Sunday, July 31, 2005

shakin' baby!

yesterday was simply an amazing day. i got up at 5 am (automatioc with
jetlag) and got ready to go over to justin's house. [he lives in a house in
tokyo. how cool is that! i can now say that i will have experienced japan
in a much better way than hotel only.] then, i dropped my bags and headed
back out to ueno, an erea close to where i was staying at the hotel famous
for it's parc.

the place is unbelievable. i forgot my maps and books so i had to wing it,
but by ding so i got to discover many neet places that i would have never
gone to had i had a map. i explored the kaneiji cemeteries and temple, which
was huge and overlooking the metro line and the city. then, i stumbled upon
yanaka cemetery, which is even bigger and has tombs dating as far back as
1874. cemeteries here are simply crazy. people go all out for their dead
relatives and make these elaborated setups that have stones, trees, statues
and the likes. and they even clean the space and everything. visiting there
was peaceful and beautiful, and i was often alone (funny how that's been
happening a lot to me here). i was also the only tourist, which made me feel
bad at points because i didn't know if i was intruding...

walking around i found the tennoji temple which had this incredible bronze
buddha. their temple was also really neet because they had the old section
and a very modern one that went really well together despite the
architectural and material differences. i also found many other temples,
including one with a great gold-leaf buddha and one with a blue roof.

i had a great pork curry at a cool little restaurant and found lots of great
stores: i found a cool tokyo.

the parc itself was really nice as well, although many areas were tents
cities. the toshogu shrine there was spectacular, and reading the wooden
wish batons there was pretty emotional. and then, the lake in the parc was
filled with lotus, it was simply beautiful.

i got back "home" and we headed right out again, this time for dinner in
shibuya. this is the area with all the neons, lights, tv screens and majorly
huge intersections. it was crowded, it was impressive, but it didn't give me
any shock. it was just what i expected! and it was very different than the
quiet tokyo i had been seeing. and i found a bank where i could take money
out, and got to make my first 20,000Y withdrawl! such a big amount is pretty

in all yesterday was just perfect. i was walking around with a smile stamped
on my face pretty much the whole day. it's hard to describe, but this is an
incredible city.

shake #1: a man masturbating in the street.
shake #2. an hearthquake at 3:30 am. i didn't feel the one during the
afternoon, even though it was a big one.


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