A couple weekends ago I spent a few days in Tokyo. I stayed with my friend Dave and his lovely wife Keiko. It was great fun, and I got to experience fall weather for the first time in 12 years. I took a pile of pictures too, and here’s some of my favorites.
Here’s David enjoying a beer with his meal late Friday night.
I was lame and didn’t take any pictures on Saturday. We slept late, ate some lunch and then rode the trains to Dave’s school, ASIJ. Dave was the technical director for their production of Pericles. After that we got some food in Ogikubo and then hit some places in Asagaya. Turned out there was a jazz festival in Asagaya that weekend. We caught a couple sets – that was pretty cool. A couple more places after that and we were back home late. And drunk.
On Sunday (after some aspirin) we rented a car and drove up into the mountains west of Tachikawa. We drove up to this reservoir in Okutama, near the headwaters of the Tamagawa.
Hey, it’s me! Standing on the shore by the reservoir.
It was quite hilly up there, and while the trees in Tokyo were still green, the forest at that altitude was beginning to change colors.
Like I said, some trees were ablaze of color.
After visiting the dam and pumphouse, we headed up into the hills above the lake. The whole area is a national park, Chichibu Tama. This was taken at the lookout up in the mountains. It was eerie up in those clouds.
We walked along this trail for awhile. It was very pretty, but also very popular. Lots of hikers working the trail with us.
Heading back down to Tokyo, we drove along side this beautiful river gorge. It first crossed the road at this beautiful waterfall. I think it was called Dream Falls or something like that.
David took a few pictures with his mobile phone too.
That night we took the Tama monorail for a ride. David recognized my fascination with rail transport in all it’s forms.
Monday David went off to work and I was set loose upon Tokyo. I dumped my bag in a locker at Tokyo Station and started a roundabout tour of the city.
First leg was taking the Yurikamome out to Odaiba Island and seeing the sites. Crossing the Rainbow Bridge.
Oh look! The Statue of Liberty is out there.
Who is that cool looking guy in shades?
Lady Liberty and the Rainbow Bridge.
After lunch and walking around for a bit, I took the Yurikamome back across to Tokyo and got on a cruise up the Sumidagawa. It was billed as a bridge tour… Here’s the Rainbow Bridge dramatically lit while we pulled out from the pier.
Another bridge on the cruise. I think there was seven bridges the boat passed under.
Off the main course of the river, there were many of these boat-clogged canals ringed with flood gates. Looked pretty cool to me.
Look! It’s a big golden turd on top of that building. I think that is the Asahi Beer Building.
Here’s a five story pagoda at the Asakusa Shrine.
After checking out the shrine, I hopped on the subway (did I mention my fascination with various modes of transport?) and got off at Ueno Park. It is the oldest and biggest park in Tokyo.
These cherry trees must look absolutely beautiful in the springtime because they were certainly lovely that day.
Ueno Koen is the site of many museums. Unfortunately they are all closed on Mondays. So I wandered around looking at all the homeless people camping out in the park.
I did find this cool shrine off beside the closed zoo. It was dedicated to the first Tokugawa Shogun in 1651. This is the entrance gate, or torii.
These lanterns were solid copper, given as gifts of fealty by local lords during the shogunate.
More of those cool lanterns. They’re Japanese national treasures.
A lion ablaze in the autumn.
Pagoda through the trees.
I left that evening. That Narita Express is a pretty sweet pipeline from the city center out to the airport. Very handy.
Alright, that’s the highlights. I took tons more, but I don’t want to bore everybody senseless.