Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tokyo

(Where's Waldo / Oregon report to follow!)

It's great being back in Japan after so many years... I lived here for 3 years about ten years ago (1998-2001), in a city called Toyama on the west coast (Sea of Japan). During that time I made several trips to Tokyo so had gotten to know the place quite well. Then I was back here for two short visits in the summer of 2004. And now, after a few days here, it certainly doesn't feel like it's been that long... I had forgotten how much I love this town...


So this is the kanji for Tokyo:

This is a new building that wasn't here in 04 and proved to be a good landmark on my run this morning...

Because even though the signs are in English and I can read some Japanese, I still didn't have a clue where I was going...

And it was early - though I'd been awake since 3:30AM...

I ended up at the Meiji Shrine - where, upon instruction from the guard, I had to walk not run...

That was cool - it's the kind of place where you want to be peaceful...

First stop is to wash your hands...

And then you can enter...

And read something about the shrine that was established in 1920 in honor of the Meiji Emperor...

The entrace to the main hall...

You wouldn't want this door to close in your face...

Beautiful woodwork...

Prayers...

Wine?

Apparently so...

Then it was off to Yoyogi-Koen where I used to hang out every visit to Tokyo - though I was not a runner at the time so I was seeing it from a different perspective this morning...

There were lots of runners about...

And a few dogs - the big ones get a break from the little ones...

And everywhere, vending machines...

But more importantly there were some trails...

Which apparently one is not meant to run on...

(the above kanji means "stop"!)

Nobody does graffiti like the Japanese...

And then, on my way back to the hotel I was running along and looked up to see the good old conical flask symbol which brought back memories - this is the HQ of my old company that I worked for in Toyama...


6 comments:

SteveQ said...

I wonder who the architect of that new building was - interesting design! - though the Meiji shrine is more my style (just reread Yukio Mishima's "Temple of the Golden Pavillion," which is as close to Japan as I'm going to get for a while).

Somehow, I was expecting you to find the Tendai "marathon monks" on your run, even if they are 200km away.

Scott said...

One of my all time favorite runs was a 14 mile run around various Tokyo neighborhoods. It was quite an adventure as I can't read anything and barely speak Japanese. I have been meaning to write a post about that run for awhile now, need to do that. Have fun!

sea legs girl said...

It looks so beautiful and peaceful. Thanks for sharing all of this! And now I know there is a language called Kanji :) (I really shouldn't admit my ignorance as often as I do). And now I want to go running in Tokyo! Enjoy!

SteveQ said...

SLG: Kanji is the ideographic alphabet of Japanese, not a language.

Beth said...

Thanks for the beautiful tour! It looks like a wonderful place to live and visit. Nice that you feel so comfortable there. Have a wonderful trip!

Yoga Teacher Training said...

These are wonderful photos! Your quite lucky to have gone their during cherry blossom time! My guess is what was in those barrels was sake.

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