Day 4 – Japan

Today was museum day for us in Tokyo. Our local guide, Eva Yagino, does a great job of giving us historical information about what we see as we travel in the bus. Her knowledge about the history of her country is impressive.
First, we went to Edo Tokyo Museum. There are many full size replicas in this museum, and that really helps you to visualize what life was like in the periods covered. She guided us throughout the museum and gave interesting information on many exhibits and then gave us some free time to explore.
Next, we went to Tokyo Nationak Museum. After entering the complex, we had lunch at Yurinoki restaurant. It was really good, and I was able to eat a pretty good number of things in the meal. As always, presentation was lovely and service was excellent. This museum is fabulous. We were given time to explore exhibits of our choosing, and there were many things that I just didn’t have the time to see. I’ve included pictures of some of the things I found most interesting.
Next, we went to the National Museum of Nature and Science. We were given a tour by Tomoko Murotani who talked to us about earthquakes and volcanos in Japan. She used several 3-D displays in the museum to show us what is going on here below the earth’s surface. Wow. The amount of seismic activity and volcanic activity in this country is mind boggling. Suddenly hurricanes don’t seem so horrible. At least we have decent notice that they’re coming. She also showed us early models of seismographs and discussed Japan’s efforts to try to measure and detect underground events. It was fascinating.
When we returned from our museum visits, we had the rest of the evening to go to a restaurant of our choice and relax.

Pavilion where Sumo wrestlers practice and compete

Pavilion where Sumo wrestlers practice and compete

These umbrella holders are common outside of large buildings here. You leave your wet umbrella and take the key tag with you and retrieve it when you leave. Great idea to deal with wet umbrellas!

These umbrella holders are common outside of large buildings here. You leave your wet umbrella and take the key tag with you and retrieve it when you leave. Great idea to deal with wet umbrellas!image

Genealogy chart of Tokugawa shogun family. He had one wife but nearly a dozen "ladies in waiting." Male children that he fathered with any of them were listed in the chart.

Genealogy chart of Tokugawa shogun family. He had one wife but nearly a dozen “ladies in waiting.” Male children that he fathered with any of them were listed in the chart.

Full scale display at Edo Tokyo Museum

Full scale display at Edo Tokyo Museum

Model of a palanquin that was used to carry high ranking people

Model of a palanquin that was used to carry high ranking people

This was carried by one of the firemen at the head of the brigade. It was surprisingly heavy.

This was carried by one of the firemen at the head of the brigade. It was surprisingly heavy.

Full size model of a float used in the Kanda Festival. The person is on the top platform.

Full size model of a float used in the Kanda Festival. The person is on the top platform.

Model of Sukeroku and two attendants. You can't see it well in the picture, but her shoes are blocks of wood almost a foot tall.

Model of Sukeroku and two attendants. You can’t see it well in the picture, but her shoes are blocks of wood almost a foot tall.

Model of a balloon bomb. From November 1944 through April 1945, Japan sent about 9,000 of these trying to cause damage to the U.S. Only about 300 reached the U.S. Six people in Oregon were killed by one. I had never heard of these.

Model of a balloon bomb. From November 1944 through April 1945, Japan sent about 9,000 of these trying to cause damage to the U.S. Only about 300 reached the U.S. Six people in Oregon were killed by one. I had never heard of these.

Yummy dessert at Yurinoki restaurant in the Tokyo Natuonal Museum.

Yummy dessert at Yurinoki restaurant in the Tokyo Natuonal Museum.

Kimonos for children

Kimonos for children

Statue of Buddha, hand signs mean "Don't worry. I will teach you."

Statue of Buddha, hand signs mean “Don’t worry. I will teach you.”

Warrior armour

Warrior armour

posing with the mascot for Tokyo National Museum

posing with the mascot for Tokyo National Museum

Really cool display showing earthquakes in Japan and their distance from the earth's surface.  Bigger balls are more powerful quakes.

Really cool display showing earthquakes in Japan and their distance from the earth’s surface. Bigger balls are more powerful quakes.

Showing seismic activity in Japan in one month. Three plates meet under Japan and that means lots of underground pressure and instability. Also, Japan has 110 active volcanos, or 10% of the number in the world.

Showing seismic activity in Japan in one month. Three plates meet under Japan and that means lots of underground pressure and instability. Also, Japan has 110 active volcanos, or 10% of the number in the world.

a Foucault Pendulum, whose movement is caused by the rotation of the earth

a Foucault Pendulum, whose movement is caused by the rotation of the earth

street scene in Tokyo

street scene in Tokyo

window display of beautiful kimonos in a department store

window display of beautiful kimonos in a department store

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