Monday, July 12, 2010

So Yesterday, I saw Tokyo Sky Tree, Learned About Tokyo's Tragic Past, and Made Jet Lag my Bitch. . . Plus, my first ever emoticon!

Hi everyone,

I've now finished my second full day in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I only remembered to bring my camera with me for the first day. . . :(

Fortunately, I didn't really do anything interesting on the second day. Really, the most important thing I did today was to get some food; on my first full day here, I actually forgot to eat. Okay, not really. . . I grabbed a plate of microwave spaghetti and meatsauce from Seven-Eleven, and for what it was, it was pretty damn tasty. But still, most of my sustanance came in the form of strange, undoubtably unhealthy drinks available at vending machines placed on every third block or so. There were green teas, tea colas, Welche's grape juice, coconut colas (I think), orange juice/tea mixes. . . AND THIS!

A 500 ml can of Coke! And you what's really sick? When I went to the Seven-Eleven, I saw 500ml cans of Coke being sold with a "bonus" 125ml, like 500ml cans are somehow insufficient!

Kiss those dreams of me losing weight goodbye!

Anyway, the other good news is that I saw plenty of interesting things on that first day, some of which I'll share with you today. I say "some of which" because, frankly, there are so many pictures that I can't hope to upload all of them to the blog. So instead, I'm gonna try uploading everything to an online photo album, so I can clear off my hard drive without losing anything.

The day's events can be grouped into various highlights. Highlight #1: Tokyo Sky Tree.

Tokyo Sky Tree

I walked out of the hostel not really knwoing what to expect. I went down the road, made a right turn, and headed to the Sumidagawa river. That's when I saw it:

The Tokyo Sky Tree. When it's completed in 2011, it will be the tallest man made structure outside the Middle East, at a height of ~630m. I saw it, briefly, on the train ride into Tokyo, but I had no idea I would be THIS close to it when I arrived. Once I saw it, I knew that one way or another, I would get to it and see it up close. And that's exactly what I did:

It was a gruesome walk of ~3km through some of the muggiest weather I've ever encountered-- imagine summertime Denver with about 700% humidity-- but I made it.

Yokoamicho Park

On the way to Tokyo Sky Tree, I happened to pass by Yokoamicho Park, essentially a very beautiful monument to Tokyo's misery. In addition to a garden, there were monuments and buildings dedicated to both the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1925 and the Tokyo fire bombings of WWII. At the centre of it all was a massive shrine:

There was also a monument dedicated to "children sufferers":

Sadly, the monument dedicated to the victims of the fire bombings was kind of disaster itself:

A much more effective memorial to the fire bombings lay jusy fifty feet away: actual items molten down by the fires:

Here's a video I put together:

Yokoami-cho Garden

After making my way to Tokyo Sky Tree, I started to walk back toward the hostel. Unfortunately, I passed the street that I was supposed to take back to get to Asakusabashi, and after a series of misadventures that took me to an eight story tall shopping mall, I eventually made my way to the so-called "Old Yokoami-cho Garden", not far from the Yokoamicho garden I visited earlier that day. No videos here, just pictures:

Next time: Shinjuku!


Naomi said...

Great photos Jeremy, keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, it never ceases to amaze and please me to see what an eye you have for finding beauty in that which surrounds you. Your Ma

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