|Jasmine flavored tea|
After class, the weather was beautiful which made me ditch my original plan of going back to the library to finish reading the Scarlet Gang. I felt like walking around. So I bought an ice cream cone from a konbini and and started walking in a random direction. I passed by second hand bookstores, little restaurants and many convenience stores. I was soon at Takadanobaba station, which is one stop away from Waseda University. Not quite ready to stop walking, I decided to walk another two stops to Nakano, which is a place of arcades, manga and cheap shops.
As I walked, I was surprised to see the city change quickly. One minute I was among glittery billboards, tall buildings and lively crossings. The next minute I'd be walking along an isolated road with a tire shop on one side and apartment buildings on the other. Normally, I would just turn back when I find myself in such a neighborhood, expecting to find a dead end if I keep walking in the same direction. But today, I kept walking. I didn't encounter any dead ends.
|One of the more rustic parts of my walk|
|One of the many shrines I encountered on the way|
|..which meant broad roads and a lively activity hub|
|People watching over a strawberry smoothie|
|Broadway-the name of a building with stores, restaurants and arcades|
|The inside of broadway|
|One of the narrow alleys of Nakano|
|Spotted outside a restaurant-marketing stunt maybe?|
On finding out that I'd have to switch at Shinjuku (the busiest train platform in the world) if I tried taking the train back home, I decided to take a bus instead. This was my first time taking a bus in Tokyo, and I had no idea how the bus system worked. But I asked myself, what's the worse that can happen? And the answer didn't seem too bad. So I asked an officer at the train station which bus I should take and made my way to the bus stop he'd mentioned. Taking the bus was a great choice! Not only did I get a seat, but the bus also went through tiny lanes and places I would never have seen had I taken the train. The bus itself was really cute. It had sliding door instead of the regular bus doors which open outwards or inwards and the steps inside the bus had lights on them so that no one would trip.
|Taking my first local bus from Nakano to Ikebukuro!|
|An avocado and smoked salmon sub with sesame bread and basil. Made my day.|
All the walking and travelling from place to place that I did today reminded me the importance of enjoying the journey and not just the end. I spent more time getting to Nakano and Ikebukoro than the time I spent there. All that I got to see on the way was much more valuable than the destination itself.
When I came home, my host mum had snacks waiting for me. She had gone to Shizuoka for work today, and bought some local snacks from there. One of them was a sweet called unagi pie (Unagi refers to the animal, the eel). The other was asari senbei, a kind of rice cracker (senbei) made with sea weed. They were both delicious.
|Unagi Pie, a sweet made of eel that my host mum brought home today.|
|Asari Senbei, a seaweed rice cracker from Shizuoka|