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Sat, 26 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 08 (0 comments)
today (day 08), was the big day. today was the "sumida river festival" with a huge firework, starting from 19:10 to 20:30. it is in the "asakusa" ward, which i have chosen for this day's trip. it turned out this was a mistake (sort of), since this festival seems to be a rather huge one, so many streets were closed, many sights were unreachable (or at least no police wo/man could tell me how to get there. but this was also due to the lack of english knowledge). on my way there of course i found some shrines and temples like "edoroku jizo"[001-002], or "myoki-zuka mound"[003-006]. notice the stone ball[006] in the mouth. i could move it, but not remove it, so it must have been created while engraving the rest of the head. pretty cool. after a long walk i arrived at the "sumida" river site. what i found was really huge masses of people and loads of police wo/men. most of the people camped at various sites to get a good view on the firework. but they started to sit there already at 12:00 - the hottest time of the day. the sports center's grounds were covered with plastic tarps[007]. this applied to several streets that got covered this way too. some more shrines i found were "imado"[008-015] shrine and "matsuchiyama shoden"[016-033] with a wonderful garden included. and then i arrived at "nakamise dori"[036-039], a street with all kind of souvenir shops. it ends at the very large area with the "dembo"[040-049,065-080] temple, and the nearby "asakusa-jinja"[075-076] shrine which is located right in the same place as the "dembo" temple. besides the "nakamise dori" there are other streets with the same kind of shops[055-064,107-113]. and there was a performance by (i think it was) a radio station with these cool actors and one actress[081-106]. was fun to watch, but i have no idea what the story was all about. on my way back i came by the same place again right in front of the "kaminari-mon torii"[042,053,114], a gate with a red lantern that is weights 100kg and is three metres high. notice how much more people gathered there. this got even worse when i went to the tokyo metro station to drive to the hotel. i had to fight my way through masses of people all heading for the main exit, while only a view (like me) wanted to get on the train. once all people got off the train, it was empty. totally empty. at the hotel i ate my bento-box[115] that i bought at a "bento to go" restaurant right across the street. i chose the salmon bento box. it was delicious though i could not identify the stuff in the lower middle part of the box. the salmon looks less delicate on this picture than it did in reality. another piece of yammiyammi! no dessert today, but i had a "kakigori"[051], that's crushed ice with syrup at the "dembo" temple. i think mine was "hawaii" - at least i think that's what the lady told me when i asked her about the blue liquid's flavour. it was very sweet, very cold, and very delicious. random facts about tokyo: pedestrians and cyclists share the pavement if the street is very busy. though the pavements are rather narrow, both groups get along very well. no insults so far or rude behaviour. i found my hotel on maps.google.com. there's "hello kitty" everywhere - really everywhere[011,014]. young people (of both sexes) like to wear traditional clothes. japanese have strange toilets[111].

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