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Archive for the ‘Tokyo’ Category

Zojoji and Tokyo Tower Going up Tokyo Tower is the typical sort of thing one doesn’t do when one lives in a city. But since it’s been more than seven years since we’ve moved away and we felt like doing something new for once, we finally did it! We approached the Tower coming from Hamamatsucho Station, crossing the grounds of Zojoji, which were very busy. View from Tokyo Tower (more…)

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Happy New Year!

Yushima Tenjin

Waiting for the first sunrise of 2019 at Yushima Tenjin

Happy 2019! It’s the Year of the Boar (and even though I failed to take a picture, we managed to procure the zodiac tenugui this time). And we went, bright and early (and before the police closed the direct access due to overcrowding), up to Yushima Tenjin, in time to see the first sunrise of the New Year.
Later on, as usual, we went to Odaiba to enjoy the bright day, the beach and the Unicorn Gundam. Unfortunately, my plan to buy more Gunpla Model Kits got thwarted due to an enormous crowd queuing for fukubukuro at the Gundam Base.

Rainbow Bridge

A bright New Year’s Day at Odaiba

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Back in Tokyo!

Senso-ji

Asakusa: Looking down on Senso-ji and Nakamisedori

We’re back in Japan for a few weeks! In these last two days, we have been up and down Tokyo already. So many things to do (not to mention to eat!) in such a short time!
Ueno

Near Ueno Park.

Apart from our usual haunts in Asakusa and Ueno, we’ve also been to the Nihombashi and Ginza nighborhoods.
Nihombashi

Nihombashi looking towards Ginza

For the first time, we had a look at the actual Nihombashi bridge, but thanks to a new highway over the river, it has effectively turned into an underpass. So despite some fancy dragons adorning the bridge, the overall effect is quite underwhelming.
Ginza

In Ginza

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Of course we’ve been numerous times to Akihabara back when we lived in Tokyo, but we’ve never used it as a starting point for a walk through town. Today’s walk was a walk of contrasts, showcasing the many faces of Tokyo. Akihabara is so colorful with anime illustrations on many buildings and full of young people. From there, we walked to the Kanda-myōjin (神田明神), a historically important shrine. Today, it was still crowded and busy due to ongoing New Year’s celebrations.

Gate of the Kanda Myojin

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Unicorn Gundam

Since September of last year, a new giant Gundam statue is standing near the Diver City mall on Odaiba: a 19.7m tall RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. After having paid a visit to the original Gundam one year ago, we obviously had to see the new one, too! It is quite impressive due to its sheer size. Every two hours, its head changes (along with dramatic music and pulsating lights) from Unicorn Mode to Destroy Mode (two horns). (more…)

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Lucky Bags – Again!

The shops have reopened in Japan and an enormous amount of people has stormed them right at opening time, as we witnessed at the Matsusakaya department store. The main reason isn’t that the shops had been closed for a full day, but because today the Lucky Bags go on sale. They contain a bundle of goods you might or might not be able to see beforehand at a steep discount.
There were enormous queues forming at the bakeries and some of the sweets shops. And the amount of bags I’ve seen some old ladies carrying was absolutely stunning, they seemed to be carrying more than their own weight.
We have been very conservative compared to others, with just a bakery lucky bag, a tea lucky bag, a rice condiment lucky bag and two senbei lucky bags.
All sorts of stores offer them, including clothing retailers, but the idea of getting a random outfit that might not at all suit my taste doesn’t really make sense to me, no matter the discount. So we rather went for food we knew we would like in any case.

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Japan is known for things going smoothly and people behaving themselves at all times. But apparently this is not automatic. Train companies for example feel compelled to constantly educate their patrons on how to behave themselves, respectively how not to behave on the train. On a single trip into Tokyo, I noticed three different companies’ posters on how to behave, showing somewhat different takes on the matter.

Totally unacceptable!

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