This year, I stayed in Tokyo for Golden week – a week of consecutive holidays in Japan. It’s a rare occasion to actually go somewhere but with everything happening around recently I just wanted to stay put and enjoy my GW as I used to do when I just came to Tokyo.
One of my favorite activities was spending time in Odaiba on the beach reading book or strolling down the flower fields in front of Palette town.
Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. It was initially built for defensive purposes but then was turned into a seaport district. Now, it became a major commercial, residential and leisure area. Odaiba, along with Minato Mirai in Yokohama, are the only two places in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area where the seashore is accessible and not blocked by industry and harbor areas.
So, there is an actual beach in Odaiba where you can swim, surf and sunbathe all the while enjoying Tokyo skyline on the horizon and the proximity of everything you might ever need – shops, restaurants, multiplex cinema, amusement park, museums and even a TV station. I used to go there a lot when I was freelancing as a model/extra.
On Wednesday, I met with Laura who was actually working for Fuji TV that day in the evening so we could spend some time together before her job.
Last year, poppy flower fields were relocated farther to the west from the Palette town. It is actually close now to the Museum of Maritime Science which is convenient if you want to later go to Shiokaze park or Odaiba Seaside park (decks beach).
Lilacs, poppies and cornflowers are my favorite flowers so I always take a chance to go see them whenever I can. In Odaiba, you can see both poppies and cornflowers and also Susuki – Japanese pampas grass.
This is a grasshopper Laura caught in Susuki. He was extremely patient while we were taking pictures of him. ^-^ Don’t worry he wasn’t harmed at all!
After the poppy field, we went to Shiokaze park to say Hello to Jenya who checked-in in Facebook saying she was having a BBQ there. ^-^
You can rent all the equipment, tent, table and chairs right there at the beach and it is not crowded at all so Shiokaze park is a really nice place to have BBQ – much better than let’s say Tamagawa river where you have to fight for a spot under the highway bridge.. ^-^
Jenya’s friends were wonderful! They have prepared tons of food which was perfect because me and Laura got tired looking for a place to eat.. Odaiba during GW is crazy! Everywhere are lines of people, even to a food stand, let alone restaurant..
Then, I left the girls in Odaiba and went to meet with Dasha and Inna. Our Facebook group “Stop panic” wrote a support letter to Fukushima workers and it somehow reached NHK who then contacted our group and asked for an interview. So we went to meet with them and other members of the group. We had a tea or what we call in Russia “chaepitie” and talked about the events in Japan after the earthquake and the reason we stayed and made that group.. They cut a lot in the final version but it anyway turned out to be good.
You can see the interview here. It’s in Japanese though..
After the interview, we all went for yakiniku at a local Korean restaurant but since there were just too many of us, they put us into a karaoke next door. ^-^
Tom, who does all the updates on radiation and the situation at Fukushima came specially from Niigata to party with us so of course we had to go to Roppongi. ^-^
Somebody (I am not to point fingers here) got so wasted, we had to drive them home in a taxi to the other part of Tokyo. It was quite the adventure to try and get the correct address out of that person. ^-^ Fortunately, everything turned out to be good. But really, it’s impossible to party with those guys. They have friends everywhere which almost always results in tons of free tequila..
A week later, we had another fundraising party where we auctioned a book of radiopoetry (poems on radiation that talented members of our group came up with) and other funny stuff like t-shirts and coffee mugs with TEPCO logo turned into Cheburashka – CHEBCO. ^-^
We had a public reading of poetry, music performances and other fun stuff. It was a really good party! ^-^
Now, the group is actively organizing deliveries of food and clothes to the shelters and also planning to go out to Tohoku region with an entertainment program for children. If any of you want to participate in charity activities or just want to read the latest information on radiation, look for “Support for people in Japan and please STOP panic!” on Facebook. ^-^