Thursday/ Skytree : Mission Impossible

Alright, so I tried !.. but couldn’t make it up to the Skytree’s observation decks (there are two).  I got there a little after 12 noon and the line was so long that they sold tickets for 4 pm.   School is still out here, so everyone was out in full force.  To make matters ‘worse’ there is a whole Skytree Town built at the Tree’s base : souvenir shops, stores, a food court and an aquarium as well.

This is in the Asakusa station area. Skytree visitors take the Tobu line from there across the Sumida river to the new Tokyo Skytree station. The entrance to the Tobu line is in the Matsuya department store building (right on the picture).
Still in the Asakusa station area, the Sensoji temple with a large plaza behind it that sells food and handmade gifts and souvenirs.
Here’s the glimpse of the Skytree from the street neat the Sensoji temple. The yellow lanterns provide a festive atmosphere.
Now I have arrived at the base of the Skytree. These ladies are enjoying the mist and cool air. I saw these misters at a few places on the Tokyo streets.
.. but don’t approach the misters ‘too much’. But let me submit that I think 1. It’s perfectly OK to get wet. 2. You are wet already, from sweating. I gobbled up several 500ml bottles of water yesterday.
Here is as close to the monstrous metal Skytree I could get. Skytree is the world’s highest free-standing broadcasting tower, ‘with cutting-edge Japanese building technology supporting it safely’, says the website (I think that means for earthquakes, I think). The structure is 634 m tall (2,080 ft).
Looking up from the base.
Yes? How is your knowledge of Japanese pop culture? This is Pikachu frolicking on a Skytree t-shirt from the gift store : a short, chubby, rodent-like Pokémon with yellow fur all over its body.   (They did not have an extra large shirt for me).
And if I were 4 years old, I’d love to have a pair of these bullet train sneakers.
Now I arrived back at Asakusa station, and I am walking on the Azumabashi bridge across the Sumida river. The two buildings to the right of Skytree are the Asahi Beer Headquarters. The biggest building resembles a giant beer jug complete with a foam shaped white roof. The shorter building is known as the Super Dry Hall. It is a black building in the shape of a beer glass, with an enormous golden flame shaped object perched on top (affectionately known as the ‘golden turd’)..
And is this riverboat is sleek or what? There may very well be aliens (from Mars) inside.
More paper lanterns, this in the park across the Azumabashi bridge.
Of all the Skytree toys and souvenirs I saw yesterday, this one has to take the cake : a Swarovski crystal tree fitted with LED lights that goes for 665,700 yen (US$8,400). This is in the Akihabara electronics store.
The main entrance to the Akihabara electronics store. I did check out the Seiko watches, but didn’t buy another one. I have too many already!
I have no idea how famous Kanako Mimura is as a anime character. There are posters around the Akihabara store of several other anime characters as well.
Here’s Colin Farrell on a subway poster for the 2012 version of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall. The Japanese characters gives it that extra little bit of high-tech edge, not?
This picture belongs with the one with the colored paper lanterns. It is a statue of Katsu Kaishū (1823 – 1899), a Japanese naval engineer and statesman.


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