Back in Tokyo Again

Back in Tokyo Again

Every place has its beauty and flaws. How we as tourists perceive a place depends on many factors—weather at that moment, the environment, its people, the place we stay (accommodation), where we go (attractions), time of the year, how we feel (mental, physical and/or emotion)—sometimes we come away being either too complimentarily or too critical.

Often, tourists put the exotics into a place especially when they are in a tour group. We were able to sit back and watch the lives of the locals. Using public transportation is the way to observe.

Certain assumptions or myths fell away and some were reinforced. If one goes to a place and keeps looking for photos from travel guide or travel blog or travel show, one will get disappointed very quickly. Authentic travelling isn’t that way.

So here we are back in Tokyo again, ready to experience more of this buzzing metropolis. And we saw Mount Fuji on a clear day (29’C) on our Shinkansen (bullet train) ride from Kyoto. And now it is azalea and spring flowering season. With experience behind us, we do find quiet spots and moments in this megacity. And with fantastic rail network systems, one can get to other nearby towns and cities under 2 hours.

Mt. Fuji seen from the train ride from Kyoto to Tokyo
Bunkyo Azalea Festival at the Nezu Shrine, a 300 year old azalea garden, lasted a month every year in spring
Another photo from the azalea gardens
Amazing riots of colours in the azalea gardens
The statue of Hachiko, in memory of the Akita dog who came to the Shibuya Station daily to wait for his master’s return from work, even for nine years after his master’s death

 

Shibuya scramble crossing, likely the busiest intersection in the world, definitely in Japan and at peak time, over a thousand people scrambling across and yet managing to dodge each other with agility (can’t be said with the foreigners)
Takeshita Street, a pedestrian street where local young people come to shop for little cute things or clothing
A store on Takeshita Street
Harajuku train station was built in 1906; one of the smaller stations in Tokyo
A gate on the way to Meiji Shrine, the largest wooden torii gate in Japan—in a 170 acre park of over 120,000 trees of 365 different species—donated by people from all over Japan when the shrine was established in 1920, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoden
Taken from Sea Candle on Enoshima Island; the coastline of Fujisawa City (Pacific coast)—took about 50 minutes from our hotel by train (and we are in another city)—we love Japan for its efficient rail networks
Zuishimon, a gate entering the hills of Enoshima Island (pop. 100) from the main alley. Enoshima was the 1964 Olympic site for sailing and will be for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games again.
Sky Candle (Lighthouse Observation Tower) on Enoshima Island—60 metres high and 120 metres above sea level; great views of Mt Fuji on a clear day

 

At the Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden
Beautiful display of flowers at Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden
Evening at an alley in Enoshima where the crowds had gone home
The alleys on Enoshima Island have many stairs—lots of ups and downs, great for walking exercise
This stall on the main alley at Enoshima sells all kinds of purse
An alley on Enoshima Island

 

Leaving Enoshima—photo of Mt Fuji from Enoshima Bentsen-bashi (the bridge between Enoshima and Fujisawa)
Cruise ship at Yokohama (Diamond Princess) bounds for Busan, Korea; Yokohama was a day trip for us—take about 45 min train ride to this city, Japan’s second largest city by population
Yokohama waterfront
Yokohama evening scene at Ooka River(at Benten Bridge)
At the Yamashita Rinko Line Promenade —celebrating Yokohama Garden Necklace Festival where flowers are in full bloom at a number of places and streets in Yokohama
Enjoying the seating area at Yamashita Park, about 2,300 roses covering 190 types (free admission) in Yokohama
Roses at Yamashita Park
Other flower varieties in Yamashita Park
Chinatown in Yokohama (started in 1859); we are impressed by the cleanliness and appearance when compared to other Chinatowns. Covered a large area—about 250 shops and restaurants—the largest Chinatown in Asia

 

 

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