Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Settling in

We made it, we are here in Tokyo, the biggest and busiest city I've ever seen. Flying on my own with three children wasn't as bad as I'd imagined, the worst bit of it all was right at the end, the queues in immigration, the hour long trip by train and finally the navigation of the Subway with suitcases and three very tired children... I can't say I'm looking forward to doing that in the reverse!

The apartment is really nice, it's compact by New Zealand standards but has everything we need. The views are AMAZING, especially at night with all the lights. From here we can see the National Diet building, the leafy Imperial Palace Gardens and moat, the Sky Tree and the Tokyo Tower, and our neighbour on the right is the Buddhist shrine Hie-Jinja.  
Home for the next 3 weeks

Views from our apartment
Our neighbour, Buddhist Shrine Hie-Jinja
 The kids are struggling to adjust to Tokyo time, they are going to bed Tokyo time but still getting up NZ time....each day is improving slightly so lets hope by the end of the week we won't be starting our day so early. 

Despite tiredness levels we've managed to see a few sights. On Sunday we went blossom hunting to Hama-rikyu a park near the Fish Market in Tsukiji. There were still a few trees in flower but Spring has come early to Tokyo this year so we're just catching the tail-end of the blossom. From the park we caught the Waterbus to Asakusa, joined the crowds around the Senso Temple, had some noodles for lunch and then headed back to the apartment.

Hama-rikyu Gardens

Tokyo by Waterbus


 Lunch - tempura prawn served with soba noodles and broth
On Monday I ventured out on my own with the kids to visit the Imperial Palace however it was closed....Valuable lesson number 1- read the guide book properly. We retraced our steps on Tuesday though and had a good wander through the East Palace Gardens, there was some beautiful blossom, interesting bamboo and huge stone walls. We then met up with Anthony for lunch near his office and on the way I learned Valuable lesson number 2 - check the station signs to make sure we are getting off at the right stop....
Imperial Palace Gardens
I'm finding getting around on the Subway straightforward but there's a lot of walking....the kids are good walkers but the distances we're covering here, just getting around the subway system is challenging their energy levels! At some stations we seem to walk for miles to get out the right exit and since we're underground I have no bearings, for all I know we could have just gone out the first exit and crossed the road above ground! It makes planning our day a bit trickier, I have to make allowances not only for walking around the place we're visiting, be it a museum or a garden, but also for the underground walking, which in some instances has been half a kilometre just to get above ground. Luckily we have a good amount of time here, no need to rush around seeing all the sights in a matter of days, I'm grateful we've got weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Blossoms!!!!!!!! Your trip looks amazing. I am so jealous! So pleased you found the cherry trees. The food looks so good. I want to go to Japan more than ever now xo