Lynn poses in the Japanese Imperial Castle Garden complex.
Here is myself posing in the same spot.
And a wide screen of Teresa posing.
Looking to the right at the main pond...
And to the left...
The next day we took our bikes to Tachikawa City, and then rode the trains for about 40 minutes to the base of Mount Takao. Mt. Takao is a popular mountain/hiking/picnicing destination for the people of Tokyo. It is also the scene of a few famous battles a few hundred years ago.
This is the cable car and people lift station. You can hike the first half of the way up, or you can take a cable car, or a "chair lift", which is like a ski lift arrangment. The cable car is the steepest one in all of Japan.
We chose to try the cable car first. Teresa is ready to board. Notice how the car is "angled" in towards the hil. At the top, it is angled the other way, so you are almost falling out!
Here I am at the top of the cable car ride. It takes about 2 minutes to get up a thousand or more feet.
At the half way point we look out upon a slightly obscured Tokyo.
A nice fellow offered to take our picture, which of course we accepted!
Lynn and I clown around with a giant beer display. The resturaunt overlook area is evidently the site of many summer parties!
Lynn and I pose in a cut out spot by a Monkey Park.
We paid a few dollars, and went into a special monkey zoo area, where we got to see some monkey families and babies. They were doing some tricks, playing with each other, and enjoying the spring sunny day.
There were quite a few things for them to play with, but there wasn't any grass or live trees unfortunately.
We continued our hike up the mountain, passing many active shrines and temples along the way.
This area was lined with red lanterns. At night, I am sure this is very beautiful.
I pose on the street.
Each one of these sticks is a "prayer stick", where a prayer is written down carefully by a monk or a priest. After a certain amount of time, the prayer stick is burned in a sacred fire.
A famous shrine up most of the way. This is where some famous warriors, who were defeated on the battle field were forced to commit suicide, so that their families would be spared.
We reach the top of Mount Takao.
Hidden in this mist, beyone these hills is Mount Fuji. You can barely see it...
Teresa and Lynn pose. Notice a bit of snow still on the hills, over Teresa's right shoulder.
We hike back down on the backside of the mountain.
Teresa and I pose on top of a suspension bridge, over a deep ravine.
I cut up for the camera...
Lynn in front of a holy shrine waterfall.
Teresa cuts up for the camera.
We then went to a "Trick Art Museum. I am in front of a painting, but it looks like I am holding onto the stone block, right?
Another trick painting...me and the fish!
It's coming out of the wall!
Fish Kiss!
Teresa also gets a fish kiss!
I hope Lynn knows when to stop pouring!
The next day we went to Mitaka City, to see the park and also to visit the famous Ghibili Movie Studio located in the park.
It was the height of the Cherry Blossom Season, so even tho it was a week day, the park was filled with people enjoying the afternoon under the shimmering white blossoms.
Lynn and myself in front of the museum entrance.
Lynn poses next to "Totoro"!
Lynn and one of the giant robots from "Castle in the Sky".
Another shot of the robot.
Teresa and Lynn next to a Laputa tech cube from "Castle in the Sky".
Another day starts with the traditional 20 minute bike ride to Tachikawa City.
Today's destination is Asakusa, in the eastern side of Tokyo. It is the oldest shrine in Tokyo, and has many tourist shops around it.
We were very surposed to see so many people dressed up in traditional garb, called "yukatas".
This is the largest paper lantern in Japan. It is the main entrance to the Asakusa Temple Complex. It was very crowded.
The main entrance plaza is lined with shops. It was packed that day.
A shot of someone selling sweets or candy in one of the stores.
Samurai swords are examined by Lynn as possible souvineers.
Clothing, shoes, jewelry...it's all available here.
Again, lots of people, mostly ladies dressed up in traditional kimono style garb.
It is taking a while, but we are getting closer to the temple...
The main temple. Lynn and I went in, and paid some money to get our fortunes from a special fortune telling box.
At a side temple, we noticed many people gathered in traditional garb. Lynn and I investigated.
There were several thousand women, all in Kimono's in the plaza. It looked like some sort of contest for the season or temple.
Upon the stage were a dozen ladies, each one stepped forward and gave a small speach. They also did drawings, for people the crowd came forward now and then to receive prizes.
I could not understand most of it, but it looked like a beauty/talent contest.
These ladies were very nice, and let us pose with them. First Lynn...
Then me....
And then one with them under their stylish umbrella.
I had never seen so many people dressed up...it was very cool.
A zoomed in shot of the stage, and one of the ladies giving her speech.
After a while we continued to walk around the temple complex.
Here is a shot of the main temple from the side.