Tuesday, June 19, 2012

International Plant Trek - Tokyo, Japan

After saying goodbye to our CLGO friends we headed to Tokyo, Japan. Our accommodations were fantastic (thanks Nori!), I ate the most amazing food (thanks Brian!), and everyone was so incredibly polite there.  I would definitely go back in a heartbeat!
The toilets were ah-mazing. They sang, heated up, made water noises, and had a boy or girl bidet. Check yes.
Our rowdy neighbors. :-)

The first night we headed out to Shibuya. We met up with LGO 14 Brian Chang who impressively speaks Mandarin, Japanese, and English. He was our guide that evening (and several other nights) and found us some delicious Japanese food. Shibuya is famous for the largest intersection in the world. The crosswalk was huge! 

We toured Sony and Nissan in Japan. Nissan opened their factory just to us on a holiday- it was super nice of them! Sony gave us a fantastic tour. It started in their showroom with all the latest Sony technologies including lots of 3D cameras and screens (it was crazy seeing yourself in 3D on a green screen), a speaker in the for of a wire surrounded by glass that radiated sound 360 degrees (it also was the same volume 6 inches away as 6 feet away), and the future of HDTV- 4K.
The sweet 360 speaker

During our free time we saw lots of fun Tokyo sites:

The Tsukiji Fish Market
We got up super duper early one morning to go see the fish market. I’ve never seen seafood on this scale before. It was insane!! The best part was the ridiculously fresh sushi for breakfast- yummmm!
Those are scallops, people. The size of your fist.

Octopus anyone?

All in a day's work

Senso-ji Temple – Asakusa
Tokyo’s oldest temple completed in 645.

Meiji Jingu, Shibuya

Tokyo National Museum

Ueno Park – cherry blossoms

Ginza - upscale shopping district

Imperial Palace

Harajuku – Electronics district

FOOD- The food was soooo delicious...
We ordered this meal without us speaking a lick of Japanese and the staff not speaking a lick of English.  Great success!
Nori planned a fantastic dinner for the group. Unlimited sake is dangerous!
Japanese potato pancakes- yummm.
Ordering was tough but we had Brian Chang who made it a breeze!
Brad with his octopus balls
Crepes from heaven
This was my last meal in Japan. I wasn't hungry but I had some yen left and wanted just one more glorious meal in Japan so I went by myself to a restaurant and it was awesome.
Japanese Onsen

My favorite experience from the trip had to be our trip to Oedo-Onsen a little outside of Tokyo. Relaxing in the hot springs was so nice! I even tried Dr. Fish where little fish came and exfoliated my feet (aka got their dinner). Awesome experience!

We were very sad to leave Tokyo. It was a wonderful trip and I can’t think of a better group of folks to travel across the globe with!