Hi! I have been having an incredible time exploring Tokyo! We sill had one more day to use our Japan Rail pass, so Luke, Martina, Jeanne and I took a day trip to Nikko. We wanted to go to Kyoto (as suggested by grandma Savta), but unfortunately our rail pass didn't cover a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto (I guess I will have to come back to Japan!!) The tourist information center suggested Nikko as a somewhat smaller version of Kyoto and more realistic for a day trip. It only took an hour from Tokyo to Nikko on the train, and we even got a great view of Mt. Fuji on the commute!
We explored the quaint little village of Nikko and walked uphill to some stunning pagodas and shrines. It was a nice contrast from the more bustling Tokyo, as Nikko gave me a taste of the more traditional Japan.
We ended the day back in Tokyo and explored the district of Asakusa (where our hostel is located). We enjoyed an okay sushi dinner (grandma and grandpa Kirsch, I must say..the cucumber sushi was actually better at your favorite all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant in Great Neck). The restaurant did, however, have the most amazing Sencha tea I have ever had! I enjoyed 6 cups of Sencha green tea and even bought a pack to bring back to Shanghai.
When we got back to our hostel, a Japanese lady dressed in a beautiful kimono gave us lessons on how to make oragami cranes. We are each going to make 100 oragami cranes before we leave Japan.
I was freezing after a long walk outdoors, so I sat on the toilet seat to warm up...every toilet I have sat on in Japan has heated seats!!! Dad, you would love reading the newspaper on Japan-style toilets hehe. They do so many cool tricks, are incredibly clean and keep your bum toasty warm