When I was thinking about what to write for Tokyo, many things came to my mind but there was one image I could not get out of it. On my last full day I visited the National Museum of Modern Art, where a painting from Akiko ENDO was shown. The painting immediately caught my eye, as I did feel like it’s a good representation of the endless mazes I had encountered at the train and metro stations in Tokyo and more generally in Japan. Endo described it as “a post-apocalyptical urban landscape of a concrete jungle completely divorced from nature” and “the labyrinth of the everyday through which we wander as long as we live”. It made me wonder if we ever really know where we are going. You can walk endlessly through Tokyo, stumbling and tumbling into different neighborhoods – either because you started without a concrete route in mind or because you decided to deviate from the intended plan and follow one of the allies. In any case, in Tokyo it will be a treat.
I guess no matter how long you stay in Tokyo, it will feel like the time is too short. Nevertheless, there were a couple of places which I’ve enjoyed a lot. Most of all, the teamLab Planets museum. This is an interactive multi-sensory art exhibition. It consists of two sections, a water and a garden section. At times you walk through knee-deep water and the installations are interacting with you as walk through them. For example, in one of the rooms they had koi fish projections on the water, whereby the movements of the fish are influenced by the presence of the people in the water and also other koi. In other words, the projection is rendered in real-time by a computer program – how cool is that?! In another room with a dome, they have a floor laid out with mirrors. They project falling flowers and leaves on the dome and you are encouraged to lie on the ground and look at the dome. I soon felt like I was floating through a universe made up of flowers. They play music in the different rooms and use different scents, which may change over the course of the day – just like the flowers do.
During my stay in Tokyo, I visited the national park in Hakone to get a view on Mount Fuji (debatable if this was the best place for it) and Sensō-ji temple. People watching at Shibuya crossing was of course among the top items on my to see list. Overall, my days were more relaxed as I was a bit tired from the full schedule in the previous cities. Furthermore, a few bookings in China still needed some attention and I wanted to keep up with the blog (obviously this did not entirely work out, but I tried).
I’m a bit sad that I did not make it all the way up to Sapporo or see one of the biggest standing Buddha statues in the world in Ushiku. Also, I did not manage to visit a Toastmasters club in Tokyo as the fifth week of a month is a) not ideal and b) I was not willing to attend any online meetings. On the other hand, it’s always good to leave a few things out for the next visit.
That’s a wrap for Japan! Until soon,