Tokyo is a mixture of traditional parts and super modern parts. One of us will show you an exciting Tokyo day tour!
I joined the Tokyo Tour in the early winter. There are pickups at major hotels in Tokyo, and my departure was Daiichi Hotel, just 2 minute walk from Shimbashi station.
We were transferred to Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal. It took about 15 minutes from the hotel. The bus is painted in yellow with red logo, outstanding in the Tokyo streets, really cool. It recalls me of yellow red DHL vans.
Hamamatsucho station is a very convenient place where you can exchange money by automatic machine. I got my ticket and waited at gate No.7 before departure.
The tour guide welcomed us, everyone got on a bus heading to Tokyo Tower. The tour has just started, so exciting! The tour guide was a very friendly and humorous lady. Her name is Keiko, and she let us know how to greet in Japanese.
Ohayogozaimasu or Ohayo
That means “Good morning”, but we only can remember Ohayo (lol) and practiced it all day long.
Tokyo Tower was originally built in 1958 and was one of Showa period symbol of modernity and a big pride for Japanese! It is also something that I had always wanted to see when I came to Japan for the first time. It has been destroyed over and over in monster movies and everyone knows its orange and white colored steel latticework shape. It recalls me of Eiffel Tower in Paris. You can visit souvenir, toy and food shops here.
At the observation deck, looking west, you can see the Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills on the left. I had an enjoyable time walking around and seeing the sights. It was a classic observation deck experience, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Challenge yourself at the glass at observation deck from the height of 333 meters. Look down and feel really awesome!
The next destination is Happo-en, a Japanese style garden where we attended Tea Ceremony.
It is a very beautiful and charming garden with the pond in the center, surrounded by cherry trees and bonsai trees over 500 years old.
A Japanese women dressed up in a pink kimono welcomed us at the entrance of teahouse and gave us tissue paper (used to wipe the bowl after finish drinking).
We sat around and a Japanese teacher gave us two piece of Japanese sweet in turtle and crane shape. It was very soft and sweet, smelt quickly and no need to chew. She said that it is a symbol of long life in Japan.
Matcha is already done!
Then she gave us a demonstation of making Matcha (green tea) in Japanese tea ceremony. It was so amazing and very silent, I cant understand how she can make tea without any noise!
Then we were served with Matcha in a traditional bowl. And we said Arigatougozaimasu to her, meaning Thank you in Japanese. Drink tea in small sips, and when you come to the last sip, inhale deeply, making an audible sound and finish the tea. After drinking, the rim of the bowl should be wiped lightly with tissue paper from left to right, as you hold the bowl between forefinger and thumb.
Don’t forget to say Kekkodesu that means Delicious in tea ceremony (please don’t use Kekkodesu when you finish meals ). It seems rather complicated to remember all the things but don’t worry, the tour guide will instruct you step by step and the only thing you have to do is to enjoy the tea and follow her action. I like Matcha so much and I ensure that you cant find such an awesome green tea at other countries as Japan.
After tea ceremony, you can have a walk around the garden and a rest at water arbor where you can relax, feel refreshing coolness rising up from the surface of water to sooth skin. Arbor is an ideal venue for relaxing while enjoying Japan’s traditional beauty and seasonal views.
To be continued ..
For your own experience,
Japan Oriental Tours:
Tokyo Asakusa & Imperial Palace Day Tour