Sunday, March 23, 2014


            To start off, and also catch everybody up to what happened on our visit to Tokyo we arrived at the Hostel on Saturday night. Part of the group took advantage and toured the surrounding area around the hostel the night before however some people (namely myself) passed out from exhaustion and slept. On Sunday (the first post), the combined classes visited Asakusa, the Tokyo Sky Tree and Akihabara, the electronic district. Originally we had intended on seeing Shibuya and the world famous crossing that night but ran short on time. Shibuya would have to wait until later on in the week.

            The second full day in Tokyo many who were interested awoke bright and early at 4:30 A.M. for a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market. This was somewhat of a let-down though because once we arrived we were made aware that the fish sale happened around 3:00 A.M. and a crowd of roughly 500 people showed up for the event (the first 50 get in to watch).  Bummed and tired, we all returned back to the hostel for some much needed rest.
Tokyo view, sky tree in the background early morning.
            We met back later on that morning to start off the day. After a long walking tour and various subway rides we arrived at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden only to find that it was closed on Mondays. To make up for lost time the group called on a series of taxi cabs to take us to the next destination

Following the bust at the gardens we rode over to a Shinto Shrine (one of the two major religions). The Meiji Shrine was a large structure nestled in the woods out of view of the city. Driving up we came to an enormous gateway then were dropped off at numerous entrances around the shrine. It turned out that each taxi cab ended up going to a separate gate. Lost in Tokyo is not a great feeling, especially this early in the week. In the end and after about an hour of wandering about aimlessly, we all found the rest of the groups. It actually turned out a good thing to get lost because I found that it allowed the students to branch out and get to know everybody else on the trip.

While our trip to the shrine was short we did happen to walk up on a traditional Japanese wedding procession as they were leaving. It was quite neat to see how other cultures celebrated. After the shrine the groups had an opportunity to dabble around in the local area and have a chance to do some shopping.

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