Ziggy Becket (ziggybecket) wrote,
Ziggy Becket

Japan: Tokyo Tower and Ginza

So I'm way behind. This is actually for Dec 23rd, so I'm starting to catch up. Part of it was that I took so many photos that day! :)

Anyway, the view from Tokyo Tower was so lovely. It was a little smoggy, but not so bad. I swear, some of the photos I took look like postcards. I took them I swear! X-D It was also great to take candids of people there too. Everyone has a camera so I wasn't too out of place. :>

Tokyo Tower Logo Tokyo Tower Logo

Ok... is it me or does that look like the Starfleet symbol on Star Trek?

Yah... don't mind me, just being a geek...
Taking in the View Taking in the View

A couple also taking in the fantastic view up on Tokyo Tower.

Rainbow Bridge in the day Rainbow Bridge in the day

Tokyo Street Tokyo Street

Ok, is it bad that the first though of me seeing this lovely view was...

I wonder how hard it would be to roll a Katamari down that street? X-/

Shadow of the Colossus Shadow of the Colossus

The huge shadow that the Tokyo Tower casts.

Look down Look down

This is through one of the portals that lets you look straight down from the Tower.
Look up Look up

Just looking up from the ground.
What do you think? What do you think?

Candidate for a postcard or something? X-D
It's so... pink? It's so... pink?

A guess a lady's only store?

So I wasn't sure where I wanted to go next. I looked at the subway map and realized that Ginza was right there. So instead of going to Harajuku like I planed, I went to Ginza instead.

And boy, can I tell you this? That the Japanese know how to celebrate Christmas. None of that religious signifigance or some such, but pure unadulterated consumerism! X-D Anyway, at least that's the feeling I got walking through Ginza and all of those super expensive brand name stores. There were a few Japanese ones, but things like Prada, Tiffany's, etc. They were scary. I felt broke just walking down the street.

And what a street it is! It was just filled with people! I don't know if the streets are normally blocked off or not, but wow!

One of Sony's showcase building was in Ginza too, so I decided to take a look see. Yes, Sony, the company you love to hate. The love, being the PS2, PSP and the upcoming PS3. The hate being their absolutely stupidity in copy protected CDs and their MP3 players that don't actually play MP3s. :P But I went anyway. :)

It was mostly a mall, showcasing their high end flat panels and sound systems. They had a few Blue-Ray players playing on HD monitors. I also happened to be there when they were showing off their new Aibo like robot, but this time in human form. It was... uncanning on how human like they moved. Walking, moving their limbs around. Yes, I'm sure it was all motion captured, but the fact that they didn't fall over after taking some steps is pretty amazing. One was even doing a waltz.

Couple on the train Couple on the train

So I was heading to Ginza and I saw this couple on the JR train. The guy was showing his wife(?) a PSP game. You'll notice that they are also sharing the headphones.

I dunno, I thought it was just so cool that they were both playing that PSP game. She later was actually hitting the buttons and being drawn into the game.

I just found it very enduring that such a couple were doing that. They were obviously not kids and were older, but were able to play video games together. Playing a PSP no less, which is actually sort of new.

I'm probably reading way to much into this, but I just found it a very happy sight to see. :)
Reindeer? Reindeer?

Hehe, someone dressed up their dogs as Reindeer. :)
Santa? Santa?

A very well behaved Saint Bernard.
Couple of Maids Couple of Maids

I think they were passing out flyers or something. I snapped a quick picture. :)
Ho ho ho! Ho ho ho!

Santa Clause is coming to town... :)
Protester Protester

I think he was some kind of protester? There were several of these guys all around Ginza with loud speakers on the top of the pole usually connected to a tape player. So basically he was just standing there holding up the sign.

Most people seemed to be ignoring him.
Holiday Flowers Holiday Flowers

Sony Spokeswoman Sony Spokeswoman

Ok, I swear, she was looking right at me and posing with this picture. 8-O
Dancing a waltz Dancing a waltz

I mean, seriously, the robot on the left was doing a waltz of some kind. It was amazing to see!

Anyway, these are Sony's QRIO robots. Pretty much autonomous. They could walk talk and do routines. It was so interesting to see them walking, dancing and generally being cute.

Lots of detail in these suckers. Each hand has 5 fingers which can individually move.

The future of home robots maybe? Or the beginning of the end of human civilization? X-D
Hal? Can you hear me? Hal? Can you hear me?

So it was getting late and I was getting hungry. I've been walking around all day, but didn't feel like having high priced food at the Ginza. So I walked and happened to run into a Yoshinoya.

Mmmm.... Yoshinoya >3 I love that place. It's basically a fast food, rice bowl. So I sat down and ordered beef on rice. Yum!

After a while I started talking to the waitress. She was asking me where I was from and was amazed I was from the US, since I don't look American. I told her I was originally from Taiwan. It turns out she was from China, so we started talking in Mandarin. X-D I told her I was here mostly to sight see and take pictures. Then she told me that they were unveiling some new light show for Xmas just a block away. After eating my dinner and thanking her for the tip, I headed on over there to see what was up.

It was actually near the main Tokyo Train Station. Since the lights weren't on yet, I went inside to have a look and find my train back to Shinjuku. It turns out that there's this HUGE underground mall there! X-D

The absolutely best part of the place is the HUGE food court there. They had every type of food you can imagine, just the ones I saw where Chinese, Korean, Italian, pastries. I'm *so* going back there to have dinner sometime. X-D Maybe I should go back to the Yoshinoya to thank that waitress too. :D

Mmm food! Mmm food!

Aww this little girl looking over all the goodies. Damn it, I'm hungry...
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Who needs to go to E3 to see booth babes when you can just bum around the Tokyo Train Station? X-D
Beard Papa! Beard Papa!

OMG these things are so good! They are basically pastries with custard inside. They put the custered in the pastry when you order it and the pastry is warm and crispy on the outside but soft and sweet inside. X)~~~~~

I need to go buy some more...

Anyway, this is sort of why I love going it alone and not just taking a tour group. You run across surprising things, interesting sights and you get to talk to the locals a bit. Also the waitresses and people you talk to, don't have an agenda to sell you crap that you don't want. I would have never known about the light show.

Anyway, I still have yesterday to catch up on, but first I'm heading off to lunch and then Harajuku! :)
Tags: ginza, japan, tokyo tower, yoshinoya
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