A Serendipitous Night in Tokyo

A spontaneous trip to the local civic centre viewing deck, turned into a night of serendipitous moments as small decisions led us to wonderful surprises in this ever-astonishing city of ours.

After hearing from a friend that in fact the local city hall, not only housed the line-ridden resident registration office, but also a viewing deck of the city on the 25th floor. So tonight, we took a very short train ride and made our way to the twenty-fifth floor.

Well, wasn’t it just phenomenal. I don’t think we’ll ever get over the view of Tokyo at night. Watching the dusk fade into nightfall and the city lights illuminating every corner of our vision really highlighted the enormity of the city. From the twenty-fifth floor, Tokyo appears to have no beginning or end; just people and lights.

The ‘Sky View Lounge’ was a popular spot this evening, it sports a bar, and a musician’s corner, where you can make use of the piano, guitar and acoustic bass guitar to ‘play freely,’ as the sign aptly states. A number of people played wonderful music in the background, including two elderly Japanese gentlemen who had brought their own sheet music and played a selection of duets together.

After listening to our fair share of piano tunes and taking in the views of the Tokyo Skytree and the Metropolitan Building, we headed to Otsuka for dinner.

Deciding to walk the extra few blocks and venture into Otsuka-proper tonight for dinner instead of our usual, closer restaurants, we heard shouting and drumming as we drew nearer to our destination.

Low and behold there was a local festival on called the Otsuka Awa Odori Festival (dance festival). Throngs of people on the edges of the closed-down street watched excitedly as the traditional Japanese dance troupes made their way down the parade. Each dance troupe was accompanied by its own musicians including a variety of drums, Japanese flutes and shamisen. The dancers and musicians were beautifully dressed in vibrant colours with some wearing geta shoes which look incredibly difficult to dance in!

As the dancing came to a close we got some takoyaki (batter-covered octopus tentacle) to-go, as the restaurant was standing room only, and wandered home after a wonderful evening.

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