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Japan, Day 3: Rice Balls, Temples, and Beyond!

A quilt of delights from today…

Mike, a friend of a dear friend, has been an AMAZING host, showing me around the city, printing maps and suggested itineraries, and generally being the most fun and kind possible in sharing his 7 years of Tokyo-living experience.

T’was Mike who learned me about this whole rice ball and rice burger business. Want to eat cheap in Japan? The convenience store sells seaweed-wrapped rice wrapped around tuna and mayo… for $1.20!

Want a bit more fast food fun? Mos Burger sells a bun made out of fried rice, puffily enveloping fried veggies or seafood of some kind (pictured above, in case you don’t believe my tale).

Then I followed Mike’s handy-dandy Subway and Train map to Asakusa and swooped around the incense-steaming temples, each filled with worshipping Japanese.

“What are those papers tied everywhere?” I asked the Japanese man who had chatted me up.

“Oh, those are fortunes,” he said with a suspicious smile. “Wanna take one?”

“NO!” I cried in terror, “I’m scared of getting a bad one!”

He laughed uproariously. “You’re right to be scared! This particular temple has the highest percentage of bad fortunes in all of Japan! BwaHA! You SURE you don’t want one???”

Scary statue in a Tokyo temple!

We exchanged email addresses and will be the best of friends.

Then, I met and had a lovely talk with a friend of a friend of a son of a co-worker of a daughter’s Aunt (or something like that). We mused about The Life Abroad, and the pros and cons of spending increasing time away from the dear U.S.A.

I mentioned that I had several friends addicted to the Japanese lifestyle, always saying they SHOULD leave, but never really getting around to it, cause it can be oooh so good right here.

He smiled and nodded “Amen.” Safe, calm, clean, good schools, good public transport, jobs… Why leave? Tis nice.

Onward! I speed-walked a billion miles to Tokyo tower and snapped some snappy pics. The streets were packed with Japanese folk smiling, laughing, and poppin’ out pictures right alongside me.

Yippiee kayay!

Oh– and I loooooove blogging!

Smooches to all, and please DO leave comments, requests, and suggestions! :)


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Dee

Friday 22nd of March 2013

I love Japan. Went as a child and was treated so well I never forgot the experience. Can't wait to return as an adult. We stayed in a lovely hotel at the base of Mt Fuji and played in the snow on the mountain. Good times!

Lillie

Friday 22nd of March 2013

That sounds so nice!

Kelly D.

Monday 21st of May 2012

Ha! The fortunes reminds me of Chinese dramas that I used to love watching. People were so superstitious about them and thought that whatever they got was true.

Christine Yu

Monday 7th of May 2012

That statue is so weird...

Margyle

Wednesday 2nd of May 2012

If you want an epic burger... check out Tachikawa burger. It's... enormous, even by western standards and like 1000 yen, but well worth the price!

Seriously though, have a great time in Tokyo. Hit up as many izakayas as possible, karaoke til first train and just get lost in the insanity of it all. If I can suggest two easy day trips - climb Mount Takao (you can get there from Shinjuku in well under and hour) and it is a very easy, simple hike with great temples along the way - I did it 5 times when I lived there! Secondly, head down towards Yokohama way towards Kamakura - where the giant Buddha statue is. Great sights down there, amazing temples and gorgeous views of the ocean towns. Or if you are a little more adventurous and not templed out, head up to Nikko. When I was there, there was a sweet foreigner discount!

Lillie

Wednesday 2nd of May 2012

Thanks for these great tips!

Xiu Na

Wednesday 27th of April 2011

At first glance, I thought the picture of the statue in the Tokyo temple was a picture of Spider Man! :D

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