Today was a transition day. We packed-up & got a taxi to Tokyo Station (above pic is a street view from the station), then hopped on the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. During the taxi ride I got some photos of place saround Tokyo:
I wanted to get the the station early enough to have time to choose some ekiben- train station bentou- for lunch. These bentou usually have a rice base (or little rice balls in different colours) & then okazu (side dishes, like pickles & veggies, tamago yaki & tofu), and some sort of fish or meat as well. Brendan browsed the bentou with me, & when he found something that looked good, we stopped & got 2 of those- 1 for Charlie, too. I found a similarly colourful one with lots of yummy okazu & little shrimps. You just tell the kiosk lady the number of the bentou (they're in a window in plastic form :) you want & how many.
We waited & bit, & then went up to the platform in time to get our luggage onto the 11:03 Hikari to Kyoto. There's a space for luggage at the back of each car, so we've learned to enter from the back & stow our bags as quickly as possible before the space fills up. Most folks riding the shinkansen during the week are business men or ladies our for a day of shopping, but there are also folks like us traveling around with everything they own in tow...
|outside the shinkansen|
As the train pulled out of Tokyo I got some more photos of the busy streets:
Then it was time for ekiben!! I was so excited to open my box. Charlie & Brendan's looked like this outside:
Mine was supposed to be similar inside, but...
Unagi is not my first choice, but I can eat it, so I dug in. The pickles were fine, & the bed of rice was cooked in dashi (broth) so it was really quite yummy. What appeared to be dead chickens turned out to be little clams, & they weren't fishy-tasting at all, so that was ok. After I ate enough of the rice I could roll the poor, dead fishies out of the way & keep eating the rice & clams. In the end, I was amazed by how delicious this disappointing bentou was :) Plus, Charlie & Brendan gave me most of their okazu!
As we got closer to Kyoto the scenery changed from cities & industrial areas to countryside.