9/20/2013

Day 1: Around Tokyo Station (an abbreviated look)

To help get myself acclimated to being back in Japan and to help get my spoken Japanese back up and running, I intend to be proactive about entering stores and about interacting with the locals. In this spirit, I jumped into a neighborhood cafe for breakfast (as opposed to, say, finding a McDonald's or a more straightforward option).

おいしかったよ。
Too bad I noticed it was okay to smoke in there after I seated myself. Fortunately, there wasn't much smoke drifting about, even when an older lady sat beside me and started to puff a bit, to my consternation.

I spent the entire day walking in the Tokyo Station area. I'd never seen this side of the station before, I think:

That's one stylish station.

First, I stumbled upon a (new?) fountain park in the area:


Then over to the grounds around the imperial palace, which I last toured with my mother back in 2007. There's a lot of new construction in the area--something that will likely ramp up with the 2020 Olympics coming here.



Then I walked to a nearby park, bought a drink, and sat on a bench for a while. It was hotter than I'd expected...

After that, I chose a random direction to walk in in the business district. I just love how easy it is to get around in Tokyo. I can go anywhere and not even need to worry about getting too lost or anything like that. (An iPad application called 乗換ナビ helps a lot too.) Having a bike would have been nice, though, as my ankles really started to hurt by the end of the day (no doubt in part thanks to my backpack).


 

During this point, I stopped at a nice-looking cafe inside one of the buildings for a quick bite to eat. (I'll be honest: entering random eateries is still something I'm not very comfortable with due to my lack of understanding of Japanese cuisine, so I waffled around in front of the cafe for a bit first.)



After returning to the area of Tokyo Station, I found a nice lookout point nearby.


I realized around this point that I hadn't seen the new Sky Tree yet all day. (How could I miss that?) So, in the spirit of being proactive, I asked a nearby gentleman in which direction it was located and he proceeded to tell me not only that (of course, it was being blocked by some buildings) but also the buildings, in some detail, from which I could get the best views of it. It was quite kind of him. Some day soon, I should go check out that view.

After this, I headed home and conked out way too early.

There are still a lot of little things and minor interactions that I'm skipping over that colored the experience too, but the point is that it was a great first day back. It felt good to jump right in there.

2 comments

BlueSkyInTX said...

楽しんでるね!早く会いたいな~!

ジョン said...

また連絡します!