Josh’s parents came to visit us in early April. They came at this time to hopefully catch the Cherry Blossom bloom, and catch it they did! The trees blossomed the day they arrived. We split our trip up into three sections:
Today Im going to share about the first part of our adventure in Tokyo!
While on base, we got to have a tour of Josh’s plane! It’s great to get up-close with what he does every day. Look at that proud dad! … and what happens when the girls fly the plane.
Then we went to see the Imperial Palace grounds and Imperial garden!
(This is NOT the imperial palace, you can only see a tiny little bit of the actual imperial palace, so this is just a pretty building on the grounds!)
During Cherry blossom season, they open up part of the grounds that isn’t usually open throughout the year. Here we are in the garden.
Close-up of the giant wall surrounding the Imperial Palace grounds.
The Imperial Palace is CROWDED this time of year! It may not look like it in these photos, but there were people packed in around us at all times, and for the majority of the tour (before you get to the park) you are walking in a huge line that goes on for miles and is about 15-20 people wide. You walk about 3 miles per hour, so if your traveling with kids (or you just get hungry easily) remember to bring lots of snacks and water!
Josh, expertly lining up the classic Fuji and Pagoda shot while I snap so photos of my favorite subject… him!
On the way up to Chuerito Pagoda
Adventurers, at the top!
Our third day, we went here…
The busiest intersection in the world, Shibuya crossing! First, the guys went to Josh’s favorite fly fishing store (Sansui) and the girls went to my favorite Japanese clothing store (Zara). Then we met up for coffee to observe the madness!
In this picture we are perched up above everyone in a Starbucks. In my opinion, this is the optimal location for viewing the “pedestrian scramble” that happens with every light change. It’s hard to grasp the volume of people that stride through here, Id have to have a wide-angle lens to try and capture everyone. The real experience is walking through the light yourself! Which we did, several times as a matter of fact… its fun to add to the chaos.
Next stop, Shinjuku!! This is one of Josh and my favorite parts of Tokyo! The have beautiful Christmas lights, fun stores including Tokyu Hands – which has the largest collection of pens I have ever seen, and a good Mexican restaurant (hard to find in Japan)! (they used to have another Sansui fly fishing shop but that just closed)
But, to see the real reason we were there, you will have to look below…
I affectionally refer to this amazing pastry shop as “Debi’s Heaven” because it’s packed full of delicious and surprising treats, and it also has a bunch of fun cooking and baking gear! There is also a gelato shop, waffle shop (that smells AMAZING), macaroon shop and coffee shop in this same mall (what more could you need?!?!). The mall is attached to Shibuya Station. If you follow THIS link to the directions to the gelato shop, this bakery will be just around the corner (opposite direction from the macaroon shop and just before the waffle shop!).
Our last day in Tokyo, we went down to the Tama river to see the cherry blossoms and the lanterns that line the river this time of year.
When the sun starts to set, and the laters turn on, it is quite a magical place to be. The streets and walking trail are littered with little light pink petals, the trees are bursting with “Sakura” blossoms and sagging from the weight of all the flowers.
And this is how we ended our time in Tokyo. Next stop… Kyoto!
Thanks for traveling with us!