Sunday, February 13, 2005

Tokyo! Wow!

I have some very tired feet tonight, but my head is buzzing with all the sites of the day. I have spent the whole day on and off trains, and getting around to some of the many sights here in Tokyo.

In many ways, it reminds me of walking around New York City...studying the subways and must-see spots, and deciding on a direction and train to get on. Then emerging on the street, and wandering in the general direction of the intended location, although with many interesting and eye-catching stops and detours along the way. It`s actually a lot easier that I had thought it would be. Although I am prepared to get very lost!

Headed off for the Tsukiji Fish Market this morning, and actually made it around the lunchtime rush, with the locals lining up at the various food places. The fish market was actually a lot like those you see in Phnom Penh actually, without the flies!!

Wandered around and about Ginza, down the main streets with the hustle and bustle.

After another train configuration, I walked over to the Zojoji Temple, which is towered over by the Tokyo Tower. Does that Tower remind anyone else of somewhere else??!! The Temple was the first I have visited here, and I was fascinated. I watched as a group were lead by a green robed monk into prayer in the side temple, and viewed a family put up their paper prayer messages. Also saw the amazing stone statues of Jizo, which are all around the temple walls. (More photos.)

Navigating the different Metro Lines again, I managed to locate the Nakameguro River and Aobadai area, as described in the Qantas mag I read earlier this year (all things had pointed to Tokyo!!). Very funky and hip, wondering in and around the little one-way streets along the river, there were lots of cute and very cool hole-in-the-wall shops - like Jumping Jap Flash shown here. After walking into many too cool, and expensive, boutiques, I sat for coffee in a very funky Giggle Cafe (that`s what it was called) with all the cool Tokyoites! Awesome!

Now dark, I decided to take in some neon in the Shinjuku area. I wandered along the Shinjuku Southern Terrace, which was alight with fairy lights, and then found myself in the dazzling Takashimaya Times Square. Prada and Fendi for drooling, Digital World, and the bustling department stores.

Weary and hungry, I decided to head back to the area of my ryokan and choose one of the traditional Japanese places on the way from the station for dinner. Thick noodles and veggie soup, mmmmm!

Will brave the Lady`s Public Bath for a soak, and then rest up for another day!

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