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.
Tracking the perimeter, past the shrine walls and back into the forest, trees still heavy from the rain.
Ema 絵馬, wooden plaques for making prayers or wishes, hanging at Meiji Jingū 明治神宮. These are a common sight at shrines and their pleasing aesthetic arrangement makes photography almost obligatory.
After the long gravel path among the trees, damp, shielded from the city noise, the shrine itself and its vast courtyard.
Lucky timing produced an extra dose of Japanese culture, a traditional wedding ceremony in progress.