Another trip through Akihabara

After refuelling at the local Nepalese restaurant, I’m back in the streets. The rain paused for lunch by came back again as it always does. I decide for a second trip to Akihabara now that it’s getting dark. In spite of the rain, the streets are even more alive than the previous time. There are more people, more crowded sidewalks and arcades, and more umbrellas. I follow the stree to Ueno and begin to hear the beat of drums.

Barricades and baton wielding police officers signal that the road is closed to traffic, but the sidwalks are still open. I notice rows and rows of people in traditional clothing, lining the streets, set up like a marching band. It’s the tail end of a parade. These folks are in waiting, getting ready to get a move on. Further ahead, there’s ten lines of drummers and an equal number of people dancing along. The sidewalks are crowded. I push through. I see five men in a dragon costume, propping it up with sticks, chasing another holding a lantern. No one cares about the rain.

I cut through an alley to escape the streets and suddenly it feels like I’m in a red light district. Kabukicho was supposed to be the city’s premier after hours escape, but this street feels like it matches everything those slums had to offer. Plenty of bright sides, restaurants and sleazy looking lounges. More girls dressed like French maids, but it doesn’t quite seem like people come here to buy appliances. A young man in an expensive suit power walks past me and storms into a club whose doorway is plastered with signs with equal numbers of suggestively naughty animated girls as live ones. Two men in suits walk out, laughing and slapping each other on the back.

Past the street I follow the steps to the walkway overlooking to the station. The rain has stopped and the sun has come out. I see golden slick streets and walkways, basking in the glow of the evening. Then I notice a crowd of people gathered atop the steps and pointing at a massive rainbow stretching above the city.

I sit in the park watching the sun go down. The floats from the parade go by on wheels, great beasts tugged away to their storage. When I reach the hostel, I sleep like a rock.