Sunday, July 25, 2010

Japan Trip - Part 7

The following day I finally went to visit Tokyo with some company! We were worried about finding our way around, and initially it took some trouble to get any proper information. I found out online that we could buy passes to go around on the subway. So we took the Hotel shuttle bus to the airport and went to the station from there. Japan has many train lines all operated individually, and if you look at any maps they seem confusing as heck.

At the airport there were staff who could speak English, so they told us what to do. We had to take the train on the JR Line from Narita Airport Terminal 2 to a station where we could interchange and get on the Subway System. At the airport we bought a 1-Day Pass (They don't understand the word 'metropass' as we found out the hard way, and FYI, there is also a 2-Day pass, great savings if you're planning on checking out everything!). This pass is like the TTC Metropass where you can hop on and off particular subway lines. We also had a brochure with us that informed us at what stations all the tourist and other famous sites were.

Let's see... we start from... OMG!

The JR train ride from the Airport towards Tokyo took around 1 and 1/2 hours. We passed through a lot of the country side and fields and other nice places. Once we reached our destination at Ueno, which was the last stop, we hopped onto the subway and found it easy to navigate as it's just like the TTC where you can hop on and off at interline stations. Stations are marked in Japanese and English as were the spoken announcements, and when we wanted to know what exits to take from the stations, the staff understood where we wanted to go and pointed us in the right direction. So everything went very well and we visited practically all the places we wanted to go to in that day.

The first place we headed to was in Ginza, a shopping and commercial district, much like being in downtown Toronto. In fact most of Tokyo City feels a lot like being in Downtown Toronto in terms of its buildings, shopping centers and everything, except that there's lots of Asian people around which is... just like Toronto... so, yeah... While there, we walked around a bit, and then visited the Sony Building where we checked out all the latest gadgets and stuff on every floor! I found that special MGS: Peace Walker MP3 walkman on sale there! Also lots of other PS3 stuff, cameras etc. The best parts were the 3D-TVs!!! There was also a theater room upstairs where you could watch the World Cup and some other nature and travel documentaries in 3-D and it all looked amazing! It was my first time checking out the new commercial shutter-glasses 3DTVs with the World Cup and it was amazing! I also tried checking if any of the criticisms people had about them were valid, by looking away from the screen, then back again and other things to see if it ever looked weird or went out of synch, or gave me a headache or anything, and nope! It worked perfectly and the glasses fit well over my glasses, it was seamless, bright and totally awesome! Like actually being at the match! I also saw some PS3 games running in 3-D and the most amazing one there was Motorstorm! You'll always want to play videogames like that after trying it out! I better save up for one now!

After that we carried on to go to the famous Tokyo Tower, which I believe was around Kamiyacho. It is a lot like the Eiffel Tower. We only went to the 2nd patform, as going to the highest observatory top required us to wait for 1 hour. And in any case it was rather cloudy so you couldn't see out into the distance, but if you could, you could even see Mount Fuji from there. There was some other cool stuff there, like some museum tour of Michael Jackson's Neverland stuff, and there were these spiffy info touch screens at the top too. There are also these little glass floors like they have in the CN Tower.

After that we went for lunch at a place nearby and I checked out a nearby Temple/Shrine.

And for those who like artist Hajime Sorayama, there was an exhibit going on somewhere... The Labyrinth has some artbooks of his available, so feel free to inquire about them.