Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Japan Day 5 (or 6?) - St Mark's Cathedral

We had breakfast at the basement of the Square Enix building (a mecca for Final Fantasy fans, according to +3)- a simple and not too tasty breakfast at Tully's Coffee. I think the public holiday was already over as we saw lots of office people heading to work. 

Didn't really have any where that we wanted to go, having covered most of the "popular" areas in the past few days. +3 mentioned a church that wasn't really a tourist attraction, but had nice architecture and since we like visiting churches, became our agenda for the day.

Did a bit of research on how to get there and found that we had to go to the Edogawabashi station, and walk through the Edogawa Park and through the gardens of Hotel Chizanso Tokyo to reach the St Mark's Cathedral.

I was getting rather adept at navigating the Tokyo subway, and soon we were on our way. The Edogawa Park was more of a little local park along the river, and wasn't as well manicured as some of the other parks we had been to. However, it had a nice character to it and we saw abandoned playgrounds, homeless people lying about and grandparents taking their grandchildren for a walk. One of the things I really liked about parks in Japan was how gorgeous they smelled, with lots of osmanthus trees planted around which let off a sweet floral scent.

The entrance to the Hotel Chizanso wasn't immediately apparent, and we had to backtrack when we realised that we were probably walking too far off. There was a small entrance with a guy standing there, and a tiny signboard which said Hotel Chizanso. 

We walked in and was greeted by the most lush garden grounds ever. Apparently the hotel lies on 17 acres of land and is a 5 star hotel managed by the Four Seasons. I'm glad that we had the chance to explore the garden grounds and we spent a long time enjoying the garden and taking pictures. Made our way to the front of the hotel lobby and across the street was the St Mark's Cathedral. 

The Cathedral was beautiful in the way modern buildings are beautiful with very clean, sleek lines. We took a moment to step inside and pray (something we try to do when we encounter a new church) and walked around. 

Explored the neighbourhood afterward. Not sure what the area was called but it had a nice quiet atmosphere which reminded us of a Bukit Timah vibe. There weren't any eating places (only a Pizza Hut delivery and a Domino's.. do they like pizza in that 'hood?) so we went to a supermarket and bought some snacks- buns, mochi, crackers and some drinks. Sat on a bench and ate before making our way back.

I think all the walking we had done over the past few days was starting to take its toll on me and I was feeling rather pooped. Headed back to the hotelfor a nap and slept the afternoon away. Woke up and went to the steak place near our hotel (same chain as the steak place we saw in Ueno but the service and food quality wasn't as good) and shopped at Don Quijote. It had started raining as well. 

Passed by a curry house on our way backand popped in for round two of dinner (pork katsu curry for him, a salad for me) which made up for our ok steak dinner experience. Then it was back to the hotel to pack and settle down for the night. 

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