After an extremely eventful week, and some very un-eventful flights, I’m finally here in Tokyo.
Not much exciting news as of yet. Upon arrival at my hotel i was informed my room wouldn’t be ready until 3:00 PM, four and a bit hours later. So i did what anyone who hadn’t slept in a day and a half would do, and went for a six kilometer walk to go look at Tokyo-SkyTree!
The recently completed Tokyo-skytree is the worlds tallest free standing tower (though not tallest structure), as well as the worlds tallest broadcasting antenna. It’s an impressive building, but oddly from street level never looks quite as gargantuan as it perhaps should given it’s colossal 634 meter hight. From a distance, Buildings in the foreground obstruct it, and the difference in distance between the fore and background make it difficult to judge it’s scale. Similarly, when you are standing at it’s base not only is most of the building obstructed by itself but this perspective makes it’s upper reaches look significantly smaller than they actually are. I suspect that the only way i will every really comprehend how tall it is is when i go up it, and see tiny objects below which are in fact rather large. I’m going to go hunting for a vantage point in the next few days that gives a better sense of scale than today’s photos.
The base of skytree is quite pleasant, though hardly stunning. Its obvious that someone put some thought into keeping the area around Tokyo’s newest landmark easy on the eye (this isn’t always the case with developments). The canal is a nice place for a stroll, where the sound of the water largely masks the hubbub of the city above.
On the topic of photos and today, the weather was utterly rubbish for photography, with a flat, light grey sky, high humidity and no wind to blow the haze created by the worlds largest metropolis away. As a result most of the images I’m putting up here today look fairly drab, or overly processed. Sorry.
After wandering around the base of Skytree, checking out the department stores inside the complex and being gobsmacked by the line to get up it (seriously, there was a wait time to get into the line to get a ticket to stand in the lineto go up it.) I discovered i was close to Sumida park, one of the famous cherry blossom (sakura) viewing spots in Tokyo. After a short walk, followed by a wrong turn, a longer walk, a back track, and another short walk, i arrived to find that the blossoms were in their early opening phases. Though far from their peak, the river side walk way was hugely transformed from my memory of it in winter when the plants were a sorry sight, looking many shades of dead.
Sumida Park is made up of two parts (i think). One, an iconic strip of Sakura and other ornamentals by the river, the other is a more traditional garden close by, with plentiful paths to stroll along and large grassed areas to stop and enjoy the view. Both these had plenty of people in them, but were far from crowded today. I expect that will change over the next few days as the Sakura reach full bloom and the week end rolls around.
Tomorrow im off to inspect an apartment that may become my home for the next few months, but first, its dinner time!!