Before the cruise, we had arranged 5 nights / 4 days in Tokyo. We stayed at the comfortable Best Western in Shinjuku, which was in a good location, easy to get to with luggage and not too expensive. We actually arrived in Tokyo late on Friday evening due to a 4 hour flight delay, so we caught up on sleep, to be fresh and ready to hit the city first thing on Saturday. All of out travelling in Tokyo was by metro, using a combined N'Ex and Suica card.
We began by visiting the Imperial Palace grounds. Our route started off in the Plaza, then round the fountain park and the East gardens. In the afternoon, we then caught the metro to the older town of Asasuka and the Buddhist Senso-ji Temple.
In the evening, after an uncertain fusion meal that included sea urchin on spaghetti, we walked to the Metropolitan Government buildings in Shinjuku, and caught the lift up to the free observation platform for a high level night view of the city.
In the morning, we went to the Meiji Shrine and museum. This is a garden and Shinto shrine build to commemorate the Emperor Meiji, who was mainly responsible for the transformation of Japan from a medieval feudal state to a modernised outward looking nation.
We then travelled to Akihabara (also known as Electric Town), to experience the electronic and anime culture. The evening meal was a stir-fry of noodles and uncertain other mixed ingredients, that we both really enjoyed.
Today's highlight was a visit to the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka, a Tokyo suburb. The museum is a superbly detailed surreal cross between Disney and Dali, and absolutely has to be experienced if, like Dave, you are in any way a fan of the work of Hayao Miyazaki. While there, we saw the wonderful short film Mr Dough and the Egg Princess. Sadly, photography is not allowed in most of the museum. In the evening, we had a mediocre pig based meal and wandered around the lights of Shibuya.
Our original plan for today was to visit the seaside at Enoshima. However, as the day was so hot, we decided instead to spend some of it inside the Tokyo Edo museum. This is another fascinating museum, made all the better by the fact that for an hour we had a free English speaking guide for just the 2 of us, which really brought the museum to life. We then travelled by metro down to Odaiba, travelled on the monorail, spend far too much time at the Toyota Mega Web, watched the big Gundam robot, and generally had a good time!