I’m not feeling particularly chatty these days, so I hope these photos will be enough. “Enough” for what, I’m not sure.
I traveled to Japan again in the last few days of March, right before the sakura started to bloom, this time with my family. We managed to find a few beautiful trees that were budding or mid-bloom, so it was alright. We spent the first half, March 21-25, in Tokyo, which is a place none of us have ever been to before. I was hoping to condense the whole Tokyo leg into one post, but before I knew it, my second edit left me with 45 photos for the first two days alone, so I shall divide the posts for the entire trip into parts; hopefully spanning only 4 posts at the most.
I know I haven’t finished uploading the rest of my last trip, but like I said, I’m not feeling particularly chatty, so I have to pick which stories I want to tell first. Hopefully, that’s O.K. with you. This is what I get for being a procrastinator.
The first thing I want to say about Tokyo is that it is tons more complicated than Osaka. I went in feeling confident about general trip things (i.e. how to navigate, what the train system is like, etc.) only to feel deflated about two minutes later. Osaka’s train lines are pretty straightforward whereas Tokyo’s is kind of like a confusing web. Rides are weirdly cheaper, though, but maybe it’s because it’s easier to walk and bike in Osaka, where it’s not as full of people.
We arrived pretty early on in the afternoon on the 21st, but all of the little things we needed from the airport took a while and the train ride from Narita airport is about an hour or so. We stayed at the Tsukiji area, famed for their sushi and fish market. (Our room was perfectly fishy-free, thank you.) The great thing about this is that it was effortless to venture into the Tsukiji Outer Market and the actual Tsukiji Market, since we just had to go down an elevator and walk. The annoying thing about this is that since the area is busy so early in the morning, everything kind of dies down pretty early in the night.
On our second-technically-first-full day, we went to the Roppongi area, where the Mori Art Museum was. Andy Warhol had a sort of retrospective up, and truthfully, it made me really appreciate him as an artist. I’ve never been particularly drawn to his stuff, but now that I have a better idea of his process and, I guess, vision, it made me really like his work a lot more. Bonus: There were a couple of Basquiat collaborations. We weren’t allowed to take photos, though, which will be a trend for the rest of Japan. No photos allowed anywhere except on the street.
Lunch was at Ippudo Ramen, with Beng’s friend from college, Steph, who has been working in Tokyo since 2012. I was reunited with my lady love, a bowl of Akamaru Special. We walked around the Roppongi area for the rest of the afternoon and saw puppies, a Japanese cake store!, a yakitori stand (which was reportedly good, according to my dad and brother), and a few shops that I ducked my head into. There was also an abundance of beautiful houses.
We ended up in Ginza, which happened to be just a short walk from our hotel. Looking back at these photographs, I see a quieter side of Tokyo, and it’s kind of amazing how quickly I forgot about this part of the trip after the overwhelming day/s in Tokyo that followed.
Originally posted April 2014.
Original URL: http://nothingspaces.com/blog/2014/04/tokyo-briefly-part-i/