Streets and trains; palaces, temples and an expensive place to rest your bones

Tokyo is a city of contrasts;
skyscrapers and palaces,
traffic-jams and shrines...

I stayed in Hachioji, at a hotel not too far from HP's offices there

Change your money at the airport,
there are many ATMs but all for Japanese
bank cards only
The train is the only way to travel, unless you enjoy spending hours sitting in non-moving traffic, watching television on your in-car navigator... after a few days on Tokyo trains, you become an expert at sleeping standing-up, magically awakening as your stop arrives; you descend to the platform, carried along in the press of human movement
The biggest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, incense swarming, people shopping, making wishes, clapping hands, thinking...
Land in Tokyo is probably the most expensive in the world; the cemetaries are old, no-one new comes to rest here now

The grounds of the Imperial Palace, greenly calm, surrounded by Tokyo's buzzing financial district, skyscrapers, mirrored-windows; yet tranquil as a gliding swan

All text and images copyright Alison Toon.