Last Saturday I woke up at the crack of noon and headed to Tokyo to see the sights for a bit. I stopped at Harajuku first and spent a few hours wandering through Meiji shrine and Shinjuku Goen. The scale of these parks is incredible when you consider the city that surrounds them. Walking around Meiji I felt transported back to the old forests of Virginia when I was a kid. I’m not sure if it is intentional or not, but Japan has spaces of near silence even in the busiest of places. It could just be that I have learned to tune out the hustle and bustle at times, but whether in my hometown of Tsurumi or the wild city of Tokyo, a place where you can take a moment and breathe is never far off.
Before meeting up with a friend I stumbled into a lively Vietnamese festival near Yoyogi. Naturally I couldn’t resist a bit of Bahn Mi. There were several dance groups and musicians performing at the festival as well. Though I didn’t stay long I managed to get some decent footage of a band featuring a t’rung, which is a sort of xylophone.
Leaving the festival I met up with a friend in Koenji, which from what I could tell is a used clothing mecca. There were tons of off the wall shops and cafes dotting the area and it was a great place to just walk around and relax. Clothing I might add, is quite expensive in Japan. A used shirt often runs over $20 for a tee for example. Don’t get me started on buying/finding shoes in a U.S. size 12.
We moved onto Shibuya afterwards and met up with the rest of the crew to go to a Japanese nightclub. Unfortunately, the club had shut down and the other clubs in the area closed at midnight for unfathomable reasons. The night wasn’t a loss though, as exploring the Japanese red-light district is a pretty great adventure unto itself. There is certainly something for everyone there who is willing to pay for it. Seedy backalleys and cheap curry later we all headed home. Expect more about Tokyo soon!