First-up let me apologise for the state of the introduction page to this tale. I had forgotten that it hadn't been completed or checked when I uploaded all the pages. That has now been corrected.
Early start this morning with a magnificent buffet breakfast then we met up with the Tour Guide and other participants for introductions and a briefing then off to the bus. Next was a plan to arrange seating on the bus - after a number of attempts that were poorly explained and not understood by anyone, it was a case of "Just get on the bus and find a seat". That worked much better!
A drive through the streets of Tokyo brought us to our first stop, the Shinto shrine at Meiji Shrine, built in 1920 in man-made forest half the size of Central Park in New York . Apparently something like 170,000 trees. Interesting place to walk around and learn some of the customs in a calming and cool environment. The shrine was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War and rebuilt. The beautiful Camphor trees in front of the shrine survived and now stand in grandeur.
From there it was back on the bus to continue the drive across Tokyo, a city of around 130 million people. We drove past what apparently was the Imperial Palace however with the surrounding trees, we couldn't see it anyway and it is available for visitors only twice a year.
Then on to the Senso-Ji Temple at Asakusa, Tokyo's oldest temple, built around 645AD. Beautiful building and it has a centuries old promenade and market place with an incredible range of available goods.
From the temple we headed for the Tokyo Skytree tower. At 634 metres high, it is the second tallest in the world. Not being able to get a picture from the bus, I've included a photo of a picture of it to give you an idea if how it looks. Brilliant views but more amazing was the smoothness and speed at which the lift took us to what was the equivalent of the 350th floor.
From the Skytree, more driving across the city to stop for a photo shoot at a replica of the Statue of Liberty; Not the one the French gave to the USA, this one is a replica of the one in Paris and was given to Japan by the French in 1990. This one is easier to get to than the one in New York and free to see. From there we could see a building of interesting architecture across the road. It had a big silver sphere incorporated into the structure. It is the headquarters of the Channel 8 TV station.
This stop was followed by a shopping session at a large shopping mall with us returning to the hotel after 7:00pm . Long day with a free day tomorrow.