The first day of our guided tour began with a visit to the Sensoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo. With the help of our guide, we took part in rituals like cleansing ourselves at the basin, getting a fortune from inside the temple (we didn’t get good fortunes—yikes), covering ourselves with holy smoke from incense, and of course the touristy ritual of shopping! We strolled down Asakusa arcade sampling ice cream and red bean paste pastries, buying lucky charms and postcards, and inspecting other wares.
Afterwards, we got back on our tour bus and headed for Tokyo Skytree—a structure that our tour guide informed us was the tallest free-standing tower in the world. We took an elevator up to the Skytree’s observation deck, looked around for a bit, and headed down to the mall wing of the Skytree complex on the lower level. There, we chose to get an Italian lunch and got back on our tour bus to head back to our hotel.
From the hotel, I made my way by subway to Nihombashi in search of the Pokémon center, where I was intent on getting a souvenir. It was a bit of a trek, but nothing too bad. The worst part was dealing with light rain in downtown Tokyo. After asking for help, I made it to the store, bought my souvenir, and headed back to the hotel.