Monday, January 05, 2009

In Japan - Back in Tokyo

"A Japan Railway Group employee stands guard on the Yamanote Line at Shibuya Station, Jan. 2, 2009. The Yamanote line runs a circle around Tokyo and connects to it's major stations."

One thing I'll miss about Japan is the ease and convenience of traveling by train. Whether it's up and down the main island of Honshu or in a circle around Tokyo. There is nothing quicker, timely and efficient as these trains and subways.

Being back in Tokyo, using the Yamanote Line is by far the best way to get to each major hub of the city. Making a complete circle, it's impossible to get lost or redirected to another train and it takes about one-hour to make a full loop.

Although there are many other railway lines and subways that can seem complicated and sophisticated, they are not as nearly as hard to figure out with the help of English subtitles under the Japanese characters.

Aside from the ease of travel, yesterday we used something other than trains to get around - our feet.

The only down side (other than feeling exhausted after eight-hours or more of walking) of Sunday was not being able to see anything we wanted to see.

First, the Tsukiji fish market, which some call the the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. I wanted to visit last trip, but it was closed for the holidays. Well, although it wasn't a holiday this year, it was now closed again due to all tourists being prohibited. Apparently, bad behavior among visitors prompted the Japanese Government to ban non-workers during their most busy time of the year. Dang!

So instead, we started off going to Harajuku where apparently every Sunday teenagers dress up as their favorite animae and manga characters and then dance and do other things. In basic terms, they wear wild costumes.

But we only saw one or two and they seemed to be packing up. I think we missed it.

We also wanted to see a real sumo wrestling match in Tokyo, but again, each month they have a 15-day tournament, and well, this month's doesn't start until next week.

To fill all out voids, we went shopping and browsing a couple other areas of Tokyo for a couple hours. We saw pretty much everything from the high end, Manhattan type stores to the little, funky boutiques. In addition, we hit up electric city, which hosts and sells just about anything and everything electronic. From wires, cables and toys, to cameras, televisions and crazy lighting. They have it here.

Well, we are running a little late out of the door this morning. It's about 9:30 a.m., local on Monday.

Only two more days!

1 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

I would love to visit Japan... seeing Harajuku would be one thing I would want to see. I recall a news special about it and I think it would be all I could to do to photograph them in dress.

In any case, I hope you took enough memory for all the photos.

Monday, January 05, 2009 7:48:00 AM  

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