Moving on

Today was our last day in Tokyo, but since our train wasn’t leaving until the afternoon, we had time to make one last touristic visit before moving on. Although there were more than a couple of places we didn’t make it to (like the Nezu museum which supposedly has a garden more beautiful than Monet’s garden or the Samurai museum where you can dress up like a samurai), we chose to visit the Edo-Tokyo museum. This was for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was cheaper than the Nezu museum by about $10 a person, and try as I might, I could not convince Tim to go to the Samurai museum and dress up like a Samurai. Sometimes my husband is lame!

Nonetheless, the Edo-Tokyo museum was pretty interesting and recreated traditional Japanese architecture on a life-size scale. Edo is the former name of Tokyo, and if you ever visit Japan or do some reading about the country, you will see a lot of references to the “Edo Period.” What is means is Tokyo circa 1600-1800s.

After the museum, we caught our train to Nagano. It only took about 1.5 to traverse the 141 miles from Tokyo to Nagano on the bullet train. For comparison, to go by car it would take 3 hours 10 minutes.

Once in Nagano, we had to catch another train to the small town where we would be staying. Since we weren’t having dinner there, we decided to stock up while in Nagano. We finally arrived at our ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) around 6 that evening. It is everything you picture when you think of Japanese interior design: straw mats, table and chairs directly on the floor, paper doors, mattress on the floor, and a couple of surprises- complimentary robes to wear (yeah!) and rice sacks for pillows (boo). Being cold, hungry, and tired, I immediately put on my robe and insisted Tim do the same before we sat down for a dinner of Japanese fried chicken (which I do not recommend!) and sake (which I do recommend!).

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