We got up at around 6, lazed about for awhile, took our morning ablutions and headed down to brunch. While lazing about, Emily found kids shows on the TV and we got to see that crazy show with the contraptions that move balls and pegs through contraptions ending with do-da-de-da oiu-chi that aidosaur had found in the Internets and shown me (if she were to post a link to it here, I would be greatly pleased). I also got to hear on CNN that Alberto Gonzalez had resigned. Brunch was semi-western with eggs and uncooked bacon, but also had some fishy things and some odd lunchy choices. Still, it was good enough that I look forward to it tomorrow. It was a little expensive, but hey, this is Tokyo!
We then went back to the room to get what we’d need for the day. After I went back a second time to get the phrasebooks, we asked the concierge how to get to the train station (she was very helpful and speaks English!) and set out for the station.
On the way, we saw an anime store we’ll likely go to, stopped at an internet café where we weren’t allowed in the book section (we think it is a club/library) and awkwardly conversed with the young nerd boys working there. We proceeded, stopping briefly at a Sanrio store, to the train station. My phrasebooks helped here in obtaining train tickets. That and having traveled them before with Pete and having gotten Keiko’s suggestions allowed us to be on our way.
We went to Ueno and walked through the lovely park and then spent all day in the Science museum. We also saw a juggling busker (he was quite funny and we gave him 500 Yen. I understood when he said Ringo and that allowed me to understand his whole routine of patter.) We loved the sign in the park that said do not feed the pigeons or cats. We saw some of the cats and I was pleased. At the museum, there were some great geology exhibits about Japan and then there was a history of science exhibit that was just wonderful. We used a PDA tour that was in English. It was activated by sensor points in the floor. We also visited their herb and parasol gardens on the roof.
The geology exhibits were great, they had an animation of the development of the continents that I'd love to have on my computer. I've wanted something like that for quite awhile, but have been unable to find one. They had a giant map of Japan made of the various types of rock that form the islands (we were constantly saying inochinoakari and qahawthorne would love these exhibits), they had huge exhibits of amonites/nautilluses that kaisilverwolf would have loved and you got to touch many of them. We had gotten PDAs that give you a tour of the museum. They have sensors built in that ding when you get to various points in the exhibits and then the PDA will talk about that exhibit if you push a button. When we were looking at the amonites you could touch, it told us to savor the feel of them. We have a picture (pictures coming soon) of emilytheslayer savoring the feel of one of them.
The history part of the museum also rocked. It was primarily about the technological development of Japan after it was "opened" to the outside world. There were some really neat exhibits of mechanical toys and clocks, but the exhibit went all the way to the present day and computers and space travel. One of the best parts is that they have an actual Zero there with a video of their use in WWII. I was surprised, but pleased that they were willing to talk openly about this period, even if it was stripped of all historical context.
After the museum, we were going to have dinner, but realized we were exhausted, so we took the train back. I got some Kirin Lemon in a store, but sadly it isn’t the soda, it is booze. It is ok, but not what I wanted. We made it there and back without incident, so I declare today a success! We also realized on the train back that our time was a little off. We thought it was 2 hours earlier than it actually was, which explained our exhaustion. It also explained why there were annoucements in the museum that sounded like "we're about to close" annoucements in tone (we couldn't understand the Japanese) when it was only 4. It was actually 6! We'd walked around quite a bit after the museum in an unsuccessful attempt to find a resturant, wandering by a temple and walking down a non-commercial street and were just wiped out when we finally found one by the train station. Since we were right by the train station, we just took one back to the hotel. Now we’re napping and trying to decide on dinner. We decided against dinner as we weren’t really hungry, we just had some delicious sleep instead.