M: Colors of Toyko

Tokyo’s parks are amazing.  We spent the day at Ueno Park in the middle of the city.  They have a zoo, museums, temples and a large pond.  It was spectacular because we came here when the leaves were starting to turn yellow, orange and red.  We were really lucky to see this.

The leaves were lying so thickly on the ground, it was almost like like colored snow.  When the wind blew the leaves fluttered down like a blizzard.


At the temple in Japan there is a special handwashing station where you have to wash your hands and mouth.  First you pick up the dipper and pour water over your right hand and then your left.  They you take the dipper and pour water in your hand and take a sip and spit it out on the ground.  This will purify your spirt before you enter the temple.  If you want to learn more details about how to visit a temple look at this website: http://sacredjapan.com/etiquette.htm

I like to visit temples because its a world of calm in the middle of the hustle bustle in the city. I like to ring the big bells and purify my spirit. It seems where ever I travel I like to visit these special religious places.  People act seriously in the temples and are respectful of the building and very quiet.  I feel peaceful when I visit.

When I thought about visiting Japan, I expect it to be old fashioned with samurai, ninjas and funny old buildings.  But Tokyo is not like that at all!  Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world.  It is one of my favorites too!  I like Tokyo because it is a very safe place.  It is clean!  There is no smoking or eating or trash or talking on the city streets.  In the subway cars everything is quiet.  No one talks at all.  People just sit quietly waiting for their stops.  Daddy told me that people are very crowded in Japan that they have learned to take up little space with their physical and mental activities.  They are respectful of the group.  Most people wear black and white and gray clothes.  Emma and I look like very colorful specs in the mass here when we walk out in our orange, green, pink, and aqua clothes. This is good because Mama can always spot us.  I think I have learned to be quiet around other people and pay attention to small details of things.

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3 thoughts on “M: Colors of Toyko

  1. Max;
    Thank you for showing us your Tokyo. I thought it a very congested, dirty, noisy city because it is so big. What you describe is so totally different – the quiet in the subway, the lack of color.

    The park sounds wonderful and must be enjoyed by those who visit as well as those who live in such a big city.

    It is wonderful that you can experience this and share it.

    Love you lots,
    Grandma

  2. Dear Max,
    I love your beautiful pictures and descriptions. Maybe next time you go to Japan you will be lucky enough to go when the cherry blossoms are raining down.
    Hey, isn’t it about time to come home?! Can’t wait to see you!
    love,
    Debby

  3. I showed your recent posts to a friend from Tokyo who sends the following.

    Looking forward to sharing more of your memories when you return.

    jm

    Welcome to Tokyo.
    My name is Kazukiyo Kumagai. Just call me Kazz. I am a friend of Janet and I heard about you guys from her. Right now I’m working in California with Janet but my home town is Tokyo so I got homesick a bit when I saw your pictures and read your experiences in Tokyo.
    I also thought I could suggest you some places that you might want to go.

    Morning
    Tokyo Fish Market “Tsukiji” (Tsukiji St., Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (Silver Line)) Reservation needed for tour but you can also just visit there.
    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3021.html
    If you are a early riser, you should go to the fish market called Tsukiji. It’s close to Ginza where I guess you guys been before. You can watch the fish auction or see the huge tunas being cut. Winter is the best time to go there because you can not just feel the heat but you could also see the heat from the white breath or the vapor coming out from the people working there. After touring the market there are hundreds of small shops and restaurants for the people working or visiting there that you might want to check as well.
    I think you know this already but Japan is an island so we ate a lot of fish in the past, before trading meat wasn’t common like it is now. Because of its location surrounded by warm and cold current in the ocean Japan has a wide variation of fishes and also the Japanese are very picky about the freshness of the fishes since the ocean is so close. That’s why you see so many people driving in there on small cars or moterbikes. Most of them are chefs of restaurants. They go to the fish market every morning buy the freshest fish that they can get and serve that to their customers for lunch or dinner.

    Daytime
    Tokyo Tower (Kamiyacho St., Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (Silver Line)) http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/english/05_info/index.html
    If you want to a birdview of what the town looks like, you should go to Tokyo Tower. You can see how dense the town is and tell there is no more space for people to live. There are houses and buildings to the edge os the mountains surrounding the Kanto Plain.
    The Japanese loved the Eifel Tower in Paris so they copied one in Tokyo. I think It’s been there since the late 50’s and the countries need additional functions such as digital tv and radio, cellphones and internet so Tokyo is building a new tower called Skytree. You will see it on the Northeast side.

    Dinner
    Gonpachi (at Nishi Azabu Intersection, 10 minutes walk from Roppongi St., Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (Silver Line)) Reservation needed.
    http://www.gonpachi.jp/en/casual/home/index
    This is a Izakaya (Japanese style pub). The unique thing about this they made the interior like the animation “Spirited away” or the movie “Kill Bill”. I think this is way the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi invited the former President George Bush, Jr. here. Actually I lived around there.

    Night
    Roppongi Hills(Roppongi St., Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (Silver Line)) Tokyo Midtown(Roppongi St., Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (Silver Line)) If you miss Christmas, you might want to go to Roppongi Hills or Tokyo Midtown. Both of them are in a walking distance from Roppongi and Gonpachi. There you can see christmas lights and the same numbers of people billions. There is also an observation deck at Roppongi Hills with a museum at the Top of the building. Maybe you might be able to go outside too.

    Tokyo Metro Map including other trains
    http://www1.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymappdf/routemap_en.pdf

    Let me know what you are interested in and I could give some ideas.

    Enjoy and happy holidays!
    Kazz

    Kazukiyo KUMAGAI
    170 Lakeshore Ct., Richmond, CA 94804 U.S.A.
    T/F: +1-510-778-8358
    C: +1-510-593-9463
    E-mail: kazukiyo.kumagai@me.com
    Website http://web.me.com/ellykumagai/

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