Last Saturday, I spent a wonderful day exploring Tokyo. Some friends invited us to an afternoon movie at the Instituto de Cervantes. Before the movie we decided to explore the city. Here are some pictures from our adventures!
Statue outside of Kojimachi Station
After hopping off the train and emerging above ground what was right in front of us? This adorable statue of a boy ready to go fishing. I liked the use of mixed media with the metal and cloth.
One thing I love about Tokyo is the wonderful incorporation of greenery into this massive and bustling urban space. If you are a gardener or lover of nature, you could easily spend your time in Tokyo alone and see hundreds of plants, flowers, and trees. On Saturday, I spotted a stretch of sidewalk filled with purple hydrangeas. I had no idea hydrangeas could naturally grow purple and I had to take a picture as proof.
The (Controversial) Yasukuni Shrine
One of the most famous, if not the most famous, Shinto Shrine in Japan is located in Tokyo. Yasukuni Shrine is visited by tons of people every year and it comes with plenty of controversy. It is dedicated to the people who have died serving Japan. There are 2.4 million people enshrined here but the controversy lies with the roughly 1,000 war criminals that are included. PRI wrote a great overview of the controversy; read it HERE.
No.4 Cafe (featuring cruffins)
Next, we headed to No.4 Cafe for lunch and a cruffin. What’s a cruffin? Croissant+muffin=cruffin. And it was delicious! The specialty of the day was Earl Grey cream filled cruffin. It was the perfect amount of gooey, flaky, and squishy. If you’re in Tokyo, make sure to visit No.4 Cafe!
Devil Craft Pub
Later that day we got dinner and a beer at Devil Craft. They specialize in microbrews and Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Both of which were delicious and I am absolutely going back!
And finally, I would like to talk about bathrooms in Japan. Are you expecting me to talk about the futuristic toilets? I’ll save that for another day. Instead, I would like to share with you my amusement at finding toiletries in a pub bathroom. Q-tips, toothpicks, and mouthwash. Tokyoites are looking out for their own and making sure we all have good hygiene.
That was my day in Tokyo! Lots of walking and exploring new places. The weather was beautiful and we visited some places off the beaten path. It was nice to see a different part of a typically very crowded city.