[Tokyo travel #1 ] Shinjuku & Gyoen park

I didn’t plan to pretend a local person in this travel, but I stayed at Shinagawa district, Tokyo anyway for business trip, it was good time to go out in office worker’s outfit instead of tourist to travel around Tokyo. I made my Sony camera in low profile (grip removed & attach a pancake lens) and casually hang on the shoulder.

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All-time busy place, Shinagawa Station

Shinagawa is far out from Tokyo sightseeing spots. It is place for major Japanese companies and headquarters where packed with office workers. It is busy with people coming and going to office, school & nearby cities, hardly any trace of tourism can be seen.

 

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Shinjuku station, downtown in Tokyo

I managed ticketing ‘JR circle line’ finally to go to downtown of Tokyo city. As first timer, it was over-complex to understand subway lines, branchs and ticketing system. But once figured out, it was strait forward and convinient to hang around city.

 

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Well…. not expected like this sparse traffic at the center of Tokyo. Probably I believe too much what news broadcasting shows? Or simply because it is mid-week & mid-day? Of course, Shinjuku is much more vibrant when sun goes down…  : -)

 

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There are many side ways for pedestrians in the back of the road. It is fun to stroll around local shops rather than the department store on the big street. That is a reason why I didn’t go to Ginza where famous with it.

 

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I found this ramen restaurant, Ichiran, where people long lined up on the roadside, This house must be more famous for tourist than Japanese, since many Korean, Chinese and Westerners are lined but hardly see any Japanese except picket girl in front…

It was before lunch time (12PM) when I arrived but had to wait 30 minutes in line to reach to the entrance of Ichiran. I thought I would get inside right here, but it took another 20 minutes from the entrance to the seat ….

 

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Select a menu (yeap, choose one ramen from many different ramens) and receive a briefing !!!  The serving lady is explaining the layout of the seats and the meaning of the lights which is working like parking spot indicator.

 

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Papillon dining table ….

This restaurant is running around the clock. It is said that waiting for an hour is not extraordinary when crowded. I took this shot in between a very short moment after someone finished and before next person come in ….

Beyond the cubicle, the chef puts the ramen and closes the door (much like dining in his/her cell…) There is partitions to prevent the eyes turning around, so have full concentration on ‘only eating & taste’. At the end of the meal, nothing else to do, the parking light turns from red to blue, clears the bowl, put the new chopsticks and next guest comes in. Running like this in 24 hours a day and 365 days a year …

It reminds me the movie ‘Papillon’ throughout the meal.
Not sure how many still remember the move, but if you remember you know what I mean, right?
It is a place for tourists indeed who come to Tokyo for special experience. Taste itself is not my favorite though…  🙂

 

 

 

Gyoen park, Shinjuku

 

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Cityscape from Gyoen park

 

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It is a large park in the middle of Tokyo city, like Central park in New York. It was originally a garden of the Naito family of the Shogun, and was devoted to the imperial garden in the Meiji period, then open to public after WW II.

 

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Pine tree (Bonsai style)

 

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The park is well cared and polished throughout as typical Japanese garden.

 

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It contrasts with the buildings behind.
It is hard to enjoy the beauty of this garden in the summer heat of August though…

When the autumn leaves, or the cherry blossoms flying like snowflake in spring is the better timing. Of course, anticipate large crowd at that time as well…..

 

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Hang out young people in the garden….  Are there not ants biting? Or just don’t care?

 

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Old big tree ….

 

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I walked into the greenhouse and encountered this plant. It is a beak-shaped flower that is commonly seen in Taiwan. Quick looking around reveals many flowers and plants in the greenhouse are what I frequently saw in Taiwan, well… quickly out.

Tokyo travel in this time is a ‘no plan, just go’. Indeed, it is still fun and a lot of interesting place to go, except steamy hot weather for tourism (reaches over 30 degree celcius) A cool beer, and a crab dish from Singapore’s JUMBO (Shinagawa branch) was finishing touch for the hot day 🙂

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

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