I was so excited for this morning. I was finally going to be able to meet Toshi’s wife and son! This was probably one of the moments I was looking forward to most. We were going to have a traditional Japanese breakfast but unfortunately that place opened an hour later than normal – of course. Instead, we ate at this café where I got to try Vietnamese Coffee, which has jelly in it similar to bubble tea. Once again, oishi.
Being able to sit down and talk with Toshi and his family was great. His wife is gorgeous and their son is perfect. He’s absolutely adorable. While he does know some English, he mainly spoke in Japanese, meaning I didn’t understand most of it. But he’s adorable and likes to play with trucks. By the end of our visit, his son had given me a sticker and we were friends. I feel like I got to meet two new members of my family and I hope to see them again soon!
After breakfast I fetched Antonio, who had stayed behind to take care of some business stuff. We got everything together and set out. Making sure he had some breakfast, we started on our way out to Ueno Park (per Toshi’s recommendation). On our way there, we saw a temple that I just had to see. We walked around, took some pictures, and truly enjoyed the serenity that was in that area.
We made it to Ueno Park, which had a beautiful view of the lake and city. I love the combination of city and nature!
At this park they had a number of different temples and statues. Kind of like their own small Central Park. After walking around and taking in the views, stopping once or twice for a photoshoot, we decided that our next stop would be the Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa.
Like I said, navigation was rough. We spent a lot of time going the wrong way, but I just like to think of it as upping our steps for the day. The pathway leading up to Sensō-ji was a huge street market. Some people were selling souvenirs and others food, some of which was savory and others sweet. So much going on!
We walked around and checked out all of the shops. We had a lot of things we wanted to do so we didn’t stop much. We made it to Sensō-ji and wow. It was massive. So very beautiful. The colors used in Japanese temples are much different than in Chinese culture. The Chinese temples I saw all had very bright colors and were very ornate in design whereas the Japanese temples used darker tones and weren’t as ornate, but were more simplistic. Still, very beautiful. There were a ton of people there so we saw what we wanted and then moved on to the next stop: Skytree.
While trying to navigate that way, we ran into a guy pushing rickshaw rides. I didn’t want to stop but Antonio is nice and talked to the guy. The result, we took a rickshaw ride. The guy’s nickname was “Sugar,” because he offers sweet service (his words, not mine), and he did a great job. Pulling two people in one of those things is not easy! As he pulled us around, he gave us some history of the area and took some photos for us. Funny dude though.
Once we arrived at Skytree, we were told that because of the conditions, the view from the top was basically nonexistent. So scrap that plan. What’s next?
We went to Harajuku to browse Takeshita street. While walking around, we saw a small stairway leading downstairs to a weird owl zoo. Naturally, we walked down the sketchy path. Inside were a variety of owls. After paying, we walked along the short path and were able to be up close and personal with these owls, even being able to pet some of them! Most were irritated and didn’t let me touch them, but two were alright. As the girl behind me said, “They’re like fluffy eggs!” Also, I try to be as annoying as possible to ensure maximum fun. Not for Antonio, of course, but for myself.
Most of the places we went were a bunch of clothing shops. Neither of us were looking to buy anything but it was still fun to see. From there we headed to the Tsukiji Market, which had already closed down, then back to Asakusa for some souvenirs. After we’d shut that place down, we headed back to our room to rest a bit.
Once phones were charged and naps were taken, we went out to Roppongi to explore that area as well as to get some good bites. We found this tiny restaurant (it’s really hard to find one with an English menu) and discovered that this place has probably the best chicken meatballs and Japanese green chilies. I wish I could share them with you. HA! Yeah right. I ate them all.
We walked around the area for a bit before heading back. Since we are heading back to Taipei in the morning, we wanted to get some rest. Sometimes, I just can’t hang.