Day 53

Saturday. Our last complete day in Tokyo… Tomorrow, three of us will be sleeping in Narita, ready for the next day’s morning flight. After the early laundry, part of the morning is used up to advance luggage preparation. We then head up to the Nezu shrine. We take the Oedo line from Higashi-Shinjuku until the Kasuga-Korakuen station, switch to the Namuku line, and walk about in the Bunkyo ward of town. The shrine is very nice, with a path of many Torii, nice statues, and a nice temple complex. The area is full of big, old trees, bushes (azaleas), and must be really fantastic in the spring and the fall. In green, it is great too. It is said to be one of the oldest shrines as well as one of the most attractive. According to legend, it was first founded in Sendagi, not far north, by the fearsome Prince Ose (“Yamato Takeru”) in the 1st century. It was relocated in its current area in the 17th century on the occasion of Shogun Tsunayoshi Tokoguwa’s successor choice. It has an importance not only in the Shogun era but for the Imperial family, too.

At the shrine, Gadea, Eyquem, and Samuel decide to splurge on Omiyakis… Gadea gets a good one, Eyquem a bad one, and Samuel… a very bad one: especially noteworthy the advice about postponing any trips! The last two Omiyakis are tied on string, and we hope this will deal with all. We next wander through the neighborhood, aiming for the Ueno park, and the famous Ameyoko shopping area: Eyquem still needs to buy some stuff for his friends, and Noe has not been in the park or the area yet. We have a Chinese dinner and look around, but there is nothing that looks like a souvenir shop. Samuel has given up the idea he had of checking one last museum (the Tokyo National Museum was lined up), so we head to Asakusa and the Senso-ji temple, where we know there are thousands of souvenir boutiques. On the way, we stop at one more shrine. A bit luckily, we then encounter a street full of shops for cooking/restaurant material, which comes handy, too. The suitcases will be a little more full tomorrow morning! 

After shopping, there is time for a Macha iced latte bubble tea, and a last stop in a shrine We then make room for a little apéro in the small Asakusa Beer Kobo microbrewery before we head to the Sumida river: we have read that fireworks will be back tonight, and we are not alone. We wait for a while, admiring the changing lighting of the Sky-tree, lightings that are said to mimic fireworks from 7pm on to comfort Tokyoites for the three-year absence of their cherished fireworks. Unfortunately, we, as many, have been fooled: the fireworks are sent from a remote distance and only visible on Tokyo TV. A bit disappointed, but happy to have gotten a last occasion to admire the Sumida Asakusa views, we head to Shinjuku to a Yakitori specialized in Gyozas with soup in them. We had them as take out early on, and this is the teenagers’ choice for their last full evening. The place is nice, the food tasty. Then it is back home, taking in as much as we can of the Shinjuku lights. 

We even bought a growler



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