With night falling, some exploration in Tōkyō Station 東京駅, with the murmur of moving bodies and the bright chimes of train departures.
When a train is about to pull away its platform plays a song, often unique to the line and direction. They cut through the background noise or spill in, indistinctly, from far away. These cheery tunes are known as eki-melo 駅メロディ (station melodies) or hassha-melo 発車メロディ (departure melodies) and soon become familiar, to the point of expectation, like the next track in a playlist.
After completing the circuit and parting ways with the main group, another tourist and I headed back through Marunouchi 丸の内 with one of the guides we'd earlier struck up conversation with. We chatted some more before eventually saying our goodbyes and disappearing into the cross-flow of people in the station.
Through the park and up to the castle ruins, from which the sweeping octagonal roof of the Nippon Budōkan 日本武道館 is visible. All the while, delightful conversation with a local dressed in petal-flecked turquoise kimono 着物, selected for the season. Strolling to the lower gardens, she spoke of the Japanese way: appreciating the ephemeral and embracing the cycles of nature.