Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From Ginza to Ginga

Professor Shinohara had many engagements on Friday so I decided to leave a little early and spend some extra time in Tokyo. From this isde Tokyo station looks almost serene. Inside it's manic. It took me almost an hour to deposit my bags and find the right exit.

Find it I did, though. I opted to head for the Imperial Palace Park, an oasis of peace in a hot and busy city:

Not all of Tokyo is so tranquil - I decided to spend the evening in Ginza and Nihonbashi:

Eight way crossings: what fun!

At 11pm it was time to catch the Ginga ("Galaxy") night train to Osaka. There were several train fanciers on the station, waiting to photograph of one of the Grandes Dames of the Japanese railways.

The feeling of nostalgia extends to the interior, with the brass and porcelain washroom.

In standard class the beds are small but adequate, and laid out four to a bay. The curtain provides the only privacy. Night trains are definitely a relic of a time that was less concerned about safety.

The beds come with neatly folded bedding and a yukata robe. There are "indoor slippers" to be worn around the train too.

I fastened my curtains, changed into my robe, put in the iPod headphones and fell fast asleep by midnight. When I woke, the sun was rising and we were speeding through the outskirts of Kyoto. There's something very romantic about night trains.


Anonymous said...

Why does Tokyo station look like a British boarding school? Not that I've ever seen either the station or a British boarding school


Auntie Em said...

The other side is very ugly concrete and looks much more like my old comp :)

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