Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Overdose of Ghibli

We have now seen two additional Ghibli art exhibits since our trip to the Ghibli Museum on Day 1.  The second was at the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo Tokyo Museum and the third was at the Edo Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum.  The first exhibit focused mainly on the studio's new film,  "When Marnie was There", but since it was entirely in Japanese we couldn't figure out much about the story.  On the next day we visited the Architectural Museum and had to go through another, very similar exhibit, although this had more art from other films along with reconstructions of the houses in them.  We tried to leave the second exhibit half way through but one of the Museum staff made us complete it!  No main exhibit for you until you finish your dose of Ghibli!  While we do enjoy Ghibli art, we were keen to get onto the main focus of both museums.

Ototoi: Day 5
The day before yesterday we started the day off at the Tokyo Metropolitan Edo Tokyo Museum.  I can't say enough of how aweome it was.  This is a gigantic museum with life-size reconstructions, models, and priceless archeological objects describing the history of the Nihonbashi (mainly) area, or old Edo (now Tokyo).  The best thing about this museum is the army of volunteer guides who speak a variety of languages.  We got a guided tour, just for the two of us, from an older man who was born before WWII and lived through it.  His descriptions of the exhibits were extremely informative but he was also able to add his own personal experiences from the past 80 years.  He is a living historical treasure and it is wonderful that the museum can provide access for visitors to people like him.  I'm not sure we would have learned as much from only the English language pamphlet the museum provides, as much of the didactic material on display is in Japanese only.

After the museum, we headed up to Asakusa for a look at Senso-ji shrine and some lunch.  We got our fortunes at the shrine; James got a "Best" fortune while I got only a "Final Small" fortune.

Best Fortune!
Small Final Fortune :(
From Asakusa we took a cruise down the Sumida river to Odaiba.  Odaiba is a weird area in Tokyo Bay; there are some malls, a giant ferris wheel, and a beach that you can't swim at (although we did see a windsurfer).
View from the river cruise to Odaiba.
Other things not shown in this post: view from the ferris wheel (scary!), the Takoyaki Museum (not really a museum, and no free samples :(), Toyota showcase, and a trip to the Lego store.

We ended up back in Shinjuku for dinner and ate at Lumine Est, mainly because we were too tired to go anywhere else.  We found an udon restaurant that had a 'drink buffet' (mostly different kinds of tea); you also get three appetizers and one main dish, all for under 1000 yen!  It was very tasty!

More on Day 6 coming soon!

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