Last Legs

Well, we’re on the home run (literally) we’ve ditched the bags again, and are travelling light to Tokyo. Man – the Japanese have efficiency covered!! I swear, I always want to send my bags ahead from now on.

We arrive in Tokyo to rainy and COLD, it’s only 9 degrees (balmy in comparison to Hakone!), and I think the weather pixies may have done their last favour. But no, over our last three days, the weather goes from cold and wet, to balmy and sunny – in fact, our last day is cloudless and 14 degrees – so warm I have to take off multiple layers. Bless you weather pixies.

W normally has a yen (hee hee – didjageddit?) for raw fish, though the temperature lends itself more to tempura. None-the-less, we’ve heard about the fish markets and it’s only about 20 minutes away on foot, so we trot off to see the fish in action: closed. It seems to be a holiday because there is no fish, nada except for empty trucks parked everywhere. It certainly is huge, but it sure ain’t bustling. It’s a bit of a relief to me – never having been a fan of fish markets or butchers shops. More recently at the Sydney fish markets, all I can think of is how soon there won’t be any more fish in the sea, because all those incredible tuna, swordfish, etc will have entered the maw of the ravenous beast that is the human consuming machine. Yeah, I said it before – cover me in moss and call me a greenie. We wander around the outer Tsukiji market, where the fish are sliced, not bartered (battered), thronging with people here to savour sashimi sliced in front of your eyes.

The one thing that appeals to me is white strawberries – I am perverse, aren’t I? We contemplate other Tokyo attractions: Sky Tower? No, not really; we’ve had a view over Tokyo from the Government building when we first arrived. Disney world? Definitely not. We (well, it’s really me that decides) settle on catching cherry blossoms.

We take a hike to Ueno Park, where the cherry blossom fever is starting. There are a smattering of trees in full bloom, with most of them budding nicely, though we will miss the full Monty – or is that the full Cherry?

It hasn’t stopped the crowds – under every blooming tree there are a million blooming tourists (well, I am prone to exaggeration), wielding selfie sticks and fake smiles. All along the promenades, tarpaulins have been spread on the ground, and there are groups of picnickers sitting under the trees already, starting their Hamami parties early. We’re going to miss the weekend unfortunately, when the locals come out in full strength in kimonos and have their cherry blossom parties.

At the lake I am diverted from blossoms by wildlife..

We carry on to Gyoen Park in our old neighbourhood of Shinkuju, a huge and very beautiful park with about the same number of blossoming trees. I spy a couple of bright red ladies having their own private celebration; 20170328-IMG_6050-54they might be Art students on assignment, since one has a camera and the other is throwing red cloth around with gay abandon; they look very funky. Of course I can’t resist, nor can the man on their other side, so I take a photo of him taking a photo of them… It doesn’t take much to amuse me…

We had intentions of following the directions of ‘Visitacity’ which has spelled out an itinerary again, but after Ueno and Gyoen parks, W is a bit worn out, and we repair to our hotel in Ginza.

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Unfortunately, hubby has contracted something, and spends the last hours in Japan mostly in bed with streaming nose and cough starting… So I have to do some late minute things on my own. He’s more or less over temples and shrines, anyway, so I leave him dosing up on sudafed.

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