Day 16: November 6th 2008 Thursday
Tokyo, Roppongi, Tokyo Tower
We woke up really early, and got out. Luckily one of the pick-up locations for the Nikko bus was at Ikebukuro, so we reach the place quite easily. As we reach the location, we found guides, who were checking tickets for people who had reservation. We asked if there's place for us too, but he told it's full. We asked if we could wait and see if there's cancellation, he said it's full. I tried to ask how he knows, but he just said it's full. Then I asked if he could give me the number for the office, so we could call and ask there, if they had received any cancellation. Again he told me it's full. I tried to ask how he could know, if the office had received cancellation or not. I guess he was getting pissed off at me, as he started to speak much faster Japanese, so I had no way to understand him. So in turn, I responded in English. I guess this pissed him off further, so he just turned away. *pfff*
We tried to think for alternative method. Unfortunately this was the only bus company, that served guided tours to Nikko. There was normal train connection to Nikko, but I wasn't sure how we could connect to the different sights at Nikko from the station. As we noticed in Fuji, the season was over so we couldn't go much anywhere. That's why I wanted to take the guided tour, so I'd know I get there and around. Therefore I decided to abandon the normal train connection, and try to book tickets for another day.
As Miki called the bus company to book tickets, we were told that the next available spot was for Tuesday. As I was returning back to Seattle on Tuesday, this wasn't good for me. Later we tried to call few times, if there were any cancellations, but no such luck.
I still had several spots around Tokyo to see, so we took Yamanote to Ueno, and walked around the Ueno park. As I read, it's popular spot during the cherry blossom, but late fall, it was just a park. After the walk, the weather seemed quite nice, so we decided to go see the Tokyo tower later the day. We took train to that area. As I wanted to see also the Tokyo after sunset, we were there a bit early, so we took metro to Roppongi to go play at the arcade.
Later we're back at the tower, and take the elevator to the top floor. Unfortunately there isn't any outside deck, so viewing is done from inside. We just arrived there somewhat before the sunset. Mt. Fuji was visible from the tower, and the sun set behind the mountain. Night view of Tokyo was really beautiful. Then we went down to middle level. In there, they had two small glass windows on floor, so you could walk high above the ground.
Coming out from the tower, one more things to try in Japan was fugu, the famous blowfish. Close from the tower, there was one fugu-restaurant, so we went there. They served us fugu as sashimi, just raw slices, fugu skin, and also cooked fish. To be honest, it just tasted about like any fish. Of course, as everyone knows, the taste is not the "thing" with fugu, it's the deadly poison if cut incorrectly. It was nice experience, but it's not as life threatening as the legend tells, no-one has died for fugu in many years.