Japan 5 (Final)
August 22, 2011 10 Comments
Well sorry to say that the Japanese blog posts are at an end. I had planned one more post but that seems so long ago and my recen trip to Thailand has replaced old memories with fresh experiences than I am eager to tell. But for this post I’m going to focus on the little things that slipped through the cracks. The times that I was taken by the sights and sounds in the city itself as opposed to the people.
I suppose this post will be shorter than most posts and include fewer pictures. There were many more buildings I wanted to look out of but didn’t have the time to make it to (or the money to get in.)
Tokyo is a unique city that seems to have the ability to do something Korea can’t when it comes to architecture and scenery. The city can beautifully blend from one setting to the next. Creating an aluring beauty in it’s contrast.
The gardens outside of the Emperor’s palace a field of trees spot a long stretching lawn which sits between the city a moat and the defensive walls. Although I’m sure these emplacements at one point had a more militaristic purpose they create a calming serene atmosphere.
This building, also in the Emperor’s palace sits just on the edge of the wall as if it’s ready to tip into the moat. But one must also notice it seems to enjoy the company of the modern skyscrapers. The whole thing creates this beautiful contrast between the ancient History of Japan and the modern progression of the country.
Speaking of it’s modern progression Japan is a bustling city crowded to the brim with people. And while this population explosion is a serious problem it’s worth noting how in spite of this Japanese people strive for their own identity and pull it from all corners of the world. I know this is a photo take from an eariler post but if you really stop and look at it you can see so many things from so many places pulling you. From the McDonalds to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant all crammed into such tiny places vying for attention. You can see this in Korea as well but usually with smaller stores and locations. In Japan everyone must be small because that’s the space they have.
I’m trying not to make this into another culture lesson but I think it’s needed a little bit here. In Korea it is very important to not stick out, to blend in with society, which is why many Korean people strive for some of the same goals and appear and dress so similar. The same can be said of the Korean sky line which consists of many buildings cut-and-pasted into the same block and sponsored by Samsung and LG. (Although I must also point out that much of this is due to Korea desperately rushing to rebuild it’s economy after the Korean War…which they achieved with astonishing success). However in Japan the buildings have their own unique shapes and forms to them. Standing in the famous Shibuya crossing you really do start to understand the almost Western desire to stand out that the Japanese people seem to have (despite the city and the famous street being constantly flooded with people).
And Tokyo isn’t just a city, it’s a rich city. There’s a reason I spend the majority of my cash traveling here and you can see it on nearly every street corner. Like this Lotus Elsie car that I randomly saw parked outside of a Forever 21. This was probably the first time I’d ever seen this car in real life.
But if you do want to escape from the madness of the city you are afforded that opportunity. Tokyo has many parks and shrines that burrow so deep into an arbor of trees you would almost forget you’re in a city.
Well enough of these random observations and comparisons to Korea. Onto the sights.
My friends and I got the opportunity to travel to the top of Tokyo Tower. From the tower, also known as the second largest artificial structure in the country. (A radio tower designed to replace it is taking the number one spot, or at least will when it’s finished.)
(both photos taken from Wikipedia, because when I went it was far too dark and my camera cell phone can’t work miracles).
The view from the top was breathtaking and my friends and I reveled in the fact that we had left our home countries to be allowed such an opportunity.
(These pictures were taken by one of my friends, because as stated before my cell phone can’t work miracles.)
If you really look at the skyline you can see how individual and unique each building is and how the city is lit up like a christmas tree. It really took my breath away.
But there was one spot in Tokyo that seemed to take the cake over all the others, the Daikanransha. It is a 115-metre (377 ft) tall Ferris wheel in Tokyo. In 1999 when it opened it was the largest Ferris Wheel in the world.
You may wonder why this particular amusement park ride, while impressive would really blow me away. Well when I got on the ride it was pretty late at night. My friends had decided to go somewhere else but I was determined to ride it. I got into one of the glass carriages and sat down enjoying the view as it became more visible on the horizon.
But when i reached the top something happened to me. I started to cry. I looked out over all of Tokyo and I realized that I was really on the other side of the world. It was like an awakening. I fell to my knees, overwhelmed and thanked god for allowing me to experience something so beautiful. Something so wonderful and magnificent.