TOKYO 2016 - Day 2

18th May
This morning we experienced our first 'rush hour' in the Metro system... but like true professionals we navigated our way out to the Meiji Shrine and Gardens.
These beautiful tranquil gardens date back to 1603 eventually becoming the property of the Imperial Family around 1868.
We wandered peacefully around the gardens to the shrine and iris gardens... and to be honest we felt like we were in the country...not in the middle of Tokyo.

Our next navigational test was to make our way to the Sumo Wrestling Arena (Kokugikan) in the Ryoguku district  for a very exciting Sumo Wrestling experience. We had been looking forward to this since we discovered we would be visiting during the Tokyo Tournament program and so had bought our tickets very early.

Even on arrival we could tell this was a 'BIG THING' there ... excitement was in the air,
The Stadium was a lot larger than I imagined with a shrine in the centre and the elevated dohyo where each tournament takes place.

It was sensational to watch... before each match the wrestlers went through a long series of rituals... like salt throwing...leg stomps and belly slaps. The actual wrestle was often over within soon as one was out of the ring or touched the ground it was finished and new contenders and a whole new set of rituals began. I was actually quite surprised as how much muscle and power these Sumo Wrestlers had and also that many of them are not Japanese at all.

Our final and most surprising and amazing thing this day was a night time helicopter flight over the city. Ron and Donna had booked 'a little surprise' before we left...and Ian and I had tried and tried to guess what it was. Never in a million years would we have guessed. I can only say it was spectacular!
I would have loved to share a photo from the night.... but my camera was not my friend...and every single shot was blurred.

This was our last day in Tokyo....  it was time to pack ready for an early start in the adventures await.

Journal quote "What a fantastic day in an amazing place.... couldn't love Tokyo more"



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