Tuesday, July 14, 2009

EBWT: Tokyo

Sunday mornings are very similar all over the world. Is an easy day.
It’s Sunday. I’m sitting in a cafe terrace cornered up in the Hiroo area of Tokyo. I’ve been coming here all my days in the city to have a coffee each morning so now, I can see the how different it all is compared to weekdays. There are less cars and poeple walking, and the ones who are doing it look like if they just played a slow motion key. Everything moves slowly today.

cafe
Hiroo is a quiet quarter close to Shibuya, where there most of the embassies are. Makoto lives here.  Makoto is a friend of Nikki (a common friend), who has hosted me in his quiet and modern japanese style flat. He’ll be moving to Beijing soon, so Beijing friends, be ready to take care of him. Shibuya the main commercial centre of the city (where they say 500.000 people cross it everyday), is a show by itself, you just need to sit and enjoy it.

Tokyo is an amazing city. It combines not-so-beautiful architecture with thousands of little temples and shrines. It’s incredible how busy yet calm the city is at the same time. You can be in a quarter full of small houses on narrow streets and then, just aroung the corner, suddenly appear in the busiest commercial area you’ve ever seen.
shrine
Yesterday I rode 60 km around tokyo visiting the main spots, and also lots of small neighbourhoods with markets and little shops. Involving all the city, there’s a very particular design, that it’s present in most fashion shops and in some minimalist restaurants as well. I think it’s reminiscent of ancient times, as when you visit old houses or restaurants, generally everything turns to be minimalist and simple.
When I arrived on wednesday and thanks to Makoto, I’ve seen the non touristic Tokyo and I’ve been so lucky to meet some of his friends. One day we visited Mia and her daughter, in Nippori quarter, which used to be the downtown of Tokyo. We also enjoyed a dinner with Chiho, Mike, and Connie, and later on meet Shane. All of them has been very helpful and kind, and bring future opportunities for EBWT. Thanks!
mia
After breakfast I’ll got to Yokohama on my way to Shizuoka.