The next morning began our three days long journey to one of the best tourist destinations in the world-Tokyo.
"Sam, hurry up!"
"Yeah, yeah. I am coming!"
Lena was 200% more energetic than usual. The prospect of getting to visit new places had charged her battery beyond the limit.
Our first destination was the Senso-ji temple.
In the Asakusa district, at the end of a long street market hosting various vendors selling masks, carvings, combs made of ebony and wood, toys, kimonos, fabrics, and precious paper goods-stood the city's most famous shrine-the exquisite-Senso-ji temple.
The Kaminari-mon Gate with its 3.3-meter-high red paper lantern bearing the inscription "Thunder Gate," blew our minds away. The famous and much-loved Incense Vat, reputed to drive away ailments was one of the other highlights.
As mentioned in the tour guide, we dropped a coin in the Omikuji boxes near the entrance, from which we retrieved a piece of paper that will supposedly tell our fortune.
I unfolded my paper and it read 'Good luck."
"What's yours, Lena?"
With a cheerful smile, she showed me her piece of paper which said the same thing as mine.
Although we knew it was nothing more than a practice, getting good luck had boosted our morale and sent our moods soaring.
Next on our list was the Imperial Palace.
The imperial palace was built around the 17th century with its beautiful parks surrounded by walls and moats. Standing above the Nijubashi bridge, we took in the beautiful waters under it.
Lena took some pictures (or rather forced me to take 100s of pictures) on the bridge.
Since I wasn't a photophile, I took about two or three pictures of the bridge and the water around it.
While looking at the water I saw a clear reflection of the bridge and that was when I understood why this bridge was called a 'double bridge'.
After walking around the palace for a bit we decided to take a short breather.
We saw a stall nearby and decided to rest there for a while.
I bought two ice-creams-strawberry for Lena and butterscotch for me and sat on the wooden bench.
"Sam, can you take him on a fight?"
Pointing at the statue in front, Lena said.
"No way I can."
The statue belonged to a legendary samurai in Japan named Nanko. He was riding on a horse. Just the statue was enough to make me know what a fierce samurai he must have been.
After a long and tiring but fun tour, we lied down with our faces up in the Ni no maru garden, which was a Japanese-style garden.
Lena, whose head was beside me, spoke in a low and satisfied voice, "Today was really fun..."
"Hehe. We still have two more days to go."
I couldn't help but give a tired sigh. I was this beat on the first day. Will I even manage to last another hectic day like this?
"I will not let you rest~"
Lena suddenly got and peered at my face from above. Her long hair was tickling my cheeks and her face was so close that I could almost feel her breath. And I was sure that anyone who was looking at us from a distance would think that we were kissing.
"Your words and actions are leading to a huge misunderstanding."
"Is that so?" She let out a coquettish smile and finally removed her face from above me.
Before standing up, I tried to calm my heart and let the heat that had been building in my body slowly steam out.
The next day was no different.
We had decided to visit the National Museum in Ueno Park.
National Museum of Nature and Science, opened in 1871 and was one of the country's oldest museums.
The museum boasts a reputation as one of the country's busiest and largest museums, housing a vast collection of some 250,000 materials related to natural history and science.
There were many fascinating interactive displays on space development, nuclear energy, and transportation, each allowing us a unique insight into the latest scientific and technological advances. The highlights of the Japan Gallery were the numerous exhibits of prehistoric creatures and the history of the Japanese people, including traditional customs and outfits. In the Global Gallery, we saw many excellent scientific and technology displays, including robotics and vintage vehicles.
We were both students of the science stream and this helped us in more than one way. Lena's eyes were sparkling all the time. Especially when we were seeing the Dinosaur skeleton. Like a child, she held her hands at the glass case and stared a hole at the skeleton. Even the dinosaur must have felt uncomfortable from the heavens watching someone stare at its dead body for so long. We were also scolded by the staff for touching it. But Lena didn't look apologetic at all which earned us fifteen minutes bonus lecture.
The second day wasn't that much tiring as all we did was watch and stroll through the museum silently and leisurely. We had dinner in the nearby restaurant afterward and this time I made sure that there were no dishes that had onions in them.
On the third day, we first went to Meiji Shrine that was known for its nature and art. There were trees of various species which I had never seen before. The area around the shrine was evergreen.
There was one interesting thing in this shrine-The Wishing Tree.
It was believed that writing and hanging a wish on the tree made it come true. Lena was more than eager to do that and I had to follow along (while in actuality I was also eager). We wrote our wishes on the wooden blocks and hung them along the long row of wishes.
"What did you write, Lena?"
She seductively put her fingers on her lips and said, "It's a secret."
That only makes me more curious! But I knew that no matter what, she wasn't going to answer me. So, I decided to ask her about our next destination.
"Today is our last day in Tokyo. Is there any place you want to go?"
"Of course I do!"
She pulled me by the arms and led me all over the place until we finally arrived at a place called Ginza Shopping District.
It looked as iconic as Times Square in New York. The area was overflowing with people and stalls. It was lined by exclusive shops and imposing palatial stores. What attracted my attention more was the tea and coffee shops around here.
"You wanna go in, right?"
With an obvious smile, she said and I nodded.
We ordered the original pour-over coffee “Antique Blend Coffee” which was blended with 4 species of coffee beans produced in South America including Brazil and Costa Rica. It tasted light and a little sour.
"Sitting in a coffee shop and watching the world rush sure feels great."
I said slumping comfortably on my seat.
We then went to watch the Kabuki dance performance in a nearby theatre. The woman in traditional Japanese clothing and ornaments dancing gracefully was so amazing that we couldn't take our eyes off. The women were so beautiful, more than a model in a raunchy bikini.
Then we went to a store just beside the theatre where we could try different dresses for free in exchange for allowing our photos to be displayed in their store.
Quite a convenient store, eh?
When it came to dresses, Lena was a fanatic so no wonder she was squealing happily about the prospect of getting to wear all kinds of dresses.
First, she wore a maid uniform then it was a Chinese dress which I had seen many sorcery women wear, that revealed the legs fully.
"Sam, wear this!"
She came to me with a set of clothes in her hands and with eyes sparkling which I couldn't bring myself to say no to.
I went to the boys changing area and Lena also went to try another dress.
"It's quite difficult to wear..."
While I was having a hard time putting this on, I heard the murmurs and cheers of people coming from the outside.
When I got out of the changing room, the sight of Lena made my senses go numb.
She was wearing something like a kimono but it was only the top half. I didn't know what that dress was called but I heard a girl squealing and saying that Lena looked good on the Hakama. Combined with a short boot she looked cute and cool at the same time. A perfect combination of the Western and the Japanese style.
While I was busy gazing at Lena's beauty, she turned towards me and widened her eyes. Following her gaze, all the other people who were busy taking pictures of Lena turned towards me.
The store was dead silent for a while.
And all of a sudden, the store burst with an uproar.
Everyone there was screaming something which I couldn't quite make sense of because of the noise. They started clicking pictures and the flashes of light made it unable to keep my eyes open.
Then suddenly, my arm was pulled forcefully and I was pushed towards Lena.
She looked at me and sized me up.
"This suits you, you know. It gives an intellect vibe."
With somewhat bashful eyes, she complimented me.
"T-Thank you. You look good yourself."
"Ehehe. I look good in anything."
While looking at us and obviously clicking pictures the customers there were screaming happily.
"They look so cute together!"
We were used as a model for the store for the next three hours and as payment for that, they framed our pictures.
After that, we went directly to the hotel and immediately collapsed on the bed.