& TOKYO/CELLPHONE (walking exploration of the city) 2016-01-31 --
Another dull outing. A walk in Bunkyo Ward. Not much to say.
Unless you're heading to a very obscure corner of the city--and even then-- there are multiple transit routes to get where you're going. Today, heading to Edogawabashi Station, I noted that I could take the Utsunomiya Line from Oku Station to Akabane Station and the Saikyo Line to Ikebukuro Station and then, finally, the Yurakucho Line to Edogawabashi. There was also the option of taking the Toden Arakawa Line to Higashi Ikebukuro Yonchome and walking down to Higashi Ikebukuro and taking the Yurakucho Line.
The first option involves several transfers, but it's relatively painless and it's mostly on JR East lines until the transfer to Tokyo Metro's Yurakucho Line. Edogawabashi exits under the Shuto Expressway, which runs a few dozen feet above the streets below. The area across Kanda River and directly below the expressway recall the row housing in my Arakawa neighborhood. The area below the expressway has been turned into a shaded parks connected by a walking and bike path, with bike parking and public washrooms and seating areas. The path under the expressway connects to streets with shops and the various parks along the Kanda. Beyond the expressway, the hills are home to luxury apartment complexes with French names and polished marble gates.
I walked up to St. Mary's Cathedral, a building that looks like the year it was built-- 1964-- a silver spaceship of a building by the same architect that designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium (both completed the same year). I walked inside and sat for a while in a pew, looking up at the grey-silver walls. It was cold. Outside, a few foreign tourists were taking pictures of the cathedral. A flea market was set up on the sidewalk beside the entrance. The area is quiet and the cathedral is surrounded by gardens, hotels, luxury developments.
I crossed the river and walked up Shin Mejiro Dori to Waseda Station on the Toden Arakawa Line and took the streetcar home.