I have no idea how it happened, but Monday’s all-day Noah-esque rainstorm melted into the (grim, dark, wet, windy) night and Tuesday dawned all bright, sunny and happy. So my Dude was literally no sooner awake than he was bundled into the buggy for another run.
We headed back to the Imperial Palace but diverted west to Yasakuni Shrine. It’s where they honour the war-dead. It’s a little of a political hot-potato for various reasons (see here). But it’s beautiful.
From there, we got slightly lost, but ended up running round the Imperial Palace as planned, this time in the wrong direction. Also this time, there were MANY more runners (I was about two hours later, jet lag, eh?) and they were all running anti-clockwise. So I still have no idea about the correct etiquette. But no-one yelled at me. It was a sunny day but cold and VERY windy, and the path is surprisingly hilly. At one point, the combination of tired legs, a hill and a headwind led me to walk a bit but the Dude shouted ‘Faster Mummy’ so off I headed. The nice thing about being so slow was that a few people lapped us once or twice. We do stand out, me and the Dude. I’m the only person I’ve seen running with a stroller. There are few Western runners and my orange and pink combo didn’t merge into the background. So those who lapped us recognised us and all waved or smiled or said hi. It was really sweet!!
Roughly 6 miles in 58 minutes.
That’s the running part of this post done…fancy some musings on Tokyo? From yesterday’s comments, it seems like you do. This world is SO new and so very different to what we’re used to – it’s been quite incredible. Things that have struck us are:
- The Japanese are so kind. So friendly and smiley. A cute boy helps but they are so kind.
- The women are SO chic. Either elegant or simply stylish, they put outfits together in a way this girl can only dream of. They love little skirts, often pleated, and always with boots. They look fabulous. I feel very scruffy and matronly.
- The Japanese are much taller than we expected.
- There are vending machines EVERYWHERE.
- It is spotlessly clean here, and people are scrupulously honest. Due to space constraints, we have ended up leaving the stroller outside restaurants and we don’t worry at all that things will be stolen. Such a lovely change.
- At 5pm every day, some music plays outside, a pretty little melody. Apparently it’s the same tune as used to play from shrines at the end of the working day in the fields, and the tradition continues. We love it.
- Masks are in. People wear masks all the time, even if they spoil those gorgeous outfits. And if you want to take them off temporarily, you move them down under your chin – like the opposite of wearing sunnies on your head. No-one seems to think this looks silly.
- Toilets. Oh amazing. They are heated, they play water when you sit on them to mask embarrassing sounds. Japanese loos are squat style…so far I have avoided peeing on myself.
- They have amazing car parks. They stack cars one on top of each other so as to maximise space and have turn-tables in the middle. The use of space is a big Japanese thing…they have sliding doors and screens, futons obviously fold up to give more space. It’s fascinating.
- I find restaraurants surprisingly intimidating. They are dimly lit so hard to suss out from outside. They seem full of lone men eating. It’s always in Japanese (naturally) so hard to order although the pictures or models of the food are incredibly helpful. But I’m surprised by how daunted I am at going into a Japanese restaurant especially when the Husband is working. Big Girl Pants, Cathryn!
And here are some snaps of some of the other things that we’ve loved so far! You said you wanted photos…I’ve gone a bit crazy. Too much?