Friday, December 16, 2016

Other Bits - My Japan Trip - Pt 3

Omotesando Hills (Shibuya)

Some  call it Tokyo's Champs-Élysées or Orchard Road - basically, it's High Street shopping. 
Some of the stuff we saw were quite mind-blowing. Specifically, I'm referring to the 3-D prints of real people as can be seen here! It's not cheap but if you wanted to, you could make a 3-D figure of yourself (in different sizes to boot)! CRAZY!
Snow Bank Pay It Forward Event (Yoyogi Park)
This was an annual event that's held in Yoyogi Park. Very happening as the locals seem to love it. Tons of people are there and it's a family day out kinda thing.
Coincidentally, there was also a Food Fest happening in Yoyogi Park as well which added to the fun!
 Along the way into MEiji Shrine in Yoyogi Park, there was a Chrysanthemum Exhibition. Well, I can't say I'm an aficionado but these really caught my eye not only because they were beautiful but they were GIGANTIC! Some of them were up to 6 inches across.
 And of course, there were some smaller species of the flower done in Bonsai style.
Ginza Place (Ginza)
This is a place where Nissan showcases their tech & cars. Impressive, until I went to Mega Web in Odaiba (see below).
 Tokyo Dome City &LaQua Mall (Bunkyo)

The Tokyo Dome City (aka Big Egg City) is the world's largest roofed baseball stadium. Of course, besides the amusement park, there has to be a shopping mall as well.
There, visitors can see a 20-foot Ultraman. Not as impressive as the 50-foot Gundam (see below) but impressive nonetheless.
Hotel Gracery (Shinjuku)
Japan is just full of these weird but wonderful things such as the LIFE SIZED Godzilla Head on top of the Gracery Hotel in Shinjuku! We were looking for the hotel and we didn't realize we were right in front of the Hotel Entrance and the Doorman told us to go and look outside the hotel for the Godzilla head. He even asked us to go upstairs to the 10th floor to get a closer look!
Here are some really iconic looking buildings we saw along our travels in Tokyo.
The Loft Mall (Shibuya)
This place has a very interesting Main Entrance Signage. As can be seen by the 2 pix below, the cogs & wheels turn until it shows the name! I wanted to record it on video but my battery kinda went comatose... 
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (aka Tochō, in Shinjuku)
It has an Observation Deck at each of the 2 towers which gives a fantastic view of the whole of Tokyo (if weather permits). According to the description, on a good day, you can even see Mt Fuji from the Observation Decks.
 Tokyo Skytree (Sumida)
According to Wikipedia, it stands at 634m - making it the world's tallest tower and 2nd tallest structure in the world (after Burj Khalifa 829.8m). Of course, being in Tokyo, it's also Earthquake resistant.
Statue of Kusunoki Masashige (a 14th-century samurai) outside Tokyo's Imperial Palace

Tokyo Station (Chiyoda) - the busiest station in JAPAN (>3000 trains run thru' it DAILY) & 1 of the largest train hubs in the world.
Diagonally across from Tokyo Station's Main Entrance is a Post Office. We went in there out of curiosity and we were wonderfully surprised because it looked in no way like any post office we know! Also, the Japanese are really creative - see the Hello Kitty postcard? IT"S A POSTCARD and it's SOLD OUT  !!!!

Roppongi Hills (Minato)
Maman, the Giant Spider (30 foot sculpture by renowned French artist Louise Bourgeois) right outside Roku Roku Plaza. (not to be confused by its twin in Ottawa Canada, also by L.Bourgeois)
Odaiba (Minato)
Odaiba is a man-made island in the middle of Tokyo. (Metro Subway users take note as the Metro Subway passes DO NOT enable you to reach Odaiba. You need separate tickets from another train company to reach the island. We boarded our train from Shimbashi). 
Connected to the Mainland via Tokyo's own Rainbow Bridge. There are quite a number of places that would eat up your day without you realizing it, but then, that's what holidays are about!
Here is something we saw in a Tokyo Water Services Museum which really impressed me to no end. The water pipes are actually earthquake resistant! 
For instance:
  • Palette Town - commercial facilities that include the Venus Fort Mall & the giant Ferris Wheel (similar in size to the London Eye)

  • Mega Web - TOYOTA City Showcase
In the Mega Web, you can see the various concept cars and all the different models Toyota produces. There are also interactive stations where visitors can play games and so on.
Here are the 1st 2 models of Toyota! The Granpa & Grandma of ALL Toyotas!In a separate section, they also have a section of Toyota's Racing History. Here, visitors can also buy the model cars and have a snack and a drink. (psst, the guy sitting there ain't real)
  • Diver City - a wordplay on 'Diversity'. This is where you can find the 50-foot Gundam! 'nuff said!
Of course, when you go to Odaiba's Diver City to see the 50-foot Gundam, you must also go to the OFFICIAL Gundam Store! The store was HUGE! It had different sections. I was running late as I arrived as it was already 9,30pm. There is an area where literally HUNDREDS of Gundam models are on display just like a museum! 

Sadly, I didn't have time to soak it all in as I was rushing to the retail side to buy me some giant robots! Again, sadly, I didn't have enough time to look thru the store which had HUNDREDS, maybe THOUSANDS of Gundam models on sale.

AND, contrary to popular belief, the prices of the original Gundam Kits from the OFFICIAL Gundam Store are MUCH CHEAPER than the Gundam Kits sold here.

  • Located a stone's throw away from Diver City is Aqua City, where you can see the Tokyo beach along with the mini Statue of Liberty
  • or, if you prefer, just walk across the street to the Odaiba Seaside Park where you can get an even more spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty, especially during sunset!
  • Decks Tokyo Beach - this is a great place to take some pictures especially when they have the X'Mas decor & lighting all done up. 
  • The Trick Art Museum can also be found inside the Decks Tokyo Beach Mall