On our day out and about, we learned that Tokyo has a dense network of train, subway and bus lines. The train lines are operated by Japan Rail East. Subway lines are the most convenient for moving around the central Tokyo, but we liked the Japan Rail lines because we can get passes for them the easiest.. There were many passes that we could purchase for this, but there were only a few that stood out. There was the Tokyo Free Kippu pass which was 1580 yen per person, and it runs in the central Tokyo area for one day only. There is a Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Economy pass, which can also be used on all of the subways excessively, but it cannot be used on the Japan Rail trains. It costs 1000 yen per person for this ticket. Lastly, there was the holiday pass, which costs 2300 yen, and it has unlimited use for the JR trains, locally and as much as we wanted, but it can only be used on the weekends, or public holidays. Today we went to the Sanrio Puroland theme park which is located just outside Tokyo in Tama. We got there at around 9am hoping to avoid big crowds but there were still lots of people there, well kids mainly. In case you are wondering what Puroland is, it’s basically a theme park dedicated to Sanrio characters but its main attraction is Hello Kitty’s house. We paid 3,000 yen per person to get in; if we had bought tickets in advance we could have gotten in for less money. But it didn’t matter, we probably had more fun there than all the kids there combined! As soon as we walked in we saw a big tree they call the Wisdom Tree. Here they put on 20-30 minute extra cheerful shows featuring music, dancers and of course the famous Sanrio characters. We loved all the lighting effects and the costumers were also really amazing, we wanted all the costumes! There were mainly Hello Kitty souvenirs and some were not even that expensive, Maddi sure stocked up on them. One of the most exciting parts was visiting Hello Kitty’s house of course. We got to sit in her living room, play her piano, and took pictures of her bedroom and even see her bathroom! The house was super cute, very girly and pink of course. At the end of our tour of the theme park we even got to meet Hello Kitty a pose for a picture with her!
We left Tama for Tokyo at 3:30pm. Our next stop was Asakusa, Tokyo’s “low city” where Tokyo’s past atmosphere still remains. We had to hurry because the Sensoji Temple which we were going to see was only open until 5pm. Once we got there we walked through the Kaminari Gate which is Asakusa’s symbol. We had to pass a beautiful shopping street called “Nakamise” to get to the temple but since we were in a hurry we didn’t stop at any of the shops right then. We got to the temple right at 4:30pm which gave us exactly 30 minutes to check it out. This Buddhist temple was built in the 7th century and is one of the oldest in the city, but many parts of it were destroyed in the air raids of World War Two, so what we saw were a lot of replicas. Next we went to see the Asakusa Shrine, also known by many as Sanja-sama. This shine actually survived the air bombings of 1945 therefore it is Tokyo’s best preserved and popular shine. It is free to go in and it’s always open which was quite convenient. We went back to the Nakamise shopping street after to check out some souvenirs and local cuisine. They had some cheap yet very comfy slippers, fans and all kinds of stuff. We tried not to get excited about every little thing we saw because we only had so much space to fill up in our suit cases, and not to mention 3 more cities to go to! We left at 8pm and walked to the Asakusa Station to catch a train back to the hotel because we were all exhausted from all the Hello Kitty fun we had and were ready to jump back into our beds.