Out the front door of the Edo Sakura Hotel, turn right and we are head towards Uneo Park and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. The small street our hotel is on is somewhat more intimate than the major traffic road one block west. We approach my first victim. Konichiwa I say, the fellow returns a pleasant smile and konichiwa. We then got our first lesson in Japanese. For a very long time I believed kon-e-che-wa was Japanese for hello. Seems it proper use is only in the afternoon. Oheyo, pronounced like the state Ohio with the accent on the last 0, is the greeting for the AM.
The gallery experience is very different here. The Japanese in general have a much greater interest in art than any culture we have passed through before. There is an exhibit of Impressionist art and on a Tuesday morning the masses are here. There are hundreds passing through the gallery. We have to find our way around at least 10 people as they take an elongated view of each painting. For me there were no jaw dropping pieces but there were several very famous paintings, the ones seen in art history books, and it is always an bonus to see the real thing. (Debbie on the other hand was enthralled with a Renoir, a couple of Cezanne and a Manet.)
First day here and we need to get our bearings around Tokyo. We have a couple of maps and navigation is quite easy today but we still have to stand on this street corner or that and decide where we are and which way to go. Just about every time we paused someone has approached us and asked if we need help. Totally cool. It happens everywhere in the world, but not with the frequency that has been the case so far here. Although walking along the street is somewhat of an internal experience, no one give a nod or greets us with oheyo but when we looked perplexed we have no shortage of angels.