Short observations…

Is the Tokyo Sky Tree in Taito-ku a oneupmanship on Minato-ku’s Tokyo Tower?

Here’s the thought – each ward (ku) is generally a city unto itself, with it’s own leadership, etc.  All the 23 wards bond together to make Tokyo city.  In Minato-ku, there is the iconic Tokyo Tower and now the Tokyo Sky Tree is coming up in Taito-ku.  Seems to me like someone is shoving a giant building the face of someone else.

However… as I sit here and write this, I’ve done a bit of research and it seems its just a matter of getting broadcast signals out to the masses.  Tokyo Tower is a broadcast tower just as Tokyo Sky Tree is as well.  The Tower has become surrounded by buildings and the signal strength is fading, so a bunch of broadcasters decided to make the Sky Tree.  Oh well… sounded good, right?

Power conservation in action

As I was walking around yesterday I passed a plaza with a couple of large fountains – except they were turned off to save power.  It’s like this all over the city… lights are kept off as long as possible, or half of the lights are turned out.  I was given an interesting statistic last week – by turning out half of the lights in the subway stations, they reduced their power consumption by 20%.  The best part?  Its not as if you’re stumbling in the dark when you’re in the stations… its just like a normal place.  I wonder how long they’ll keep this up after they’ve gotten back to full power production.

Rickshaws in Asakusa

I mentioned them briefly in my other posts, but I didn’t give them their proper attention.  These guys were all over the place.  They wore the funny boots similar to construction workers – they have a split at the big toe.  I think I need to find some before I come home because they’d be pretty awesome to have.  These also looked really, really comfortable, which I guess is critical when you’re running around in the street all day.

These guys would carry a pair of people throughout Asakusa, mingling with the road traffic without fear.  Apparently they’d give you a tour of the area within a package deal of 10, 20, or 30 minutes.  It makes me wonder how you get into the company… do you only do the 10 minute tours for a while or would you be expected to be able to do 30 minutes right away?  One of the pickup spots (or maybe all of them) would lead directly over the bridge and they’d strain to pull the rickshaw up the incline to start the tour.  Very in-shape individuals…

Japanese fashion… that is all…

On the train back to Minato-ku I encountered an older women wearing a sock-hop inspired outfit.    I don’t know what to say.

Knee socks are on probably 50% of the women below age 25.  Honestly, it’s very attractive.

Boots are big here – I saw a woman yesterday with boots over her knee.  The young men wear boot as well.  Often the boots, on both men and women, are complicated with straps and such.

Anime fashion exists – I saw a girl in a Sailor Moon inspired outfit and she seemed to be on a completely normal day.  I’ve seen other people that I swear came out of a J-RPG.  Mixing these people with the men in business suits on a Saturday afternoon… that’s a mind boggling experience.

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