Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Walk in Taito-ku Japan

Let's see, where did I leave off?

After spending not enough days in Kyoto we took the train back to Tokyo. Getting off at the extremely busy Tokyo Station we attempted to take subways to the area where our lodging would be. I had some understanding of the subway and trains systems, but it turned out the ryokan was not in the area that was first mentioned it was at. So back at square one. With some help from kind people and much staring at my subway maps we ended up at the Miniwa Subway station. Getting there was actually the easy part.

That's because the map from the ryokan was not that well done either. But with a combination of my inner GPS and B's actual GPS we finally ended up going in the right direction and made it to the ryokan.

So here are a few photos from the area, which is known as Taito-to or Taito City.

One way to help find one's location is to look for the Chome and Block numbers. This is one thing that Tokyo has in common with where I live, that they aren't always sequential and often buildings or street signs are not numbered or are missing. Still, I discovered by looking at the corner building one can sometimes find a plate with the numbers on it, or check out the man-hole covers. See the T-20 at the top of this one? (yeah they love their sakura in Japan)

Looking down you can see some interesting things in Japan. The yellow grids in the sidewalk in the first photo lead to subway stations. I think these tiles might also, but then, I'm not sure since that looks like a snail to me.

Looking up also can be interesting, because the other thing they love in Japan is cartoon figures and mascots. This is Earth-kun and his animal friends who are on the local recycling building. The one just to the right of Earth-kun is Pipo-kun, Tokyo Police mascot. Recycling is big there, trash cans everywhere are marked for sorting. So it is easy to do with different containers next to each other clearly marked as to what goes into what.

I wish I had taken a photo of the front of the building. Every day they had a guy there who's sole job was to direct traffic. Wearing white gloves and a uniform. He was friendly.

Cherry trees at Tasen Elementary School. And kids learning baseball. Every day on tv there are baseball games. Yes they do love their baseball in Japan.

Sakura in bloom.

Gardening is a passion there also. Even when there is no room people have small planters with flowers and plants everywhere. I believe this is Tosen Elementary School where the children must be learning about plants and gardening. Their tulips are amazing!

A near-by small shrine. Many of these are the resting places of Japanese historic figures.

Darling inu. I just checked Google maps to see if there was a name for this shrine. I did find out that this cutie is still at the shrine!

Another small playground with...

Sakura trees. No need to go find an park over-crowded with drunken men.
We saw trees in many places.

Over to one of the main streets where the Santa sign became one of our landmarks for finding our way back to the Ryokan. Yes, Santa in March.

I must say I enjoyed all the signs there. A running joke for me was "Anna's Everywhere". I admire Anna Tsuchiya's work so it was kind of a challenge to me to whip out my camera whenever I saw an advert with her on it.

I don't know who said there is no grafitti in Japan, because there is. Most is words but this was a bit more creative on the side of a vending machine. And see the address sign next to it?

One of the things I miss about Japan is the vending machines where ever you would go. Vandalizing them is pretty rare (except for the one that burned up while we were there but from what I could make out from the news reports it was something internal). I don't know why Grape Squash isn't more popular.

You can just walk along in what looks like a residental area of Tokyo and then you see this, a love hotel. Which is a better use for the area since I recently found out this is where Namidabashi, the Bridge of Tears, use to be. It's where they use to tell those being executed to cry for what they did before taking them up a canal to the old Edo execution grounds. Seems Taito has a lot of provocative history.

So you got Snoopy and Micky and Doraemon and some strange pale blue squidlet....

We did make it to our ryokan and my next post should be of a few photos from there I hope.

From March, 2008

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