I meant to post yesterday, but my hostel had a party in-house so I didn’t get a chance. So this post will cover my activities yesterday and today.
Starting off, yesterday I went to Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. I had previously went there before via a water cruise at the beginning of my trip, but this time I went by the monorail Yurikamome Line to the island.
Something of a modern amusement park sort of area, Odaiba has two gigantic shopping malls, a couple museums and office complexes, and lots of hotels. The most striking landmark is the Fuji TV building, an architectural oddity of sorts that serves as the television studio’s headquarters. Naturally, there are giant billboards of their ongoing shows, a few of which I photographed:
I then checked out one of the malls, Odaiba Aquacity, before setting camp near the docks to get a good view of the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Odaiba to Tokyo.
You can see a lot of southern and eastern Tokyo from Odaiba, and the lights from the Rainbow Bridge do well in contrasting the myriad of skyscrapers and apartment buildings behind them.
It’s one of the best skyline views I’ve seen so far, so I took my own time enjoying it before heading back to my hostel for the party.
Today, I headed west to Shinjuku to visit Shinjukugyoen (Shinjuku Park), the largest in Tokyo. It was a really nice day to visit a park, and there were lots of Japanese enjoying the day as well. I saw many mom and dads with small children, as well as lots of elderly Japanese couples sitting on the park benches peacefully.
Surprisingly, there were also two or three trees that still had sakura (cherry blossoms). Their high season is in the spring, but it was nice to catch a glimpse of them in the middle of November.
After leaving the park, I felt like walking, just walking, without a goal in mind. I headed east back towards central Tokyo, and walked for about an hour and a half, passing by vast avenues and areas I hadn’t visited yet. Though not full of sightseeing spots, it was actually a good experience since there were no tourists and I could just walk around freely.
I eventually realized I had reached Ginza, very much in central Tokyo, and about a 15-min subway ride from Shinjuku, where I had started. I was getting a little tired, so I caught the subway in Ginza heading north to my hostel’s location in Asakusa.
All in all, it felt nice to take a break from riding the subway cross town (and thereby missing everything on the street above). There’s a lot to observe and learn by walking around, from seeing moms with kids in tow going grocery shopping to the harried looks of salarymen in suits walking at a brisk pace.
Some more pictures: