Published: December 21st 2008November 29th 2008
Giza - Imperial Gardens - Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan
The day started off a bit late because I overslept...I was just too tired from all the walking to get up early like I did the day before. I started off late morning by visiting Ginza (銀座).
Giza is known as the fashionable part of Tokyo because of its many department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses (yes, the Japanese are addicted to coffee!). Interestingly, Ginza is named after the silver-coin mint established there in 1612 during the Edo period. Modern Ginza began in 1872 when, after a devastating fire, the district was rebuilt with two- and three-story Georgian brick buildings designed by the Irish-born architect Thomas Waters, along with a shopping promenade on the street from the Shinbashi bridge to the Kyōbashi bridge in the southwestern part of Chūō. Most of these European-style buildings are gone, but some older buildings are still there, most famously the Wakō building with its clock tower.
I first went to the Sony Building, which is the main showroom in Tokyo for the electronic company. I was able to check out all the latest products that they were selling. The first floor displayed all
their latest mp3 players and headphones. The noise canceling headphones were on display in a little room that had the noise of an airplane in the background. When I put the headphones on, I could hardly hear any of the outside noise. Cell phones and computers were displayed on the second and third floors. The floor displaying the televisions was lots of fun because I got to play with remotes. Imagine me pressing a lot of buttons which were written in a language totally foreign to me...it was awesome!! The flat screen high definition televisions they had were great to watch sports clips on.
I next went to one of the busiest intersection in the world! The intersection of Chuo-Dori and Harumi Dori had tons of pedestrian traffic. Chuo-Dori was closed off the cars, and there were people mobbing the streets and sidewalks. When the lights changed color and people were allowed to cross, it was a mad house! It wasn't even a special occassion, like sales at walmart, for the streets to be busy. It was just the usual! Even in this technology driven, fashion forward part of Tokyo I was able to capture glimpses of traditional Japanese
culture when a woman wearing a kimono walked thru the intersection.
Hoping onto the subway system, I made my way to the Imperial Palace Gardens. By the time I got there, it was getting late and the grounds were only open for another 45 minutes. Luckily there was no fee to enter so I wandered around for a bit, made a promise to myself to come back the next day, and then departed.
Tokyo Tower. I saved it for the evening because I had been told by numerous people that it was better to do at night. With tired feet and a grumbling stomach, I took the subway to the nearest station and then walked about another .75 miles. Somehow I managed to miss the line ingoing to the observation decks (I must have been hallucinating from my hunger..haha), so I spent about an hour exploring the inside of the building trying to find out where to by tickets. Inside there was an aquarium, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, a gift store, an amusement area with rides for little kids, among other things. I finally went back out to the front and SURPRISE!!! There was the ticket counter.
Since the line was long and my stomach was insanely hungry, I went and bought some Family Mart fried chicken, a pastry, and Aquarius to drink. It took about and hour to an hour and thirty minutes to get up to the very highest observation deck, but it was worth it. I messed around with my camera a bunch, changing the shutter speed and color enhancement on it. Several photos turned out very well. The kanji character "dai" (大) means "big" in English. The intersection shaped like "dai" is only fitting for Tokyo considering the amount of people living in this area and how the city continues to get larger with time.
By the time I made it back to my hotel room, I was really tired. I immediately tucked in and fell right asleep.
There are more photos below