Had a fantastic time in Tokyo the other day. A flatmate from Dunedin days was holidaying in Japan with her husband and daughter. We hadn't seen each other for 12 years or so we calculated, but it seemed just like yesterday!! Unfortunately, not living in Tokyo, I'm not the best guide for those looking to take in the sights. However, we still managed to see around the Asakusa area and sample some Okonomiyaki in a local restaurant.
While there, we also saw the new TOKYO SKY TOWER currently under construction. As it happened, that day it officially eclipsed the TOKYO TOWER as the tallest building in Tokyo. When completed, it will be 634m high!! Construction is expected to be completed in 2011. (above is what it's expected to look like)
Then we took a cruise down the Sumida River back to the Hinode Pier, which is just by the Rainbow Bridge and a short walk from Hamamatsucho Station on the Yamanote Line which circles inner Tokyo. It was really busy as the river's edge is lined with Cherry trees and Japan is in the grip of 'Sakura Fever', a week in which the Cherry trees blossom.
It is customary for friends and workmates to party in the parks under the trees and even has an official name 'Hanami', often with office juniors sent down with blue plastic sheeting to mark out and hold a space all day until the others finish work and come down with the beers and food. A lot of the local breweries release special beers or packaging just for the occasion.
I feel sorry for them this year as it's super cold. Apparently it even snowed in Kamogawa while I was in Tokyo!!
Finally it was back to their accommodation near Tokyo Tower and a quick dinner together before parting ways.
Thanks Amanda, Rich and Soph. I had an awesome time and hope that you guys get some great memories from the rest of your holiday. Hopefully it won't be 12 years until our paths cross again!!