We looked like a bunch of loony tunes traipsing through the train station, dragging all of our luggage with us. It probably looked like the scene from Home Alone when they’re barreling through the airport at a full sprint, except we were not running. Nobody has time for that. We took the bullet train to Tokyo and it was about a three-hour ride at 200 mph. Pretty slow. To be quite honest, I enjoyed the trip. I was jamming to The Fray’s album and watching the people around me. The train has a way of lulling people to sleep especially the longer you are aboard. It takes people out like bowling pins. One at a time. You watch and watch and then sooner or later heads start to fall forward until everyone is asleep. I sometimes get worried people are going to fall out of their seats or miss their stops, but they always wake up in time. They pick up their stuff, wipe their drool, and head out into the world like they weren’t conked out thirty seconds ago. I think it’s impressive.
It was a gift to have a slower paced day today. I feel like my feet are going to disintegrate into the ground when I walk, they’re so tired. We did check out the Tokyo Tower and the Zojoji Temple. The temple was another outdoor temple but what was cool and probably morbid in the minds of most humans, was the hundreds of stone children statues. Each statue had a name engraved on the back, a shawl, a knitted bonnet, and a windmill placed in front of it. We found out later it was a memorial for children who had passed away. I wish I knew because of what or why the statues were their. The statues were so colorful in the middle of all the bleak surroundings. Each statue looked a little different from the ones next to it. I’ll have to google it and find more information out about this memorial.
The Tokyo Tower was described in one of the guide books somewhere along the lines of an ugly metal thing in the middle of the capital building. From far away and up close during the daytime, that is exactly what it is. It’s this big red and white Eiffel tower mimic in the day time. It’s also not all that appealing to the eye because it almost looks like a cell phone tower. When you go up into the tower, it’s not so unimpressive anymore. The view is incredible. Tokyo is an enormous city. It could easy swallow New York City three times and probably have room for dessert. The top of the tower is all enclosed and you can walk around to view the city below from a 360 degree angle. The best part was the sunset. We were able to see the city in the afternoon, during the sun set, and when it was all lit up. We got the whole progression of time in about twenty minutes. When we came down the tower it was bright orange and the glass elevator allowed you to look out at the tower and the sleepy city as you approached the ground again. It really was a cool place.
After that we acted like bananas and split. The rest of the group went on their way into a different part of the city for dinner and I walked around the city with my mother. It has the same vibe as New York City but not as vicious. People still wait for the cross walk signs to turn green before making any sudden movements. We met this man outside of a Starbucks who lived in New York, Canada, and San Fransisco as a traveling musician. He played the bass guitar and had quite the love and knack for jamming. That’s the biggest thing I miss about the US. I enjoy talking to new people and approaching people I don’t know. It seems like a lot of the people, at least in the cities, are much more serious and seldom talk to the people around them. While they’re more than willing to help you if you ask for it, a lot of the people keep to themselves. I like the loud, mixed cultures of America. I like the encouragement of embracing differences and backgrounds. When you shove people through a cookie cutter you’re cutting off all the little things that make them so special in this world.
We’re hoping to visit Old Tokyo tomorrow (at the recommendation of my jamming bassist friend.) The pictures look incredible so hopefully the real deal will be extraordinary.
Current jam- ‘Helios’ by The Fray