A walk from Yoyogi Koen to Kiba Koen

I meant to get into my piece about the retiring Justice Stevens and the constant chipping away at our liberties by the Roberts Court. But instead, I decided to go look at cherry blossoms while I still could!

No pictures, as I’m not keen on how my camera has been working lately.

When I came to Japan several years back, I spent time in Koto Ward, in the area around Kiyosumi-Shirakawa and Monzen-Nakacho. My first experience of Japan hanami was centered around the Sumida River and shitamachi. So I wanted to get over there sometime this month, just to walk and enjoy.

It was one of my longest treks, I think, since I decided to walk the entire Outer Moat a few years back. Although Thursday’s trip to Chidorigafuchi and Tokyo Station from here seemed like quite a haul, too.

Today’s walk took my down Yamate Street to Tamagawa Doori, back into Shibuya under the 3 highway, then to Roppongi, Toranomon, along Sotobori Street into Shimbashi, past the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Ginza (which is looking like quite a slum, I’m afraid), then up Shin Ohashi Street past Tsukiji.

I bought an umbrella around there with the rain threatening. I’m surprised how I have the ability to keep the rain at bay just by going into a convenience store and plopping down 1000 yen . . .

I spent a bit of time on Tsukishima, where I discovered that yes, you should obviously see the ever-growing Tokyo Sky Tree from there. (The last time I was around there, it was foggy.)

Through Kiyosumi, where I picked up conbini sushi and an onegiri at the Family Mart, I made my way along a side road to Kiba Park.

I noticed the Museum of Modern Art has a new fluorescent sign that wasn’t there before. All these small things. The Daily Yamazaki at the corner of Shin Ohashi and Kajibashi Streets is gone, and there’s a new bland highrise across from it. Now the corner looks as staid as most of the rest of Chuo Ward. There’s another highrise before the Eitaibashi that’s in that tall and narrow style, but features an interesting yellow siding.

It makes me wonder how 400 years ago some farmer was going about his plot of land, not realizing that a pencil building of one sort or another would be sitting there 15 generations later.

Koto seems more alive. Boxy and full of energy, even on a chilly spring evening.