Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 2 - 47 Ronin, Imperial Palace, & Tokyo Disneyland

Catching Up with Photos

Alright! So, we got a cable and here are photos that were from yesterday!

Here is the picture of the seat in front of us on the train toward Ueno. . .

A picture of me in our digs!

Aforementioned slippers...

Ever wonder about what books are in Japanese hotels? They have the Bible, like American hotels, and some Buddhist books as well. :)

The bathroom...

Fancy toilet and its many buttons (sorry, they're upside down, meant to be read while you're sitting)...

The shower dispenser; I can now add that this does fabulous things for my hair. It has never been so manageable or soft in my entire life!

Shape Up Gel was in the Engrishy gifts that came with the hotel room. Apparently it's to shape the body... =^o0^=

The cute little chef in the lobby of our hotel...

And now we're pretty much caught up! I can't upload all of our photos as it will take too long to blog and we want to enjoy Japan. :} But, if you look up Dreamsenshi on Twitter and add me as a friend, you may be able to view them all there. :)

47 Ronin Story

One of the places Terinati really wanted to go was to the Sengakuji Temple, the burial place of the 47 Ronin. If you don't know who they are, they were part of a real life legend where their master, Lord Asano, was slain by a main named Kira, and they went after him and brought back his head for their dead master. The book is easy to find in America, and we noticed while at the temple that the same edition was available there.

Terinati was forunate enough to be able to purchase insense to burn there for 100 yen, and gave burning sticks to the graves of all who were buried there, including Lady Asano. It was incredible to be there, with the tree on which some of Lord Asano's blood has spilled, and other amazing artifacts from the true story. There was also the preserved well where they washed Kira's head before presenting it to their master's grave.

We noticed that with the tombstones, there are little slots where water fills up to put flowers in, so bringing flowers is appropriate too. I'm glad we were able to show reverence ourselves.

We paid for entry to the museums (to get into the temple is free) and we also got to see a real life monk! It was kind of surreal, and I feel a little silly for getting so excited, especially in such a solemn place. It was well worth it when we saw an ancient scroll that was marked as the "receipt" for Kira's head. It made us both giggle. :}

The Imperial Palace

After that, we went to the Imperial Palace to see the gardens. On the way, we passed some kind of music place with what we thought were amusing posters...

LOL. Fiddler on the Roof with a full Japanese cast looks so different!

While we were searching for the Imperial Palace, we found a map and noticed this sign, which tickled our fancy:

"Shelter for People Who Cannot Go Back Home." We did not find this shelter, but hope that there aren't many people in it!

We walked and walked and reached the palace. I didn't see the palace (or at least, I don't think the building we did see was it), but we did see the gate with some very formal-looking guards:

We continued on to the east gardens, which are open to everyone, and found some Imperial Koi in the moat along the way, opening their mouths at us for food. We didn't have any, though:

The gardens were large and beautiful, including bansho (ancient guard posts that are no longer in use), bamboo and other types of plantlife mostly unique to Japan, a tower, and so much more (all pictures are in my Flickr, which I've set to public; look for Dreamsenshi and my Japanese Honeymoon set at ).

A nice man took our photo for us in front of the Iris Garden, which is my favorite part since it's near a pretty waterfall.

Tokyo Disneyland

After that, I convinced Terinati to go to Disneyland. He's never been before, even in America, so I had things I wanted to show him.

As we got out of the station to catch a bus to it, I realized I needed to use the restroom. I headed to the one near the exit and was startled to find my very first traditional Japanese toilet, the kind that are on the floors. =^oo^= I have to admit, it made me a little nervous because I was worried about making a mess or missing, but it was just fine! :) That is, until I went to wash my hands and found only the sink and no soap dispensers and no means to dry my hands, even though I got them wet. I'm not sure why there was no way to wash your hands; perhaps they expect that with that style toilet there is no way to get dirty, which is a fair enough assessment, I suppose.

When I came back out, Terinati had discovered a candy box called "Crunky Kids" and bought it. I've since tried a piece and have to say... it tastes just like it sounds. :} So, perhaps the Engrish is not a mistake. It truly has a Crunky flavor. :}

We arrived and the place was full of music, a parade, and I ran about showing him as much as I could. We started with the Jungle Cruise, which was interesting in Japanese, and hit the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carrabean, etc. I regret that we missed Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain (the last one was closed for repairs), but we got to see the most sentimental things for me, like Star Tours, and I purchased a cute pastry box shaped like Jack Skelington from the Nightmare Before Christmas. The rain had held off until we were done! Yay! But, we needed to get home...

We weren't sure which bus to take back, and although we've been saving up for two years for this trip, we didn't have much money, so taking a taxi back to the hotel would cost way too much. I remembered we had JR Rail passes for two weeks, so we went to redeem them only to find that we couldn't redeem them until we were back at the Tokyo station! =^><^= d'oh! If we'd remembered to redeem them back at the Ueno station on the first day of our trip, we would have been set. So, we paid our way to get to Tokyo instead, got our rail passes there, exchanged some money we got from our wedding dollar dance for yen, and then decided to explore the mall we were in.

It ended up being lucky that it wasn't a smooth plan because the mall had the cable that we needed to upload the pictures from the camera and was quite large and interesting to look at.

For example, one of the restaurants featured this delicious-looking pizza with mushrooms, sausage, bacon, and an egg on top. I'm totally going to try and make this when I get home!

After that, we were exhausted from walking around all day. The city was getting busy at night with people eager to go home, and I was starting to feel creeped out by how no one smiles at one another if they don't know the other person and how quiet everything is (although, that mall was REALLY noisy). We came back to the hotel and practically collapsed into bed, happy to have successfully filled up our day.

Anyway, sorry that I'm probably forgetting some details here in there. We must be off for today! Take care!! :)

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