Day 4: Tetsugakudo Park (Tokyo)

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Continues from: Day 3: Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo)

After a miserable rainy day yesterday the weather changed once again to the first clear blue skies I had seen since arriving.

Upon waking up, my AirBnB host made okonomiyaki for us for breakfast and asked what I was planning to do today.

I said that I really felt like having a relaxing day where I could walk around a little, study Japanese and read a book or something.

My host recommended Tetsugakudo Park, which was located about a fifteen minute walk from the apartment.

The park was founded in 1904 by a philosopher and the design incorporates 77 features that each exhibit some aspect of philosophy.

Also in the middle of the park are a number of Meiji era buildings.

With that my plans were decided!

Oh and by the way the okonomiyaki we had for breakfast happened to be my first time eating the dish.

It was delicious!

After breakfast I strolled down to the park and spent some time enjoying the cherry blossoms which had now started to freely fall from the trees, blanketing the ground. It was very pretty!

At around lunch time I walked to a nearby convenience store, grabbed a bento box and returned to the park where I had a little picnic.

I wasn't the only person enjoying the cherry blossoms with quite a few other people relaxing in the park.

After finishing my Japanese studies I headed down a sakura tree lined main street towards central Nakano.

Upon arriving I made my way to Namco which is a game centre where you can play a variety of arcade games.

What made this arcade particularly appealing to me was that I thought it was no smoking.

Actually it turned out to allow smoking, but only in designated areas and thanks to extraction fans in those areas it didn't smell of smoke inside at all.

My main interest this time around was to play some rhythm games, especially Love Live School Idol Festival which I play on my phone.

This game was the most popular with more players than people though there was a system where you had a turn and then went to the back of the line of people waiting to play.

As there were three machines and four players I never had to wait more than a minute or two.

After having some fun at Namco I headed back to the apartment. I decided to walk the whole way back which took around an hour as I'd wandered quite some distance during the day.

I always enjoy walking through the suburbs of Tokyo as you get to see a lot of the city and every day life you would miss out on if you were just riding the subway.

Tonight I was meeting my Japanese teacher for drinks at an izakaya, so after returning back to the apartment I had a shower, got dressed then caught a train out to Okachimachi station near Ueno.

During one of our lessons we went through an article which discussed the cheapest izakaya (pub/tavern) in Tokyo which taught me a lot of names for foods and drinks.

We went to one of those places: 味の笛 or Ajinofue. This izakaya has two floors with the first standing only and the second containing seats.

You can order a large variety of sake for around 500-600 yen and they have a variety of small food dishes for around 1-250 yen each- very cheap!

We both ate and drank a lot then I caught the subway back to my AirBnB and spent the rest of the evening watching Japanese TV with my host.

The TV show that was on was a show where they found people outside Japan who were enthusiastic about an aspect of Japanese culture but due to lack of knowlage were unable to practice it properly.

So, for example, they had someone from Morocco who was improperly teaching Kendo (a Bamboo sword martial art) and someone from Norway trying to do a Kabuki performance.

In the show they'd have a master at one of these activities from Japan go under cover and 'learn' as a pupil, then later they'd do a reveal and offer the person lessons from the real expert.

Anyway while we were watching this I mentioned that I hadn't yet seen a Kabuki performance and my host said I should go and see one tomorrow at Kabuki-za in Ginza.

I hadn't looked into it much before but apparently a Kabuki performance usually goes for a whole day and is expensive, however it is possible for a limited number to watch just a short section for only 1000 yen if you line up.

My host looked at the schedule for tomorrow and, after recommending the most interesting performance, tommorow's plans were decided!

Tomorrow is also the day that Kate will be arriving in Japan!

Steps: 18,275 15.4km

Continue reading: Day 5: Kabuki (Tokyo) 

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