Made sure to get out the door early enough to not miss the morning subway rush hour white glove shove into the train treatment.
These two pics are not mine but are at my station, Shinjuku and are pretty much what I saw this morning, somehow I got lucky and got on a train after only waiting through 3-4.
40 minutes on the train and made it to Ueno Park, when you see pictures of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo it’s usually a pic of Ueno Park. Gorgeous huge park full of half a dozen museums and a zoo and science centre and aquarium.
First stop was the Tokyo National Museum, very cool audio guide, you pick your areas of interest and it gives you options for different audio programs you might like, loved this, it boils down a museum that could take all day to 45-60 minutes of things you are probably into.
The pic below is the oldest piece of pottery found in Japan, dating to around 14,000BC.
A whole room of amazing masks, these are only displayed once a year.
This metal flask is the piece I went to the National Gallery to see, it is mentioned in one of my Silk Road books because it is a Japanese flask based on a Persian design with a Chinese dragon stopper and etchings telling the Greek myth of Pegasus, fusion! It is on the Japanese list of national treasures.
I always say how happy I am in a crowd, I love being lost in the mayhem but man, Tokyo is like nothing I have experienced, more than Mexico City and much more than New York. I had to eventually give up on visiting the Tokyo Met and the Science Centre as I couldn’t even get near the buildings or figure out where the end of the lines were.
I didn’t want to miss the Tokyo Museum of Western Art and was willing to wait in line for it. Interesting how you could tell which paintings were touching people based on where the crowds were gathering. Nice Picassos and Renoirs and Cezannes and over a dozen wonderful Monets, big highlight.
Who is this guy and why does he keep following me, saw him in Montreal and in NYC and in Prague.
After the park I ventured down into one of the big subway stations for the first time, christmas morning for me, it’s more like an underground airport than a subway station, the scale is hard to grasp. Realized I was starving but literally every restaurant has a line and I am hungry now. I had read about the restaurant lineups but wasn’t really expecting it, feeding 40,000,000 I guess.
Eventually found a Japanese curry stall in the subway and got some drooly drool chicken curry.
These little, single shot cans of iced coffee are in every vending machine every 20 feet, $1 and really addictive, may not sleep tonight.
Spent the rest of the day just walking around different neighborhoods, should have taken more pics but it’s hot here and I’m a bit worn out, the level of input here is kind of staggering.
Walking around Harajuku, 2pm on a Friday, rivers of people in all directions.
Japan is the last market that still buys CD’s and DVD’s and the only place that still has Tower Records. This I learned from Colin Hanks. T.Hanks.
Picked a random sushi place (sushi is absolutely not as common here as in Vancouver, just in terms of sushi spots per block) for dinner. Sushi was really good, nothing mind blowing, I usually hate Japanese beer but the local draft in an ice cold glass after the heat and humidity today was pretty bliss.
No idea what this stuff is but it’s “New” and awesomely addictive. Sort of a better, smoother Smirnoff Ice.