Day 3 , The Rainy Search for The Tokyo National Museum… and a Giant Robot!?

The entirety of day 3 was spent with ridiculously wet shoes, socks, and feet… >_< but it was all worth it! Figuring that in this rainy weather I should pick somewhere indoors to visit, I decided to visit the Tokyo National Museum. This was also a good opportunity to actually witness first-hand the various historical artifacts that I learned about in my Japanese History class!

And so the quest to find the Tokyo National Museum which was located somewhere near Ueno station (northern part of Tokyo) began!

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One clue that I got from asking someone was that Tokyo National Museum was located right by Ueno Coen (park). I was sort of glad that I didn’t know exactly where to go, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come across the beauty that Ueno park had to offer.

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Rain or shine, any time is a good time for a stroll in Ueno park!

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A shrine at Ueno Park

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Some things just look so much more cool in the rain.

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AHA! I FOUND IT!

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In case it hasn’t occurred to you yet, this Museum is huge.

I ended up taking lots and lots of pictures at all the exhibits in the Museum, but for the sake of not putting people who don’t appreciate Japanese history to sleep, I’ll only show a few highlights:

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YEAR OF THE RAT REPRESENT!>:D

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So the long walk in the rain gave me a HUGE craving for some nice, hot ramen. Lucky for me, Ueno station had a nice little pub that delivered the best ramen of my life. 😀

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And a nice hot cup of tea with a sweet fragrance to finish off the meal.

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The interior of the pub at Ueno Station
Now that I knocked Japan’s history out of the way (at least until I go to Kyoto!), it was time to fast forward to what Japan’s future had to offer. And what better way than to search for the legendary life-size gundam (basically it’s a giant robot) located somewhere at Odaiba? ^____^. Just like the museum, I only had a rough idea of where the Gundam was located… and it was pretty hilarious running around Tokyo approaching people saying “ano….. sumimasen… chyoto hen-kite des… demo ano oki-na gundam wa doko desu ka!?” (Um… excuse me… this is a wierd question… but where’s that big gundam!?) Nonetheless, the search was half the fun…..

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The first step was to head to Shimbashi (south-eastern Tokyo) and take the special monorail which crosses the ocean to Odaiba, a small island south of Tokyo.

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My jaw dropped when I saw what looked to be the world’s tallest Karaoke bar, lol.

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The monorail ride was like a boat ride.. only no sea-sickness!

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OMG WHAT’S THAT IN THE FOGGY DISTANCE… CAN IT BE?

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At this point I didn’t realize I got off one stop too early, but this only meant a fun walk through Odaiba park!

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Cool futuristic looking building.. O_O

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A little rain won’t scare this butterfly.

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Ya.. I had to walk in the rain for quite a distance… 😛

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FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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So… epic.

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If this thing started moving…. the rain wouldn’t be what made my clothes wet.

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Just to get an idea of how huge this thing is, this kid’s height doesn’t even reach its foot.

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GUNDAM POSE! >:P

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I wasn’t the only person that wouldn’t let a little rain keep me from seeing the giant beast…

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You got my vote!

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Heading back into Tokyo, I was approached by two guys who spoke some pretty funny “engrish” to me, desperately attempting to read off of a piece of paper, “Hello there sir, would you have some time to help us with a project?” They were pretty surprised when I started speaking Japanese to them and made their school project 10 times easier, lol. After speaking with them for a bit I soon realized that these two weren’t ordinary students… they were Tokyo University Students! (Think of Tokyo-U as the Harvard in Japan, the hardest school to get into). It was fun speaking with them, because they were really curious about what I thought about Japan and its people. The sum of our conversation was that I was a bit nervous at first about Japan but after spending only a couple days, I found Japan to be one of the safest and most fun places in the world. I also at first thought Japanese people were very closed and ethnocentric at first, but soon realized that they’re incredibly nice and open. ^__^

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That night I headed back to Ueno to search for some good Sushi to eat. The night-life in Japan is very lively, and the shops seemed to stay open even past midnight.

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Shabu Shabu really sounded good, but I ended up sticking to my original Sushi plan and walked into a rotating belt sushi bar that charges by the plate. The sushi places with the rotating belt are actually called “Running Sushi” (Kaiten Sushi) and are very popular in Japan. I always tried to convince people to help me invest into opening one in Irvine but no, everyone including my own family remained skeptical… and eventually after a few years someone inevitably beat me to the punch and is building one on Jamboree Rd. in Irvine.. ANYWAYS, and nd so the feast begins!

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Lightly seared salmon

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Fresh tuna!

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And the grand finale.. my absolute favorite sushi of all time- Toro! (fatty tuna)… this stuff seriously melts in your mouth ^___^

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As you can see, I am a complete idiot when it comes to choosing shoes to wear in Japan’s rainy weather…. RIP old friends.. :'(

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And hello new Pumas i just bought! >:D

Click to continue to the next day!

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