The day we went to visit 47 samurai

Trip Start Jul 23, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The 10th is here! Yesterday we decided to look into going to Kamakura today. We checked the weather report, doesn't look too good. We look outside, it's cloudy and looks like it's about to rain. What to do? We're staying in Tokyo for another day to see some sights we missed.

We make our way to Hamamatsucho and start walking. After about 20 minutes, there's still no sign of the Tokyo Tower. I start to get confused, but there's no reason, seeing as we pass another street and there's Tokyo Tower in all it's glory.

Tokyo Tower is modelled after the Eiffeltower, but this one is actually 9 meters taller than the original (or 16 meters if you don't count the television antenna). It's possible to go all the way up, but seeing as that would set us back 1,500 per person and we had a magnificent view from Sunshine 60 and the Metropolitan Building, we decided not to.

But first, we came across Zojoji Temple. A few of Tokugawa's shoguns have been buried there, and it's quite interesting, because you can see Tokyo Tower from there as well. It gives a nice contrast to the entire temple.

Afterwards, we went to Tokyo Tower, had some icecream and admired the tower from below. I asked some directions to Sengakuji, thinking that it was pretty close by, judging from the subway map I have. No such luck though, it was supposed to be 45 minutes away. :( So we got onto the next subway and made our way to Sengakuji.

Sengakuji is the grave of Lord Asano Takumi-no-Kami Naganori, a young daimyo, and his 47 samurai. The story (true story) goes that Lord Asano was insulted inside Edo Castle multiple times. He then reached for his dagger to defend his honor and managed to hit Lord Kira (the one insulting him) once on the face. The two were then seperated and Lord Asano was ordered to commit seppuku.

Of Asano's 300 men, 47 samurai remained loyal to him and plotted their avenge against Lord Kira. Their leader, Oishi, ordered them to pretend to be merchants or worksman and learn information about Kira's house. Finally, 3,5 years after the offense, the 47 samurai stormed Lord Kira's manshion, found him, gave him the option to kill himself. Kira begged for his life, so the samurai ended his life. They took his head to their master's grave, then commited seppuku.

It's one of Japan's most celebrated stories because of the loyalty and bushido (way of the warrior).  

We head back to Shibuya to get some okonomiyaki. In the train however, Chris and Brenda announce that they want to go to Ikebukuro, so they won't be joining us for dinner. What a surprise.

The Okonomiyaki we had was amazing, yet again. Mine turned out fine this time too. :P We headed back pretty quickly afterwards, seeing as we had to get up at 4:00 to catch our shinkansen to... Sendai!  
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Will on

Must have been a marvellous day for you, and a lot of variety !

Annelies on

Beautiful day and great pictures. Go on with telling us and shooting awesome ;-)

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