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Old May 22nd, 2014, 12:19 AM   #1
Svartmetall
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TOKYO Trip December 2013 - Svartmetall Tours Tokyo!

Hi everyone. I've finally decided to take the plunge and upload a bunch of photos of my trip in Tokyo from December 2013. My wife and I were in Tokyo in the early part of December thankfully, so the weather was not too extreme. I'll upload a few photos every day of our adventures in what I believe to be the most exciting city that I have visited thus far. This my my second time there so far. I apologise that I am not the world's greatest photographer, but I hope I give you a good impression of what we saw and did while we were there.

First off, as with many tourists to Japan, we entered via Narita airport. We took the Keisei line to Ueno.



Our first impressions on Asakusa dori outside where we were staying. I like the new streetscape here. Last time I was in Tokyo in 2010, they did not have this paving or these bus stops. Now there is a separate bike lane, the road has been narrowed by one lane either side, and the pavement looks so much better.









We found this little temple on the main street.



We walked off the main street a bit into the back streets and found this little temple too! One of the joys of Tokyo is the old and new meshing together like this.





We reached the main centre around Ueno station here, and what greets us? The Tokyo Metro HQ!



On the pedestrian bridge.



I like all the details in Japan most of all - these little planting boxes are fantastic.



Looking down to the street. See the rail line above?



Looking down a little shopping street.





At Ueno station and that's it for now.





Many, many more to come! Hope you enjoy.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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Following on from the previous set, we took the train (Yamanote line in this case) from Ueno to Tokyo Station.





Tokyo station is MASSIVE! I love its complexity, the shopping and its cleanliness. Despite the volumes of people it doesn't feel too suffocating due to its size. I explore the station more later on in this photo series.





Time to take the Chuo rapid line between Tokyo station and Shinjuku.





Finally at the world's busiest station (which was surprisingly not so busy at this point in time).





Just outside Shinjuku station I started snapping on the eastern side of the station.



Massive department store.



There are a lot of shops on the eastern side of the station. It also contains one of Japan's most infamous nightlife areas.













We popped back underground to use the extensive tunnels under Shinjuku to come out at the correct exit for the shop we were looking for.





Integration of retail and stations is really common in Japan, and it works so well!



Uniqlo!







View to the Shinjuku skyline







Some interesting shops. :P



On a main street now.











Zoomed skyline





More to come. This is still part of my first day in Japan!
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 09:23 AM   #3
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wonderful pics swartmetaal! Im going this July and can't wait. Your pics excite me now!
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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Thank you. Trust me, it is well worth going to. Each time I've been there I have liked it more.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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Okay, so that we get through my photos somewhat faster, here are some more of my first day in Tokyo.

Here we continue with Shinjuku and one of my favourite buildings in the cluster.



Shinjuku street scene in the government quarter.



Bottom of the cocoon.



The light was getting a little difficult and capturing good shots was very difficult now.



Little walkways under roads.



Approaching the government building.



Tokyo Metropolitan Government building!



Looking back towards the station.



At the small park in the centre of Shinjuku.











Back to the Oedo line for my next destination.





Still more to come later.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:29 PM   #6
christos-greece
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Great, very nice photos from Tokyo
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General photography: Castles of France - Chateau de France and, since May of '08: Greece!

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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thanks, Christos. I know I'm not a very good "photographer", but hopefully there are some gems amongst the trash.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 08:18 PM   #8
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Awesome pictures., Thanks for the lovely tour
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 11:30 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone! Very glad that people are enjoying these rather amateur shots! Next up, some night photos. I apologise for the quality of these in particular - my camera is not great at night photos, especially in such busy areas.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 11:30 PM   #11
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So here we go then, here we are in Akihabara! Where else would one go in Tokyo for the first night?







Decorated trees!





Yodobashi!



Such amazing paving throughout Japan. They really take care of the details here.





Time for a neon overload.









More decorated trees.



Back to the JR Station here in Akiba.





Getting onto the Yamanote line to our next destination.



Still on day one. Now you might see why my feet almost fell off by the end of our trip.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 10:43 AM   #12
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Next phase of my journey - we arrive at Ikebukero for some much needed dinner.

Ikebukero station.





Directly outside the station.










Lots of shopping streets around here.











Finally found a nice looking (and cheap) ramen place!



A guilty pleasure for me...



Back to the station.



Rather cute looking owls outside the station.




Inside Ikebukero - I liked the lights.



Onto the metro to our final destination for the day - Omotesando.



More to follow still.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 08:39 PM   #13
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Nice pics, i always wanted to live in Tokyo I have to go there as soon as possible!
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 08:45 PM   #14
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You should! I encourage everyone to visit Tokyo - it's well worth the effort.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 08:54 PM   #15
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So, we continue with the first day of our tour at the days final destination - Omotesando! Here we are at the Chiyoda line platforms in Meiji Jingumae.



Out onto the spacious and (thankfully) serene streets. We were lucky to visit whilst they were still stringing up the last of the lights so the crowds were not out in force yet.





Little bit of "olde worlde charm" in Tokyo.





Some of the lights that Omotesando is so well known for at Christmas time.



And of course, the biggest drawcard to this area - the shopping!





A tiny, very nice backstreet.



Stunning entrance to a department store/mall.



Looking back to the street from the entrance. Plus a Snowflake!



Interior of the shopping centre.



A little taste of my hometown here in Tokyo. Church's shoes are a famous brand directly from Northampton in the UK. They're opening a new store here in Tokyo! Very impressive how they came back from the brink of failure!



Interesting architecture abounds here.





Finishing off with a food court.



So ends day number one! I hope you enjoyed my first day in Tokyo during this trip. More photos to come!

Last edited by Svartmetall; May 23rd, 2014 at 09:01 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #16
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So, here we go with a new day and a new set of photographs!

Today we head up to Asakusa. En route we spot a few really nice little temples.



Also, here is proof that old architecture can still have its quirks.



Smaller temple (looks more modern) on the back streets.





Street scenes towards Asakusa.





Tokyo Tourism - or something to do with tourism in Tokyo. Impressive building!



The elephant in the room - the gigantic and imposing Skytree (later, be patient, I do go up it).



Time for some very early morning shopping.



This is one thing I love about Japan. If you look closely, these signs make the word gate or "門". Even my wife didn't notice this!



More shops.







The main temple itself.



A very neat grave site.





There are smaller and larger temple buildings in the area. Unfortunately I don't know what all of them are.



More modern torii.



At the entrance.



Prayers.



A modern but old house.



Under the temples imposing roof.



Shrine.



Outside at the incense.



Overall view.



A tree blocking the tower. I just liked the colours.



I love these towers.



A little bit of greenery.





Older house.



Spotless. Absolutely spotless.



Large department store on the main street.



And here we are at Tobu Asakusa station. I wonder where we are going next...

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Old May 25th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #17
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Now we went to one of the most impressive landmarks of Tokyo - one that is actually quite new. The Tokyo skytree! Opened in 2012, this is very much the cutting edge of Tokyo. At 634m high, it is the ultimate tower!

First we arrive at Skytree station (formerly Oshiage) on the Tobu lines.



Outside the station.



Looking up at the monster.



The whole area got a redevelopment and facelift as part of this construction.



Entrance to the mall (closed as it was still very early).



Landscaping is quite nice around here.



Seriously, it is hard to convey in words how imposing this is. Next time I fly via Dubai I can imagine the sense of awe that I will get when I pass by the world's tallest.



Views across Tokyo from the skytree. Bear in mind some of these shots are zoomed so might be a little more hazy. I was a bit annoyed that the weather was only so-so as it was early in the morning. By the end of the day it was bright and sunny!

Towards Marunouchi.



Overview of a lot of Tokyo skyscraper clusters including the new bay developments on the left. I believe it is Marunouchi on the right, Shidome in the centre and the Tokyo bay developments on the left, though I am happy to be corrected on that!



So much density!



River and Asakusa.



A blanket of humanity.



Final shot from the top. You can see Shinjuku in the background if you squint. It's on the right hand side of the photo.



Brave or stupid?



The structural work is impressive!



The mall had just opened as we were coming down from the sky tower so we took a look before the shoppers came in.

TV merch.



Food hall! Very clean and neat.



I wish they had these in Sweden. Places like this tend to look so dirty here compared to Japan.



The name looks very Finnish!



Corridors of shops with some early shoppers like ourselves.



Disney Store!



Little seating area.



The food corridor - my favourite!



Outside at the bus depot.



Mmmm, time for a Takoyaki snack. These were so good - and very cheap too at only 32kr! Imagine paying that in Sweden...



The Studio Ghibli shop!



となりのトトロ!



Very cute little community bus.



Part of the highrise development that occurred with the building of the skytree.



Covered bike parking. There is a LOT of bike infrastructure like this in Japan everywhere.



Back to the station for our next destination, Ueno Park!

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Old May 26th, 2014, 11:32 PM   #18
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Next set coming right up! Here we start where we left off previously - back at Ueno!


A new building near the park.


Now at the park.





Cafe.



Temple in the middle of the park.





Through a tree circle. This is one of my favourite shots for some reason.



I really love Ueno park.



I was so pleased to see autumnal colours were still here in December! December in Sweden means no leaves.



Wide open spaces.







Metropolitan Art. Has one of the original Rodin Gates of Hell.



Little statue.



One of the many crows one will see in Japan.



Time to visit a shrine.



Another of those iconic towers.



Golden fronted temple.



One of the eternal flames from the A-bomb.



Everyone should read this plaque.



Does anything speak Japan any more than this?



Autumn colours.



Back to the wide open spaces.



Stairs down to the lakefront.



Modern torii gate.



At the lake front.



Next batch will come soon!
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Old May 27th, 2014, 05:19 AM   #19
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wow, despite of its being thickly populated, the city is quite clean and orderly.
I love those of the gardens and the traditional designed temples.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #20
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Thank you! One of the things that nearly everyone who has been to Tokyo will note is that it is incredibly clean and well cared for - especially when one considers the population density and the sheer number of people that live in the city. I haven't actually been anywhere cleaner so far (I would place Singapore on an equal level).
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