Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Small Adventures 6

I'd mentioned before how difficult it is to find places in Tokyo, because of how much the roads wind around, even if you have a map. In my case, since I don't have a printer connected to my laptop, I'd drawn a sketch from google maps showing the major streets leading to the Yayoi Museum. Unfortunately, I didn't have a sense of scale, so when I actually started walking from Ueno station to the museum, I didn't know exactly where to turn when I got to specific intersections. The result was that I walked a mile or 2 away from the museum and into the middle of the Tokyo University campus (Todai). Realizing that something was wrong, I discovered the Todai information office and went in to see if they knew where the museum was.

The campus had several buildings and areas named Yayoi, so I couldn't expect the woman at the counter to know what I meant. When I asked if there was a Yayoi Museum in the area, she acted confused. I repeated "museum" and she suddenly got excited, grabbed some maps and drew out the path for me. (Turned out it was for the University's own Todai Museum. The Yayoi Museum was just outside the far opposite side of the campus, at the Yayoi Gate, but I didn't discover that until the following day.)

As we talked, she proudly pointed to some sculptures on the counter. They're all origami (folded paper, no scissors, glue or tape used), and they're all made by the university's origami club, of which she was also a member.

I knew that origami had gotten sophisticated, but it was still surprising to see by exactly how much.

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