and the Sumida River
how will Tokyo look?
Wednesday 8 May
When we first arrived in Tokyo a kind gentleman in the street suggested we take in the view from the observation gallery on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building just a few blocks from our hotel. The views from the 45th floor observation deck were spectacular and despite an amount of haze we could see Mount Fuji. Fantastic!
We decided to head back to Asakusa to get the hon stamped at one of Tokyo’s most famous shrines. We achieved this and as we wandered back towards the station and river bus pier we stumbled on the Kamiya Bar an astonishing establishment which is a cross between an English pub (they claim) and a German bierkeller (we think). You select a dish or two and a drink and then find at table and await your order. We sat down opposite a regular habitué who also happened to be a wine expert who spoke good English and was keen to practice it with us. This branch was the original founded in 1882 by Mr Kamiya who also invented the amazing Denki Bran. This is a fierce liquor containing – it is opined only as the recipe is secret – brandy, gin, curacao and herbs. It’s strong, 40% proof, and best taken with beer or water or both. We take our leave and reel out towards the pier for the half hour river trip to central Tokyo.
We’d read that the river trip had disappointed many but it certainly provided us with a fascinating glimpse of this great city from another perspective. The final stretch before docking at Hanane Pier is awesome with huge vista down through the port area crossed by elegant bridges.
We made our way back to Ginza to experience again a bit more of the retail brand madness that pervades the area and have our final dinner in a small bar with a charcoal grill that gives us great broccoli, edamame and grilled pork with tohu sauce followed by sushi. The walk back to Tokyo Station gave us some great shots of Tokyo by night.