City Hotel Hiroki
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Today we stayed close to the city. Our first trip was to Meiji Shrine, a huge Shinto shrine dedicated to the soul of a Japanese Emperor. It was built in 1920 and has over 100,000 trees. All this in the middle of overcrowded Tokyo. Next it was Tokyo from the top, and a view of the city from Tokyo tower, its original radio mast. A bright red Eiffel Tower as far as I could see. And then off to the Sumo ...
... had me sitting in fetal position and saying a prayer. Rule of thumb, if the stewardesses are freaking out; then Houston-we have a problem! In the all the excitement I managed to fall asleep, and woke up when we landed in Tokyo. I still remember the warm air when we got off the plane. It was sunny and smelled like almonds. We were lucky enough to be there for the peak of cherry blossom season, and the aroma from the trees filled the air the entire trip.
Jen's family ...
... will also have stalls with a simple squat toilet. This is quite the opposite experience. Basically it is just a hole in the ground. The choice seems obvious, no? Maybe it’s a manifestation of the clear contrast between "old Japan" and “modern Japan.”
3. Rules and orderliness. We encountered a lot of rules ...
The following day we were up with the lark; on today's itinerary were Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku. We started by heading straight to Shinjuku to see the Government MET building. At home, reading our guidebooks, we’d found that Shinjuku kept on cropping up on the list things to do, mostly it seemed, because it has the world’s busiest train station. However, other than hanging around the train station there doesn’t seem to be that much else to ...
So in China there is a national holiday every year at this time, called National Day. National Day is a big deal, comparable in scope to the New Year celebration - basically the entire country gets the week off from work. That's a billion-plus people out travelling and doing things for a week. Having had every hotel we made inquiries at advise us that we would be out of our minds to be in China for National Day, we decided to go to Japan.