After our drive around the inland sea of Japan and our trip to Okinawa we are back in Tokyo for a few more days. On our first morning back Jo took us to the Shinjuku Gyoen park. It is famous for its early blooming cherry blossoms.
We spent some quality time sitting among the blooming cherry trees. Then Evan really got into it and planned our walk around the huge park and through its various sections. Just when it looked like we would spend the rest of our lives at this wonderful park, Vivian appealed to Evan’s baser instinct and eventually got him to leave by promising him lunch. Google and Jo found a Vietnamese restaurant close by and we had pho, probably Evan’s favorite food, for lunch. Then we went back to Harajuku for more giant cotton candy.
The highlight of our second time in Tokyo is a trip to an exhibit space called TeamLab Borderless. It is a mix of visual graphics, art, and interaction between the real and virtual worlds. In one place, Evan drew a snake on big sheet of paper. When his artwork was scanned in to a computer, his snake wriggled into the exhibit space and joined the myriad other creatures projected on the walls and floor of the space, till it was eaten by a giant salamander, someone else’s art.
We loved our time in Japan. As we prepare to leave we will miss our Seven-11 cashiers and onigiri. And the best taxi drivers in the world. And super clean and warm toilet seats. And an amazing transportation network. And the quiet clean narrow back streets of Tokyo filled with tiny restaurants. And polite people who tried to take over the world a mere eighty years ago. Goodbye Japan, we’ll miss you.
Meanwhile, the threat of the coronavirus grows steadily while the panic it sows rises exponentially. China has thousands of confirmed cases and has locked down an entire province. But this cat is out of the bag, this genie isn’t going back into the bottle. There is an outbreak in South Korea and there’s a giant cruise ship docked in Yokohama with three hundred infected people quarantined in there along with the rest of the few thousand passengers and crew. But we are still at a stage where we can count the infected and the dead. And a world that watches, unprepared.
It is with these thoughts swirling in our heads that we board an American Airlines 787 at Narita at 11:30 on Friday, February 21st for a 12 hour flight.
And suddenly we face a more immediate crisis – without doubt the worst airline food we’ve seen anywhere!! Luckily we have eaten a big breakfast and it sees us through till we land at DFW at 07:00 on Friday, February 21st.