My travel backlog is getting out of hand! This is my attempt to restart a documentation of my trip to Tokyo last March. I’d actually done up the photos for this post months ago, but accidentally deleted them thinking that I’d made a backup…
I did not make a backup. Why do I always do this to myself. 😩
Anyway, this day in Tokyo was pretty memorable for me. I don’t often fall sick on vacation, but it just so happened that I’d gotten struck by something that led my allergies to go on overdrive, probably due to the turn down service at our new hotel the night prior. It was a pretty terrible way to start the day with a leaking nose, clogged head, and a constant barrage of sneezing. Ottie and I decided that this day would be a good time for a relaxing stroll at the nearby parks – fresh air and nature and all that. And so we found ourselves at Yasukuni Shrine and Chiyoda Park that afternoon:
We visited this shrine for the cherry blossoms, but the controversial museum (遊就館) was such a scene-stealer that I wound up taking way too many pictures of the exhibits instead:
Mitsubishi Type 0 Carrier-based Fighter Plane (a.k.a. Zero Fighter ゼロ戦), Model 52
Zero Fighters were first deployed in September 1940, and was so successful against Russian planes in the Battle of Chongqing that modifications were made based off it. Models 52s were massively-produced during World War 2 than any other Zero aircrafts. Their narrower wingspans, rounded wingtips, and individual exhaust stacks fitted to the Sakae 21 engine gave these planes an advantage of speed. Ottie, a war history buff, commented that Zero fighters were excellent at the beginning of the war, but the Japanese weren’t able to innovate as quickly later on and were soon overtaken by American fighter planes.
Model C56 Locomotive No. 31 from the Thai-Burma Railroad
This train was produced in 1936 and was one of 90 cars commandeered to the South of Japan for the Greater East Asian War (a.k.a. Pacific War).
Here’s a diagram mapping out the terms for the armour worn in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, which was the final stage of the massive civil war that was the Sengoku Period. The Azuchi-Momoyama Period marked a change in Japanese society and culture, which transited from the medieval era to the early modern era.
1: Mogami dō gusoku armour with dark blue string by sugake (Edo Period). This hoe-shaped helmet crest bears a Chrysanthemum branch, and is decorated with Sanskrit characters.
2: Kashidori(jay) yukinoshita five-leaved cuirass gusoku armour (Edo Period). The chest-piece is made of heavy iron, and also features a kohaze (clasp fastener) which was rarely seen in then.
3: Red-lacquered two-leaved cuirass gusoku armour (Early Edo Period). Red armour proliferated during the era, and generals who donned them were usually nicknamed ‘Red Ogre’.
4: Gusoku armour with purple string (Azuchi-Momoyama Period). This armour has 57 Paulownia Tomentosa flowers adorning it.
There were no English translations for this display, but here’s a katana blade and arquebus from the Edo Period, accompanied by a drawing of how it was used at the bottom.
Black-lacquered mackerel-tail kabuto (helmet) (Azuchi-Momoyama Period)
Heteromorphic helmets were the in thing during this period, so it was likely that this helmet that mimicked a Mackerel’s tail was aimed to attract public attention.
Kabuto in the shape of Mount Fuji (Azuchi-Momoyama Period)
This helmet was said to have belonged to one of the seven spearmen of the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583. Apparently a samurai picked it up and fell over backwards because he thought that it was going to be a lot heavier than it actually was!
Stirrup with Tessen (Clematis Florida) Inlay (Edo Period).
Chiyoda Park (千代田公園)
An unexpected sighting of a beautiful field of purple blooms in Chiyoda park instantly lifted my mood. It was only natural for me to take some photos with them and pretend that it wasn’t 13°C outside.
We ended our day with Domino’s pizza delivery to our hotel room while trying to figure out what exactly we were watching on TV:
It was a nice day, under the circumstances.