last day in tokyo

Did I mention how hot it is here? It’s really hot. In point of fact, it’s been around 30 to 33 degrees here. (For those of us who have no idea how Celsius works, that’s around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.) And humid. Oh my God is it humid. It’s oppressive, truth be told. Everything’s air conditioned, of course, but when I walk out of my hotel in the morning, it’s like a big damp hot blanket has been dropped on me. I’m not a fan of the heat. And even less a fan of humidity.

I think that’s in part why yesterday was sort of a drag. I think I wore myself out down in Kamakura so when I started riding trains all morning with Japanese commuters only to be terribly misguided by my guide book, I got a little bent out shape. (I hate it when guide books are just wrong.) I did manage to see Tokyo Tower. But really, that’s not saying much. It’s sort of an eye sore.

After an afternoon nap back at the hotel (nothing quite like falling asleep to a televised sumo match), I decided to treat myself to a good meal down in Shinjuku on my last night. After dinner, I found the Park Hyatt where the filmed Lost In Translation and had a thoroughly Bill Murry experience drinking whiskey and smoking a cigar while looking out of there city at night. (The New York Bar, by the way, is not only terribly expensive but the service is impeccable!) Afterwards, it was another night of wandering the neon-lit street totally overwhelmed.

I need to get those pictures up as soon as possible. Not that it will do it justice. There’s nothing I can really say or show you that will attest to how totally mind-numbing these streets can be. Every building vying for your attention with any number of neon signs, television screens, and even music blaring down on you. And the streets themselves as mass of people who, ordinarily, are extremely polite and helpful, but once you get a mass of Japanese on a street corner or train station and they have no qualms about pushing you out of their way to get where they’re going.

But I have to say, after four or five days of this, it actually starts to feel normal. It’s amazing how much of my Japanese came back to me and it’s amazing how numb I became to the constant influx of information in such a short period of time.

So it’s my last morning in Tokyo. And it’s time for a whole new entry.