After an impressive four cups of tea at Jonathan’s this morning (I’m developing a pretty severe addiction to green tea flavored drinks), I felt ampted and ready to navigate the subway system. And with the help of a newly acquired, prepaid Suica card, I could just swipe away and easily go wherever I desired within Tokyo via train or bus. It’s only my second full day, but already the subway map, which looks a bit like a Candyland game-board on acid or a Pride postcard, is beginning to make a lot of sense.
I got off at the Shubuya station to witness and participate in the famous pedestrian crossing, but I wasn’t particularly impressed and didn’t like the big crowds. Then on to neighboring Harajuku known for its youngsters dressed in unique fashion depicting anime characters, Goth girlies and anything bright and extravagant. I forgot these teenagers have to go to school, so the street was eerily quiet and disappointingly ordinary. I looked for Gwen Stefani too and her girl gang, but she wasn’t around either, so I was left with little choice but to eat some sushi!
I decided that I had to partake in conveyor belt sushi at least once in this fine city, but I think I made a bad decision in a rather touristy and chichi section of town on the gingko-lined Omotesando boulevard. The little containers of powdered green teas and personal hot water spigot at the bar impressed me the most, and I did enjoy watching all the colorful little plates roll by enticing and flirting with hungry diners.
After lunch, I decided to ditch the guidebook and wander by foot. Turns out I discovered lots of great little neighborhoods and non-touristy sections of town.
Some of the architecture was extraordinary.
And I loved the mix of old and new, small and big, country and city in some of these smaller less-trodden blocks.
Persimmon season is my absolute favorite. Turns out I also love orange.
These hanging hachiya persimmons reminded me of similar drying endeavors by my pals Trilby and Zack, although I’ve never seen it done outside like this.
These lily pads for sale outside a small hardware store made me smile.
You can take the elevator up to the 39th floor in the Yebisu Tower in Ebisu for a great view of the city, especially at sunset.
Doggy beauty parlors are big in Tokyo, and that little black poodle was about as cute as ever, and significantly less furry based on the floor coverings!
My evening ended with a stroll around the hipster Nakemeguro neighborhood with loads of adorable specialty shops, cafes and restaurants.