Hello again, everyone!! It’s Monday afternoon here in Tokyo and you guessed it… I’m still in love with this place. 🙂 I can’t believe we are leaving in just a few days!! I told Erik that somehow, this place feels like “home” to me, even if it is still so new and foreign. I can easily picture myself living here, which is rare since I am a soCal girl through and through. I wonder if life’s path will bring me back to Tokyo again soon…
In the meanwhile, we have continued to explore Tokyo at a feverish pace. I am astonished at how much ground we’ve covered in the week + change we’ve been here. Here are some silly “Tokyo-isms” I’ve witnessed in my jaunts around town:
- It doesn’t matter how cold it is or how much it rains, Japanese girls are going to wear precarious heels, everywhere.
- They are also impervious to the cold and can wear heels with bare legs and not so much as bat an eye… while I wear layer upon layer of winter clothing at night and shiver to the bone!
- At restaurants, you almost always need to take your bill up to the counter and pay on your way out.
- Everything is cute here… including construction signs (shaped like little animals) and public service posters (featuring cartoons).
- Tokyo is not for the claustrophobic. From Shibuya crossing at night, to Shinjuku station in the a.m., to a Van Gogh exhibit at the National Art Center… crowds are de rigeur and you get over your “personal space” issues quickly here.
- Mt. Fuji is invisible for most of the year. One Japanese man joked with us saying there are only 3 days a year that it is truly visible in all its splendor. We were VERY lucky to catch a glimpse of her a few days ago while on the JR Train near Tokyo Bay.
I’m sure there are many more tidbits I’ll share with you later! For now, here is another dose of photos from our journeys. 🙂
Five-story pagoda at Senso-ji in Asakusa
A candid of me in front of the aforementioned Zest Premium Burger in Tokyo Dome City.
The striking facade of the National Art Center in Roppongi. We spent a morning here, visiting the special Van Gogh exhibition. Most of the pieces came from the Van Gogh Museum, and I was especially excited to see a piece by my mother’s favorite artist (not VG).
Oishii!! Delicious tebasaki (chicken wings) at Yamachan in Akihabara.
Shibuya crossing at night — a surreal Tokyo experience. We sat at this Starbucks overlooking the crossing for half an hour, just watching the swarming throngs. Incredible.
Us right in the middle of Shibuya crossing
Some tranquil snaps of Shinjuku Gyoen, which was once an imperial retreat. Looove all the autumn foliage!
We spent Sunday morning riding bikes around the Imperial Palace.. a nice 3.5 mile ride. I would guesstimate it was the first time I rode a bike in over 12 years. Lucky for me, the old saying is true. This was truly one of the most unique + special things we have done so far.
It’s a “Where’s Waldo” moment! Spot me (in an unflattering candid pose, of course) amidst the crowds at Nakamise-dori in Asakusa? LOVE this shopping street with stalls selling everything from kokeshi to kimono, fresh sembei (rice crackers) to takoyaki (octopus ball) and age manju (deep fried red bean buns).
The view of the Sumida Gawa (in the background — the “golden poo” on top of the Asahi building LOL and a in-construction tower that will be one of the tallest in the world).