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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #1
Hong Kong
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Tribute to Japan 3/11 - hkskyline's 2011 in TOKYO #1

With the nuclear fallout still fresh in memory, I was not planning to visit Tokyo for a while. But with less and less reports of radiation contamination towards the end of last year and a free redemption flight available, I took the risk and spent Christmas in Japan.

1. Rikugien is a beautiful park of ponds and hills in the northern part of Tokyo. Built in the early 18th century, it was donated to the City of Tokyo in 1938 by the founder of Mitsubishi.

5. I was quite surprised to find fall colours on Boxing Day.

10. This type of serenity contrasts well with the bustling metropolis. Hard to believe 30 million people live in the Tokyo Bay area.

11. Although Nihonbashi is Tokyo's kilometer 0, the bridge itself is nothing special and overshadowed by a much bigger highway bridge above.

15. The Bank of Japan's headquarters looks very European.

17. From there, it is a short walk to Marunouchi and Tokyo Station.

19. To beat the language barrier, I snapped photos of the food I wanted and showed it to the waitress.

20. It was quite accurate to the actual serving.

21. Tokyo Station and surroundings

23. Although the guidebooks say Tokyo Station is modeled after Amsterdam's Centraal, the building is covered up under reconstruction. A new skyscraper is also being built next door. Change is in the air.

29. The Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum is a replica reconstruction of the original built in 1894. At the time, it was the first western-style office building in the area.

30. Next door, an entrance leads to a quiet open courtyard with plenty of vegetation and seats to read a good book.

36. Spring will hopefully arrive soon.

37. Odaiba is an entertainment and shopping destination on reclaimed islands in Tokyo Bay. An expensive driverless monorail connects it to Shiodome.

38. I took a ride around Odaiba to get my money's worth.

42. The monorail loops around the main attractions. The Telecom Center sits at the southern end of the urban area. Further south is the port.

45. Tokyo Big Sight is a large exhibition center that hosts major events such as the Tokyo Motor Show.

46. Cartoon messages blazed the platform screen doors.

47. The waterfront area had plenty of sidewalk space for the crowds. The view towards Tokyo was quite good, although this is not the section of real estate that allows full admiration of the sprawling skyline.

48. The centerpiece is Rainbow Bridge, which is walkable. But it was a cold day, so I opted for a warmer indoor vantage point instead.

50. An out-of-place miniature Statue of Liberty sits oddly by the water.

52. Fuji TV's headquarters has an observation deck on the ball at the top. The architecture is quite bold and the building seems to age quite well.

57. The view was worth the admission. Unfortunately, clouds rolled in but the morning's sunshine still lingered, giving the sky a colourful background.

The full set is available on my website : http://www.globalphotos.org/tokyo.htm
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