Wednesday 23 January, 2013
I just have time to jot a few notes before heading out to dinner with Matt, who used to work with me in Sydney, before he married a Japanese woman and they moved to Tokyo. It’ll be nice to catch up.
I had a bad sleep in the hotel room. Trouble getting to sleep, then I woke up about 04:00, since that was 06:00 at home, and couldn’t fall asleep again. Hopefully I’ll adjust better tonight.
A bit before 07:00 I got out of bed, got dressed, and went in search of breakfast. I’d found a food court in the hotel complex last night, and tried that first, but it didn’t open until 10:00. So I crossed the road to the station and tried the food parlour where I’d bought the mochi last night, but that was closed too. So I went into a 7-11 and grabbed a tray of sushi and a vegetable rice cake thing and brought them back up to my room to eat while I got ready for the day visiting the Canon Inc. offices in Shimomaruko.
I needed to be there at 09:40 to meet my contact, and people told me to allow plenty of time to find my way there. So I left a few minutes before 08:00 and walked over to Shinagawa station, where my first task was to find the platform for the Keihin-Tohoku line, southbound. This was actually very easy to find, and when I walked down the stairs a train pulled in and I hopped on. It was full of people, but not really crowded – there was plenty of space to stand. Three stops later I arrived at Kamata and made my way across to the Tokyu-Tamagawa line trains. I arrived just as one train was departing, but the next train was a mere four minutes later, so that didn’t take long at all. It was only another three stops to Shimomaruko. The stations along this line were smaller and more rustic, with shelters made of wood.
Shimomaruko itself felt very different from the neon bustle of Shinagawa. The buildings were older and smaller, and it felt almost like a Japanese village. The walk to Canon goes down a street lined with fruit stalls and little shops, and it is fairly picturesque. I’d arrived so quickly that I had a full hour to spare before my meeting, so I dawdled down side streets, seeking interesting photo opportunities, as I meandered along towards Canon. The walk wasn’t very long, so I got there with plenty of time left, and continued walking past the Canon campus to the Tama River, where the street went over a long bridge across the broad floodplain and the river in the central part of it. Parts of the floodplain were made into sports fields, and a jogging track lined with trees ran along the side of it.