On the way to the Ginza for a bit of window shopping, the plan was to take in the Bridgestone Museum of Art, a fantastic public legacy of its founder Ishibashi Shojiro.
But lunch was first. Taking the suggested Yaesu Central Gate to exit Tokyo Station, Madeline and I ended up in the subterranean world of department stores basements, where it seemed the only item for sale is food, and most of that was sold as Bento Boxes.
So much choice. I can’t remember what our bento box delights were, but I do know they cost less than 900 Yen each. A bargain. Prized cargo in hand, two challenges lay ahead.
Firstly, to find our way above ground. Secondly, to find a place to sit and eat – there must be a park nearby. Task one was duly completed, although it seemed like 500m of shop lined tunnels before our Chuo-dori exit beckoned.
Task two presented a greater challenge. That is until the single seat in the median strip was spied. With the hundreds of office workers and shoppers crossing the Yaesu-Chuo intersection every minute – how come the seat was vacant? Does it matter?
What a great place to enjoy a nice lunch, watch the passing parade, take in the exhaust fumes, and be stared at regularly by pedestrians who might have wondered what these silly tourists were doing.
That was in May 2012. Maybe we were trend setters. Does this seat need to be booked weeks ahead now?
And we did get to both the Bridgestone Museum of Art (absolutely fantastic) and the shopping strip of Ginza’s Chuo-dori. Didn’t buy anything though.