I am loving this place!
(If you read last post, you`ll be pleased to know I worked out how to flush the loo in my hotel room!)
Just coming to the end of a fun packed time in Tokyo en route to New Zealand. Made up for early night the next day with some serious pavement pounding checking out Tokyo`s green spaces. Starting with trip to Ueno Park – beautiful park with shrines, big ponds, and a zoo which I suddenly found myself in. Saw lots of very neat schoolchildren (not exhibits) and giant panda was very popular.
Then to Asakusa and statutory (for me on holiday anyway) water boat trip down to some beautiful gardens at Hama Rikyu. After all the calmness, headed back into some serious city bustle starting with awesome views of the city from the top of the government building followed by the madness that is Shinjuku and Shuibuya – hordes of people, massive and complicated (but generally well signposted) subway stations, but great people watching and general bedazzlement of bright lightsã€‚
Up at 5.30 next morning (yes thatâ€˜s right,ã€€ ME up at 5.30!) and headed for the fish market at Tsukiji. What an amazing place. Humongous fish and all manner of weird and wonderful creatures from the deep. Electric truck thingies coming at you from all directions in totally synchronised chaos. How they don`t have loads of pile ups is beyond me.
Then a great walk along the river, Senso Ji Temple, Hei Jinja Temple, Photography Museum, dinner at Yebisu Garden Place on the 39th floor for more awesome views of the city.
Then off in search of the Kinswomyn bar in the gay district. Stopped and asked a couple of cops for directions and for my trouble got asked lots of questions, to produce my passport and narrowly avoided being subjected to another bag search (cops distracted by `real` crim being escorted by 2 of their fellow officers). Directions were crap too! Fortunately, a very nice man I approached called the bar, got directions and escorted me most of the way there. At the bar I was treated to some friendly banter in halting Japanese/English from the bar woman Sanae and the only other punter. Passed away a nice hour or so over a couple of beers before wending my way back to my bed, completely knackered after another fantastic day. En route, was helped to find my way to the station by a couple of really helpful women going my way.
Will be sorry to leave this fantastic city where virtually everyone I came across was polite, friendly and very helpful. I will definitely make a return visit on next anitpodean trip whenever that is. Still, now the calm of Waiheke Island, Auckland and a different sort of experience awaits…