Tokyo day four: oyaki, crossings and nudges

Breakfast on day four introduces me to cooked rice balls, oyaki. These little pockets of joy were fuel that powered me through 2 days until way past lunch. We turned up early so got to see them being made. This was about the best slow, easy start to a conference morning I have ever experienced. I watched them be filled, carefully folded and then steamed to perfection. Once cooked they were cut in half, wrapped in delicate paper and served. The entire experience was possibly the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time.

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Different subway trains have different markers. Either was still much easier to understand than the one in London for example. It showed where you were a light guided you, continuing the subtle nudging I came to expect the longer I stayed in Tokyo.

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As I crossed the road another realisation of something new happened. The crossings were not only showing red or green but also how long each phase had. This was another little nudge, a calm ‘hey we got you’. Everything felt safe.

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Walking back to the hotel for a pause before the evening, we came across a temple. Before coming to Tokyo I had expected to crave finding these temples as expected to need to oasis of calm. Whilst it was calmer than outside, it was welcome but not craved. I wasn’t feeling like Tokyo was draining me. It was recharging and easy.

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The temple had these tiny little foxes (I think) in what seemed like capes. Paper shapes resembling lightning were hanging from trees and the little buildings. This temple wasn’t an end point, it was a crossroads, a place people were walking through to get to buildings.

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