Daily Archives: 11/16/2004

Tokyo Pictures

Picture time!

A couple weekends ago I spent a few days in Tokyo. I stayed with my friend Dave and his lovely wife Keiko. It was great fun, and I got to experience fall weather for the first time in 12 years. I took a pile of pictures too, and here’s some of my favorites.

David enjoys a beer
Here’s David enjoying a beer with his meal late Friday night.

I was lame and didn’t take any pictures on Saturday. We slept late, ate some lunch and then rode the trains to Dave’s school, ASIJ. Dave was the technical director for their production of Pericles. After that we got some food in Ogikubo and then hit some places in Asagaya. Turned out there was a jazz festival in Asagaya that weekend. We caught a couple sets – that was pretty cool. A couple more places after that and we were back home late. And drunk.

Up in the mountains around Okutama
On Sunday (after some aspirin) we rented a car and drove up into the mountains west of Tachikawa. We drove up to this reservoir in Okutama, near the headwaters of the Tamagawa.

Me at the lakeshore
Hey, it’s me! Standing on the shore by the reservoir.

Spillway and trees
It was quite hilly up there, and while the trees in Tokyo were still green, the forest at that altitude was beginning to change colors.

Trees ablaze
Like I said, some trees were ablaze of color.

Peering into the mist
After visiting the dam and pumphouse, we headed up into the hills above the lake. The whole area is a national park, Chichibu Tama. This was taken at the lookout up in the mountains. It was eerie up in those clouds.

Crimson trail in the clouds
We walked along this trail for awhile. It was very pretty, but also very popular. Lots of hikers working the trail with us.

Heading back down to Tokyo, we drove along side this beautiful river gorge. It first crossed the road at this beautiful waterfall. I think it was called Dream Falls or something like that.

David snaps a photo with his phone
David took a few pictures with his mobile phone too.

That night we took the Tama monorail for a ride. David recognized my fascination with rail transport in all it’s forms.

Leaving Shimbashi Station on the Yurikamome
Monday David went off to work and I was set loose upon Tokyo. I dumped my bag in a locker at Tokyo Station and started a roundabout tour of the city.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge
First leg was taking the Yurikamome out to Odaiba Island and seeing the sites. Crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

Statue of Liberty
Oh look! The Statue of Liberty is out there.

Looking over Daiba
That funky building is the Fuji TV (Iron Chef) building.

Me in shades
Who is that cool looking guy in shades?

Lady Liberty and the Rainbow Bridge
Lady Liberty and the Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge from the water taxi
After lunch and walking around for a bit, I took the Yurikamome back across to Tokyo and got on a cruise up the Sumidagawa. It was billed as a bridge tour… Here’s the Rainbow Bridge dramatically lit while we pulled out from the pier.

Another bridge on the Sumida
Another bridge on the cruise. I think there was seven bridges the boat passed under.

Flood gates and ships
Off the main course of the river, there were many of these boat-clogged canals ringed with flood gates. Looked pretty cool to me.

Big Golden Turd
Look! It’s a big golden turd on top of that building. I think that is the Asahi Beer Building.

Asakusa Shrine
The cruise dumped me off at Asakusa, so I wandered over a couple blocks and checked out the big ass shrine.

Pagoda at Asakusa
Here’s a five story pagoda at the Asakusa Shrine.

Ueno Koen
After checking out the shrine, I hopped on the subway (did I mention my fascination with various modes of transport?) and got off at Ueno Park. It is the oldest and biggest park in Tokyo.

Cherry trees in Ueno Koen
These cherry trees must look absolutely beautiful in the springtime because they were certainly lovely that day.

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ueno Koen is the site of many museums. Unfortunately they are all closed on Mondays. So I wandered around looking at all the homeless people camping out in the park.

Toshugu Shrine Torii
I did find this cool shrine off beside the closed zoo. It was dedicated to the first Tokugawa Shogun in 1651. This is the entrance gate, or torii.

Ceremonial copper lanterns
These lanterns were solid copper, given as gifts of fealty by local lords during the shogunate.

More ceremonial copper lantern
More of those cool lanterns. They’re Japanese national treasures.

Lion ablaze
A lion ablaze in the autumn.

Pagoda through trees
Pagoda through the trees.

Time to go
I left that evening. That Narita Express is a pretty sweet pipeline from the city center out to the airport. Very handy.

Alright, that’s the highlights. I took tons more, but I don’t want to bore everybody senseless.

Say Goodbye to Radio

Scratch my earlier comment about Radio Userland. The install was just screwed up. Things appeared okay, but underneath it was giving me fits. So never mind. A quick search on the internet and I discovered a better way to use a news aggregator – Bloglines. Instead of being chained to a single computer, I can use Bloglines on any computer with a browser. It imported my subscription OPML file from Radio with no problems and I like the interface.

Oh yeah, and it is free. As in beer. Hmmm… beer.