Rainbow Bridge, Venus Fort and Tokyo Beach. / 10 September 2014
Walking to Shiodome station from home was a first; we would normally take the metro to Ginza and have a shorter walk, so we made the mistake of being on the wrong side of the road. There are steps and even an escalator, but no wheelchair access to the bridges that cross the multi layered dual carriageway. In this district life, including the train station, happens from the second floor up, so we backtracked to find an elevator.
The plan was to cross the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba, have some lunch, do a little shopping and check out Tokyo beach - as long as the weather held.
It was warm, occasionally when the sky cleared the sun was incredibly intense, so we stayed in skyscraper shade most of the way.
The driverless train and staff-less station nevertheless had a ramp person ready when I got to the waiting train. Travellers were moved out of the way and the designated seat folded up to make space for me. I had the window space for the journey over the water as the train spiralled round the huge circular bridge to gain height. The views are spectacular.
There is a beachside walkway from Odaiba to Daiba, or up a level, the same journey can be made with easy access to shops and malls. There are restaurants on both routes. A multi carriageway road separates this from serious shopping at Venus Fort and Divers City.
Venus Fort's main shopping floor is a strange experience. There is no natural light, the vast area has a false nighttime sky projected on a domed ceiling and is laid out around various courtyards - Fountain Square being the most notable. On this floor is advertised designer outlet shopping.
On the lower floor there is stuff for the home and dog accessory shopping. Dogs are very much in evidence. Dog couples and dog families (mum and pup) are carried around in dog prams or human arms.
Opposite the place where we choose our mid afternoon ice cream, there is a dog restaurant with a menu displayed outside.
Tokyo beach is almost empty. I sit on the edge of the boardwalk and get sand trickled on my toes. Just metres from the hustle and bustle it feels peaceful and I relax in the warmth of a gently overcast day.
Night darkness happens relatively fast around six o'clock when Tokyo lights up in earnest. The bay begins to fill with colourful river cruisers as their journey pauses here for the highlight of the tour: dinner in Tokyo bay.
We take ours beachside; seafood risotto from an Australian restaurant. Sitting warm, well-fed in the reflected sparkle of lights: Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo tower, various creatively lit skyscrapers and a forest of brightly lit restaurant-boats, it would be easy to dream that all was right with the world.
The multi-layered life requires so much being
in the right place or life happens over my head;
no amount of French Correction steps me up, or
down without the boxy shoe, giant-stepping floors
alone or marching, men of York style up and down,
marching on the spot to raise us all up, up where we
belong; up and way over a ground soon to be
covered in transport, the stuff of our existence.
And gravity the only threat to equality
pins me down grabs my wheels, drags me, spins me lower;
the air I breath no supporter of a roller
as gravity trickles me down like water
while I strive for the upper levels, would live with
head in the clouds, would be an acrobat if not
for gravity. And the gravity of your
perceptions, pinning me to life's plug-hole.