Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tokyo. The first days.

 Hello! It has been almost two weeks since my feet touched the Japanese soil. I am done with my calendar and now I can dive into the gigabits of pictures from our trip with Giedre.
The pic above is actually the first photo I took with my cam in Japan, Tokyo. We met a bunch of characters lined up in one street, on our way to hostel in Asakusa.

 Asakusa is visited by lots of people mainly because of Sensō-ji. It's the oldest and probably one the most magnificent temples in Tokyo.
 There was some kind of festival going on on our first day there and lots of people were flooding in. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the culture day. Probably not.

Purification fountain at the shrine.
 Giedres street style in Tokyo.
 Girls, if you found this photo by accident, please , don't be mad. You were beautiful!
 Incense burner at Sensō-ji.
 We revisited the temple at night and it was a totally different experience.
 The Nio protector at the temple gate. They were always huge and so life like because of their eyes. 
 The next day we took the subway to Tokyo station and visited the park near the Imperial palace.

 We've seen big spiders and herons most of all animals.
Japan is full of tiny gardens. People do their best to have some nature as close as possible in this concrete jungle. I was always on the lookout for orchids.
And we wondered  what are all the water filled bottles for. It is said people put them in front of gardens, plants and wooden posts to keep the cats and dogs away. 
 The carved stones next to Tokyo dome. One can see a portion of the Thunder dolphin-8th tallest continuous circuit roller coaster in the world. And it passes through both a hole in the LaQua building, and through the Big-O, the world's first center-less Ferris wheel. The Thunder Dolphin has a maximum speed of 130 kilometers per hour. 
I really wanted to try the dolphin out, but we just had a big bowl of ramen each and I was not sure if I would need a change of clothes! Giedre was eager to try the Big O, which I was ready to pass. So we ended up just gazing at these two.
 We visited Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden the same evening. It is just adjacent the Tokyo Dome. It's one of the oldest and best preserved gardens in Tokyo.
I think this was the first time I have seen the rice being grown.

 Yep, there are moles in Japan too.
 This tree has its private barbed wire!
 So much excitement over our first red bridge!

 All through our trip we've seen young and old taking photos of autumn leaves and autumn sakura blossoms. 

 More heron. This one was just so beautiful.

 The pine trees are shaped beautifully. But the horizontally extended branches must be supported by poles. I would say it takes the beauty away just a bit...
 And to our excitement we've discovered the public stamps. Most of the places one visits (botanical gardens, train stations, info centers in towns and some eating places) provide fun stamps. And there is even a passport for the stamps to be collected. It was a bit like treasure hunt in the beginning, until the novelty wore off.
 A cup of coffee in Ginza.
 The architecture or decorations of the facades were really worth stopping for!
 The retro taxis were so lovely and shiny! It makes the photos look timeless.

 One of the installations in The Dover street Market.
 Pff, a bouquet of roses is so last year!
 In a place where it's difficult to find even a tiniest scrap of garbage, a corner like this looks like an art installation.

The infamous fugu fish. I heard there's almost no  chance to get poisoned by it. Unless you try it at home...
 We loved the tiny tiny window corner at the sake bar.
 Oh how I wish there were such signs at home!

 I couldn't stop my self from documenting some of the beautiful shop windows. There are more photos in my Instagram.
 The  faceted facade/screen of Chanel.

We noticed a few Lithuanian words in the streets. We have collected a whole sentence: Sunkus gramas vasara. (Heavy gram in summer).
 More funky shop windows.

 A tiny gallery. Where is the rabbit?

As a plant and especially orchid lover I couldn't but notice these beautiful phalaenopsis orchids being tossed away. 
We also spotted a slim, cute rat in there. It was probably admiring the orchid :-D
 The knitted facade of the Shiseido building. There's a nice gallery inside.
 Inside one of the restaurants where we first tried the Japanese baumkuchen.
 A girl in furisode.
 Cool logos everywhere!
 On our way to the metropolitan government building we've noticed a couple of groups with dogs where one could pet a dog for a small donation.

 The essence of cuteness. And the shop was aimed at grownups. 
 Tokyo from above. We missed the small flea market downstairs. Can you spot it?
High above, at the 48th floor, 243 meter above ground and still, no end  of this place could be seen!
 We headed for Harajuku the same day. To visit the owl cafe. After booking a time, we had 1,5 hours to look around.
 After having the Sodom and Gomorrah of a crepe (the famous Harajuku crepe) we kept  poking into the fun and noisy shops aimed at teenagers. But believe me, it was fun for everyone!
 After the noisy street it was very quiet and calm in the owl cafe. The couple of barn owls were the friendliest.
 Most of the birds have been hatched in this place and will probably live all their lives here. 
A bit sad, I know, but the people handling them seemed to know really much and care a lot. The birds and the people had connection and were very intimate.
 I got a chance to hold Bob, a 1,8 kg heavy owl.

 Later that evening Bob even leaned against Giedres chest and later had a funny walk on the floor. 
 This Northern White-faced owl is the reason my companion traveler wanted to visit the owl cafe in the first place. 

 This is a small African owl that can transform itself into three different animals!

 This one was still very young an a bit grumpy.
 There, it really dislikes the broom and tries to scare it away !
 The shell of the egg this owl has hatched from. 

Bob didn't dare to leave.
 How often do you get to see an owl from above? It is a bit like a two legged cat actually.

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