Sunday, March 6, 2011

...And wake up in Tokyo

On Friday, we started the day with a tour of the campus. There wasn't much activity in the morning, but it was a beautiful morning and a few trees even had some buds on them. We headed out to a famous market area on the East side of Tokyo and after a delicious lunch of ramen and pork we decided to head to Ueno Park. Like Seattlites, the people of Tokyo like to take advantage of the outdoors and have parks with shrines, gardens and museums. A walk around the lake gave me an even sharper feeling of a kinship between Tokyo and Seattle. Surrounding the lake are homeless men construction scavenged homes, elderly men playing a Japanese strategic game on a musty bench, joggers in the latest trend of running gear, and mothers giving their children much needed fresh air. We then headed to a museum of Asian artistic heritage. My favorite exhibit was the swords and the armor, artistic expressions of the ancient warrior class. To end the evening, we went to check out the electronics fervor in Akihabara. Stores and stores and floors and floors of every conceivable electronic gadget or part.

We woke up early the next day and zipped back to the water in order to catch the fish market in action. I saw enough fish goo and guts to make me think I would never eat another fish; but that was until I tasted the sushi. Calvin wasn't kidding when he told me that it is much better fresh from the Tokyo fish market. We then headed to Shibuya, a shopping district, where I got to see the energy for shopping that I have only witnessed on Christmas Eve and Black Fridays. Lights, music, piled merchandise all cater to the many patrons of these huge stores. We sought sanctuary from the buzz of the city in a lush walk to a temple in a green forest. We ended the day checking out the radiant and vibrant colors of the Shinjuku streets.

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