Life in progress


Tokyo, Japan – Part 3

Remember waaay back in December when I went to Japan? Yeah, I’m finally almost finished writing about it and sharing my pictures. Queen of Procrastination… it’s me.

On my last full day in Tokyo I had plans to meet a friend for dinner. They’d been forecasting rain–100-120mm of it–and that scared me a little. That’s more than we get in an average month here in Ontario. In fact if they forecast more than 30mm in a day we start filling up sand bags and check our canoes for leaks. So it was, on the 16th of December, that I headed out with my umbrella, silently bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t brought water wings or a pool noodle to Japan with me.

I stopped first at a Doutor coffee shop in my local train station for some breakfast. Here’s what I wrote in my notebook:

Kokusaitenjijo Station, ODaiba

Tuna sandwich for breakfast… but the coffee’s good! Actually, so’s the sandwich.

I went everywhere yesterday. First to Shibuya, then Akihabara, then to Shinjuku to meet Kellie. Today I’ve decided to go to Asakusa. It’s raining a little – more to come. I hope, regardless, to go shopping a bit more.

Noted: the trains don’t have whistles. Everyone just obeys the signs.

And.. I’m listening to the theme from Sesame Street on the overhead radio. No shit. It’s hard not to laugh out loud.

Oh thank God that’s over.

“We’ve Only Just Begun…” not the Carpenters.

At least it’s not Earth Wind and Fire belting out Christmas carols.

Coffee’s finished. Time to go.

So with that I boarded a train and went back to Shibuya to meet with Susie, who I missed, then on to Asakusa.

It’s a quaint little district of Tokyo most famous for its Sensou-ji Temple. I walked around for a while in the pouring rain and took some pictures.

From there I went shopping. In Asakusa there are narrow streets, some covered, some not, with vendors down both sides. I wish I’d taken pictures. I managed to finish my Christmas shopping there but I still had some time left before I had to meet my friend, so I went into a Starbucks for a coffee and a drip-dry.

4:50pm – finally made it to Starbucks – looking out the window at the rain coming down. It’s very close to freezing out there – probably about 4 or 5 degrees. I’m in Asakusa waiting to go to Ueno Station to meet Shigeyoshi at 6. I can’t believe this is my last evening here. Did I get what I came for? The 5:36 certainly. The experience – the knowledge that I can still travel alone and be happy and content to do so is invaluable.

Do I want to come back? Definitely. This is such a fascinating country. Yes. But next time I’ll be more prepared. I’ll come back with a plan when I’m rich from the sale of my novel…

Off to meet Shigeyoshi.

…with whom I had a wonderful dinner. We ate in a Japanese restaurant right in the Station and he was kind enough to be patient with me as he watched me struggle with my chopsticks. I ordered a plate with shrimp and something else… when I asked him what the something else was he looked up the translation on his phone – which meant nothing to me. So he went looking for a picture – and showed me one of a sea urchin. I must say it was delicious!

I regret not taking any pictures at our dinner, but you can get to know him yourself by visiting his blog here: which is where I first got to know him myself. His interest is in cars, but he also has some gorgeous pictures of his travels around Japan on his blog.  Please do go and say hi – I owe him for waiting so patiently for me to get to this post!

One more post to go before the reports of my adventures come to a close…