Saturday, July 25, 2015

JSP'12: Tokyo - Fifth Day

Let the day begin with greetings from Matsujun! Haha

Oh yeah we were up by 6.30am almost every morning, if not earlier. 

On this day, it was another drive to Odaiba. 

Where we visited my favourite museum! 

The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation - Miraikan! 

I loved it so much I went back again on my personal trip in July 2012. I really enjoyed my time there because every high tech displays were so interactive, complete with English descriptions, and helpful staff to explain and guide you through the activities. It was so fascinating I could spend hours in there on my own. 

Plus, there's the Asimo robot meet 'n' greet! Highly recommended! I blogged in full details in Summer Holiday series - click on the image on the right to check out the full series hehe 

We did spent a few hours in the museum and next it was lunch time! 

We walked a little distance from the museum. 

The weather was absolutely beautiful that day.

 I remember it so clearly - chilly, crisp air, the sun so bright. 

We arrived at an open area and there were food all prepared.

The buildings around are living quarters of international students/professors from nearby university with their families, if I remember correctly. Yes, families! I was so surprised at that, and thought it was really nice that the families are welcomed to move here together. I think maybe it wasn't just for foreigners, maybe locals too who are not from within the prefecture. Fuzzy memory whoops hehe

Hungry youth.

AND! The most exciting highlight (for me) - mochitsuki!

Mochitsuki is the process of beating the sticky glutinous rice dough to pulp hahahaha quite literally. Basically the dough is pounded over and over again on the large wooden mortar. At the same time, water is also added in it by bit, and over continuous pounding the dough consistency will get stickier and stickier. Lots of energy needed for sure hahahaha bring on all the manpower! 

After some strenuous pounding, the mochi is ready. They prepped two batches.

 One batch was coated with azuki (red bean), another with kinako (soy powder). 

I had both, but I liked azuki the best. It was by far the best mochi I've ever had in my life! 

So soft, so chewy, so fresh. So perfect for the weather. I wish I had more haha! 

After lunch, it was a drive back into central Tokyo again. 

Morning was spent learning about science and technology, 
while the afternoon will be dedicated to arts, history, and culture.

Tokyo National Museum! 

Spacious pond and garden lead to the stately museum building. 

Beautifully illustrated ticket and guide pamphlet.

The tickets had other versions too, such a fun point for visitors!

The main museum gallery was large, it was all possible to get lost in it lol

There were impressive sculptures, beautiful art pieces, historical items, etc

I was wandering aimlessly until I saw a peek into the outside world.

To the promise of sights in the outdoors I will go! 

I considered myself incredibly, incredibly lucky to be able to get in to the garden. I got there a little under an hour before it closes, and apparently the garden is only open to public in spring and autumn. It was late winter that time so I've no idea how or why it was open. So lucky! The garden was beautiful, it's a definite must-go if you're ever at the Tokyo National Museum, within Ueno.

Outfit color scheme of the day. 

I really enjoyed the walk, it was so nice and quiet. 

The main sight would be this serene pond with a traditional teahouse at the back. 

According to the official website, the Tengo-an teahouse was built in Kyoto by the famous tea master Kobori Enshu a few hundred years ago. After its ownership passed through several hands through the years, this teahouse was finally donated to the Tokyo National Museum in 1963. 

A little pathway across the pond that leads of the teahouse.

This is the Shunsoro teahouse, also built several hundreds of years ago.

Also donated to the Tokyo National Museum back in 1948, after passing through a few prominent ownership. There are a small handful of teahouses in this garden. I also saw some elderly ladies dressed in full traditional kimono leaving a teahouse, that was a really nice sight on a quiet afternoon.

The five-stories bronze pagoda. 

Apparently there are quite a few cultural monuments around the grounds but I didn't find out about them until I had internet access a few years later (right now, tbh). Glad I managed to spot a few!

View of the main gallery building from the other side of the pond.

As the evening approaches, we headed for dinner. 

Seriously no idea where were we at that time lol

We had dinner at Pronto, a cafe bar chain that can be found almost anywhere in Tokyo hahahah it was the most unpleasant dinner yet throughout the program. I think the restaurant was not fully prepared for the ravenous crowd, there weren't enough tables and seats even after we took two whole floors to ourselves and the food took more than an hour to arrive but it was not enough for all. I guess big parties like this rarely happens huh haha so in the end some of us bought food from conbini! Egg ham sandwich and cold bacon egg pasta!

Fifth day done! The next few days will be quite exciting, wait for it! 

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