I’d like to say that monday started out just like any other day, but then I’d be lying… Monday started out WAY cooler than most Mondays because mine started out in Tokyo, Japan. If you recall from my previous blog, I had gotten up at 5am to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, it was no where near as cool as the one from the day but such is life; shoulda made a beeline for the roof on Sunday morning I guess! I waited till the rays of the sun were about to peek over the horizon before braving the hotel roof and the cold..
Mornings routine has become a time for me to finish these blogs.. Monday was no different; I only stopped to go downstairs to partake of the exact same buffet breakfast I had the two mornings before. I did a load of laundry which I started right after sunrise and 3 cycles in the drier a few hours later had me giving up and I hung my clothes out to dry in my hotel room. The play for that day was to head to Asakusa to see a temple and perhaps get some shopping in.. Down into the depths of the subway and we were off on our adventure!
It must have been around 11am when we arrived to our destination. I somehow led us out the same exact exit I had been through two years prior; I recognized exactly where I was immediately. Instead of heading straight towards the temple, we walked the opposite way towards the river because some buildings (one of which is the Asahi Headquarters) caught my eye and I had to snap some pics!
Before long we made our way towards the Sensoji Temple and all the touristy shopping it had to offer. The smells of the freshly made baked goods and candies had my mouth watering; it’s watering even now just talking about it! Stall after stall of all types of souvenirs lined the walkway that lead back to the temple. On a monday morning, it was extremly crowded and was a challenge to navigate. My suggestion would be to definitely stay away from this area on a weekend!
I had been to the temple before so wasn’t too interested in spending a ton of time taking photos or fighting my way through the crowds of people who were there to pray. I snapped a few obligatory shots and then ducked down a side street and proceeded to get lost. Scott seemed on his own agenda so after we enjoyed a bowl of ramen, we separated and I continued with “Operation get lost in Tokyo”.
I’ve always had a weird thing about street photography. I love to see others work but for whatever reason I don’t really feel comfortable taking photos of people randomly on the street.. I tried my hardest to get over my “phobia” of it as I walked more and more off the beaten path. The stores were easily as plentiful but the crowd was much less dense as I had left much of the main touristy area of Asakusa behind. There was no urgency to my walk as I studied everything I walked past and casually snapped photos if the moment took me.
My friend Todd hit me up via twitter after he was done with Rugby practice and we made plans to meet in Shibuya. I was at one end of the Ginza line, and Shibuya was the exact opposite end of that line, as well as side of the city. He said, “I’ll meet you at the crossing.” Which meant nothing to me at the time. I reckoned I would figure that part out once I arrived. I snapped a few more photos as I made my way to the train station.
The train only took me about 20 minutes to cross the city I think so I went in search of a bathroom in the mall next to the train station. As I looked out the window, I figured out that the massive intersection of a number our roads with crosswalks crossing every which direction was what Todd had been referring to. I watched in amazement as every light had turned red and all the pedestrians had poured into every free space in the center of the intersection in an attempt to cross to the other side; whichever side happened to be their destination.
I made my way into the melee and had crossed back and forth a couple times before Todd had arrived to meet me. He didn’t figure he would be able to pick me out in that crowd but finding a 6’5″ american rugby player with curly blonde hair wasn’t too difficult.
No specific destination in mind, we wandered through the streets of Shibuya for the next couple hours. It’s inevitable that I shot photos, and I even went as far as dragging us back to the crossing at dusk for a “magic hour” photo of the chaos and mayhem. After a quiet dinner at a 6th floor sushi restaurant, we parted ways and I ducked onto the train and made my way back to my hotel for the night.