Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 02 2014

Tokyo ’14, part I dunno, Tuesday?

Sunny! As if to make up for yesterday’s torrents, today the sky was a solid blue, with nary a cloud in sight. After breakfast I boarded a JR train bound for Yokohama…which turned out to be the wrong train. I did manage to get there, without my hat, which I left on the train accidentally. Every station seemed to have a plethora of connecting lines, and I felt like I was in a huge spider web.

I took the subway out to the end of the line, and went to Chinatown to buy a new hat. For some reason, none of the proprietors there actually spoke Chinese. I got a couple of hats anyway, and headed to see the ship I’d so wanted to see last time I was in Yokohama, five years ago, the Hikawa Maru. It had been a Monday then, so it was closed. But today was Tuesday!

But it was still closed. The sign actually read, “The ship is not open to visitors today because fuck you.” Or something like that. Or maybe that was me. After a round of solid cursing, I walked back through town, because I like walking through Yokohama. It’s very pleasant, with wide, tree-lined streets and old buildings. One of these was hosting some election activity, with lots of men in suits coming and going and bowing to each other.

I walked through the city to the Nippon Maru, my second-favorite old ship in Yokohama. Fortunately, not only was it open, they were having a deal on cheap tickets that included access ot the nearby museum. The Nippon Maru is a sailing ship, with multiple masts, built in 1930. Touring it was fascinating, and really made me wonder what life at sea was like back then. I would have climbed the rigging had they let me, the spoilsports.

After some lunch and wifi at Starbucks, I caught a fast train back to Tokyo, landing at Shibuya just in time for the beginning of rush hour. Or, rather, Western Street Photographer rush hour, as the famous intersection was teeming with various doughy males with Fuji X100s. One guy was making a time-lapse shot from the Official Shibuya Crossing Time Lapse Corner(tm). Several interviews were taking place, discussing, I imagine, deep questions like “Why do you think there are so many interviews being held in this particular place?”

It was getting a little odd, not to mention claustrophobic with all the people and even more giant screens competing to see who is the most annoying, so I returned to my hotel in Ueno, took a shower to the sounds of the nearby temple’s bell, and then headed out to the Ginza to meet Louis for dinner. The entire Ginza line seems a step above in terms of quality of people. I wonder if it’s just that higher class people take the line, or does the opulance of the lines cause people to behave better while riding it, or both? The golden hues of the seats and other accents really matches the golden nature of the name. The Ginza itself is kept better than other parts of the city, with nicer buildings and more even sidewalks, wider and sparkling clean. The only uncouth thing about the Ginza was the loud Chinese tourists.

I walked the length of the street on both sides in time to meet Louis outside the Mitsukoshi door, and he took me to an adjacent neighborhood full of small restaurants. We had French food while sitting outside the tiny place, eating foi gras and crepes, and talking about photography. Louis said he thinks of photography in terms of molecules, and suggested I move towards entire animals in terms of projects. It bears thinking about. After dinner we walked to where Louis had parked his bicycle, near Tsukiji, and I took the subway home, after photographing some construction sights.

posted by Poagao at 11:26 pm  

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