Day 2 in Japan (still in Tokyo) started with a surprisingly awesome breakfast at our hotel. I was expecting a normal "Here's some pastries and fruit" kind of thing you get at other places in the world, but this is just a huge buffet of awesomeness. I would tell you what I had, but I know the names of none of it
Our first destination was the Meiji Shinto Shrine where we prayed, and participated in a paper fortune tradition. I had a bad one though, so, as I was instructed, I tied the paper to a little hanging rod, and left it there... which means I left my bad fortune behind, and things are better now
This was also our first opportunity for some street food, and it was tasty! I had some little fried spicy curry thingy, and my daughter had a strawberry thingy on a stick. For lunch, I finally had some octopus balls, you can Google what they're really called, and they were just as tasty as I imagined!
I forgot to mention that getting to our first destination was kind of fun itself... we took the train. It was a pretty packed train, and trying to keep our whole group of 20+ mostly kids together was SUPER fun! My kid was the only who that didn't grab her ticket after going through the first ticket turnstile, so she had to sneak through the exit with me. Nobody got arrested, so that's good.
One thing we noticed, and I might have mentioned this already, is that there are NO trashcans on the street. There is also NO trash on the street. I finally heard the story of how this came to be. Many years ago, there was a terrorist attack. The attackers put the dirty bomb in a trash can in the subway system. The city responded by removing all of the trashcans in the city. They worried that there would be a large trash build-up after doing this, but the opposite happened. As it turns out, if you have trashcans in a busy area, they eventually build up and get full. The people will then, generally, just start placing their trash on top of it... which blows away and starts to make a giant mess. If there are no trashcans, people will just hold on to it for a good bit. They eventually made a deal with the convenience stores in the city to put trashcans at the entrance to the stores. This was a win-win, because the city saves money on having to empty them, but the stores get more foot traffic and potential business. Either way, the result is an impressively clean city!
Out next stop was the Asakusa Kannon Temple. This was also very pretty, and we prayed there as well. The praying was done differently here (Buddhist versus Shinto). With one, you clap twice, bow twice, pray, and then clap once more (I think I have that right?). With the other, you just silently pray if I remember correctly. Either way, beautiful places.
Our penultimate destination was "electric town", which was just a giant mall. Probably the least entertaining, but I do understand why we went there. There was a giant Pokemon story, and TONS of anime places... My daughter was in heaven.
Our last stop was for Sumo style hot pot dinner. It was a "cook it yourself" kind of thing, where you put the chicken, veggies, and noodles all together in a big pot in the center of the table, and cook away. It was yummy! It was also my first taste of sake... which wasn't bad, but I'm still more of a beer guy. I did get a chance to try a couple local beers, and they weren't half bad.
So tired when we were done... 20,000+ steps. Off to see what's next!