So long, and thanks for all the fish

Tonight is my last night in Tokyo (for now), so I’ve decided to treat myself to something I’ve never done before: visit in an aqua park. There’s a reason why I’ve never been to one: I’m against caging wild (or not so wild) animals. So I’m a bit ashamed (especially as I enjoyed it). But I must add that this was also the first time I had ever thought that marine wildlife was so ancient, beautiful, and beyond our understanding. I think places like that might contribute to our knowledge about that what lives in the oceans (by making young people want to become marine biologists).

Anyway, my favorite part of this little trip were jellies.

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Out of this world!

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There was also a dolphin show. Awesome lighting and sound effects.

 

P.S. To the Polish couple I met at Nakano Broadway: if you decide to go to Epson Aqua Park, go after five pm. Tickets are cheaper and everything looks so much better after dark! Pozdrowienia! 🙂

You have to massage your husband! 

Just met this extra nice Japanese oldman and we talked about Japan, travels, languages, and the fact that his wife had a massage studio (I got discount!). 


He asked if I had a husband. When I said I was single (decided against specifying I was divorced), he told me that at some point I would have a husband and that I should give this husband massages. OK. So to all of you who are married: massage your husbands 😉 This has got to be the weirdest piece of advice I’ve ever received! All because I helped him with his tray and smiled when he said thank you in English. He said he liked this coffee shop and was a frequent customer which means I might meet him in the future (because I like the place, too)! I’ll have to learn more Japanese by then and do something about my degree because I told him my plans and he was really supportive (for a total stranger) 🙂 

Not a haiku

… but definitely some poetry. And yet there is something missing: No smoking / While walking / No littering / While…? 


Thanks to my lousy Internet connection I’ve created my own version of this Tokyo poem as the photo kept uploading for 10 minutes (!):

No smoking
While walking 
No littering 
While capturing 
– Pokémon


 

I’m singing in the rain… 

Ok, maybe not singing. But there are some murmurs involved. And the rain is real (it’s been raining for days).

somewhere in the vicinity of Harajuku Station

I’m on my way to Yoyogi Hachimangu Shrine where there is a festival today (or at least that’s what the Internet is telling me). I’m not sure what to expect. Are all festivals like the one I went to last week? Is it really fun to go to a festival when it’s raining? I hope so.
There is one more awesome thing about my plans for today: I’m going to this Shrine via Meiji Jingu grounds!

Meiji Jingu’s torii

So that’s gonna take a while 😉

Here Comes The Queen

Just came back from a short jog through the streets of Tokyo after a typhoon (#16). It’s not raining anymore and temperature is perfect (somewhere between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius). Loved every second of it. It’s so quiet and peaceful outside and I really needed a break (listening on repeat to that made me wanna go on some quest instead of finishing my work).

I should’ve taken a photo of empty streets. Instead I can only post a photo of my poor shoes.

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hope they’ll be dry by the morning

(Earlier today the same typhoon forced me to buy an umbrella – felt like admitting defeat but it was either that or getting drenched to the skin.)

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dripping into my tiny bath

Lost in the crowd, surrounded by floats

I have to admit, I did not expect Nezu Shrine Festival to be so… full of life, I guess?

I loved every second of it. I took way too many pictures and recorded way too many videos. Won’t post them all here, but if you are interested, you can find them on my YouTube channel.

As usual, I met a nice stranger. Maybe I looked lost? Anyway, some older Japanese man asked me if I spoke English and we talked for a while about the festival, Poland, and my job. Apparently, I was very lucky because this year’s festival was special: normally, they move 7 or 8 floats, but this time there were 30 (he said 300 but I’m pretty sure that was a mistake).

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After all the floats reached their destination (Nezu Jinja), everyone went to enjoy the festivities around the main shrine. The place was crowded. But not too crowded: walking around or finding a place to sit down to rest and/or eat something wasn’t a problem. It was a nice kind of crowded, especially for a solo traveler like me. There was something semi-familiar about it. Probably because the event was very local (I saw maybe 4 or 5 foreigners) and it seemed that it was very important for the community. Lots of families with kids, people in traditional clothes, almost everyone paying their respects at the shrine before going to the stalls.

Oh yes, stalls. With food. Yakitori, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, ikayaki, karaage, jaga bata, kakigor, dango, ringo ame, choco bananas, bebi kasutera… So many different types of food that the first thing I did was checking some basic “Japanese festival food” online – just to know what to expect (and how to eat it). My chopstick skills are still far from perfect, so I decided to focus on stuff that’s “on a stick” or “eat with your fingers”. I ate some bebi kasutera (so good!), some sort of hot pasty with pumpkin filling, and kakigori (or shaved ice). I know these were the safest choices and next time I’m going to try something more… unusual. I promise 🙂