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May 02, 2005

Shitamachi

Well, I actually did something today. I spent the afternoon in shitamachi, which is the neighborhoods making up the old part of Tokyo. It is a nice change from the city I am usually exposed to.

My original plan was to pick up some senbei (rice crackers) at a shop near Sendagi Station (If you live in Japan, you need to go here - they are very good!), but I did not even get 20 meteres from the station before seeing it was closed. Needless to say i was disappointed. As I had no plan, I walked around a bit making my way towards Ueno. The back streets can be full of surprises, which you will see if you check out the pictures I took today (go to the directory Nezu). The surprise is not Winnie the Pooh (did you look at all the pictures?), but the festival at Nezu Shrine. It was very crowded, but everyone seemed to be having a good time.

While I was in the neighborhood, I also bought a wood block print (of an old house) and some postcards that the artist signed (actually he signed the envelope they came in), but I am happy because they look very cool. Before you think I went off and got artistically sensible, I can tell you the print was 500 yen and the postcards were 1,000 yen.

After that, I made a side trip to Marunouchi, where I met my friend Aiko for a lemonade. She works for Bloomberg and writes about telecom stocks. I am glad that she was the one who had to work today and not me. She gave me a "Docomodake" and bought me a green tea/white choco muffin. (thanks Aiko - docomodake will be up on this site soon!).

I finished my trip with a visit to the Maruzen in the Oazo Building. It probably has the largest selection of English language books in Japan. I love that place.

Posted by Kirk on May 2, 2005 05:41 PM

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