Last Monday I hosted a meeting of the Japan Council of International Schools. The officers and committee chairs needed a place to meet so I offered Kwansei Gakuin University’s Tokyo office as a venue. I forgot how centrally located the office is, just steps away from the doors of Japan Railway’s Tokyo station. It is on the 10th floor of the Sapia Tower and is probably one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the world. Our view looked over the station and the area around it.
A part of my quirky Japan series, I had to purchase a Japanese “egg McMuffin” or at least the convenience store version of it. The egg and sausage are wrapped in a layer of rice and seaweed. So Japanese! It gave me the energy to prepare the office for the meetings.
After the meetings, I wanted to get some exercise before heading back to Osaka on the shinkansen, or bullet train. Amazing that I can travel to and from Tokyo for the day with a comfortable commute of a little over 2 hours each way. By car, the trip would take 5-6 hours. Anyway, just blocks away from the station is the Emperor’s palace. It is a massive green space in the heart of Tokyo. I combined a loop around the palace with a side run around Hibiya Park to have a 10km run. It was cool and cloudy, perfect running conditions. The endless green lawns, manicured trees and ponds and just space is so rare in Japanese cities.
On my way out of the building and a final check to make sure the meeting room was clean, I thought about how far I have come since my childhood. Spending the day in a high rise in the largest city in the world is so different from growing up in the village of Caspian, Michigan, my hometown. Over 25 years working abroad has given me an appreciation for large cities, but, both the village and metropolis are special to me.