Published: November 10th 2009November 8th 2009
The Sony building 'Artwall'
Advertised as an open art gallery for promising artists which remains in place for three months and apparently seen by about one million people each week.
We started off our last full day in Tokyo visiting Ginza once again. Then it was off to celebrate darling Rupert's 2nd birthday at Ueno Park - the biggest in Tokyo - along with hundreds of Japanese families and other tourists. Despite Kev's earlier plan to visit to the Zoo, instead he went to see Ueno Lake and attended a free rock concert while I visited the Metropolitan Art Musuem. Earlier we both spent some time exploring the Tokyo National Museum which was very impressive. One of the musuem's four main buildings was closed due to building work to make it earthquake proof.
Our man in Tokyo, who had been to a party the night before spent the day 'resting', joining us later for dinner. On the morning of our departure from Tokyo we arranged for him to meet us at Uneo station - he was then to come with us to the Shinkansen station for our last goodbyes. An accident on the Yamanote line meant that a train remained at the station for nearly half an hour. What sort of an accident we never found out, hopefully not a suicide - apparently salarymen are known to end it all
Hisatoshi Nakayama paints in Uneo Park
While I chat to him Kev looks at the building he's just painted.
by throwing themselves in front of a train. Because of the delay we changed our departure for Osaka to a train leaving a little later. The three of us went off for breakfast, the last of many meals we've enjoyed together during this trip. Then all too soon it was time to say goodbye - parting is such sweet sorrow! We're hoping he'll be back home to celebrate Sienna's first birthday in April next year.
About an hour out of Tokyo we were in view of Mt Fuji - our second sighting of one of Japans most famous landmarks. Along with others on the Shinkansen I took copious photos, then continued reading Cole Lesley's "The life of Noel Coward" which hopefully I'll be finished by the time we arrive home.
The area in Osaka where our hotel was situated certainly had many more homeless people in the vicinity than we saw while in Tokyo. Possibly more to do with the location itself than with the actual numbers of homeless in Osaka in relation to those in Tokyo. In Osaka Park, as in Ueno Park in Tokyo, there were many tarpaulins erected in-between the trees where people obviously live
so the global economic crisis has certainly had a terrible effect for some.
While in Osaka we spent some time exploring the castle which, on a hill overlooking the city, and with a moat all around it, was in a good defencive position. Not that that always stopped them being overun - one of the battles we read about at the castle saw 1,450 people beheaded by the enemy. Yuk! Again the place was inundated with school-children some of whom were having picnics in the park afterwards. We saw a very exhuberant little boy being hauled over the coals by his teacher, from thereon in she kept hold of his hand to keep him under control!
While in Osaka Kev suffered a fate worse than death (well almost) as he was dragged around shopping centres in a last minute effort to buy some more goodies for those grand-children of ours.
We're now at Osaka Kansai airport; the mobile phone has been returned and we will shortly be boarding our flight home. See you soon!
There are more photos below