro and trains too which is ¥1580 and there are cheaper passes for children.
Our first stop was in Onarimon where we visited the Zojoji temple. Within the grounds there are a lot of statues and buildings to see.
There are also these statues of children which, despite their colourful bonnets and fans, made me feel sad. I’ve since found out that they represent jizobosatusu, the protector of the souls of stillborn children.
We went into the temple to pray (following the same ritual as yesterday) but this time there was a ceremony taking place. It’s hard to describe how wonderful this was. There were two young men rhythmically pounding big drums with wooden sticks and chanting along with it. Every now and then the volume would increase or decrease but it felt like a heartbeat, vibrating through me and I didn’t want to leave.
But leave I did, and we headed to Tokyo Tower. We were advised that it wasn’t really worth going in, and as we were going to the Skytree later, we decided to spend the money instead on these amazing filled Marion Crepes. Mine had ice-cream, chocolate sauce, cream, strawberries and cheesecake in it! Yum!
Then it was back on the Metro to go to Oshiage and Tokyo Skytree. Prepare for a rant…
…ready? This place is tourism hell! It’s the tallest building in Japan and therefore has a LOT of visitors. You have to get a ticket, which tells you your allocated time to enter. For us, that was about 4 hours later than the time we were there.
On our return we had to queue at our allocated queueing time to join the main queue which didn’t move until our allocated entry time had been reached. Once we finally got to the front of that queue and got our ticket, we had to queue to get in the high-speed lift to the observatory. Then you have to wait or squeeze your way into the windows to see out and if you try to take a photo, you often have the reflection of the lift signs or monitors shining back at you! End of rant.
It costs ¥2,000 (£16) to get to the tembo deck at 350m and a further ¥1,000 (£8) to go up to 450m to the galleria. To be honest I didn’t really think it was worth it.
When we got down we ate some horrible cold noodles with soy dipping sauce from one of the restaurants but I did buy a Rilakkuma bear which made me happy again.
Our last stop of the day was just beside the Shinjuku Sanchome station. It was a bit difficult to find as our map said it was in Manui One shopping centre, but we couldn’t see it. We spoke to someone inside another centre and found that Manui stores have signs that say OIOI outside them, not Manui.
This centre was full of doll-like outfits and shoes but we were on a mission to find LeLe, the other Blythe shop. Again, it was nice to see it but there wasn’t much to buy. There were lots of nice dolls there though!
On our way out I grabbed some pretty nail stickers and false nails before they closed and we got the Metro one more stop, back to Shinjuku and back to our hotel, to put our feet up and watch one of our favourite tv shows!
Next: Our last day!