Sensoji and Sumo

 Sensoji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo. A must see if you ever go. It is always really lively down there. After this gate there are shops that line the street up to the temple. We grabbed some red bean treats that were freshly baked, so good. It was cold that day. I like this temple because it has a lot of nice gardens and areas to walk around. It's really crowded at the bottleneck at the gate, but once to the actual temple the crowds thin out and it is quite a peaceful experience.
Tokyo Sky Tree

Early plum blossoms.

 We went to an okonomiyaki restaurant for lunch and met up with a friend from NYC who is currently living in Tokyo with her hubs. It was really fun to catch up, and she showed us around the area. It is the place to go if you want to see the plastic food that a lot of Asian restaurants use to model the food they serve. Japan makes everything cute, beautiful, but it is all functional. There were so many adorable and beautiful things we saw that you could completely justify buying because it was functional.

 My first time having okonomiyaki, and not my last. It is a savory pancake. I had cabbage, pickled ginger, and minced pork in mine I think. I remember the pickled ginger and it was perfect. I am trying to recreate it back home now. The restaurant was amazing. It was an authentic Japanese restaurant with the tatami mats, kotatsu, and you cooked your food right on the table. It was a hole in the wall looking place that you would have passed if not have been looking for it, and what a hidden treasure. It was a delightful dining experience.

Law school wives.

That night we went to Ryogoku Stadium to watch some sumo! It was the highlight of the trip. It was so incredible to watch. We got there in time to see the marching in of all the wrestlers. I did not know this, but sumo is only during January, March, and September in Tokyo. There are matches in a few other cities around the country, but it is something that you would have to plan your trip around, if you wanted to see sumo. We just got lucky and happened to be going during the sumo season.

Ellen and I are not sumo experts in any way. We had been watching some during the trip, so we did recognize a few of the names. It was so fun! We had a great time trying to pick the outcome of the match, and really got into it. This is something that my parents really enjoyed while they lived in Japan. Now we understand why.

Outside the stadium after the match.
I filmed an entire match from start to finish to share the experience and what the sport is like. Some matches got really intense there were a couple where the wrestler knocked his opponent out of the ring so hard that he fell on the people sitting around the ring. My favorite was when they would throw the salt, for good luck. I thought it was chalk or something to help them grip the floor, but no it is all about superstition. I love it!

Ellen and I ended this day exhausted. The trains that day, jeez. It took us forever to get back to our cousins. I think I even fell asleep on one train. It was still really fun. We even stopped in a pet shop and got to love on some puppies! My heart was melted and I wanted to take them all home with me. Why am I such a sucker for puppies, or baby animals in general? I introduced Ellen to Max Brenner Italian Thick hot chocolate. So nice being in hot chocolate drinking weather. This country is so incredible, anything we would have done would have knocked our socks off. But it was a great last full day in Japan together. 


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