55 Days in Tokyo

January 19th, 2007

This day got off to a fairly normal start by waking up at 10:30am. Wasn't feeling the most rested due to tossing and turning a fair amount the night before. I think it might be best for me to go to sleep maybe a little after midnight as it allows me to sleep more comfortably. Spoke with my girlfriend online for a fair amount of time before taking my shower and heading out close to 3pm. Decided to head towards Ueno park and see what all the fuss is about since I do not recall having walked through the park proper before. Took the Yamanote line until I got to Ueno and headed towards the park.

The park itself is a fairly large and very nice place. Wandering through it a nice enough adventure, but the cold was almost too much and made the park less enjoyable than it could have been. The muesums looked like they might be interesting but since it was close to 5pm and closing time it wouldn't be worth the admission. Maybe another day perhaps. I noticed that this park, similar to the park in Shinjuku had a fair amount of homeless. I do not envy the homeless in a town as large and as cold as Tokyo. On my way down from the elevated part of the park down to the lagoon area I came across a cat that was friendly enough to allow me to pet it. Very friendly cat that had one of the sweetest meows I have ever heard in my life. It was this weak yet kind and cute mew. The cat did not seem ill or hurt or anything so I hope that it was just a weak meower. I wished it well and went on my way.

At the bottom of Ueno park lies a large lagoon that has been split into various parts. In the middle of it there is a large temple. For some reason I paid 100 yen for a bundle of incense, lit it and set it into the pot. Don't know why, but it seemed right. I'm not spiritual but it just seemed the thing to do. After I visited the temple I walked along the path going through the lake and encountered a man feeding the ducks a huge amount of rice. They all went completely insane over it and flooded over to the feed. My walk through the park complete I walked back towards the station and walked around that area, taking in the sights and seeing how everything looked until I felt content and began the walk to Akihabara, my familiar stomping grounds. The walk took maybe 20 minutes and when I arrived I went to the rotating sushi bar that was nearby and ate my fill.

My stomach full I decided to walk around for a while and visit some arcades. In one I finally decided to give this new Gundam game a try. In it, you have a personalized card that keeps your information on it and gauges your progress and gives you access to new equipment. The first place I tried had no one playing at the time (a rarity I can assure you) so I think I was connected online and set against other newbies or perhaps I was set against computer opponents. After I played one game I wandered off to try playing in some place that had another people playing. Found one and waited for about 30 minutes for my turn to play. When I sat down to wait the attendant instantly came over, confused as to my purpose. I explained that I was both intending to play and had my card ready. How odd, but then again everything is setup in Japanese and they probably thought that I wasn't prepared for it or knew what I was doing. After I had waited my turn I entered the pod and proceeded to play against some really high level people who had access to much more powerful equipment and good my butt whipped. Memo to self: next time, do not try to learn a new game on a friday night in one of the most crowded arcades where salty veterans play.

After that thrashing I wandered the arcades for a while to lick my wounds before heading home. Due to my lack of sleep the night before I was very tired and needed rest. Just as I got back to the station at home I saw my first vomiting. This is supposedly a common enough event on the weekends. A man was leaning over the opposite side of the station, puking onto the tracks just before his train arrived. Eww. Walked home and got online. Before I slept I talked with my friend Athena and agreed to meet up with her in Ginza the following day.

Photos for January 19th, 2007