Easy Sunday

After waking up with a monunmental headache, I took a couple of paracetamol and commenced with Plan Walk. Heading from Asakusa, across the bridge and down the Sumida Gawa, I was confronted by a fleet of jet skis. Completely unexpected, and not something that they’d ever let you get away with on the Thames!

After half an hour, I got to Ryugoku, an old part of town housing one of the countries main sumo stadiums, the Kokugikan (you can just make out the pictures of the Sumo on the front of the building):

When the tournaments aren’t running it has a free sumo museum, but today it was surrounded by people queuing up to buy tickets for that nights fights so that was closed.

Ryugoku is also home to a nice garden, as well as the epic Edo Tokyo Museum, the main purpose of my visit. This was built in the early 90’s, just before Japan’s economy crashed the first time, so is awesomely extravagant, with the building itself held above huge pillars, reminding me of a Mech Warrior.

It tells the story of Tokyo from the Edo period, through various fires, the Great Kanto Earthquake, the war and the American occupation, up to modern days. Inside were full-scale reproductions of old buildings, as well as loads of models of areas of the city, pottery, tools, clothing, weapons and even things like cars and bikes.

The section on the war was particularly moving. They had loads of video footage of bombs being dropped and exploding across the city, and Asakusa, where I am now living, is one of the areas that was badly affected.

My thoughts about war are really amplified at the moment. I’m currently reading Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson) which is about many different wars, and a book on the history of Japan, plus the news recently has been full of details of the North Korean missile test (let’s face it – it wasn’t really a satellite launch at all now was it…). There is no escape from the impending doom ;)

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