Monday, 16 February 2009

Tokyo. Wow. What a place!

Old Man v2
Pleased to meet you sir, originally uploaded by electrolyte2006.

Tokyo is amazing. It is everything I was expecting and then some. I had meant to post this blog last night before I went to bed but after 36 hours with very little sleep I was too tired.

So then. Even though this is a summary of only one afternoon and one evening spent in Tokyo I could write for hours about what I saw yesterday and how wonderful this place is. So I will do my best to be as succinct as I can be.

The people here are just so friendly and they love having their photo taken. Take the old dude above. I asked him if he'd mind if I took a photo of him and before I knew what had happened he shook me by the hand and asked me where I was from and was more than happy to pose. It was a shame as I wanted a natural photo but as soon as I raised my camera to take a photo he stood to attention. This happened the 3 times I tried to take it. So I gave up and took a formal shot. But I like it none the less.

Security guards in the UK, as a rule, don't like having their photo taken. Not here though...

A proud man

Kids in Japan love hanging out on the streets dressed up as characters. As examples I saw a group of 50s inspired blokes dancing to The Beatles:

He's a 1950s throwback...


The Dude

there were 50s inspired girls there too but they weren't dancing:

Girl drinking a can

Then there were the GothLoli, who were also more than willing to have their photos taken. I must admit it felt wrong to take their photos but when in Tokyo...


2 GothLoli

After all of the people watching we went to Ropponghi Hills which has a sky deck on top of a 54 storey skyscraper. The views were stunning:

Richard & Sam - Sky Deck

I found it very difficult to take a decent photo from the top though. I had bought a gorillapod before I left the UK because I didn't have enough room for a tripod in my case. I made use of it on the sky deck by wrapping around the railings but every time someone walked past it caused the railings to wobble and so my camera wobbled. So I didn't get any decent shots apart from the one above.

We then had a meal in the restaurant on the top floor that had panoramic views of Tokyo.

Then at 9PM, after 36 sleepless hours I went to bed. I was back up again at 4.30AM this morning though so that I could visit the Tokyo Fish Market at 5AM. That was amazing but you will have to wait for my next blog for photos and more details of this trip...


I forgot to mention Shibuya. Went there too. This is a huge collection of zebra crossings in the middle of Tokyo's equivalent of Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. Even though it was Sunday afternoon there were a fair few people there:

Shibuya 2

Shibuya 1

We had lunch in the Starbucks in Shibuya as this has the best view of the crossings. Helpfully the sandwiches had written on them in English what they contained. We all had "chicken salad" sandwiches but they didn't actually contain any chicken. They instead contained egg, fish, edame beans and mayo plus a little bit of salad. Very tasty but not what we were expecting!

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