Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Everyone, eventually, will lose their job to a machine ...

Saw this today and thought of you ... all !

We're in one of those hotels that everyone thinks of when they think of Tokyo ;-)

Tsukiji Fish Market, Hama-rikyu Gardens and Tokyo Tower

Once we'd finished up on the laundry we got a metro pass to see the Fishmarket. [Luckily] it was too late in the day and all the fish was gone, and the sellers were just tidying up.  The smell remained (imagine - a nice hot sunny day in Tokyo, and fish juice everywhere!).  We took a stroll through the enormous area of warehouses, then made our way (limped in Col's case) towards the Hama-rikyu Gardens.

This was an interesting looking fellow just sat around having a ciggy.... so I broke into his peace and quiet with my beeping camera and clicked away merrily.  Some people just have no thought for others!!

Nomiyoke Inari shrine - a shrine dedicated to the protection against waves.  Wandered past this in the fish market area, an absolutely beautiful shrine with heads on each side.  The gold was absolutely gleaming, and I'm certainly one for being attracted to the shiny shiny....

Still walking/limping to the Gardens, we stopped off at a supermarket and, inspired by our fish market visit, decided it was about time we tried sushi.  Above is just part of the bento [japanese for lunch box] which we tucked into once we arrived at the Gardens.  Have to say, it was really nice; admittedly I did find the pudding side first - an egg pancake full of rice and soaked in a kind of maple syrup.  We even managed to eat this in public, using chopstix - really getting the hang of this culture stuff now!

Wandering around the Gardens. A serene, calm and relaxing place of historic importance and scenic delight.  The above and following are views from around the walk.  A breath-taking place designed for self-reflection.  The contrast of idyllic and ancient landscaping against the modern, stark back-drop of buildings was wonderful.

One of the views from around the sea-water lake.

Meditating ducks?.....

One of the many trees wrapped in a grass matting.  Never did find out the significance of it, but looked interesting nevertheless.

A view looking across the bay of Tokyo to the business area.

I was trying to focus on the red tree, but there was just so much other lovely surrounding, I couldn't bring myself to just zoom in on that, hence the variety of greenery.  We took a lot of other photos, these are just a small selection - it really was an amazing place.  After a couple of hours wandering these grounds, we headed back out into rush-hour and set off for Tokyo Tower - the ideal evening for high rise views.

Our first close-up(ish) view of Tokyo Tower - a 333m high version of the Eiffel Tower, opened in 1958.  Stunning in the evening, lit up against all the block buildings surrounding it.

A view of the football stadium and mass sprawl of Tokyo central from the Main Oservatory (150m height).  Breathtaking!
A view of one of the many bridges crossing across the Tokyo Bay to the business area, from the Special Observatory (250m height).  The tower was well worth a visit; it gave a dazzling view of all that makes up Tokyo central; a shame there was nowhere to sit down - our feet were absolutely throbbing by this point!  Could really have done with just sitting around and taking in the atmosphere.  Managed to make our way back to the metro and stagger home.... Col's  just polished off the wine, so must be time for bed 49 past midnight!) so time to turn off shopping channel.

Laundry Day

An exciting start to the day.... I'm doing the laundry!  It's incredibly cheap compared to launderettes in Norwich, and the oil used for cooking does tend to permeate through your clothes..... yuk, stinky!

Once its finished we're off to Fish Market, Electric Town (for some cable to link laptop to tv screen) and Tokyo Towers.  Temperature is up to 18 again, and it's nice and dry...

Back later.

Does it rain in Tokyo - Live witness account !

Short Video of some lights ...

Well, we decided to check out the Techno Area to get some stunning night light photos; unfortunately it absolutely hammered down with rain, so took half a dozen naff shots at most, then made our way back towards the hotel (glad we didn't decide to climb Tokyo Tower - would have been right miserable). Juggling umbrellas in the densely populated area is quite a tough task.

Was just gone 10.00pm by the time we got off the metro (thank god we had bought a day ranger) and most places were closed; luckily for us though, the "English Pub" on the corner of La Qua stays open til 1.00am; fish and chips all round (not sure on the type of fish, but it was white and chunky).

Watched lots of soaked, dripping, pitiful people walking past the window whilst cosied up enjoying our meal and bottle of Soave - contrary to popular belief they do serve normal wine over here (albeit on the pricey side - but worth every penny).  Cheers.....