Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ben's Tokyo Trip, pt 4


At some 60 square miles, Tokyo's sheer size makes New York City look like my backwater town of  Dover, OH. With a population of 35 plus million people (including all the suburbs) it seems to span the horizon when viewed from the air. The sheer amount of concrete is staggering. The below photos are from a test flight we took in one of the aircraft we are working on.

Tokyo's Center is the Emperor's Palace
Surrounded by a moat, the inner gardens are only open twice a year to the public. We got to see the whole thing on our test flight. Below this first photo from the air are some photos we took from the outside as we walked by the palace on our first visit to Tokyo. It seems that there is so much of Tokyo one could spend a lifetime and still not see it all.

...but it looks so soft and lovely

How did we get to Tokyo? The Japan Railway and the Tokyo Metro. On the Japan Railway, there is no such thing as "personal space" Seats are for the elderly, pregnant mothers, and the disabled. The rest of us get to be sardines. It took 1 and a half hours to get from Fussa to Akihabara (the technology and appliance sales district) . We made train line changes in Tachikawa, Shinjuku, and Ebisu and each time, the trains got more full!

The metro in down town Tokyo was less crowded.

This is the appliance sales floor of a store in Akihabara

This isn't Portland, OR, folks. In Tokyo it is cool to use an umbrella! You could buy them for $4 everywhere.

 However, it is NOT cool for your umbrella to DRIP in someone's store! Most places had a special basket for them to be put in OUTSIDE the store or big stores had special plastic bags to put your soggy umbrella in. NOTE: Store keepers get VERY anxious if you walk in with out having properly attended to your drippy umbrella! SERIOUSLY! 

We ended up in Roppongi for dinner.

An upscale Karaoke Bar, folks!

 It was a long day. We walked 4+ miles and rode many trains.

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