Day 15; Roppongi (Tokyo)

After a late night and little sleep. The chances of getting very far from our home base seemed pretty remote. However, with a little digging and a lot of scrambling. I managed to convince Kayuri to join me on a two plus hour train ride that included two transfers. The ride itself was not going to be a pretty one. As the man sitting directly across from me ate, drank, clipped his nails, applied eye drops and picked his nose for most of the trip. Fortunately for us, this was one of one of those occasions when the destination was far better than the journey.

As we arrived Takashi Murakami’s “The 500 Arhats”at Roppongi Tokyo’s Mori Arts Center. We were met with a line that extended far outside the center. A the door a sign welcomed visitors with an intimidating “Expect twenty minute wait on line.” While I’m not sure if the people were there for the Ancient Egypt exhibition or for Murakami’s exhibit. I’m glad we waited it out, because “The 500 Arhats” was incredible. While this is my usual kind of post. Being that I don’t tend to post pictures I took of other peoples work. Both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d highly recommend a visit. Below are a few images and a link to the Tokyo Time Out article that inspired me to go.

http://www.timeout.com/tokyo/art/takashi-murakami-the-500-arhats

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Day 10; (Asakusa) Tokyo

As we headed to Tokyo. I couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious. The combination of an empty  stomach. My Sister-in-Laws taste in music and the fact that I had accidentally walked in on her as she was finishing up her shower were all in clear focus. Somehow those factors would stay with me for what seemed to be a long ride. Fortunately, for me and my wife. A really good meal washed any and all anxiety I may have carried in to the city that day. After an excellent meal at Tiger Gyoza Hall. We headed towards the Asakusa Shrines.  A small, yet highly populated area I fell in love with during my first trip to Japan in 2001.

This was my third trip to Tokyo since we arrived and I promised myself to be a little more open minded about the city than I had been in my two prior posts on the big city. Aa we inched closer to our destination the crowds thickened and I went from dodging passing bicyclists to avoiding collisions with pedestrians. Overall, it was a great day. The shrines were packed and I was both visually and spiritually stimulated. Tomorrow we’ll be heading back to Tokyo to have lunch with one of Kayuri’s closest friends Junko. (June-Ko) She was the head of my wife’s bridal party at our wedding. So it only seems fit that she will be taking us out for lunch and to see Star Wars “The Force Awakens”. Things are getting interesting around here… and elsewhere.

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Day 8; (Shibuya) Tokyo

To be perfectly honest. I am beginning to lose track of the days here. So I’m just going  to pretend no ones looking and go with the flow of what my blog tells me. With Friday being our last day in Hakone. I took advantage of the rain and the fact that it was Christmas day to spend as much time going back and forth between the hot springs and the sauna before packing and heading back down the mountain on the way to our home base in Hayama.

With the threat of a do nothing weekend I bolted for another option in the Shibuya area of Tokyo. and the promise of a couple of extra record stores and the shrines. While I liked the Shibuya area. Everything there seems to be created to satisfy the tastes and influences of Americans. Shop after shop featured apparel with the name New York, Brooklyn and even Harlem. There were times when I felt as if I was strolling down St. Marks Place and others (many, many others) where I felt as if I was in the heart of Times Square. I really can’t complain, considering what an awesome day we had. Maybe I just need to give up on the idea that every big metropolis is unique to the other. On a side note. I can’t go without mentioning the incredible noodles we had at that little back alley hole in the wall. Sh8 (1 of 1)Sh6 (1 of 1)Sh1 (1 of 1)Sh2 (1 of 1)Sh (1 of 1)Sh5 (1 of 1)Sh7 (1 of 1)

Day 4; Tokyo

Toys (1 of 1)Whether you’re in Japan for a day, week, month or year. You’re eventually going to find yourself in Tokyo. With this being my third visit to Japan. I think I’ve been to the city enough times to say, without pause, it is my least favorite part of the country.

Having travelled to many of my own countries bigger cities, as well as ones across Europe. I honestly feel they pretty much offer the same thing. Yes, Tokyo is beautiful and bright, but I can say the same thing about Times Square. Having lived a short few blocks from there for eight plus years. I avoided it like the plague. All comparisons aside, we enjoyed our day exploring the streets,the bus routes and trains. Kayuri insisted I do some crate digging. Even insisting I take a few records home. As for her, she took advantage of some of the discounts and tax free saving at one of the city’s electronics megastore. Not a bad day by any means. I just feel that my best days here will be spent exploring shrines and the rich history of the rural countryside. Below are a few images I took along the way.        楽しむ; 恵まれる

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