This morning, I rose, had breakfast, and packed before heading out into the streets of Tokyo where I found myself strolling, contemplative, under low grey skies in one of the world’s greatest cities.
I walked through the very expensive shopping district, following a vague trajectory, but mostly headed where my feet would wander.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped to consider the beauty of this manhole cover. Beauty in this, the least of things, is remarkable, and I have seen it in many countries. Why does it matter to make this very functional piece of steel an attractive item? I don’t know, but in so many places in this world, the locals have found this as a small place to express their pride of identity.
And as I passed along the still, dark waters of a moat, I blocked out the din of automobiles, instead focusing on the rustle of the falling golden leaves of autumn.
Turning, along another road, I entered the park leading up to the imperial palace, where I stood with many others snapping photos on the emperor’s doorstep.
Reversing course, I passed again a collection of sculpted trees, and my meanders brought me to a park bench where I paused to think. Much has happened in the last week. The election weighs heavily on my mind, and that is all I will say of it here.
My somber reverie was eventually interrupted by 4 middle aged women who strangely wanted to take a photo with me. I didn’t even notice it when it started. I was sitting alone, adrift in thought, when one of them sat on the bench near me, and the giggles of her compatriots nudged at the edges of my awareness. She was sitting far enough away that I hadn’t even noticed her quietly take the seat, but she was inching closer.
This reminded me of the times at Borobudur and Prambanan when Indonesians asked for pictures with P. There are plenty of caucasians in Tokyo, however, which leads me to believe that these women were not locals.
I took pictures with all of them, and in short order, and with effusive thanks, the ladies moved on, and so did I. Near the train station, I paused for one last lunch of teppanyaki.
And that finally draws this trip to Japan to a close.