We missed the peak of the famed cherry blossoms by only a week or so, but our April trip to Tokyo was nonetheless fantastic. Mommy had to head up there for work, so Daddy and Nyan tagged along. Here’s some of what we saw and got up to.
Here we are at Narita airport, after our pleasant six-hour flight on a Singapore Airlines A-380. As you can see, we had a great view of the tarmac as we headed for immigration control, and we spent a *long* time looking at the planes. We finally made it out, and waited for a bus for the 90-minute ride to our hotel.
We stayed at the Prince Park Tower hotel, and it was great. Even better: when we arrived late on a Saturday night, our room wasn’t ready — apparently someone had been smoking in it and so it stank, or something — so they bumped us into a one-bedroom suite, complete with our own private Japanese garden. Here it is:
Not bad at all. Here’s more: the three of us at breakfast on the 23rd floor, overlooking Tokyo Tower, plus Nyan being Nyan, napping and drawing and whatnot.
Our first full day was a sunny Sunday, and we made the most of it. We visited a nearby temple, and also checked out a new year celebration being put on by the local Burmese community.
We also met up with Mommy’s Aunt Jessica and cousin Toru, who both live in Tokyo. We wandered around central Tokyo, had a nice lunch, visited the grounds of the Imperial Palace:
And this being Tokyo, we also came across a Godzilla statue:
As Mommy headed to work on Monday, the weather completely collapsed, and our poor tropical bodies were subject to wind, heavy rain and cool (cold to us) air for two straight days. We figured this might happen, so Nyan and Daddy’s first stop that morning was Uniqlo, the cheap Japanese clothes retailer, who have a 12-story flagship store in Ginza. The floor with the kids’ clothes has a big model train display, so Nyan was transfixed by that while Daddy shopped nearby and thawed out. We ended up with a nice thick sweatshirt, which cost us all of S$12 (GBP6, or about US$9.)
Then it was off on our adventure. We grabbed our umbrellas and hit the subway and then a monorail, bound for a science museum. We had a bit of walk once we got there, but Nyan did a decent job holding his own umbrella. (He eventually got tired of this, so Daddy had to hold the umbrella and try to keep both Nyan and Daddy dry. He managed to keep Nyan dry at least…)
The museum itself was pretty good, with lots of space rockets and the like. There were displays where you dropped balls and wathced them circle around, to show the effects of gravity or the Coriolis effect or something. (Daddy wasn’t sure.) This being Tokyo, the museum had a big focus on robots. One display allowed people to speak into a microphone, and the somewhat creepy robot heads-and-torsos would sort of respond. Nyan dug it.
The museum’s centerpiece was a show, two or three times a day, of a robot that emerges from its holding pen (cage), talks and walks and dances a bit, and then returns to its cage. Kinda cool and lifelike:
And on our last morning in Tokyo, we headed across the street to Tokyo tower. Nyan had to vamp around a bit before we headed up. It’s quite a structure.
The tower has a few windows set into the floor. This is not a video for those who are squeamish, but Nyan clearly is not squeamish or subject to vertigo:
Here are a few random shots in and around Tokyo. Some from the ground, some from atop various buildings, with mountains in the distance. (Behind some of those clouds is Mt Fuji.)
All in all, a great trip, with a lot of fun and a ton of great food. Here’s our final image of Tokyo, just before our flight out at Narita airport. Photo by Mommy.