Friday, May 20, 2011

Tokyo Day 1 (second half): Imperial Gardens and mall

...I lugged my suitcase onto the train and sat in a corner (which probably wasn’t the best thing to do, considering the number of people that later got on), nearly missed my stop but rushed out just in time. They play happy music to tell you how long the doors will be open for – I guess it gets a bit annoying after a while.

After an iced tea and a muffin I had to ask for scissors to get out of its packaging, I shoved my suitcase in a locker and wandered out of the station with no real direction in mind. Within ten minutes I had avoided a camera crew, gone into a bamboo shop and been presented with a free pen and small chipmunk toy, and bought a dangly phone thing. I hurried back to the station, scared that if I went into any more shops my supply of money would rapidly decline along with the space in my suitcase.

I took a train into Tokyo Station and walked the streets. It’s incredibly quiet for a city, with no buzzers or songs for the lights, just the low hum of traffic. At one point I heard a bird chirping, but it may have been a traffic signal. I walked around the walls of the Imperial Palace for a while taking pictures, and then ventured into the East Gardens of the Palace. Amazing old walls and guard houses and beautiful trees. I bought the most highly-packaged ice-cream I have ever seen (which was actually quite good) and went in search of a department store near Tokyo Station.

I found Daimaru (I think...), which is absolutely gigantic and has the entire ground floor devoted to specialty food items: the largest array of incredibly coloured and presented food I’ve ever seen. I took the escalators up and up and up and found the kimono department, and the sparkly stickers-on-things department, and the beautiful boxes department. One of the boxes was made of paua.

I met my friend Circus Girl at the station where I’d left my suitcase, and we hauled my bags down little alleys to her house. The entire suburb seems to be made of little alleys. We went to dinner at a restaurant near the station, and ordered karaage chicken, Caesar salad, tofu and shrimp rolls, red beans and green tea ice-cream. They also came out with free appetisers in little dishes, which were very nice.


  1. Hey,
    I've got holidays 2-13 June.
    Where you going to be, and there room for another ? :p

  2. Hello Arty Aunty!

    Claire: I have absolutely no idea, apart from probably London. I will keep you updated. Depending on where I am, there should be room for another :)


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