Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tokyo Recon

In November I went TDY to Chicago (Temporary Duty) for a conference. On the way back I overnighted in Tokyo. I had initially planned to go find the LDS Tokyo Temple. So when I got to the hotel at the airport a lady took my luggage up to my room for me* and I got her to explain in half English and half Japanese and 1/8 gesticulating.** After she left I realized I brought my expired temple recommend. So instead of watching Japanese TV and/or sleep, I decided to go explore the city and reconnoiter for our future family trip to Tokyo. I asked the hotel concierge*** where to go and after thinking for a minute, said "Tokyo Tower." (This is the same response I received in the morning from the lady at the Airport Info when I asked where to go during my two hours of waiting for my flight.) So she instructed me how to take the monorail to the Tokyo Tower and off I went with nothing but some yen and a recently purchased phrase book. I successfully navigated my way around 1/100,000,000th of Tokyo! It was yet another amazing city. Big cities give off an energy to me that vitalizes me and makes me excited to explore. This city was astounding in it vastness. I couldn't believe how huge it was. When I got to the top of the Tokyo Tower, which is built as a replica of the Eiffel Tower, I looked out and the city continued in lights until reaching the horizon for 360 degrees! Here are a few of the photos I took from the tower:The brighter area is the Ginza district a trendy shopping area. It looks a lot like Time Square to me, but I haven't been to it YET.

On my way back I saw a welcome sight of Wendy's but passed it up for a try here:and ate this (Chicken Yakitori): I think I definitely made the right choice. It was a fun evening of exploration and I did it again in the morning. I was pointed to a shopping district but when I got there I just started walking down some side streets seeing what the neighborhoods looked like. That was really cool.

Here was a cool house, notice the underwear hanging on the line. Next door between a bunch of houses was a Buddhist cemetery.This is one of the parking garages near by!!!And on the way back I befriended these cute little kids! It was comic to watch this little two year old struggle to get his tiny fingers into the peace sign for the photo! I don't think I've ever seen a Japanese person take a photo without doing it!
We hope to go down to Tokyo when it warms up and tour the city and check out Tokyo Disney.
*She opened the door and placed the key card in a little slot inside the door. As I left latter I took it out and then went back into the room only to be plunged into darkness. The lights only work if the card is left in the slot by the door. An ingenious way to save on energy! I also had my first experience with a high tech Japanese toilet complete with heated seats and an automated bode!
**I know it doesn't add up Nate...or does it?
***"A concierge is the Winnipeg equivalent of a geisha. This is a woman who has been trained in the fine art of fanciness and pleasure. And when you meet on it is intoxicating. Just what the doctor ordered." (Michael Scott, The Office Season 5, The Business Trip)


Linz said...

Wow! That looks like so much fun! I totally want to go there! PS - I am proud of your awesome office quote! I actually thought of that as I was reading your post, and laughed out loud when I say the quote! Well done!

mr. underhill said...

Not sure where that sense of adventure and exploration come from but they definitely skipped me and went straight to you. I still haven't really explored downtown Chicago. Sad but true. Cool pictures of Tokyo -- they look really good in b & w.

The Jonas Family said...

Fun to adventure out and explore big cities. I think I know NYC a little better than SF.