Dec 16, 2010

Japan Trip 2: Tokyo Tower

Second day

It's was raining that day, but not very hard, so it was really pretty comfortable and cool. Unlike me, a lot of people seemed to not have their umbrellas, so many bought umbrellas from the convenience store. And the only style they have is the long transparent one. I know that some people are pretty interested in the transparent umbrellas, so here's what it looks like to see through them.
Through a transparent umbrella

Streets of Japan

Not all that different from streets everywhere

This one feels a bit like China, it's probably the grey buildings and the road sign

This has a Japanese flavour to it

Japanese Sake place!

Plastic models of food served inside. Most restaurants in Japan have these outside their restaurant or in their windows. They look amazingly like the real thing.
 First stop is Tokyo Tower, but we need to take the train/subway first. Funny story, some of us lagged behind with Miss Yun and the other teachers, but some of us followed Mrs Campbell very closely and went ahead. She lead us to a train/subway station and wanted to get through using our 7-day railpass. No matter how many times she tried to feed the ticket through the ticket barrier, it just won't open for her. So she just squeezed through the gate (made of rubber, so not hard to bend a little) and we all followed her.

Now the Japanese train/subway system is owned by two (or at least two) companies, not like back home. So Mrs Campbell called Miss Yun to ask "Why aren't you here yet?" and only then realised she led us to the wrong station (the 7-day rail pass was for the other company). So we went back out to the entrance and Miss Yun had to explain to the staff at the entrance and tell him to let us back out. he didn't have any particular expression on his face, but I'm sure he was thinking, "how did these people get in there in the first place?"
Train/subway station

Bit foggy that day too, so you can't see the top of the Tokyo Tower
We went up an elevator and went straight from the bottom floor to the observation deck. Of course you get that feeling in your ear from changing altitude so fast, but what's pretty cool is that you could out of the elevator at times because it's clear.
Taken from the observation deck in Tokyo Tower

Observation deck

I love being so high up, everything on the ground look so small
It just rained, and it was a bit misty, so there was a peaceful, surreal feeling when I was looking at the world outside the glass. I felt like the glass was like a barrier, that I was looking at a exhibit where the cars and people were moving busily but none of that busyness or motion involve me, none of it involves the spot of stillness on this side of the glass. The glass stopped any noise of outside from seeping in, making the isolation more complete. For a while, I was a watcher, a visitor, looking at the life on the otherside, seeing everything but not participating. Like a visitor to an aquarium, watching the sharks and fishes swim lazily by, knowing that nothing they do will affect me. It's a strange feeling, both a feeling of safety and power, to be so detached from the world.

That's the shine in Tokyo Tower (no idea why they needed one there)

There's places where the floor is made of glass, so you can see down to the ground, it's pretty high up.

The cute little school children that were also there!

Tokyo Tower mascot! Isn't it so cute!

A more complete view of Tokyo Tower

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