Before heading in to work on Saturday afternoon I found the morning weather far too nice to stay in my flat, so I took a stroll around my neighborhood. With no intent of finding anything other than the walls of steel and glass skyscrapers, I was very pleasantly surprised to turn off on a side street and find myself in an area of small houses and shops lining a narrow and twisting road. It was the kind of sight one would expect to find in a small town up in the mountains, not hemmed in by shining blocks of corporate headquarters. Although it looked like all the buildings were of early post-war construction (which reminded me strongly of similar streets I have seen in towns and villages in Germany), it was obvious that they had been built along the path of an existing route. I certainly had no idea that something like it was hiding in plain view within a few minutes of my flat. Doing my homework a bit late, I went online and found that the street is a remnant of the Tokaido, a formalized route since the 1600’s connecting Tokyo and Kyoto.
On the way home I came across a building with “Waco” repeated multiple times across it’s sign. Having spent some time in Waco, Texas, I felt obliged to take a picture.
Today I had hoped to head out to the mountains for a walk but got off to too late of a start, so I went to Yoyogi park for a walk instead and took the train to Harajuku station. When I got off the train I noticed people lining the crosswalk bridge on the other side of the road and there was a sound of drums from that direction, so I followed the sound and the people and found myself a spectator of a Halloween parade. The first group was what seemed like an organized group of high school kids, followed by a mixed age band of costumed drummers, followed by what looked like a random assortment of people in costumes. Once the parade passed by, I headed into the park and had a very pleasant walk. Yoyogi park is quite popular as one of the larger green spaces in the city, and it was interesting to observe the combination of families having picnics, open-air martial arts lessons / practice, people sitting by themselves playing instruments, and other people out enjoying the day.