Monday, January 12, 2009

Tokyo Walking

I walked aprox. 10,000 paces on Sunday and 16,000 paces on Monday. I know this because my childhood friend Mizuki has a cellphone that keeps track of such things, and we spent the last two days walking around Tokyo.

I put together Sunday's itinerary. It was full day of sightseeing:

10am: Sengakuji temple and museum
-This is where the 47 ronin washed off Kira's decapitated head and where they were subsequently buried after committing seppuku. We saw the spring where they washed Kira's head, their graves, the "blood stone", a tree planted by one of their wives (300 years ago), and a museum of artifacts relating to the incident.

11am: Happoen garden
-An Edo-era strolling garden that is also a popular place for weddings.

Noon: Salvatore Pizza
-Supposedly Tokyo's best Neapolitan-style pizza. (The tomato sauce was overly sweet.) At this point, a friend of Mizuki's from photography class met up with us. Unbelievably, her friend turns out to be friends with my friend Tara from college.

2pm: Meguro Parasite Museum
-I'll have to do a special post just on this gem of a museum.

3:30pm: Tokyo Metropolitan Photography Museum
-We saw a great exhibit of photographs by the Japanese landscape photographer Shibata Toshio. They were amazing. Thematically, they were all about nature being constrained or contained. He's somehow managed to explore this theme for 25+ years without being boring or too repetitive. I don't know how that's possible, but it is.

4:30pm: Ebisu Beer Museum
-Not a very impressive museum but we got to taste a bunch of varieties of Ebisu beer. I liked their White Beer the best.

6pm: Dinner and drinks in Daikanyama
-We went to a Mexican restaurant, which is pretty exotic in Japan. It wasn't very good. I know it's a cliche for Americans to be amazed by portion sizes in Japan, but when we ordered chips and guacamole they brought us six chips: two chips each. We also tried their "beer margaritas": margarita mix and beer with salt on the rim of the glass. Not recommended. But it was fun to see what a Mexican restaurant in Japan is like.

I've got to go have lunch at Keio University now, but I'll post more later.


nate said...

I'm jealous!

Charles P. Everitt said...

I forgot to mention one thing about the ronin museum: when they chopped off Kira's head, his people gave them a receipt for it! The receipt for his head is on display in the museum.