Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 2 Tokyo, 8th April.

We spent the morning in Yanaka cemetary taking photos of the cherry blossom and exploring the Yanaka shopping area which is a lovely place to visit.
Catch the train to Nippori. From the station it depends which exit of the station you go out of.  The  cemetary is on one side, walk through it to head towards the old style shopping area.  The 'Textile Town' is the other side.

I think most of these photos are mine. I win the cherry blossom photo comp today.

This is the window of a paper shop in Yanaka. The cats are all paper mache and they are sitting on sheets of hand printed paper.

Chris then headed off to have a look at the castle and I spent a few hours in Nippori Textile Town. I used information from a blog called 'Floating World Views' which has information on the best shops and a copy of the map. It was very useful. I didn't buy much till I found a shop selling second hand kimono and some old pieces of fabric.

Chris and I met up again in Shinjuku where we went up to the top floor of the Shinjuku City hall tower (free). I like the building on the right, the patterning may have been inspired by sashiko stitching?

Chris had arranged to go on a Jazz tour with Mr OKJazz (aka James). James runs tours on Thursdays to some hidden Jazz clubs, bars and coffee shops. He was incredibly helpful and gave Chris a lot of ideas for Jazz related places to visit around Japan. Chris didn't have the camera but says they went to a Jazz bar which had thousands of Maneki Neko so inspired by that we have started our own collection. The music scene is pretty big in Japan. We went to one area where we couldn't believe the number of guitar shops in the same street.

There is lots of interesting architecture in Shinjuku including this building which has tiles on the side which look like a jigsaw puzzle.

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