On our third day, we visited a couple Tokyo gardens. The forecast said rain, and it rained on and off for most of the time, but that didn’t stop us from choosing almost entirely outdoor activities for the whole day! >:D
[Pictures taken September 25, 2013]
After two days in Ibaraki, my friend K and I had one day left and decided to spend it in Tokyo. Our planning was really last-minute (read: the night before), and it looked like it was going to rain the next day, so we thought the view from the Skytree would be pretty lame if we went there as we’d intended. I thought about what I wished I’d gotten to do that I hadn’t been able to when I studied abroad in Tokyo during college. The first thing I thought of was going back to Shimo-kitazawa. I’d seen a concert there during my time studying abroad, and I’d wanted to go back because it had seemed like a really interesting area–but there’s not much to do there if you don’t go in the evening, when people are there and stuff is open, and by then I would be on my way back to Waki.
The second thing was parks–specifically Shinjuku Gyoen, which my parents saw when they came and visited this year in the spring. K and I looked up some parks, and discovered this park, Rikugien. We wanted to eat Korean BBQ at Shinokubo (Koreatown) later, which was right between the two parks, and it worked out perfectly!
It was raining, but hey–less people, right?
The parks we visited were of two different types–modern and traditional. Rikugien is a more traditional type of Japanese garden.
Inside the garden, there’s a little tea house where you can stop and enjoy 抹茶 green tea (hot or iced) and 和菓子 Japanese sweets.
Our tea and our sweets! The sweets have the same flavor (with red bean inside), but are shaped like different flowers. You eat them with those popsicle-looking sticks you see below, slicing the sweets like you would with a knife. The sweets stay stuck on the stick (say it five times fast), so it’s not hard to eat. This was my first time seeing this ice cubes in this kind of traditional, thick green tea. I didn’t even know you could do that O_O
It’s a smaller park, and didn’t take us long to get around. (There are also little turtles!)
We’d left my suitcase in a locker at the station, and when we got back, I saw the instructions label on the front for the first time (I think the word they were looking for was probably “agreement.”)