Japan: Day 7 Shinjuku to Arawara and Meguro-gawa

It was a balmy 19 degrees and a beautiful blue sky for our last day in Tokyo.  We effectively only had 3/4 of a day before heading to the airport so the plan was to take it easy.

The first order of the day was a trip on the Toden Arakawa street car (tram) line.  This is a dinky one car tram that traverses the suburbs from Waseda in the north west to Minowabashi in the north east.  The route takes you through true suburban Tokyo, past little houses with their tiny yards, past hanging laundry and mothers taking their two children somewhere on their family bike.  Kindergarten kids were taken out on ‘excursions’ in big carts and stood at numerous platforms waving as the tram went past.  Most of the riders were either mothers with children or the elderly; a big difference from the typical metro commuter.

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At the terminus, we took the metro back around to Meguro where we were hoping to finally see our cherry blossoms in all their splendor.  The Meguro-gawa (river, or really a canal) is lined both left and right with sakura trees, probably the most famous place in Tokyo for viewing them.  We realised pretty quickly from the fact that there wasn’t masses about that they probably hadn’t blossomed yet, and alack, that was true.  Still it was a glorious walk along the river in fine weather, where the kids could walk without too much worry of being run over by vehicle or bike.  It’s a shame we were probably a week or so early for the blossoms because this area would be truly spectacular once they do come out.

The potential to be spectacular, if only those buds would have opened.
The potential to be spectacular, if only those buds would have opened.

We decided from here to walk back to our apartment as the warm air and sunshine were fine and the distance to Shibuya, not too far.  Again, we walked through suburban neighbourhoods that tourists were rarely stray into.  Not that they were dodgy, in fact quite the opposite.  The walk back probably took in some of the most expensive real estate in Tokyo.  Detached houses with proper garages and with more than a postcard size yard would be very much for the ultra-wealthy.

Not in the elite part of town.
Not in the elite part of town.  Just something we stumbled upon in the Shibuya backstreets.

It was time to say goodbye to our apartment, to Shibuya, to Tokyo and head to Narita for our night flight home.  The flight was uneventful (which is how you want them to be) and everyone managed some sleep.  Tomorrow’s blog will be a final word on Tokyo and focus on the practicalities we considered travelling with two young children in an often strange and exotic city.  Perhaps it will inspire you and your family to head there yourself and immerse yourself in everything Tokyo.

Awwww.
Awwww.
Double awwww.
Double awwww.
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