Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Japan Trip 8: Tourism

Not only do Eiichi and Tomomi have a great apartment, they also have this great view of the river behind their building in Ojima.
When I wasn't interviewing people who knew Bit for her website, I tried to do some touristy kinds of things. Even though I lived near this building when I was in Tokyo 4 years ago, I didn't get to visit it until this trip. There's a skyscraper called Roppongi Hills and numerous other buildings around it. I saw this wall of water in several places in Japan. It's cooling to look at when it's hideously hot outside, as it was every nanosecond of my two weeks there.

For 1500 yen, you can go up to the 45th floor and see Tokyo, visit the Mori musuem and....
the Sky Aqaurium. I wonder if the fish enjoy the view of Tokyo as much as the humans enjoy looking at them.

This is the Roppongi Hills skyscraper as seen from the 45th floor of Tokyo City Hall.

The last school I taught at in Japan was called ELEC. It used to be in the Jimbocho area of Tokyo. Then it moved closer to Ochanomizu. Is this another school on the move?

Wandering around Ochanomizu, trying not to die of heat stroke, I marvelled at the combination of old and new. Not so much old though. Here, the old Russian Orthodox Church is mirrored in the windows of a new bulding accross the street from it.

It reminded me of my hometown, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Another outpost of Russian religiosity. My grandparents would feel right at home here.

Fun with reflections.

I spent one day with my Vancouver friend Frank who was in Yokohama while I was in Tokyo. This is his favourite Tokyo building, the Tokyo International Forum. Serious science fiction.

It also offers lots of interesting reflections.

Frank's daughter (and Bit's friend) Leah, who teaches in Tokyo, suggested Frank visit the Cow bookstore. Unfortunately, most of its books are in Japanese. Not surprising though. I didn't know cows could read.
After the Forum, a great tonkatsu lunch and the cow bookstore, we headed for Shinjuku and its towering city hall. On our way there, we were watched by the Tokyo Eye. The fate of every tourist, to be observed in the process of observing. Sounds kinda Buddhist. Or Orwellian.


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