Going on an urban adventure at dawn was definitely something different for me and my family. After we observed sumo training at a local stable, we arrived early to our next stop, the Edo-Tokyo Museum in the Sumida district. Unfortunately, it had not yet opened for the day and we were stuck trying to decide how to cope with the unbearable humidity as we waited. We chose to walk around the block, and amazingly found a little slice of paradise in the middle of sweltering Tokyo, a serene Japanese garden.
Our Japanese friend who was taking us around for the day mentioned this garden was privately owned, but free to the public to explore. We walked through the gate, and down a path overgrown with bushes and trees thriving in the heat. Right before our eyes was a large tranquil pond, filled with turtles and koi. The water, albeit not swimmable, instantly made us feel cooler. The path meandered along the pond’s edge, and offered close up view of the fish.
We found a bench in the shade and took pause. Here in the middle of a city of over 13 million was the most serene spot. Birds chirped, butterflies flitted and we rested. We were inches from the famous Sumo wrestling stadium and could see the Tokyo Skytree piercing the sky in the distance, yet we felt so removed. A wonderful calming setting in the midst of a bustling city.