Anita and I were planning on staying up all Monday night and going to the Tokyo Fish Market at 5 am on Tuesday, but around 3am we crashed. Anita got up at 4:30 and fully intended to get me up, but she saw that a sub-tropical-storm was headed at Tokyo and that it was already raining pretty hard… There’s something about being dog tired and lost in a city that is much worse sounding if you add in the attribute – rain soaked.
After the late night before, we all slept in… Anita and I slept in so much we missed our hotel’s breakfast. We found a snack and took the subway to the Tokyo Aquarium. It was totally disappointing. The animals had very small enclosures, particularly bothersome were the mammals. There were many dead or dirty exhibits and not too much to read in English… We left after (something like) an hour and a half and roamed the “Sunshine 60” shopping complex (basically a big mall like the galleria in Houston without the ice skating rink).
Another morning of repacking, a walk to the station, and a train ride to Tokyo (~3 hours)… most people napped (I read).
We got out at Tokyo and took a subway to the hotel, dropped off our packs, and walked around to find food. Ironically, our hotel was right next to Akihabara, the Electronic Market in Tokyo, and it was Sunday, a day so busy the street is shut down to vehicles and the area is swarmed with geeks of all varieties and the people that feed on/off them.
On our second full day in Kyoto we ate the last of the Fruit and some of the granola bars for breakfast; then we hopped on the #100 bus for the east side of Kyoto to see Ginkakuji-michi (the Silver Temple). The Silver Temple was much better than the Golden Temple because it was less overrun with tourists and also because the surrounding gardens were amazing. The cultivation of moss is, itself, remarkable, but to see the whole garden come together is quite impressive.
We got an early start, showered, dressed, and set out for the train station to buy bus passes before 8:00 am. 2,000 Yen for a 2 day all bus all subway pass is a good deal… also because it means you don’t have to pay attention to which company bus or subway you want to use, because in the city of Kyoto there are at least 3-4 different companies for public transit and most other passes don’t cover them all.