We arrived in Tokyo three days ago and we must admit it took us a while to adjust to the local ways. First obstacle: they mostly only speak Japanese and, well, we don’t. That said, Alvar has mastered the famous and quite useful “Arigatou gozaimasu“.
But after a few hours of awkwardness, things got easier. We even came to the conclusion that Tokyo is not that different from Paris : a lot of History and tradition, an outdated subway but a very fast train, exhausted people yet extremely nice if you get a chance to engage with them, a local gastronomy that you can’t find any where else in the world with some very unique recipes, etc.
It is also an gargantuan city where sightseeing with a 2 and a 6 year old can sometimes be tricky. The children are often tired before they get to the place we intended to visit. For Austine, it has been an epic adventure simply to find baby formula. As fruit puree doesn’t seem to exist, she has been eating pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with banana for desert! Alvar seems to enjoy the local food, much more than his mum, and is developing a fine palate for sushi.
Despite a few moments of determent, we are now set to a Japanese pace and we’ve managed to visit several neighbourhoods : Ginza, Shiodome, Asakusa, Yanaka (sample), Marunouchi and Ueno. The kids even managed to play a little football (watch the game). We’ve enjoyed the traditional and residential areas more than the glitzy commercial districts. As you can guess, the children don’t give us many opportunities to shop anyway. We very much enjoyed the Edo museum – initiating us to Tokyo’s History (Alvar will soon write a post for his friends at the Gower School about the Great fire of Edo, in 1657), the imperial gardens (sample), the Panda at Ueno zoo (sample), the temples in Asakusa, the 360 degree view from Tokyo Tower and a very good lunch in Marunouchi.
Tomorrow, we are planning to take a train to Kamakura, 50 km south west of Tokyo (thank you Nadia for the tip) to visit some temples and go to the beach. But we may also decide to rest a little, even though the temptation is great to just walk around all day as there is so much to explore.
In the meantime, keep warm. Xxxx.