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Earthquakes and Tokyo Tower / 17 April 2011

Sleek and lazy
when we returned,
Sumida gathers momentum;
rolling sea-ward
with a sense of urgency.
Deep gleaming;
green black;
her skin puckered
by soft breezes, she
ripples the skyscrapers
reflected in her journey,
moving silently
along the riverbed.
The familiar bed
that is all hers
to play in, when
the great sea-monster
is hunting elsewhere.

It's good to be back in Tokyo, even though she welcomes us with a whole series of quakes; just little ones, around four on the scale, but the centre is closer.

We make a late start, have a relaxed morning and then take the metro into Roppongi. We are going to try Tokyo Tower, but will explore the lower levels of Roppongi Hills and the Mori Garden first.

The garden is a neat little space, handy for local office workers with a bento box or an apple, to eat lunch. We make our way to Roppongi Crossing, looking at places to eat along the way. SP leads me into a little place that doesn't look very special, but has a warm welcome.

They rearrange the tables to fit me in and we order. Just a light lunch, we think; I choose a bowl of sashimi on rice, SP has a similar bowl of rice with salmon eggs. We nibble soya beans cooked in their pods and served salted, while the food is prepared.

The food is utterly delicious. The fish as perfect and as fresh as it possibly can be, the wasabi is fresh and strong and the rice delicious. I devour it all.

Tokyo Tower, fifty-two this year, is not the most accessible. Her top is bending at a strange angle (reported to be damage from the earthquake), but she has plenty of visitors. We take the lift to the first viewing platform and, unlike the Mori Tower where I looked down on Tokyo, here I am in amongst the skyscrapers.

Getting down is a complicated process of swapping lifts; the temporarily non-disabled have to take flights of stairs to avoid mixing up the up-queue and the down-queue. There's another quake while we are there.

Back on the ground, we return to the Hills for refreshments in an Internet cafe. Wifi, though widely available and free to use, needs a membership code to access. This too tends to come free with a purchase, but then of course you have to have made the purchase in Japan.

I browse the library, and sample flip-books until we decide on an early night. Back at home by seven, I have time to catch up on my mail, blogging and watching a little TV before bed.

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