Tokyo Tower

I made my way south to Tokyo Tower from Okachimachi station to Hamamatsu-cho station, via the Yamanote line. The sun seemed like it was really trying to break out of the clouds along the way.

Hamamatsu-cho station was still familiar to me from the week before so navigating through it was nice and quick. Emerging out onto the street in front of the World Trade Center Building that sits next the station, I hopped in a taxi and made my way to Tokyo Tower.

The ride was actually much shorter than I’d anticipated, and before I knew it, I’d arrived right in front of the ticket windows of Tokyo Tower.

Standing on the ground and looking skyward, Tokyo Tower was impressive enough, with it’s international orange painted girders’s reaching high into the sky above. Maybe it’s not as elegant as say the Eiffel Tower, but it’s still magnificent enough and I was looking forward to the grand views of Tokyo that awaited me. The tower itself is 1,093 feet tall with the main observation deck located just about halfway up at a height of 450 feet. There is a higher deck (at 820ft high) but it seemed to have long wait for it, so I passed on it.

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Morning had arrived and I was dragging a bit waking up. I was definitely missing the first few days after arriving in Japan, where I could easily wake up at 6am and go all day. I was officially on Japan time just as my trip was wrapping up- perfect.

I got up and did my normal routine- ate my yogurt with Frosties, had some coffee, showered, gathered my gear then called home. While I was Facetime’ing with home, I began to notice balloons floating up past my window on the 26th floor. It was amusing to watch them float higher and higher, up past the top of the Tokyo Government Building (and its’ 48 floors) and then off into the far distant blue. Curious as to where the balloons came from, I peered out my window down to the street far below and saw some sort of celebration coming to an end. To mark the end of it, they released the balloons. Definitely a fun sight the to start the day with.

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Kyoto to Tokyo

The cab ride back from Nishiki Market to Kyoto Station was pretty quick. It was hot in the back seat, and I began to sweat like crazy as we sped down the back alley streets. My driver didn’t seem to have any interest in using the air conditioning (at least not in a way that emitted any cold air) so to make the best of the situation, I used my hand fan to cool off and listened along to the classical music coming from the radio.

We sped passed the curiously named “Tits Cafe” before emerging out onto Karasuma Dori, upon which we made a left turn and headed south, towards Kyoto Station. I had the driver stop early to let me out in front of the Yodobashi Camera store, just a block north from the station. It was new since the last time I had been in Kyoto and not really any different from any other Yodobashi Camera, but still, why not have a look, right?

I did a fairly quick walk through of the floors of the giant Yodobashi, ending my tour in the basement. Then it was out the connecting tunnel that leads into the underground Porta shopping area. I saw my beloved KYK Tonkatsu restaurant and bid it farewell until the next time. Then up the escalator and I was back outside standing in front of Kyoto Station in the rain.

The time was now about 4pm and my train was departing at 4:56pm. I decided to spend a few minutes in the large station entrance, having one last look around. It’s such a huge complex, the main open area feels like some sort of modern cathedral.

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Nishiki Market, Kyoto (part 2)

So, with my newly bought tea stashed in my camera bag, I continued on.

This house was just outside the market on a side street. I love the shape and pattern of the woman’s umbrella against the verticals in the house.

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