On November 12, Zach, his mom Virginia, and Jennifer set out in the early morning on a new adventure: we flew to Denver and then on to Tokyo! We spent 3 days in Tokyo, riding the somewhat confusing subway system around and seeing the sights. There are at least 4 different companies that operate subways in Tokyo, and our hotel was located just a few blocks from a station on one of the smaller lines. Rather than buying individual tickets whenever we went somewhere, we opted to get PASMO cards, which you just swipe as you go through the entrance and exit gates of the subway systems — much easier! We had the legendary sardine-can packing in experience in the subways at least once or twice, but most of the time, we weren’t in that crowded of conditions.

Zach in Tokyo subway

Not the most crowded Tokyo subway car we were in

Sign: It is very dangerous to use your smartphone while walking. Please do not use anything while walking.

Sign telling you how to behave while walking in the subway system

Floor of Tokyo subway hallway, showing you which direction to walk on which side of the hallway

They even tell you which side of the hallway to walk in!

Besides experiencing the subways, we also went up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to see the Tokyo skyline, visited the Koishikawa Korakuen garden and several smaller gardens and parks, went to the Meiji-jingu Shinto shrine and the Senso-ji Buddhist temple, crossed the street a few times at the famous Shibuya Crossing, wandered around several neighborhoods, went to the Edo-Tokyo Museum of Tokyo history, and ate some good Japanese food. Here are some photos:

Tokyo skyline from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Japanese garden

Jennifer and Virginia in the Koishikawa Korakuen gardens

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing


Eating ramen

Fish pancake

Jennifer eating a “fish pancake” — shaped like a fish, but something like a waffle filled with sweet red bean paste

Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple

This trip was a good prelude to the main part of our trip — after 3 days of seeing Tokyo and considerable recovery from jet lag, we got on a plane and flew to Bangkok — more about that in our next post!

Map (note: not exact). The green marker shows the beginning of the route. If you click on other markers, you will see a note or information about that spot.