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Tokyo Second Trip – Day 3

Well, here’s the overdue next installment of my second Tokyo trip entries. おまたせ! Sorry to make you wait. ^^; On the 29th of December, we headed out to do some shopping and sightseeing. Hitting Akihabara early on in the day, we were able to visit some shops that had been closed the last time we went there. The header picture is of the UDX building near one of the exits of the JR Akihabara station. Of course, we didn’t just hit Akihabara, but did quite a bit of other sightseeing as well. More pics after the jump.


As I mentioned previously, Akiba is short for Akihabara, and while there I saw this amusing sign on the side of a building. At the top it says in English, “Cool Old Dude,” and at the bottom, “I LOVE AKIBA.”


We then visited Shibuya. In this photo, you can see a crew in the process of putting up a new sign on top of one of the skyscrapers. From what I saw, the sign is split into sections, which are unrolled and placed over the previous sign one at a time to create a new one.


Near the JR station exit, on the Hachiko side, there were several buildings with large displays on them showing TV programming and ads.


This is the Shibuya 109 building. Apparently it’s a famous building, and its name is a pun on the owner of the building, Tokyu. The “to” part being one of the readings for 10, and “kyu” being 9. I don’t know much about it, save that I’ve seen it in trailers for the Nintendo DS RPG from Square Enix entitled “The World Ends With You.” I have yet to play that game, however.


While in Shibuya, we decided to grab something to eat and got crepes. This was my first time having crepes in Japan, and I got one with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. It was really good. Sorry for the blurry picture, forgot to switch my camera over to close-up mode. ^^;

Also while in Shibuya, we visited a Softbank store to pick me up a cell phone. I still didn’t have one at this point, but we figured I really needed to get one so we could keep in touch while at Comiket. Unfortunately, the first store we went to didn’t have any of the prepaid phones, so they directed us to one on the next street over, which did. Of course, the reason why we went to that first store in the first place was because they had fluent English speakers on staff, but I managed to get a phone with a minimum of hassle at the other store, despite my misgivings about my relatively low level of Japanese fluency.


After the sun went down, we visited Tokyo Tower. It was lit up beautifully with “2009” on the side. The pictures don’t really do it justice, mostly because I only have a point-and-shoot camera that’s several years old. ^^;


Unfortunately, I couldn’t take vary good photos from the tower itself, my camera isn’t good enough and the tower was moving too much in the wind to be able to get a decent shot. I kept this one and a second one just to help illustrate that point. We went up to the main observatory, then the special observatory. There was an additional fee for the special observatory, which is much higher up on the tower, but it’s well worth it. Interestingly enough, at Tokyo Tower we met up by chance with another exchange student at Kansai Gaidai and his sister, who was visiting. These two were actually on the same bus to Tokyo from Hirakata that we were. After Tokyo Tower, we headed back to Akihabara to grab some food, then headed back to the hotel.


During morning rush hour, the first car on certain lines is reserved for women only. This is because people are squeezing very tightly into the cars and in such close quarters, women have been getting groped by perverts. Known as “chikan,” it’s a very real problem, and one of the ways to mitigate it has been to set aside cars for the exclusive use of women during those times.


Overall, we had a great time, and I hope that I can go back again some time to see more stuff I didn’t get to see the first two times, like some of the famous shrines in the Tokyo area. As with the previous two posts, you can check out additional photos in the December 29th photo gallery.

3 Comments

  1. Dad

    Son, I do not appear to be subscribed to your new blog. How do I do that? How can I “follow” you?

    Posted on 11-Feb-10 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  2. Stephen

    Well, if you want to “subscribe” to my blog, you’ll need to do so using an RSS reader. You can add my Blog’s feed to Google Reader, for instance. The blogs you have subscribed to in Blogger will also show up there.

    Posted on 11-Feb-10 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  3. Dad

    Never mind. I figured it out.

    Posted on 11-Feb-10 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

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