TOKYO Released from the Metro, with a damp heat and the sun beating down came straight to the head, while walking through the streets of Ningiyocho. Gasping, we tried to interpret the map of the area with the help of my elementary japanese and those few clear directions in English. We had just arrived in Tokyo and despite the awful heat we were walking distance from our hotel and from falling madly in love with Japan.
After the long journey we choose as a first step: Akihabara, a mecca for real Geek and Otaku and later we visit the famous Tokyo Tower which at night lights up like the Eiffel Tower. At its feet we feel small and powerless, but to see it better need to get to Roppongi shopping district with cinemas, restaurants and art galleries, from which it is possible to observe Tokyo in all its glittering glory.
The next day we start with Shibuya, passing by Harajuku andOmotesando. The shops are expanding like wildfire. Then suddenly we are just a short walk from the park in which stands the Buddhist shrine Meiji Jingu, a green and spiritual oasis to shy away from the busy city and the afternoon heat. The vegetation has vivid colors and looks immaculate for centuries. We eat delicious sobu with vegetables for lunch and start again ahead to Shibuya. Right there stunned witness to the famous “scrambled crossing” – a large intersection where a crowd of people clashes into each-others to cross from one side to another of the sidewalk.
We look around in search of food and that’s how we discover that the restaurants are located beneath the skyscrapers or the opposite top. They all showcasing the typical dishes through photographs or plausible models in resin. On the evening we visit the Imperial Park in Tokyo. The sun lights through the branches of the trees along with the elegant walls and a stagnant pond lining the imperial palace, which unfortunately is inaccessible. A short distance away is there the National Museum of Modern Art. Besides the beauty of the works that range from Japanese artists and occidental masters of art, we’ll notice the curious captions of works – often analyzed for their commercial value.
Just wake up in the morning after we head to Tsukiji: the sun gave way to clouds and the fish market is in great turmoil. The smells of the typical cuisine waft through the air, and we let ourselves be guided by it to discover the many spots where fish is sold in any format, along with typical objects and Japanese knickknacks. After such a long pilgrimage in style, comes the moment of culture, and so we cross the green and peaceful Ueno Park to arrive at the Tokyo National Museum in which are kept as treasures Asians valuable prints, antique kimonos and historical artifacts from various eras. In their essential features and stylish prints you recognize the culture that underlies Manga drawings and all this certainly fills our eyes of beauty and enthusiasm.
Stroll in Ueno Park in total relaxation while lifting a gust of wind that sweeps away moisture, brings me back to those summer afternoons spent reading the stories told by Banana Yoshimoto. Apparently the silences, in Japan, is interrupted only by the noise of passing trains on time, the cawing of gigantic blacks crows scattered throughout the city and the pleasant musical litany of cicadas…
NEXT STOP > NIKKO