DAY 11 (CON’T)
Right at the end of Ginza was Shimbashi. It was much nearer than I thought (just 5 to 10 min walk from Ginza 4-chrome and 5-chrome). Recognised the station by this bridge (i.e. the linkway to the Yurikamome Line platform) …… which means I’m on the right path 🙂
And so took 1 stop back to Hamamatsucho and back to hotel to drop off my shopping bags and down jacket, plus a short toilet and ‘wifi’ break before heading out again. It was already 430pm by the time I walked back to Hamamatsucho Station and boarded the Yamanote Line to Shibuya. Fingers crossed that I’m still in time to catch the ‘golden hour’ skyline change at the Shibuya crossing which will make some great photography!
Alas it was not to be as I reached Shibuya Station at around 450pm, and somehow got confused between various exits. Ended up exiting at a corner exit instead of the main exit that leads out to the Hachiko Statue.
After a good 5 min figuring out the various traffic junction, found my way back to the main square where the Hachiko Statue is located. To be greeted by a huge huge crowd of protesters!
Turns out this was a protest against a newly introduced state secrets law ….. and it is for real! People holding up signs (to express their discontent) and not moving (staying still) until the chef protestor gives commands/instructions. What an experience just walking through and experiencing an actual protest up close!
Given the crowds and the atmosphere, it was probably not wise to hang around there and continue taking photos (even the Hachiko Statue itself is all covered up with protest slogans) so abandoned the plan to walk further into Shibuya to do some shopping at Tokyu Hands (they have one huge building there which was also their very 1st outlet in Japan)…… and went into the Tokyu Department Store instead. There is also another huge food hall at B1, and full of people (probably it was a weekend + throngs of people like myself trying to get away from the protestors). After getting a fried fish snack, walked around the famous Shibuya Crossing a bit before managing to find a linkway that links to Tokyu Department Store (Level 2) and back to Shibuya station. Finally managed to put together some decent shots from various angles, hehe ……
All in all, only manage to spend like 20 min in Shibuya and left. Looks like the dream ‘golden hour’/’sunset’ shots will be another addition to my ‘to-do’ list for future return trips 😛
Another reason why I decided to leave earlier is also to head to Rikugien Garden for the evening autumn illumination. Even though the last entry time is 830pm (still quite a fair bit of time), decided that it was probably better to get this ticked-off the list before getting my dinner and more shopping done. And so, it was another 10 stops down the JR Yamanote Line to Komogame Station – which took about 25 min in total.
Sidenote: Thinking about it now, I should have just visited Rikugien in the daytime instead as Komogame was only 5 stops away from Ueno (where I was at in the earlier part of the day). This is even more so after not being impressed with the evening illumination (to be blogged about subsequently) ……
The journey to Komogame was not long, but the locating of Rikugien was. Despite following the street signs and directions, walked and walked and did not see any garden in sight. Until I managed to successfully ask a passerby who is Japanese and a proficient English speaker! Minimal pictures at this point as Komagame is more of a Japanese town (as versus to being modern and with huge sparkling buildings like in Shibuya and Ginza). Saw a couple of eateries that I could have gotten some food from, but priority still remains getting to Rikugien asap, so kept walking, heh ……
And finally got to the entrance of Rikugien after another around 605pm! Pretty big park and pitch dark as well (as nightfall comes really fast due to Daylight Savings). Had to walk a bit more before I finally see some semblance of autumn leaves lighted up 😛