Further into the park, on paths paralleled by lanterns, blue tarpaulins and a growing canopy of brilliant white.
Out of the bustling station and absorbed by Ueno Park 上野公園 and the increasing density of those partaking in hanami 花見, the traditional custom of flower viewing. The park is famous for its extensive sakura 桜, in particular the white/pale pink Somei-Yoshino 染井吉野, part of what makes it the most popular city park in Japan. Despite it being a Monday, the crowds were a sight on their own.
Another shot before tracking under the walkways and into the increasingly familiar station complex at Shibuya 渋谷. To take advantage of the great weather and the sakura 桜 at their peak, the day's first destination was Ueno Park 上野公園. Choosing the correct ticket fare was made slightly more difficult by all line maps being covered in preparation for the following day's consumption tax bump.
Back at the hotel I made a quick FaceTime to home and then settled in. From the darkened room the electric colours of a rainy Tokyo 東京 night were even more brilliant.
Opening the curtains the next morning revealed the storms were gone, a flawless gradient of blue filling the sky. The sakura 桜 in the streets were now in full bloom, weightless and incandescent.
Looking up at what was supposed to be darkness, struck by the silver light, my mind read that opening line...
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Taking the long way to Tōkyō Station 東京駅 and exploring the streets to the west, I'd hoped the open top buses would be running as a way to see more of the skyline by night. The incoming rain meant they weren't, so it was back to Shibuya 渋谷 where the above was snapped from the fogged up windows of the metro building overpass.
With thunder booming from Shinjuku 新宿 it was time to find a place to hide and have dinner. Heading up the hill the low clouds glowed impossibly, bright grey, illuminated by stray city light. The food shots in the windows of an empty Sukiya すき家 looked appealing so I sat down for a sukiyaki すき焼き set and chatted in the most basic of words with the only visible staff member. He was from China, feeling far from home.
Empty sake 酒 barrels stacked at Meiji Jingū 明治神宮. Certain Shintō 神道 ceremonies and festivals require sake 酒, so brewers donate a supply to shrines. In return, shrines display empty company decoration barrels (kazaridaru 飾り樽) and perform rites for the prosperity of the brewers.
As dark clouds grew in the north and the light started fading, it was back to Harajuku 原宿 to catch another train.