Before I put my trip sketchbook back on the shelf, I thought I would share a few of the sketches from the end of our trip. This one of a Vietnamese woman was done from a magazine photo but it really typifies the women I saw there. I was too timid to take photos of them face to face,so never got any this close. I can imagine how they must feel having people take photos of them in the markets and on the street, so I don't like to be too obvious about it. One day in Bali we were at a small museum and a group of Balinese came in and wanted to take our photos! It seemed so funny, but is that any more strange than me taking photos of women as they went about their day? I suppose what seems exotic to each of is all relative
On our way home from Bali, we had a 9 hour layover in Tokyo, and I am not one to sit in an airport for that long, so we decided it would be more fun to go into the city. Paula has been there before so she shared some useful travel tips and maps of Tokyo with me, and we set off on the train into the city. Luckily she mentioned that it took a long time- nearly an hour or more from the airport. As I wrote in my journal, it was easy to draw people there, as almost all of them were napping, so I didn't need to be furtive!
It was cold in Tokyo, 35degrees or so, and everyone was bundled up for winter in stylish boots, black overcoats and scarves. We had on all our layers, but probably still looked like hicks from the sticks in our rumpled travel clothes.
It was really quite fun to see some of Tokyo and in 6 hours we had a whirlwind trip, visiting ITOYA for waterbrushes, and most of Tokyo Hands, an amazing store chock full of all kinds of craft supplies-5 floors of it! Our favorite thing to do, though, was to have lunch at a traditional noodle shop, where we put our money into what looked like a vending machine, and out popped our ticket which we handed over for a steaming bowl of noodle soup.
It was fun until we had an "amazing race" experience of rushing to get back by train in time to catch our flight, only to realize that we had plenty of time. Next time I go to Japan, I hope it is for longer than 6 hours!