Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Tokyo Skytree

MariCAR Christmas

I’ve been talking about wanting to see the numerous holiday illuminations in Tokyo relentlessly. Dave had a great idea. Let’s do a MariCar ride around Tokyo and check out the Christmas lights. Brilliant! The wardroom is SRF set the date for Friday, 12/15 at 7:00 pm. Perfect for seeing lots of people and holiday lights. There were 8 of us plus the two guides. Keeping with the Mario Cart theme, Dave and I picked Mario and Luigi costumes.

Friday was pretty chilly. Fortunately, our costumes allowed for plenty of layering. I stuffed my inside and outside pockets with hand warmers and put warmers in my boots. I stayed toasty the whole way.

The ride took us around the middle of Tokyo. The sights included Ueno, Ginza, Tokyo Station, Asakusa, and Tokyo Skytree. So much fun for only ¥7000 – $70.00. This was a different course than I rode last year with Dina. Plus, before we rode the course during the day. Nighttime would be a new experience!

Here are a few shots from along the route.

Seeing Tokyo Skytree was really cool. We saw it as we approached and then stopped for a group photo.

Here are a couple pictures of the trees around the Emperor’s Palace.

From Asakusa- Kappabashi- Kitchen town.

Ueno Station.

The highlight was waving as we were stopped at lights. It was easy to make people smile.

Dave and I had so much fun. It was a little scary at first and when you go really fast or hit bumps. But, it’s super cool and fun. We talked about who in our family would love this the most. We agreed his brother Bob, niece, and nephew – Jade and Jordan would absolutely love the experience. I hope we can go during your visit. Here is what you need to do in order to participate in MariCart when you visit. I took a screen shot of the website. Basically, you need an International Driver’s License. You obtain that and I will make our reservations.

Keep in mind, you’re allowed to wear your own costume. Dave suggested next Christmas season we dress as Santa and his elves!

Kameido Tenjin Shrine 

Spring in Japan means one blooming session after another. Right now, the wisteria is about to reach full bloom. Having a free day, with no adulting obligations, I decided to travel to Tokyo and visit the Kameido Tenjin Shrine to view the wisteria. It was a schlep, 1.5 hours one way. Far enough for me not to impose the trip on my husband or friends. Here was my route.

The Shrine is located near the Tokyo Skytree. It provided a delightful backdrop to several pictures.

I wish I could share the scent of the wisteria with you. It might be the one thing I will never have much luck sharing with you. It was truly delightful.

I decided to venture up today because next week is Golden Week. I’ll tell you more about the meaning of Golden Week later. For now, it means Japanese holiday and lots of crowds. I was glad to have smaller crowds today. Occasionally, I was able to snap a picture without people. First, a few of the crowds.

Flying solo, I could take my time and wait for the perfect shot. And I did. I waited and I was totally ok with it. Because the shots were worth it. Here are my favorites. The red bridge is in most of them – #becausejapan

Have you noticed the structures supporting the wisteria? Some are wood others are artificial. All are strong.

According to my research, Kameido Tenjin Shrine was founded in the 1660s to honor the memory of the ninth-century scholar, Sugawara no Michizane. The temple was just as beautiful as the wisteria.

While at the temple, I enjoyed my own miniature hanami. Japanese yam and a chu-hai. Life is as sweet as these roasted yams with sugary topping.

When you’re planning your springtime visit, we will see as many flowers as possible. You will need to be willing to travel. As my friend Jen reminded me, seeing stuff requires a little bit of effort. Just a few more pictures….

It truly was an amazing experience and worth the travel. I’m ranking this temple in my top five “seasonal” temples.

Tokyo Skytree 

We started our morning with a visit to the Tokyo Skytree. It has been on my list of must-do on a clear day. The clear blue skies when we awoke this morning was the sign we had been waiting for! 

The Tokyo Skytree opens at 8:00am. We were in line to purchase our tickets by 8:15am. Arriving early enabled us to get ahead of the potentially long lines. 

The trip is a bit costly. It costs ¥2,060 for an adult to go to the Tembo Deck (350m). Once you are on the Tempo Deck, you can purchase a ticket for ¥1,030 to go to the Tembo Galleria (450m). And then there was the tourist picture for ¥1,300. The total expense for the two of us was ¥8,100. Pricey! 

But, the view! It was clear enough we could see Mt. Fuji and ALOT of buildings. I knew Tokyo was HUGE. I just didn’t realize the expanse of the city. 

In every direction, buildings. 

One of my favorite pictures was the shadow of the Tokyo Skytree. 

There is also a glass bottom floor in one area. It was not as impressive as the Willis Tower Sky Deck. Cool none the less. 

It was a unique experience. If you want to go when you visit, I would recommend we do it on a clear morning or go up at night to see the city in lights. 

On a side note, a couple things I’ve noticed about Tokyo. For being as large as it is, you don’t hear sirens. In 24 hours we have only heard one siren. Simultaneously, I’m shocked by the number of tourist. I know, I’m technically a tourist myself – but, there are so many people speaking English! To include people walking around and the staff at our hotel, Tokyo Skytree and restaurants. I’m so accustomed to not understanding conversations around me, it’s strange to to hear English. 
The rest of our day was spent on a Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage. I’ll share that adventure tomorrow. 

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