Today Jen and Vida and I went out to spend a last day together in Tokyo. We started at a shrine sale, and then we had a lovely sushi lunch under the train tracks. Next we headed over to Meiji Jingu to see the Iris garden. It was a gorgeous day, there was a little tea house, a pond with lotus flowers, fish, and turtles, and then we saw two tanuki! Tanuki are “raccoon dogs” and are frequently featured in japanese art and culture — frequent well-endowed statues sit in front of restaurants and shops. They’re reputed to be mischievious, something like coyote in american indian legends.
Then we got to the iris garden, which was just beginning to bloom. They have many different types of irises, different shades of purple and white, different shapes, and more or less ruffled-looking. The garden will probably be in full bloom in a week or so, but even in its early stages it was very pretty.
Finally, we stopped at the cafe out front and got some ice cream, then said goodbye to Vida in front of the train station. It’s been awesome having her here for the first (almost) year of our tour in Tokyo, and we will miss her very much.