Some random thoughts for this Tuesday, as well as some pictures from all over Tokyo so far.
(Below: the 5 story pagoda at Senso-ji)
Thought 1: Today (that is Tuesday, 4/29) started the first holiday of Golden Week and therefore, I had the day off and started the morning with a jog around the Imperial Palace. Can I just take a minute to say how crazy that sounds?! A week and a half ago I was running the Elliot Bay trail, now I’m running around a palace, that an emperor actually lives in. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem real.
Speaking of the emperor, I forgot to mention, that I actually saw him (within 20 feet or so)! There were about 30 ish people that had all lined up and I was a little confused by what was going on (in a sunshine haze). Then a car drove by with the window down (!) with this cute little old man waving and smiling. Everyone was so excited about it but in a very polite and respectful way. When I got back to my apartment I googled him and confirmed that it was in fact the emperor! Kind of a big deal.
I can only think what would have happened if that had been in America and it was Obama or any other president or public figure.
(Below: wisteria at Gotokuji temple)
Thought 2: After lunch in Omotesando on Sunday, we were walking and my fellow trekker from Dallas was going to take me to the start of the main drag on Omotesando. We were chatting along the way when we were stopped by two teenage girls that asked to take a picture. Instinctively, we thought they wanted us to take a picture of them BUT really they wanted a picture with us, two American girls. Naturally, the teenage girls directed the conversation to Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
Teenager 1: “Do you know Taylor Swift?”
Me: “Oh yeah!”
Teenager 1&2: “Oooooooo. That’s so cool”
Me: “Well I should clarify that I don’t know her personally, I just know her music.”
I didn’t want to lead them to believe I had superstar connections. Turns out one of them had actually met Justin Bieber in the Narita airport and showed us the photo to prove it. Teenagers are the best and I know full well, I used to be just like that.
(Below: our office building in Tokyo)
Thought 3: I’ve been going to a lot of Temples and Shrines. I enjoy going to them because the grounds/gardens are generally beautiful and well maintained and the ones that aren’t on the ‘if you don’t see it while you are in Tokyo then what did you come here for’ list are quite peaceful. The architecture is also something to be admired, especially when considered how old most of them are even considering any reconstruction. However, the spiritual aspect of it all is very confusing to me. Oftentimes, I find myself praying to God and thanking him for always being available no matter where I am. He knows my thoughts, wishes and dreams already, I don’t need a 100 yen coin to have them come true or give me luck. God’s got it all under control, and thank goodness for that…. or I would have been broke a long time ago.
(Below: railing at the Imperial Palace)
Thought 4: My mom is coming!!! I tried to be “level-headed, reasonable, big girl Ally” and told my parents it wasn’t a big deal if they couldn’t make the trip, because it’s far and suuuper expensive. But I am SO happy that I get to see at least one them in just under a month! It’s going to be the perfect break between getting here, one of my best friends coming, and heading home.
(Below: Bamboo at the East Garden)
Final Thought: Also, if you’re on instagram, I’ve been posting some different things there every so often. I should mention, I only ‘accept’ people I know. No creepers allowed.