Yesterday we visited Totoro's Forest, which is located between Tokyo and Saitama about 2 hours away. We decided to get up really early (4:30am) and catch the first trains to try to get past Tokyo before morning rush hour.
Unfortunately our plan failed, and I got a first hand experience at what sardines must feel like. I cannot believe that millions of people put up with this every day! Luckily the sardine experience only lasted about 20 minutes, and after that we were able to get seats. The last train was the best, in which we got the entire carriage to ourselves.
There were tea plantations everywhere.
And signs I couldn't read.
And really long walkways to climb up.
And beautiful paths to walk along.
And small farms.
And more tea plantations.
And a temple.
And a lake (although not technically in the forest).
We also encountered, in no particular order: giant mosquitoes (which we squished), killer hornets (which we promptly ran away from), a frog in a hole (which we talked to), a funny dog (which we smiled at), swooping birds on the lake (which we composed haikus about) and all sorts of other interesting things.
We came back home and fell asleep.