This morning was another sweltering day and after a short hop on the train; we walked up to Osamu Tezuka Productions. When you first step off the street towards their door; there’s a marble (maybe granite) status of Astro Boy. Then you walk inside and immediately you’re surrounded by merchandise, mostly from Astro Boy but also from some of Tezuka’s other series, such as Princess Knight. Then it was up the stairs and we split up with half of us touring of the offices while the other half watched a video. I went on the tour and the wonderful people there let me video tape it; so I won’t talk about it here. Then we went back to the waiting area and watched some of Tezuka’s animation work while the other group go the tour. It was a very nice environmental work with no words set to one of Tchaikovsky’s operas. Then they brought in one of Tezuka’s former assistants and he gave a short presentation about what it was like to be an assistant. I was still suffering from the heat, so my fried brains couldn’t think of a question before the presentation was over. On the other hand, at least I wasn’t sleeping with my head on the table through the presentation.
After the presentation, we left Osamu Tezuka Productions and headed for Asasuka. It was a beautiful area with a large market leading up to the shrine. We did a bunch of group pictures at the entrance to the area and then headed up. The shrine was gorgeous and when I get back to the USA; I’ll see about posting some pictures. I wish we’d had more time to check out the market area as there looked to be a lot of really cool stuff in a small area, but the children had been whining again and we cut that part of the day a bit short. Plus P was absolutely wasted by the heat and we had to go activate our JR passes.
I noticed that I was getting a bit snappish with the kids and when AWelkin mentioned that we’d be finishing the day in Tokyo station; I asked if Tokyo Tower was nearby. She said it was and so I asked if maybe her & Bryon would like to go with me to see it. She was hesitant about it and I said I understood but that I’d been hoping to have an evening with my kind of geek. This ended up being a sign to AWelkin that I needed a sanity check and she changed their plans to go with me.
We ended up wandering around for quite a while to find some dinner. Eventually we settled on the Japanese version of an Italian restaurant. Bryon had lasagna, while AWelkin and I each went for a personal pizza. Hers was some bizarre seafood thing while mine was Mixed Pizza and came with a variety of vegetables and some rather undercooked/fatty (by American standards) bacon. After dinner more walking and AWelkin asking for directions a couple of times; we made it to Tokyo Tower. It was amazing! Especially since we got there at just about sunset, the view was just spectacular. Again, I’ll see about posting some pictures when I get back to the USA.
After that extremely long day and a really nice evening, I was feeling very tired but much more sane. More about Japan tomorrow!