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28 July 2008 @ 03:56 pm
Ow, my feet  
I probably should have bought those sandals more than the day before I left. That way, my feet would hurt less after spending five hours walking around in them.

After looking at maps for a while, I realized I was as ready as I was ever going to be and headed out for Shinjuku Station, Tokyo's busiest train/subway station (though I waited until 10 a.m. to make sure that I'd miss the rush hour crowd--that's also why I didn't stay out later), spent 15 minutes watching people use the ticket machines while I tried to figure out how they worked, and then bought a ticket--which took all of 10 seconds -_-. I then proceeded to get on the wrong train, but fortunately the Yamanote line runs in a big circle, so the only problem is that it took an extra 10 minutes to get to Ueno Kouen (park).

When I got out of Ueno station, the first thing I noticed was the humidity. The second was the noise in the park--ever seen any of those anime that show a scene of the sky hazy with heat and then have cicadas buzzing or birds cawing to indicate it's summer? It was exactly like that, including the birds and cicadas.

Ueno Kouen has the highest concentration of museums in Tokyo, but unfortunately the big ones are closed on Mondays. T_T I still managed to find a bunch of neat stuff--the statue of Saigō Takamori, one of the most influential samurai of the Meiji Restoration; Tōshō-gū, a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate; and the Ueno Imperial Museum, which had a ton of wall scrolls and no English documentation whatsoever. I did manage to use my Japanese a bit, though--I went to sign in at the signing booth and wrote my name out in katakana ("ブライアンピット") with the calligraphy brush they gave me, after a bit of prompting when I forgot how to write ピ. I was planning on ordering lunch in Japanese at the restaurant I went to, but they sent the English-speaker waitress to take my order so I didn't get a chance. :-p

Also, you know you're in Japan when even the museum restaurant has a guy in a suit showing people to their seats.

After I left the park, I took the train back a couple stops to Akihabara to look around a bit. I didn't go far, because it looked really easy to get lost and I didn't actually want to buy anything anyway, but I did manage to find a gift for softlykarou--a pink shirt with 萌, the kanji for "moe" on it. ^_^ I also walked a bunch of maid cosplayers selling things or advertising for something, but I spent enough already wandering around.

Then I came home, because my feet were killing me and I was hot and sticky and gross.
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: SMAP - Dynamite (011 Su) (k a w a i i - r a d i o | sr1 http://kawaii-radio.net)
Jnytesenvy on July 28th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
i have totally had a dream about getting lost in the tokyo public transit system. you were there, walgren was there, scott was there. i have no idea why we were in tokyo but we got totally lost and i had a panic attack T_T

but hey, at least your real life trial and error was a whole lot less dramatic than my silly dream ^_^

glad to hear you're having a good time! :)
Joshdesh on July 28th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
Sorry I haven't commented lately...congrats on the move! I can't wait to keep hearing more about Japan.