I have made a journey back to Asakusa, it involves changing trains and previously the station staff have been very helpful, but this time the helpfulness petered out when I arrived at the first station.
The man-with-the-ramp was not there and I was on the point of blocking the sliding door, to prevent the train leaving, when he came running onto the platform barking 'wait'.
At Asakusa station, following signs for the Temple exit, I came to a full stop at a flight of stairs and proceeded to get lost in underground corridors.
There is this strange business of the narrow focus, where people are capable of just not seeing you. Asakusa station staff 'couldn't' see me, and later when I got myself wedged into a tight corner in a tiny shop, the elderly owners 'couldn't' see me even when they were stood in my way and I was speaking to them.
There are a lot more tourists around this time, is this evidence of tourist-fatigue? Or am I discovering cracks in the skin of Utopia?
I was rescued by a kindly Japanese person who offered to take me to the elevator and proceeded to accompany me up to street level and point out how I could get to my destination.
In the past Asakusa was famous for theatre and night life, today the Temple attracts a lot of disabled visitors as well as school children and elderly people.
Today there was also a pair of tourist-geisha, looking exquisite and promenading - with groups of male business-men tourists trying to catch their attention.
Maybe on another day I'd have found all that male strutting and posing funny, but this seemed to be 'pick up a tourist' day and I was fielding unwanted attention from locals and foreigners. A persistent Japanese male had me practicing the narrow focus myself and wishing I knew the Japanese for 'get lost'.
Sumida rolls to Asakusa,
shiny water shivered
by quaking earth
under sunshine sky.
arcs basking wings,
alert, ready to fly.
While I, underground
encased in metal tube
am rocked in my