Your girl has been busy.
I exited quarantine with wings on my heels and the adventures since have been many. So many, in fact, this may need to be two or three blog posts. I hit the ground running, but you can run along with me. Come on y'all! Let's start at the beginning.
My friend Frances swept me off on my first outing to Shibamata-an old temple town known as the location for the "Otoko wa tsurai yo" (It’s Tough Being a Man) film series. It makes perfect sense that statues of Toro-san, the lead, and his younger sister, Sakura, would be featured right as you exit the station. They greet you as they would their next adventure!
Ours would first take us to rub the golden unko-that's poop. Just an FYI. Clearly we're not the first to do so, but in the hopes of gaining lasting financial fortune we found some still-golden spots and did our thing. Our futures are secure now. I can feel it.
We continued through a retro toy and sweet shop, walked the main shopping street and ended at Shibamata Taishakuten Temple. Founded in 1629, this temple managed to avoid being bombed during World War II, and to preserve the ornately carved hall, it's now within a protective encasement. For 400¥ you can appreciate it up close-as well as the beautiful gardens within the temple grounds. We soaked up the beauty the painstaking architecture as well as the history, finishing our day at a tea house and izakaya.
Freedom tasted delicious. It was the perfect first day out!
YAYOI KUSAMA'S OBLITERATION ROOM
This next outing was a solo one. The space was small, the day was hot, and since the allotment of time was very short, I wanted to get in-do my thing-and get out. It worked out beautifully. One of the most famous artists from Japan, Yayoi Kusama is known for several things: pumpkins, zany rooms and polka dots. The interactive 'Obliteration Room' installation in Shibuya took her love for all things dotty to the next level by allowing us to participate!
We were given a single sheet of stickers and once inside the room able to place them wherever we wanted. The once completely white room was something akin to a Jackson Pollack painting by the time I was able to go-and I loved it. The color and whimsy filled me with a child-like excitement (and took me back to the years where leaving stickers around the house was a big no-no).
It was brief, but delightful. I'm so glad I was able to participate before it ended.
HOTEL ANDAZ'S WATERMELON AFTERNOON TEA
What better way to usher in the end of my first week of freedom than with an afternoon tea?
I MISSED my Tokyo tea's, their seasonal themes, and while I had many places to choose from it was the watermelon themed service at the Andaz that called to me most. My friend, Cait, joined me and overlooking the Palace side of Tokyo we sipped, nibbled, and caught up. It felt like forever since we'd seen one another, and in expat time, 5-6 weeks really is a very long time.
We made up for it.
And I've certainly made up for time lost in Japan! October weekends are booked (almost) solid with trips, but before I can even get there I have more outings to share. There's an open air museum, Paralympic marathon viewing, illumination exhibition, digital art exhibit, and so. Much. More to look forward to during September.
It's like it's my last year or something...
Here's to making the most of it!