a) find my way to my school campus, which may take up to 45 min to get to from door to door - but on the good side one of the administrators was actually there and informed me I don't have to be on campus until 9 am tomorrow instead of 8:30 (yay!)
b) eat lunch at a little cafe
c) go to Rikugien Koen (Rikugien Gardens). The garden reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems - although I didn't actually wander around to every single scene, I did see a bunch, and all of them were beautiful.
d) discover the "little" grocery store in my neighborhood is actually a 5-story ... department store with a food component in the bottom. I got dinner and an alarm clock! And I'm seriously thinking about going back to the housewares section to get myself a second comforter, since I'm actually using my first one as padding because the mattress is so lumpy.
To start off the photo tour, you get the neighborhood I'm living in as seen from my 4th floor window.
The view across the street:
And the south view (if you look really closely you can see the yellow sign of the Coco's in the distance)
the north view from my window (this is the way I'll be taking every day to the train station). It's crazy, but everyone in this neighborhood, it seems, has a bike. Good means of transportation when you can get it!
Now some photos from my garden adventures
It's a rock outcrop in the center of the lake - pretty.
The leaves of the trees were incredibly beautiful - super green!
very cool tree / bush / tree? with a sitting stone behind it
this one, I think, is amazing. In order to let the tree drape across the water (so when you enter the park, all you see are the beautiful limbs descending) they've propped it up so that it won't fall too far.
Remember how I mentioned this whole park was designed around poetry? This is a photo of one of the placards that has the poem. I was going to translate for you, but I'm tired and lazy so I will put that on the to do list for tomorrow - the big kanji (and the romanized words Yamakage hashi) mean "the bridge in the shadow of the mountain" (sorta, mostly).
And while I was standing on the Yamakage Bridge, this is what I saw:
Luckily the park also has a really huge hill you can climb, and a lovely seat at the top nestled in the trees overlooking the main part of the park.
trees are cool.
alas, there was only ONE flower really blooming that I saw. Luckily it was lovely.
Finally, on the walk out, another little bridge to an island with another beautiful tree.
Finally, once I got back home this afternoon it had started to rain, including lightening and thunder that I could see in the distance reflecting off the buildings. At one point the sunset turned everything an almost starteling deep yellow-orange color, and low and behold, I saw a rainbow!
That's right folks, a rainbow over Tokyo. If you look at the full size version of this photo you'll probably see it a little better (and the white specs are actually rain when hit with my flash)
So there you have it - day two in all it's glory. I'm sacking out early tonight with a movie and some JapanesePodcast language lessons to get ready for class tomorrow, after which I will continue my search for a cell phone (which was, again, the only thing on my personal agenda that didn't get done today). I checked online and it appears there are only *certain locations* where I can pick one of these suckers up, or I have to order it online and get it mailed to me. So I'll be heading to the depths of (or possibly wilds of?) Shibuya in search of the mythical pre-paid cell.