Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tokyo Vacation Part 1: Roppongi

Well, I'm back! After nearly twenty days of vacationing in the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, I have returned to Fukushima. I had forgotten how cold it is here, and the first day back my heater decides that it doesn't want to work anymore. Cruel fate!

Anyway, I'm going to spend the next week or so covering some of the things I did in Tokyo. I'll give you a general idea of the major places I went and the things I saw there. Part 1: Roppongi.

六本木 Roppongi is a fancy district of Tokyo, home to Tokyo Tower, TV Asahi, and a variety of bars and nightclubs. There are also tons of expensive stores and shops, as well as Ferrari Japan. The name "Roppongi" literally means "six trees," named either for six famous trees (now gone) or six famous warlords. In the daytime, it is an excellent place to go shopping (if you are a millionaire). At night, it is an excellent place for both Japanese citizens and foreigners to get completely wasted and party until the next morning.

I've never been much of a party animal, so I went in the daytime to meet my friends. We visited the TV Asahi Building, home to such popular Japanese programs as Gundam, Sailor Moon, Kamen Rider, and Doraemon. The entire first floor is filled with life-sized cardboard stand-ups that you can take photos with (see the top picture in this entry).

After that, we went to see Tokyo Tower! I've already blogged about Tokyo Tower once before, when I discussed how it was being replaced by the Tokyo Sky Tree as a broadcast tower. Although I said that Tokyo Tower will be obsolete, I suppose it will at least continue to be popular until the opening of the new tower in Sumida. As you can see from the photos, it is all lit up (on December 28th) to celebrate the upcoming new year.

I took the elevator to the "special" platform, 250 meters above ground (roughly 820 feet). From there, you can see a vast majority of Tokyo, stretching far off into the darkness of the night. It is an awe-inspiring sight, especially when you see the plethora of lights below and realize each one of those represents a person.

I was fortunate enough to have my friends from college there to show me around. Even though we haven't hung out in about three years, we still managed to get along and have a fun time. I am truly lucky to have such good friends. Next up, Part 2: Akihabara and Maid Cafes!

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