Tokyo Diary: 11/10/12 – Ja Mata Kichijoji, Konnichiwa Kagurazaka

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I guess I’m a sort of semi-official Edoite now – I have an apartment, a futon, and a Bic Camera points card.

It’s been yet another crazy week here in Tokyo.  Between trying to get a landlord to accept me, getting my money to Japan from the states (harder and more expensive than you’d think – and than it should be), and trying to keep up with school it feels like I haven’t slowed down for a week.  But I’m in my apartment, which like most here came with absolutely no furniture including stove or refrigerator, so last night I slept on the cold hard floor and tomorrow I run around trying to find a fridge, washer and something to sit on dirt cheap – an exploration of the world of recycle shops, perhaps.  There’s also the riddle that is Japanese home internet to figure out, but I won’t bore you with all that.

As you may have guessed from the title, I ended up going with the place in Kagurazaka.  It cost more up front, but I really love the area and in the end, that won out. I seriously considered Kichijoji too, despite the fact that it’s a bit out of the way – a really delightful place, with one of the nicest parks anywhere, but it was even more pricey than Kagurazaka fo the same quality.  In addition to the local charm (Kagurazaka is an old low-level Daimyo village) it’s almost smack dab in the middle of Tokyo so almost nowhere in the 23 Wards is more than 20 minutes or one transfer. 

Among the other notables this week:

  • I saw my first real-live cram school.  I’m sure I’ve passed them before but this was really the first time seeing one up close.
  • Something I’m seeing a lot of: men practicing their golf swing while waiting for the train.  I would have taken video but it seemed a little rude.
  • Saw a Miko carrying a take-out order from the soba shop near my local (heh) Shrine today.  I’ve already stopped to pay respects there myself, and I suspect the sighting of a Miko was Divine providence.
  • I had to buy a pair of socks at the Hyakku-en Shop because I realized I’d packed all my socks when I was leaving the guest house, and they were featuring these “Obama U.S.A. in God we Trust” (made in China) beauties. 

Among the pics here are another visit to Calico Cat Café, some shots of the first day (there are two every November, sometimes three) of the Tori no Ichi festival at the local shrine in Shibuya.  Next time I’ll go to Asakusa, where the big one takes place.   One reason why I love Tokyo is stuff like what happened today.  I was in a bland business area near Akasaka picking up a pocket wifi rental to use until my Flets is turned on, and stumbled upon a Jinja I didn’t know existed, wedged between high-rises and a hospital.  Turns out it was established in the 1670’s as a tributary shrine of the famous Kotohiragu Shrine in Shikoku, dedicated to the seamanship and navigation God, Kompira-san.  The Torii dates from 1821, and the shrine from 1679.  Pics like this are so classically Tokyo.

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6 comments

  1. e

    You went for the heart choice then *grins* .
    Kittens! Pretty pics! Socks XD!
    Sleeping on the hard floor is nutin' for a true camping soul, especially when you're cushioned by fresh hopes and dreams. Good luck with your furniture and fridge/washing utilities hunt nonetheless.

  2. S

    It's always odd to see someone in religious regalia shopping for food. Obviously, they've got to eat, but you associate the garb with specific presentations that it looks odd otherwise. Always good for a laugh when you see it.

    Well, got a place to sleep, now just a matter of making it comfortable. There a Japanese equivalent of Goodwill or Salvation Army stores?

  3. Later, I saw a shrine priest playing with his Iphone.

    They have recycle shops – headed to one today.

  4. K

    Congrats on finally getting an apartment!

  5. l

    Kagaruzaka. No surprise there as your heart's choice won out.

    Shrines are dotted all over Tokyo. It's all about going off the beaten path and stumbling on them. I enjoyed doing so when I was in Tokyo last month.

  6. A

    Congrats Enzo — finally you have got a place to call your own. Happy for you.

    ~Ronbb

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