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Walking in the Rain

storm 57 °F

On our Saturday in Tokyo, we set off from the ship to explore the city with Jane and Doug Kline and a local guide, Satsuki Aono. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with our plans. In a steady cold rain with gusts of strong wind, we slogged our way around a vast garden in what used to be the grounds of the Shogun's Tokyo residence. Beautiful ropes for winter protection still draped delicate shrubs and pines. Hints of spring were evident in the just opening blossoms of plum trees and in an ornamental field of rape. Beyond the moated garden rose the skyscrapers of the Tokyo business district, like much of Tokyo, a contrast of old and new.

We were glad when we could escape the cold at a nearby restaurant. Hot miso soup and tea restored our spirits for an afternoon foray into Tokyo's famous Shibuya crossing, a setting reminiscent of New York's Times Square. When the pedestrian lights turn green, large crowds surge in many directions across the busy intersection.

Throughout the day, our guide conducted us about the city on the highly efficient and highly complicated subway system. We were grateful to take our seats in the action reserved for the elderly and "those with internal disorders."

Satsuki, although scrupulously polite, was disappointed that we elected not to visit "Electric City," an area devoted to display of the latest electrical appliances and digital equipment. This, apparently, is a Japanese favorite place to stroll, checking out washing machines and vacuum cleaners and iPhones.

The Japanese are immensely interested in and fussy about their food. Appearance matters almost as much as taste. Fruits and vegetables are individually wrapped so they can be inspected from all sides before purchase, and any unfortunate item with bruises or bumps is sent off to make juice. We have intriguing photos (which won't upload) of what is available, including cod rolls dyed orange, a spiderlike animal in a tank, huge oysters, sea urchins resting on little papers, and octopus eggs.


Posted by HopeEakins 02:31 Archived in Japan

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I'm both fascinated and exhausted reading the last several entries. Looking forward to the next planet! Love, BA

by Betty Anne Cox

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