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We were still a little stir-crazy, and since our Europe trip is in less than 2 weeks and we wanted to get some errands done, we headed to Tokyo on Sunday morning for the day.

First stop was Shinjuku to get our cameras cleaned at the Nikon Salon, and some watch batteries replaced at Yodobashi Camera. We also at lunch at a good Chinese place around Yodobashi while we waited for the cameras and watches to be finished.

Then it was across the city on the Chuo line to Ochanomizu, where we walked a few minutes to Yushima Tenjin shrine. This is our second time coming here for the plums. I really like it, and they had some nice blooms this year!

After that, we walked a few more minutes to Ueno Park to see if any of the sakura were blooming early, and to check out the newly renovated Toshogu Shrine, which has been under construction for just about the entire time I’ve lived in Japan. The contrast of gold to dark black wood is very nice, and it is a beautifully done job.

Dinner was at TGIFridays in Ueno, our last food splurge before Europe at the end of March.

It was a fun day!

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The usual view from the Nikon Building

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Homemade Chinese noodles and dumplings for lunch! Yum yum!

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From Ochanomizu, following the pink signs

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Yushima Tenjin

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The plum motif is found everywhere in this shrine

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Last day of the plum festival, so there were many food stalls and people enjoying them

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And of course, some beautiful plums

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Crowds

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Roof of the main shrine with white and pink blossoms

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Bridge and a tea ceremony

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Two pictures I especially liked

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Kenji and plums

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Next up was Ueno park, where there was a “fall” feeling despite it being March. Must be those grasses

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It’s a fun place for birds

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And people, too!

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I call this one “the peanut gallery”

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We shared a spiraled fried potato on a stick and a beer for a snack, before spotting some sakura blooms

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Nicest picture of the day!

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1 in 2 Kitties agree

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Toshogu Shrine

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Atomic Bomb Memorial with colorful strings of 1000 origami cranes

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Lanterns and oranges

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Detailing

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Still looking like fall, here, Japan… what gives?

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Roof angles

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I always like reading the ema at the shrines. This one is asking for Asada Mao (Japan’s sweetheart figure skater) to win a gold medal at Sochi, which unfortunately didn’t happen.

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The last day for a Monet exhibit! I wanted to go, but Kenji was hungry, so we continued on to TGIF instead.

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Where we got the largest hamburger known to man. We should have shared one, geez!

Stuffed full, we took the train back a little early. It was good to get out of the house!