This is pretty typical of my shopping experiences in Japan. I picked up a bottle of Woolite from an "American Pharmacy" and this is how they wrapped it up before sending it home with me:
It keeps things tidy and clean, but just isn't very green.
Later in the day, I picked a nearby destination from my Lonely Planet city guide and headed towards the subway station. (I am dedicated to seeing more of the city this time around!) My pick was Tokyo Tower and, as expected, it's a total tourist trap. Not worth visiting if you're in Tokyo for only a week or two. The tower is modeled after the Eiffel Tower and was built in 1958. It's painted orange and white in compliance with international aviation rules and was much more beautiful as day turned to night as it's nicely lit in the evenings.
|Yum! Octopus snack... well, at least I think that's what it is.|
On my way home, I happened upon the Reigakusha Gagaku Workshop and Concert. Gagaku, as I understand it from the program I was given, is a form of Japanese classical music (c. 10th century), which sometimes includes dance. A Stanford researcher has put together this informative website about gagaku. The director of the Reigakusha group, Sukeyasu Shiba, was a musician at the Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency for 27 years and selected by the Japanese government as a "Person of Cultural Merit" in 2011, which made me feel like I was experiencing a truly authentic performance. It was really nice to sit at the outdoor concert under a sturdy canopy, while the music and sound of the rain melded together. Here's a picture of Reigakusha--they wore the same costumes and sat is the same arrangement at the concert:
What a counterpoint to my experience at Tokyo Tower!