|(view of Tokyo from our hotel room)|
- 127 million people live in Japan--half the population of the United States. Yet, they live in an area the size of California.
- 26% of the population is 65 or older and there are 5300 centenarians in Japan.
- The two oldest people in the world live in Japan--a woman who is 117 and a man who is 112.
- "4" is an unlucky number. It symbolizes death. There is no fourth floor in hospitals in Japan.
- The Tokyo tower is similar in design to the Eiffel Tower but proudly stands 9 m taller.
The first stop of our tour was the Meiji Shinto Shrine. A simplistic explanation of the difference between Shintoism and Buddhism offered by our tour guide is that Shintoists worship nature while Buddhists worship idols.
|(barrels of sake wrapped in straw)|
Another important ritual before entering the shrine involves cleansing the hands and mouth. Grab the ladle (below) with your right hand and pour it over your left hand. Next, grab the ladle with your left hand and pour it over your right hand. Lastly, ladle water into a cupped hand and rinse our your mouth being sure to spit the water out.
Our second stop of the tour was the Imperial Palace East Garden.
I liked seeing an actual moat and the more than 400 year-old rock wall that surrounds the Imperial Palace.
The final stop of the morning was Senso-Ji--one of the most popular Buddhist Temples in Japan. We were surrounded by people and incense and red and gold.
On our way to lunch we passed Tokyo's famous Kabuki Theater.
We lunched at a restaurant overlooking Tokyo Bay then took a harbor cruise under the iconic Rainbow Bridge.
We ended our day at Tokyo's Statue of Liberty. That was certainly a surprise.