Luring The Professor out into the day yesterday was not easy, but I managed to talk him into going to the Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival. This is a weeklong event I’d read about that showcases a beautiful park famous for its autumnal gold colors. I promised there was something there he would like.
Getting off at the Aoyama-Itchome Station, I kept beckoning him onward, ‘Come on. Follow me. That’s a good Professor…’
We bravely pushed past the idling tour buses and boatloads of wandering tourists, enjoying the colors on either side of the boulevard. It is a wide four-lane road with wide sidewalks down each side leading to a big park. Lining either side of these sidewalks was a continual canopy of Ginkgo Trees. Usually a lovely green, this time of year the leaves turn a beautiful shade of gold. There might not have been as much color as I’d seen in pictures, but it was still a very pretty walk.
We passed an unexpected American Shake Shack sign in the park that listed Concretes on their sign along with the usual fare (I’d be afraid to try them—a bit ‘heavy’, perhaps). We continued on.
Beyond the line of beautifully colored trees we could see hundreds of booths selling goods and foods. The Japanese sure like to celebrate and they sure like to eat. Again, like the last street fair we attended there were maybe hundreds of different food vendors.
And then the trap snapped shut and I had caught that ever-elusive Professor.
After a couple of these and some Japanese goodies—fried chicken chunks for me and baked sea urchin for The Professor—we bought some cotton napkins in a beautiful Koi fish design as mementos, then headed off to our next destination—Godzilla!
I had heard rumors that the monster was back and we were headed to the Ginza area to check it out.
Though Godzilla has not always had a good relationship with Tokyo, things have gotten better in recent years and in honor of that change of attitude, they’ve erected a statue near the Peninsula Hotel to him.
However, just as in the case of Tom Cruise and Al Pacino, in the movies Godzilla seemed so much taller.
After seeing my hero, we took off wandering into the Ginza night to kill time before heading home. We were hoping to miss the infamous Tokyo subway commute hell.
No such luck. It was like being stuck in a clown car, but without the big, floppy shoes and nightmare-inducing makeup. It was no less packed, though.
It is all part of the Tokyo experience and we sucked it up, counting the stops, as we headed home.