A Friday in Tokyo

Last Friday, I had to go to Tokyo because I needed a new passport. And since you’re not taking a 4-hour train trip to do something that takes only 30 minutes, I met up with a friend after the paperwork was done.

Together, we went to the Nezu Museum, where we had lunch and enjoyed their current special exhibition about patterns on textiles and other daily items. It is built on the place of the private residence of Nezu Kaichiro, an industrialist of the Edo/Meiji period who owned a railroad. On a visit abroad he came across the idea of opening a museum, and his extensive collection of art was made public after his death.

More than the exhibition, I enjoyed the museum garden, even though it is quite gray and barren in winter. It’s a Japanese garden on 17,000 m2 and is home to 4 tea houses. It is on the side of a hill, and almost looks like a quiet valley where just a few neighbors live peacefully together. There are stone sculptures strewn throughout, and Buddha statues can be found there as well. I didn’t bring my camera, so this lovely image is courtesy of my friend.

Living in Kyoto, which is essentially flat, it always surprises me how hilly Tokyo really is. And yet, there are brave people on bicycles (okay: ebikes) scaling the hills. No wonder the Japanese are all so fit – so much walking everywhere…

And that’s exactly what my friend and I did after the Nezu Museum: Walking along Omote Sando and then further to Harajuku. It was nice to see people on the street, even though it wasn’t super busy – Omikron has hit Japan pretty hard. Omote Sando is more chic with lots of big international brands, but we also passed through Takeshita street with its quirky shops for youngsters, now this is truly Japanese style!

I took a relatively early (and empty) Shinkansen home, and Pumpkin was happy to see me again (I think). There’s only one thing that could have made my trip any better, but even though I started out in Kyoto with clear skies, Fuji-san once again didn’t reveal himself to me…