Tel Aviv: another adventure

Yona is grandma on Wednesday. She put me on the train to TA and went to her brood. I went, first to Museum Haaretz, museum of the land, where I saw two excellent exhibits. Israelis are amazing in their support of the arts and there is a thriving contemporary art scene here, especially considering the country is the size of New Jersey with about the same population. The first exhibit was unusual things made of paper: creased, folded, rolled, cut, shaped, made into books and made out of books. Very inventive.

The second exhibit was fiber art, again unusual creations all made by Israeli artists. The variety almost equaled Fiber Arts International in Pittsburgh, which draws entries from all over the world.

I had lunch in the museum cafe, tuna Nicoise, a nice change from all the hummus and other salads. From there I went to the Tel Aviv Art Museum, which was not as interesting to me but I was getting very tired. There is some contemporary photo and video shows, lots of 18th and 19th C. painting, and a display of miniature rooms. I have to find out more about them as a 19th C. interest. The knee finally got me. It bothers me less, but is still stiff and painful at times.

I got back on the train then took a taxi to Yona’s son’s home and got to see all three kids along with the brown and white dog who shed all over my black jacket. We then had a light supper in a Japanese restaurant.

My last day here is perhaps the most interesting. I’ll write when I get home. I leave at midnight tonight.

Old Friend

I remained in Jerusalem on Sunday night so I could meet with another old friend, Janette, on Monday morning. The weekend had been rainy and cold but Monday was lovely again. We spent time walking and talking, catching up on the several years since we were together. I saw her new apartment in a senior living place, we went to lunch and finally to an informal Hebrew conversation class she holds for three American women. It did not improve my Hebrew.

Temporarily swearing off taxis I took a bus to the central bus station, another bus to Tel Aviv, then the train to Netanya, where Yona met me at the station. It felt like coming home.

This morning, Tuesday, we went to Haifa to see the exhibit I couldn’t find last week. The exhibit was in Carmel Center, halfway up the mountain. Not being sure of the way up Yona stopped a couple of people for directions. The second man said he was going there, so he got in the car and directed her. Very Israeli.

After another Israeli-Arab salad lunch we went on an unusual excursion. Yona is a volunteer driver helping sick Palestinians, particularly children, cross the border to reach Israeli hospitals for treatment. This service is provided at no cost. At the hospital in Haifa, we picked up a mother and baby and another mother with a very sick teenage boy who could barely get into the car, although he was the one who directed Yona about where to drive. The women said nothing. We took them to the checkpoint nearest their homes where we entered easily by giving the boy’s name and they were met by their families. Yona also gave a donated computer to the boy. You can read more about the volunteer group at

A week in Chicago

Our family, including Renee from New York, went to Chicago last Friday (6/14) for Charna’s graduation: two days of special festivities.  Friday’s presentation, a baccalaureate service full of school-spirit and college talent, was held in the huge, packed Rockefeller Chapel. Unfortunately we were seated near the back and had trouble seeing and hearing. In my tenure at the University almost no school spirit was ever exhibited, so I found this presentation somewhat strange.

Twenty thousand people were seated in the main quadrangle on Saturday prepared to be rained on. The University has no venue large enough to hold the families, friends and graduates gathered together in one place.


It wasn’t anything like I experienced when I graduated. My college class had 400 students, one of the smallest in the university’s history. This class had 1300 from the college and large numbers from the graduate and professional schools. The other difference, which I loved, was the great diversity of the participants. My college class had 3 African Americans and 397 white people, mostly Christian or Jewish. I don’t think there were even many Catholics. Today’s convocation had people from all over the world and Charna graduated from college (with honors), not like her old grandma who barely made it.

After all the festivities the week became bittersweet, not with my usual nostalgia, but this time reality could not be ignored. My first visit was to Carol, who is now in hospice with lung cancer (and still smoking). Seeing her was a heartbreaking experience, only relieved by the presence my nephew and family, including my 10-month old great, great niece. She’s adorable, but the great, great part makes me feel very old.

The remainder of the week was much the same. One of my friends fell about a month ago and is having a terrible time recovering. I spent as much time with her as possible, broken up with visits to healthy relatives in beautiful places and additional visits with Eli, Charna and Hannah, Eli’s committed partner. I like her a lot; hope she remains with him.

On Friday I went to the Art Institute with Sandy. We saw a great photography show and all together had a fine day.

March 29 and March 30

Went from very warm yesterday to quite chilly today. I went back to Fukuoka for one more try at Yusentei. First I went to Shofuen, the garden that was closed on Tuesday. It is a small garden in an upscale residential area, built originally as a tea house garden, then taken over by the city. It was an uphill walk from the bus stop and then a steep set of stairs. However the wonderful thing about municipally run enterprises is they often consider people like me and put in an elevator, actually enhancing the experience. Instead of seeing the garden in bits and pieces as you clamber up the stairs it opens to you all at once when the elevator door opens.

Frothy, powdered green tea with sweets. Note the pink sakura

Frothy, powdered green tea with sweets. Note the pink sakura

It was noon by the time I arrived and climbing up the hill had tired me, so for the first time, I accepted a bowl of green tea and a sweet, which I was able to eat while sitting on a bench and viewing part of the garden. It was a lovely experience I will probably never repeat but it was nice to try it once.


80 year old maple tree in the center of the garden

After I felt restored I walked around the garden and the teahouse.



Before I began this visit I got detailed instructions for Shofuen and Yustentei from the information desk at the train station. Actually not detailed enough, but I was able to figure out details like which direction I should go on the bus. Two buses and help from passersby I got to Yusentei only to find it closed. This time there was a long letter on the door, I think, explaining the closure, which will probably last for months. I can’t read the writing but I recognize dates. Giving up, I got back on the bus then took the subway back to the train to Kumamoto.

March 30

On the train again, this time heading back toward Kyoto with stops at Hiroshima and Okayama. I can’t believe I have been here two weeks already and have only a few more days of travel before I settle down for most of the remaining three weeks. I shipped my bag directly to Kyoto, taking enough underwear and medications for the next four days. Interesting what becomes important as you grow older.

Had a great day in Shukkeien garden here in Hiroshima. I’ll write about it tomorrow or Monday when I’m on the train again. The rest of this post was written on my way here.

Some casual observations.

Alice, sometimes you must read my mind. I don’t remember writing about how clean it is here, but I think about it. You seldom see papers or plastic bags or anything on the ground. And unlike our cities you don’t see trash containers on every corner. I have walked around all day with junk in my pocket and no place to get rid of it. Every small purchase earns you a receipt. I have learned you don’t have to take them. Then it’s up to the giver to dispose of it. This year smokers seem to be largely confined to smoking areas with cigarette disposal containers. Mostly there aren’t even cigarette butts on the ground.

Besides the receipts, the other nuisance here is the one yen coin. Like our pennies they are mostly useless except in supermarkets where they make you think you are getting a bargain if they take 2 yen off. I now have a pocketful of one yen coins that I save for my supermarket purchases.

One of the wonderful things here is that buses and trams all have change-making machines. They expect you to pay the fare in exact change, but you can use the change machines to break even a 1000 yen bill. All lower denominations are in coins, including the equivalent of $1 and $5. In New York, if you don’t have a Metro card, you have to walk around with a pocket full of change or beg other passengers to help you break dollar bills.

I’m in another largish hotel room with a slightly larger bathroom and I’m getting ready to try out the bed.

March 28: Kagoshima

Day trip to Kagoshima, the southernmost city in Kyushu. Today is dry and warm, probably warmer than I like. Kagoshima has a  a garden, Sengan en, which they say, uses the bay and volcano for borrowed scenery. This one was easy. Got the train and the bus, going and coming, with no trouble and very little waiting. The garden is on a small mountain, I think 650 meters high. The lowest part is filled with restaurants and shopping. The actual garden is off to one side of the shops and I missed it. I was annoyed with all the commerce and I started instead to climb toward the peak.

As you climb the vegetation becomes more wild. It was lovely, but hardly what I would call a garden. I never got to the top, too much climbing on steep rocky stairs. I went up a short way and had trouble getting back down. I hate stairs, did I tell you that? I saw some photos and the area at the top looks like a manicured lawn, a viewpoint for the bay and the volcano.

I met a man coming down from the top and he advised me not to go. Said the steps were very steep. I was happy to take his advice. I think he is the man of my dreams and he will remain only in my dreams since I don’t even know his name. He is British, a mountain climber, going around the world climbing mountains and looking at volcanoes. He is nice looking, has a lovely voice and a polished accent. I expressed some surprise about the amount of time he was taking for this round the world trip and he told me he was 70, retired with a pension and had rented out his house. I was certain he was more like 60 and was with some kind of video or film crew making travel films. He had the looks and the voice for it. This is clearly the guy I want: great shape, interested in everything. Too bad he climbs mountains. That and parachute jumping are among the few experiences I am not willing to try.

My suitcase, filled with dirty laundry was waiting for me when I returned to the hotel. So, back to the mundane; you know what I did all evening.

March 27: Kumamoto

I liked Fukuoka and I’m sorry I didn’t schedule more time there. Today was my day to move again, but just 45 minutes down the train track. It rained most of the day, a light, drizzly kind of rain with a comfortable temperature. I checked in to the new hotel, which wouldn’t let me get into the room until 3 pm. That is the rule.

I particularly wanted to see one garden here: Suizenji koen, and decided to go there, rain or no. The first sight of the park is jaw dropping. When I get back to my other computer I’ll try to put together the photos above to show the entire first view. That said, I probably liked this park less than most of the others I’ve seen. Too many fake mountains, which are supposed to represent the 53 stations of the Tokaido Road.


Many gardens represent scenery from far away places (in Japan or, occasionally China). Travel was a hardship so the wealthy could dream of travel in their gardens (and also compose poems about these famous places). This garden was begun as a tea garden by the feudal lord of the area in 1636 and took about 80 years to complete.

Monument to the two daimyos who built the garden. The woman bowed deeply to each one and stood there for a long time.

Monument to the two daimyos who built the garden. The woman bowed deeply to each one and stood there for a long time.

Never finished yesterday. So tired I was asleep by 10 and slept soundly until 4:30. then wide awake, but finally went back to sleep until 7:30.

More cherry blossoms

More cherry blossoms

On my way back to the hotel I stopped in the food department of a large department store near the tram station and bought stuff for my supper: three pieces of inari sushi, rice wrapped in a tofu skin; some dark green vegetable that might be spinach, and a container of slightly fermented cucumber, as in kimchi. I like that stuff, but inadvertently bought way too much. I’ll be eating every night here. There are vegetables, but it’s hard to find spinach, broccoli, and the other stuff I usually eat. I’m still concerned about my coumadin count, but I’m not showing any black marks yet. I guess I can always get a blood test.

After my vegetarian supper I wanted something sweet. I inquired about supermarkets and was given a map and some directions; then started walking. I found another covered walkway with lots of different kinds of shops, including something called Land of Markets that had some exotic stuff like cheese and another place called Swiss Konditorei. I’m never sure what the names mean, but this looked good. Unfortunately I had already made my purchase. Maybe I’ll go back tonight.

This is the largest hotel room I’ve had since I arrived, and it has the tiniest bathroom. Sometimes I feel like a giant here; I almost don’t fit on the toilet and getting in and out of the tub is an adventure in itself. It feels like there is no room to fall but I’m sure I could kill myself if i’m not careful.

Alice, you remarked about the efficiency of the Japanese. The trains run on time, even the buses and trams keep to a schedule. Problems arise when you don’t ask the right questions, or you don’t know what questions to ask. I asked how to get to the garden and was given exact directions. I didn’t ask if the garden was open, because my experience has been that gardens don’t close. Unlike museums, they are almost all open every day. As for information from websites I should know it isn’t reliable. But sometimes I don’t know how to ask.

March 25 and March 23


Another travel day. Shipped my larger bag to the next hotel then pulling the overnighter I walked to the train station. I was going to take a taxi but figured the exercise would be good. Since I made it in 20 minutes it’s probably less than a mile. I arrived at the station earlier than necessary and got the rest of my train reservations, using a newly created list that reflected a few changes. After that five hour train ride last week I decided I couldn’t face another one. Instead of going from Hiroshima to Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku, which would involve a long ferry trip and an even longer train trip on a slow train, I am going back to Okayama from Hiroshima and will see the two gardens on Shikoku as day trips from Okayama. Now I am headed for Fukuoka on Kyushu, the other large island of Japan. It’s only about two hours which is good.


Back to Saturday’s gardens. As I visit these gardens I am still questioning what attracts me most about them, why the Japanese designate some a most important and why I don’t always agree. There are three kinds of gardens, zen gardens made almost entirely from rocks and gravel, gardens made to be viewed from inside a structure and gardens made for strolling. I am not so fond of the zen gardens; it is the other two that interest me. Saturday’s gardens, Korakuen and Shurakuen are both stroll gardens. I visited Korakuen, considered one of Japan’s top three, in 2008 and found it somewhat disturbing. The garden was built for the pleasure of a daimyo. There are rice fields, tea fields, a lot of open lawn, an archery space, a place for training horses and a small, ugly aviary where they house half a dozen cranes. The cranes bother me the most and I am not so fond of all the open space.


Okayama Castle: borrowed scenery for the garden

Okayama Castle: borrowed scenery for the garden

House with water running through it.

House with water running through it.

The second garden, Shurakuen, required an hour train trip inland and through the mountains to Tsuyama. Then I couldn’t figure out where to go from the guide map so I hired a taxi. Originally three times larger than the present site, this garden was created in the 17th C. and is a pond stroll garden, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Each few steps presented a different picture. This is what I look for.

When it was time to leave I wanted another taxi but finally just started walking. It turned out my $10 taxi ride took me less than two kilometers, an easy walk. I think the price was high because of the waiting time at stop lights, not because they were out to get me.



When I arrived back at the hotel I met an English speaker, a Mexican who is working on a PhD in biophysics in Australia and who is a zen priest. He was eating his dinner in the hotel lounge while doing laundry and I sat and talked with him for probably two hours. He was fascinating and the first person I had a real conversation with in more than a week..

I arrived in Fukuoka before 11 am and spent about an hour in the station getting help from the information people and having lunch. I was advised to take a subway to my hotel, but one of the gardens I want to see was not far so I walked there and then walked to the hotel.Totally wiped out I’ve been working on this post and tomorrows plans. Eventually I’ll go out and get something to eat.



The garden, called Rakusuien, is a beautiful, very small pond garden with a waterfall and an attached tea house. I was invited to have tea, but it would have meant sitting on the floor so I demurred. I did go in to look at it and as I entered a small wedding party also came in. The strange part is that I think they were the same party I saw at Korakuen. Maybe I was dreaming.

Wedding party at Korakuen, or is this an advertising photo shoot?

Wedding party at Korakuen, or is this an advertising photo shoot?


The gardener took my picture.

The gardener took my picture.

March 24: All at sea


This is not going to be a nice review. For a much more positive portrait of this place, go here.

I never wrote up yesterday so I’ll save it for tomorrow’s train ride and deal with today while it’s still fresh in my mind. Yesterday was two good gardens will be mostly pictures.

Today I took a trip to Naoshima a nearby island, requiring two short train trips and a ferry. Read about the town and some of its industry here. The town bus, costing 100 Yen, met the ferry and took us to the ticket center and waiting area for Chichu museum where a long line was waiting. Before I go on, I have to say I hate waiting in line. Standing is not good for my legs or my soul and I work to avoid it; meaning I don’t often stand in any lines. But I got in this one and listened uncomprehending to a young man giving a long speech in Japanese. When the line moved and I finally got to him his nametag said bilingual guide and he told me, in English, he was giving me a slip of paper with a time on it, 45 minutes ahead, and at that time, and for the following 30 minutes, I would be allowed to buy a ticket to enter the museum.

Some of you who read my blog also read Ronni Bennett’s wonderful blog where she invokes crabby old lady. I am not so polite: today I was bitchy old lady. And that was only the beginning.

IMG_4179I waited the 45 minutes, grumbling under my breath, and finally paid my 2000 Yen (about $22) and walked over to the museum, where after climbing a steep incline and then taking an elevator, I was informed I would have to wait again to get into the Monet room. The museum, designed by Tadeo Ando, is large with lots of empty reinforced concrete corridors and entirely underground but all the work is illuminated with natural light, allowing you to see it under different lighting, according to the brochure. Maybe when the clouds move fast, but I can’t imagine standing around waiting, no seats, and all those people in line behind you. This museum has work by only three artists: James Turrell, Walter de Maria and Monet. So I stand in line, take my shoes off and put on slippers then finally get in to see the five Monet water lilies. How many water lilies did he paint? I’ve seen them in Paris, Chicago, New York and even Pittsburgh has one. These were not the best water lilies I ever saw, but they were certainly the most carefully displayed.

So, what next? I could go and stand in line to see the Turrell. I don’t know anything about his work, but the thought of one more line did me in. I went to the de Maria where there was no line and then, carefully filling in their satisfaction survey, I left. The best part of the museum, for me, was a kind of Monet garden along the path leading to the museum. These pictures are from the garden.
There are two more museums at only 1000 Yen each, but I skipped them and walked around outdoor sculpture by Nikki Saint Phalle along the beach. No waiting.


I got back on the bus, which was waiting for me for a change, and went to the art houses. This is a group of widely spaced houses that had been abandoned or falling down and were renovated (?) and made into works of art. After paying another 1000 Yen I was told I would have to get a ticket and then there would be an hour and a half wait to see another Ando/Turrell creation. And I had to walk to said creation in order to get the ticket. Can you see the steam coming off the top of my head?
I got the ticket which was actually for 3 o’clock, two hours later, then walked around to see the other houses.


The idea is fascinating, in principle. One of the museums in Pittsburgh does something similar and I think more interesting. This house, which had been a dental clinic, was given an intriguing floor and housed this funky almost Statue of Liberty I wasn’t supposed to photograph. Couldn’t resist.


I never saw the Ando/Turrell masterpiece. About 2 pm, having walked or stood from about 9:30, I got on the bus, went back to the port and made the ferry/train trip. Now I’m doing laundry. The moment of truth, or dirt, had come.

Nikki St Phalle Cat

Nikki St Phalle Cat

Me, in one of the pieces on the beach

Me, in one of the pieces on the beach

March 22: On the train

Shinkansen. Why can't we have trains like that?

Shinkansen. Why can’t we have trains like that?

Today is a travel day. First a brief trip on a local train, now four hours on the Shinkansen to get to Okayama. I think the distance is comparable to Chicago to DC. It wouldn’t be four hours on our trains.

In this week since I left Pittsburgh I have stayed at three radically different hotels. My criteria for selecting hotels had to do with location and, of course, price, preferably under $100, better yet, under $75. Which was paramount depended on how much I understood about the destination. The first night, in Chicago, location was important. I wanted something close to the airport and to public transit. The O’Hare Inn and Suites offered seemingly constant shuttle service to the airport and the blue line train. It was not a great hotel; clean enough, but shabby with the inconvenience of stairs for second floor rooms and ; badly in need of renovation. The shuttle driver took my bags to the room and brought them down when I left. There was no way I would be able to manage it. I think this was one of the more expensive places.

I have two bags: the largest 21” carry-on I could find, (Did you know the 21 inchers come in different sizes?) and the small overnight I took for that previous three night stay in Chicago. Dealing with both at once is not pleasant, but I don’t anticipate doing it often. I am shipping the larger bag and skipping hotels I will only stay at one or two nights. In Atami I had only the overnighter. My other bag is supposed to meet me in Okayama.

My Tokyo hotel, MyStays Inn, Asakusabashi, was stylish and looked new. The room was, as I expected, miniscule but comfortable. I think the bed was great but I was so exhausted every night I couldn’t say for sure. I had to put the suitcase on the bed when I wanted to open it. There was no room for one of those luggage stands and no closet. Three hangars were on a rod overhanging a full-size mirror. The bathroom, as most Japanese bathrooms, had a raised threshold. I’ve never figured out whether this enables them to flood the room to clean it or to keep the evil spirits from leaving the bathroom. The tub was deep, great for soaking but not great for getting in and out to shower. I never soak. Not anymore. That was the worst inconvenience. The staff was helpful; I was even able to manage with the ones who did not speak English. It was also convenient to the train.

Basin and tub

Basin and tub

Train station I missed entirely on my first try

Train station I missed entirely on my first try

Bento Box, from the 24 hr. supermarket down the street.

Bento Box, from the 24 hr. supermarket down the street.

As you may have gathered, my experience in Atami was something of a shock. The hotel entrance at the bottom of the hill was hugely inconvenient. I come from flatland and don’t like climbing hills or stairs, up or down. But climb I did, taking taxis only when I was carrying the little suitcase, which was not light. I liked the room in spite of the lack of a comfortable chair. I like sleeping on the futon on tatami mats. I find it comfortable and I sleep well. Only the up and down is bad.

IMG_4019 IMG_4020

The room was long and narrow. About a third of it, as you walked in, was lined on both sides with utilities: a tiny entrance area with a shelf where you can leave your shoes (no walking with shoes on tatami mats) and keys or whatever else you didn’t need inside the room. On the left were separate compartments for the toilet, the shower and soak tub; and a large storage cabinet entered from inside the room, for the futons, pillows and duvet.

On the right side was a closet with a wardrobe, a basin with a mirror and some shelves in the corners for toiletries, a tiny sink and single burner stove with cabinet underneath with some dishes and pots, a microwave, a rice cooker and an electric kettle. No teabags, but I had some from the Tokyo hotel. I used the microwave, the kettle and a couple of plates for already prepared stuff I was able to purchase, including some tasty green stuff I hope was spinach.

The actual room was fairly large with a TV and some shelves for other equipment and a large, sturdy table that I finally decided to sit on. I am amazed it took me 24 hours to figure I could sit on it. I just don’t usually sit on tables. The first morning I couldn’t get my support stockings on while sitting on the floor. I just don’t bend so much any more. I finally went and sat on the toilet, the only thing in the room that resembled a chair.

I bought an Obi in Tokyo to cut up for a book cover. It’s a lot of fabric and it is heavy. I was able to get it in the suitcase, but as the weather gets warmer I will have to think about getting rid of stuff so I won’t have to wear the two jackets I am using now. I think it could get very warm here before I am ready to leave. Chicago was supposed to be cold the day I was there. I took a scarf and an undershirt that kept me too warm most of the time so I left both things I almost never wear in the hotel room. I have two pairs of shoes with me. Took a good look at the pair I was wearing when I arrived in Tokyo and decided they could go. First, I have to make sure I am comfortable in the other pair. I tend to walk on the outside of my feet and I break down most shoes before they ever wear out otherwise. Since I started wearing Merrell’s I find they wear on the bottom long before I can break them down. I never took a good look at the other pair. They could be awful, also, in which case I guess I go barefoot, or it might now be possible to buy shoes here. I’ve noticed some very large feet.

I am also considering jettisoning the jackets. The outer one is probably thirty years old. It’s in amazingly good shape. Eddie Bauer made great stuff back then. The lighter one is also nothing special. I’ll have to see how much I buy and wait until the weather is really warm. Presently it has been fluctuating between very warm days and much cooler days. Also depends on altitude. On April 10 I will go to Mt. Koya, possibly a cold trip.

I’ve got about 40 minutes left on the train. The weather forecast was for cooler temps, but it didn’t seem very cool before I boarded.

Posted this from my hotel in Okayama where it is very cool, damp and gray. Originally planned to visit Korakuen, my next garden, today, but I hope tomorrow will be a better day. My suitcase, entirely encased in a plastic bag was waiting for me. I could get used to this kind of service.

March 19: Last day in Tokyo


My last day in Tokyo and a beautiful day it is: sunshine, temps in the 70’s, cool in the shade, not much wind. I bought a large apple the night before and that, with a cup of green tea, was my breakfast. Then on to the train to Rikugien, one of my favorite gardens from my previous visit. Situated in a relatively quiet neighborhood, it is an oasis of calm behind high brick walls. It is also designed in a way that makes it comprehensible from almost every point of view. The name comes from the six parts of Waka poetry (a traditional Japanese poetic form, which I know nothing about). There are supposed to be 88 spots in the garden named for famous places in Japan and China and incidents from Chinese history. as well as references to waka.

Outside of the garden were banners announcing the cherry blossom festival I was grateful would not start until later this week. As you enter a huge, fifty year old weeping cherry in full bloom stuns you. Because I was early there weren’t too many people. I read somewhere that these festivals involve lots of drinking, but from what I have seen they are an orgy of picture taking. I duly took the required photos then walked around the park for the next two hours.

The famous Sakura

The famous Sakura

Referring back to the pictures I took previously I find everything looks much the same except for some bare branches and no colorful leaves.



City as borrowed scenery

City as borrowed scenery

Lots of children visiting

Lots of children visiting

I found a place for lunch in the area then got back on the train to another distant part of Tokyo, this time to see an art exhibit. This was where all my research broke down. On their webpage it said the Suntory Museum was only closed on Tuesday when they were preparing another exhibit. This was Tuesday and the exhibit had been up for some time, but they weren’t open. Back on the train I went to another museum closer to my hotel. I had been to the Edo-Tokyo museum before but didn’t realize it until I got inside. Then I was told the exhibit I wanted to see was all in Japanese and had lots of explanation. However, they had Hokusai’s entire set of the 36 views of Mt. Fuji on display, so it was a satisfactory day, after all.