Meeting Seiko at Asakusa

The first order of business the next day was to activate our JR Passes. On our last trip, this task was easily accomplished at the airport when we arrived, but if we activated them on arrival this time, they would expire before we completed our visit to Hiroshima so after a pleasant breakfast at a coffee shop around the corner, we headed off to Shinjuku station.

Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the entire world, and certainly one of the largest. It consists of seemingly endless underground corridors, most of which are packed with impatient commuters moving purposefully forward. The pleasant morning soon took on a nightmarish quality as we trudged along, totally lost and confused. Everyone we asked for help pointed us in a different direction. Finally, after much frustration, we found the elusive counter, activated our passes, and made our reservations.

The only bright part of the morning was finding these cute Halloween cakes in a bakery.

Our next challenge was getting to Asakusa. I don't recall that being a problem before, but this time everything went wrong. By the time we arrived, we were half an hour late, but Seiko was still there waiting for us with a smile on her face. It was great to finally meet her after exchanging emails and posts on Facebook for so long.

What can I say about Asakusa that I haven't said on previous pages. It's crowded, it's touristy, but for some reason I just love the place. We wandered past the stalls and through the little shops, sat and talked, took pictures, and finally shared a meal and several beers. When the waitress asked if we were sure we wanted 3 large bottles of beer, we scornfully ordered a fourth. Great afternoon!