The mission of day two was to avoid all touristy spots, and that we did. We ran into two or three tourist but we were pretty emerged in local culture.
Our first stop were the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. Even though they are some of the oldest (est 1662) and most beautiful gardens in Tokyo they are not often frequented by foreigners. We did have plenty of company though— couples taking a stroll, elderly men and women taking a million pictures of the blossoms and young kids roaming around. The gardens offer a certain peace that can only be found in holy places. But that peace is easily interrupted by the roars coming from the nearby Tokyo Dome where the Tokyo Giants later got an ass-whopping. Unlike American fans though, the home crowd did not fade away, neither did the roaring.
Baseball, along with video game arcades, seems to be the national pastime. It was quite a cultural experience to attend a game. Each team has a fan club section fully equipped with a band, and, what I can best describe as, an orchestra director. Each fan club takes turns chatting cheers, signing songs (some of which Jesus sang the rest of the day), while the other team sits quietly, almost like statues.
We got a nice surprise after the game on the way to dinner— a plaza filled with teens decked out in their Sunday best. From the more conservative pink wig, to a full-on Dragon Ball-Z costume. Many of them were happy to pose for my camera, others not so much. We had to fight sleepless bodies demanding rest, but we made it to the Kagurazaka neighborhood.
This neighborhood is full of cute shops and some the best French restaurants in the city. It’s one steep hill to the top where a small, modern Shrine sits. Each side street up the hill offers a quiet reminder of Edo period Tokyo. We finally settled on crepes for dinner along one of the side streets— a great choice indeed.
The physical body finally overpowered my mind and we are home at last.
Day two was quite a great day— where among other things I learned just how precise and respectful and methodical Japanese people are. Even my new clothes were precisely placed inside the shopping bag- sweaters at the bottom, tights on the side, dresses on top.
Day 3 awaits along with a Sushi breakfast at 6am.