A three part “photoblog” on my October 2006 visit to Tokyo. Continuation from Part II. More pictures ahead!
Part 3 of 3
Tokyo Dome City
Our hotel, appropriately named Tokyo Dome Hotel, was top-notch. Spacious, modern, and just overall beautiful. Not at all cramped as one would imagine a Tokyo hotel would be, considering how crowded the city is. The only noticeable difference in the hotels I stayed at there and the ones I am used to, is that the bed is slightly smaller than a regular double.
Related video: View from 26th floor of Tokyo Dome Hotel
Tokyo Dome City features a Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, an amusement park, the LaQua spa, a variety of shops and restaurants. The amusement park rides encased the outer portion of boutiques and restaurants.
Our hotel room literally overlooked the Tokyo Dome.
This is one of the restaurants in the area. Like many noodle specialty restaurants, the way you order food is by using a vending machine. You pick out what you want to eat, press the button that corresponds with that food choice (all the buttons are in Japanese only, of course) and then you pay the amount stated. Afterward, you go inside to hand the printed out ticket to the chef at the right station and your meal is prepared. It was quite daunting at first, trying to figure it out without knowing a lick of the language but it’s not so
How the inside of the restaurant looks like. Kind of weird, huh?
Just below our hotel were tons of these young people dressed up in anime type costumes, I believe the correct term is “cosplay”, and they were taking pictures of themselves in these costumes. It was quite a sight to be seen. These pictures below are my attempts to “stealthily” capture the moment.
A trip on the Tokyo Metro
Let me just say, as a tourist, the subway system in Tokyo is incredibly intimidating because it is very, very complicated. This is particularly the case if you’re used to the Toronto subway system (TTC) with its two main subway lines. Figuring out the fare system was another fun task, because it goes by zones unlike TTC’s one fare for anywhere within the system (unless crossing town borders). We went on the Marunouchi Line to go to Ikebukuro station where there are some nice stores for shopping.
Related video: A ride on the Tokyo Metro subway system
That’s where I, for the first time, came across these free eyeglass washing stations that are placed outside optical stores. THESE ARE COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE! You just walk up to it and dip your glasses into a special solution, turn it on, then when it’s done, wash it out in the container with the water. While I was not wearing my glasses at the time, so I was unable to test it out on actual glasses, I did have my sunglasses with me and this device did a splendid job on cleaning them. Another [free] service you will never see over in our neck of the woods…
The Ginza District
The Ginza District is composed of many high-end stores, the kind of stores that would cost me an arm and a leg just to purchase something and probably send me into a life of poverty.
Stores I’ll never be able to afford *sigh*
Matsuzakaya is a well-known department store in Japan, but it’s nothing like your Sears or Hudson Bay. No, it’s much more high-end, think Holt Renfrew.
Apparently, though I never got to see it myself, they project fashion type videos on the front of many/some of the stores at night.
See, this store named Uniqlo, was more for the likes of me (the likes of me being the type who aren’t loaded enough to be able to afford luxurious goods). This chain of clothing store was awesome, they had decent prices but nice fashionable clothes.
The magnificent Apple store. Five entire stories dedicated to all things Apple. The glass elevator was pretty snazzy.
On the day I was there, a Sunday afternoon, the main thoroughfare, “the Chuo-Dori”, was closed to motor traffic. It’s the hokohsha tengoku (literally pedestrian’s paradise) and many pet owners will bring their dogs with them.
This one couple brought a whole gaggle of their adorable doggies! And many people, including myself, were able to play around with these dogs right there in the middle of the road.
On the side roads, I noticed many women gathered wearing fancy kimonos to, what I believe to be, some sort of [religious] ceremony.
A giant toy store.
Are you a Homestarrunner
fan too? If you are, you might also find this amusing.
That concludes my three part “photoblog” on my trip to Tokyo. If you are looking for larger versions of these photos, they are available in my Flickr album
. Hope you enjoyed it!
With notes from Japan-Guide.com