Friday, January 08, 2010

Tokyo day two

Tokyo is not really a city packed with sites and all looks fairly homogeneous - mostly due to being bombed flat in World war two. That is not to say, however, that there are not pockets of history and tradition if you hunt them out. It just takes a bit of work. With the help of the hotel concierge we located a tea ceremony which was not still closed for New Year. Having run the gauntlet of the security guards outside the US embassy, next door to our destination, the Hotel Okura, we were pleased to discover we were the only guests. It started with formal presentation of three different Japanese sweets and then the formal tea service with instruction on how to respond.We did the ceremony in a 'chair room' - you are supposed to pay about double for the tatami mat room but they took us in there as well.Then we went right across the city to Akusaka to the Senso-ji shrine. the main street down is lined with shops - some tacky some not so and is thronged with locals.I enjoyed prowling with the camera there and will post some more photos in subsequent posts. Dennis really needed a coffee but we struggled with the local shops as they all allow smoking and the atmosphere was quite nasty. So, he just borrowed an armchair and sat in protest in the middle of a pedestrian crossing.
Well, no, Ok. He sat in Starbucks with a corner floor to ceiling window behind him! In my defence at resorting to Starbucks, I did order Zen green tea!


Gerrie said...

Mr C used to stay at the Hotel Okura on his frequent trips to Tokyo. I so want to go to Japan before I die!!

Garnered Stitches said...

Dennis is looking very relaxed, I trust he is enjoying himself as much as you are?
Best wishes

Karen said...

I remember the tea ceremony and trying to show respect and interest while kneeling - not an easy thing to do.