Scenes from Tokyo after a tremendous trip

The Mariners and their traveling party arrived back in Peoria today about noon, weary but wiser for their seven-day journey to Japan.

While the main focus certainly was the Opening Series against the A’s, this trip was about more than baseball. I know I certainly learned a lot and experienced a ton of new things. It’s always good to see different cultures and ways of life and Tokyo was a treasure.

Before we say sayonara and return to normal programming, just want to share a few of the sights and scenes I observed over the past week.

Tokyo is a tremendously modern city, but you can find some traditional sights like this rickshaw driver in the Asakusa area.

One thing you quickly notice in Tokyo is the vending machines. They’re everywhere. And you can buy practically everything from these machines, including Sapporo beer.

Here’s the view of the Tokyo waterfront. It’s a modern city with some beautiful towers.

The Sensōji temple in Asakusa was a tremendously colorful and interesting area, with the Buddist temple originally built in the year 645. There’s a lively market and a prayer area that has

Even if you don’t speak Japanese, ordering food in restaurants isn’t a problem. Not only do the menus have pictures to point at, many restaurants display samples out front like the one below so you know exactly what you’re getting.

The other thing you can’t help noticing in Tokyo is how clean everything is. You don’t see any trash anywhere. The sidewalks are spotless. Yet at the same time its very hard to find a garbage can. Amazing. And as you’ll see below, about a quarter of the residents wear masks when they walk around in an attempt to control the spread of germs.

Finally, yes, this would be me with some Buddist buddies in Asakusa when 710 ESPN reporter Shannon Drayer was nice enough to snap my pic after we ventured out on the subway and toured the Sesoji Temple.

Japan is definitely a beautiful country and interesting culture, one that I was glad to experience. And, now, I’m glad to be back home.

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