The temple around the corner:
Marker in front of the temple:
Statue of Kannon-In just inside the temple wall:
Bicycle parking lot, of which there are many:
Picturesque flower shop, just because it was there:
And finally, hydrangeas on the campus of International Christian University, where our seminar classes meet:
Yesterday was a more eventful day than it was supposed to be; for a number of coincidental reasons, all preventable but none fatal, I found myself separated from the rest of the seminar group no fewer than three times. Since the afternoon's activity was an outing to Harajuku to see the Lolis and Ko-Gyaru and FRUiTs kids promenading, this wasn't ideal. But the good news is that I learned that I can navigate the Tokyo rail system on my own, with a little wasted money on tickets and occasional help from the highly efficient and sometimes even kind Japan Rail men in the glass booths. (Not that I had huge doubts, but it's always nice to find out for sure.) And the other thing I learned is that Cassiel's photo directions to the Shinjuku and Harajuku Volks stores are absolutely foolproof.
Besides the gorgeous one-offs in the Volks stores (!!), I saw a few Lolis, two real and two wannabe Ko-Gals, a couple of girls dressed like particularly staid Japanese grannies circa 1925, and the highlight of the day: a young woman in full mid-Victorian mourning dress. She wasn't in Harajuku with the others, or trotting around with a posse (as the kids on parade tended to be). She was leaning casually against a traffic barrier outside Shinjuku Station, all by herself, listening to the speechifying of three extremely well-dressed Communists in a loudspeaker van. I was too bashful to take her picture, since she was very much not calling attention to herself (again, unlike the Harajuku kids). In hindsight, I should have crossed the street and taken the shot from a distance, but at the time I was too busy trying not to get run down by cars, bicycles, or other pedestrians. By the time I got to Harajuku and found the kids who did want their pictures taken, it was (as the English say) pissing down rain, and finding the Volks Sumika seemed more appealing. There's always next Sunday afternoon!
Today was only a half-day of lectures; I'm washing out clothes in the bathroom sink before going out again to browse the little shops and the big department store in the neighborhood. Or possibly taking a nap, because I still haven't had a full night's sleep, and I'm starting to feel it. Tomorrow will be another big day: morning lecture, early afternoon visit to the Ginza, late afternoon kabuki performance.
That nap is sounding better and better.