What a fascinating culture to get to learn in a couple days.. But I am certainly out of my league at the moment!
Still without the bike, as I am going to the JAF office in the morning, to hopefully get my Carnet stamped for approval to ride in this country!
In the meantime, I am trying to get used to the roads here on 4 wheels instead of 2. Have to say, it is beyond my understanding.. it’s only me though! And the language barrier! If I look at the roads without me on it, you can see how organized and easily they flow.. I get that.. and a very clean city to boot!
But Tokyo is such a super duper megamondo city, I think you would have to live here a lifetime to master it.. I’m fine if the road has a number to it, like a highway. But there are only a few of those, the rest of the streets are just squiggle marks.
Lord Have Mercy, what is that thing!!!???
The good news is that there are some really lovely helpful people here.
My goal when I set off from the back packers this morning at 8:30 was to find the building I need to attend tomorrow morning. Out of the sea of buildings and streets in front of me, I blindly head into the abyss.
With what I was hoping my sense of direction would kick in.. not today.. I stopped to get a cold drink (as it’s bloody hot and humid here). A man with his children walked into the shop and he speaks a tiny bit of English. Yay! Just to note, my little Japanese phrase book is doing me little good. AND, for those of you I showed off my iphone “itranslate” app to – time and time again! It can’t be used either, because Japan does not allow you to get a sim card, however you can purchase or rent one of their phones.. didn’t want to, so I am without my little translator tool I was so looking forward to using!
Anyway! I talked him into coming out to the rental car to help me program the GPS in Japanese.
So nice and more than willing. He tried for quite a time. Those gorgeous little kids were very intrigued by me, but Dad didn’t have any more luck working out the gps than I did, so I don’t feel so dumb now!
Ah well, we got an idea of the general area of the building, so I aimed for that.. off my paper map.
It’s somewhere out here!!! Right..
3 1/2 hours later!!! I sniffed around and around, got some more amazing help with sign language and “hai”‘s (YES), I made it into the section of buildings I was after.
Parked the car and felt I was close. Walked around, asked a man if he knew, he called another friend, and the 2 of them sent me walking of which I stopped in about 2 blocks because it didn’t feel right.. while I was standing the corner, another woman watching me, came up and said “Excuse me, can I help you? You look like you are lost”.. Yes!! I showed her the address, then she looked it up in HER iphone (I’m jealous), and figured it out. She said, “I will take you”.. this embarasses me, I don’t want to pull her away from where she was heading, and I tried to tell her not to, but she insisted.. It was about a 4 block walk.. she found the building and showed me it’s address block, which I would never have understood without her help.. So extremely grateful for the kind people today!!
So I make my notes and look up to see which direction I should NOW go to find my car, as I have walked around many streets and corners by this time.
You wouldn’t believe, the car was within the same block.. Good one Sherri Jo! After blindly parking with a feel I was in the right area, that was pretty good!
Mission accomplished! Now my next goal is to find accomodation close by rather than having to try to repeat the process tomorrow. I did find an affordable place within the same block unit, and I can walk to their office in the morning.
Parked the car for the night, and I finally have an opportunity to just explore. My favorite thing to do in the whole world anyway!
I find myself near a Temple, and walked in.
Nothing to explain what I was looking at, but it was very old, obviously.
I love the gardens the most..
Went around the corner and found all these little people statues. Not sure what they are there for, but they are so cute!
Nobody around to ask, so in my imagination, I think these are memory stones for children who passed away..
But wait, there’s more..! Heaps and heaps of statues with their red beanies, and little offerings of a chocolate milk, or a tiny metal toy airplane.
I would also assume the yard fans are to ward off the bad spirits?
Maybe I can google it to find out..
From here I carry on to the “Tokyo Tower”.. I don’t know anything about this attraction either, but hey, let’s go have a look!
I get my ticket to the main observatory (the one in the middle, not the top!) Half way up is enough for me.. plus it’s expensive..
Enjoyed having a look around, with a much greater view of just how vast the city is.
Sign language and handing the camera over to a stranger helps!
My stalking skills with a Zoom lense found this family having a Sunday meal..
And lastly, to top it all off, there is a Michael Jackson exhibition – of coarse!!
Looked interesting enough, but I didn’t pay the fee to walk through. But I did hear the music going outside and headed out!
Yep, the crowd was jammin’ out to “Thriller”
I was never a huge Michael Jackson fan.. I have my 2 or 3 favorites, but I got to hand it to the man, his music gets the people movin’ and look at the smiles on their faces!
Must not forget the MJ impersonator. I think he does resemble the young MJ. He couldn’t dance worth a crap, so the girl in white shirt led the crowd.
Very enjoyable afternoon… I’m glad to have my Tokyo experience!
Time to mozy on home and see what I can find for dinner…