So I decided, fairly randomly, and with no actual plan for once I got there, to head up to Ueno today, mostly because it's convenient to get to from the office, and also because I heard it had a good park and museums, so I caught a ride with Peter and then went from there up to Ueno.
It does indeed have a pretty great park, I only had time to walk through a little bit of it while it was still light, but Ueno Park includes a few temples, places to rent a row boat, several museums, and some nice walking paths...
I also saw this little guy, who was curled up in what looked to be a pretty comfy set up if you're going to be a park-cat! Sorry the quality isn't so good, it was basically dark when I took it, but I didn't want to disturb him with the flash..
I happened to see a sign pointing to one of the museums, which was a big poster for the Dali Centennial Retrospective.
Thinking that sounded pretty interesting, I headed on impulse to go see that. It turns out that it was a popular destination! I was there in the middle of the afternoon (in the middle of the exhibition's run), and there was a ten minute wait to get into the museum, at which point everyone was about 6 deep to each painting, and moving along the exhibit path at a snail's pace. It really forced you to slow down and look at each piece of work carefully, but it was crazy how many people were there! The exhibition introduction mentioned that Dali was popular in Japan, and judging by today, he really is!
It was an interesting exhibition, with work from his teen years on. There was more realism than I expected, and it definitely altered my opinion of what Dali's work is like. Even though there were quite a few of the melting clocks that I automatically associated with his name, there was a greater variety of other types of work than I would have expected...
Anyway, after my culture for the day, I headed back to the area around the station and just wandered around a little bit. This is probably the closest to what most people envision as a Japanese city I would guess... Lots of little busy streets with restaurants and bars and fish shops, markets, clothing, pachinko, and a healthy sprinkling of neon.
Then I headed back to the office, and worked on CRASH some more - I've officially finished the second draft! After I finished that go through, I went straight back to the beginning and worked my way through the first forty pages again, just cleaning up some minor things and re writing a couple of scenes (like for instance I got rid of Coldplay, since I don't want a repeat of the Spice Girls in book 5 of the StableMates issue) I ended up replacing them with Boney M, which is much more random, and they're dated anyway, so a few more years really won't matter!
Pete and I grabbed the latest MetPod on the way out of the office, and then got some gyudon on the way home. It's basically cheap, filling, yummy Japanese fast food - like a big bowl of rice topped with a bunch of pork, and then also some soup for a fiver, not too bad! The whole place had the atmosphere of a truck stop or something, and the guys in there generally looked half asleep, drunk, or both... I can see how it could be a popular place at 3am after last call! However, it was tasty and filling, and quick, so nothing wrong there!
On our way back to the car, we stopped in at another Donki (those stores are soooo crazy!) and bought a few random things including a cheese grater which we've been requiring for awhile....(Here's Pete having a little bit too much fun with a pillow at donki...It's ok though, because I rode a mechanical exercise bull!)
That's about it - back home now to blog and then watch some Friends probably...