Tokyo and Toronto, Sunday 14 April

I checked out of the hotel around 0915 and left my bag in their care. I headed for Hanzomon-jingu for a flea market that happens every Sunday. Unfortunately there were only about six vendors, and most of the visitors were Caucasians probably sent by their guidebooks (as I was). Trine says a lot of the jingus (shrines) have flea markets. The stuff on sale was kind of interesting: a lot of used kimonos, mostly for females, some male, a lot of kimono sashes. Various brass statuettes, some Buddhist images, some other stuff - I liked a brass dragon, but decided I had enough trinkets around the house.

I walked from there to Meiji-jingu - mostly because it was on my way to Yoyogi Park, but also because it was a really nice place and I didn't mind visiting again. There were at least a couple of weddings going on, with lots of people (read "tourists") taking photos.

photo: A Shinto(?) wedding party in Meiji-jingu

A couple in Japanese formal-wear sit as part of a wedding ceremony

I moved on to Yoyogi park, which was kind of a madhouse. There were dozens of large and small picnic parties laid out all over the grass (or what's left of it: it's heavily trafficked). There's not enough green space to go around in Tokyo. Off in the widely spread trees, there was a large group practicing a well co-ordinated dance routine. Sadly, the Elvises were only just arriving when I had to leave. Three of them had shown up with their slicked back hair and jean jackets, but they were just sitting around chatting.

After returning to the hotel and getting my bag, I boarded the wrong subway train. This is fairly easy to do as at Akasaka-mitsuke one each of the Ginza and Marunouchi lines are placed across from each other for easy transfers, and I went left instead of right (I rushed). I got off at the next station, which also has a connection to the Ginza line, but could have saved myself some grief by crossing the platform and going back to Akasaka-mitsuke ... the walk to the Ginza line was carefully labelled as being 710m (every 50m or so there's more signage telling you the new distance: it's both incredibly helpful and kind of annoying). That's the better part of a kilometer, with a 23kg pack on my back. It was a royal pain, and included traversing the entire length of another subway line platform as well as several stairs and escalators. Eventually I got to Ueno station where I boarded the Keisei "Sky Access Line" to Narita ... this is definitely the way to go, 40 minutes and only ¥2400. I paid ¥3600 for a bus into Tokyo from Narita that took nearly three times as long ... but which had the distinct advantage that it went near my hotel and I didn't have to deal with the Metro on my arrival when I was already exhausted and confused. But if I return to Tokyo it's the Keisei for me.

And finally, the flight home. My favourite twist was that my arrival time is before my departure time: I left Sunday at 1750, flew for 12 hours, and arrived in Toronto Sunday at 1650. The international date line makes perfect sense as a theory, but I find the practice quite confusing.

I took a little over 2200 photos. It may take a while to edit.