Tag Archives: Tokyo

The Biggest Pokemon Center in Japan!

VEDA continues with some Pokemon! When we were in Japan two months ago, we visited the biggest Pokemon Center in Japan. It’s called Pokemon Center MEGA TOKYO, and it’s in Ikebukuro. We also visited Ginza, Tsukiji, ate some sushi, and went to our old neighbourhood. All of that is in this video. Check it out!

Do you want to go to Pokemon Center MEGA TOKYO? Let me know in the comments section below.

Viewing Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Today, I met my longtime friend in Tokyo, and we visited three gardens to see cherry blossoms.

First was Rikugien, near Komagome station. There was one tree that was very popular.

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And we had a great view of the garden.

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And I took lots of pictures of people crossing a stone bridge with a reflection below.

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After that, we visited Shinjuku Gyoen, a big garden with Japanese, French, and English gardens. There was also an interesting greenhouse. But the cherry trees were the stars. This was the only picture I got with my phone. It’s a weeping cherry tree.

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And finally, we went to Roppongi to see the Mori Park, right below the well-known Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. It was pretty small. Then we checked out Tokyo Midtown and briefly looked at the National Art Gallery building.

Videos were taken, as well. I’m a bit behind on those. They’ll come, though. But maybe not until next week.

Comments are always welcome.

A New Year in Japan – Taking the Romance Car Home

Our final leg home was a ride in a fast limited express train. It was the Romance Car again!

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It was the same kind of train as we took at the beginning of our trip. Here’s my daughter posing in front of it.

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Looking back while on the train, we could see Shinjuku.

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Here’s a bridge crossing the Tama River into Kawasaki.

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We say goodbye to the Romance Car.

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And so, that’s all for our New Year in Japan. I hope you enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures. If you missed any of the trip, just look back at the last few posts that started on January 1st.

A New Year in Japan – A Break at Shinjuku Station

On our way home, we caught the train at Kita-Toda Station and went straight to Shinjuku. But we got to see this before we got in the train. A Shinkansen!

We didn’t ride the Shinkansen. We took a local train to Shinjuku, which is the world’s busiest station. We had some time before our next train, so we looked around a little and I took the opportunity to take some pictures.

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There was a bento (lunch box) shop in the station with a very interesting display. This is it.

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A closeup reveals that they’re all plastic! Japan is well-known for its plastic food displays at restaurants, but this one was quite impressive.

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Some more of the station. That green store is called 3 Coins, which means that everything inside costs 300 yen.

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This is the ticket gate, one of many in this station. There are actually around three hundred exits at Shinjuku Station.

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But it was soon time for us to board the train that would take us almost home. Yes, another Romance Car! That’s for the next post.

A New Year in Japan – On the Train

The rest of our New Year is with the in-laws. What came next was a train ride. And this is the train we took.

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A closer look. It’s a Romance Car. It’s an express train with reserved seats with Odakyu.

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On the train, we got a view of Mt. Fuji.

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At Shinjuku, we changed trains to the Saikyo Line.

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On the train, my daughter fell asleep sitting up.

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And in Saitama, we could see Mt. Fuji again. But it’s a bit farther away.

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Coming up next is lunch!

Convenient, Yet Inconvenient – Japan’s Train System

We just got back from a trip up to Saitama to visit my wife’s family. During this trip, we had to take a number of buses and trains. The system is extensive in the Tokyo area, and you can get pretty much anywhere you want in a timely manner and without much difficulty.

The view from the JR Musashino Line in Saitama.
The view from the JR Musashino Line in Saitama.

It’s convenient

The trains are quick, many traveling between 90 and 110 kilometres per hour. The express and rapid trains are very nice for long distances. You can easily transfer from one train to another, even if it’s a different company. You can use the same IC card to pay for any train or bus. No need to count out change for a bus or train ticket.

It’s inconvenient

Packing around a not-yet-4-year-old is not the easiest thing, and with her inability to sit for a very long time, she’s difficult to handle on a long train ride. While taking the trains and buses is convenient, it’s troublesome with a young child. On our way home, she fell asleep, and I had to carry her between two trains and have her sleep on me. And then there are the crowded trains. She was extremely fidgety on that train, and wanted to stand, then be held, then stand, then be held, etc. It’s physically demanding to travel by train with a young child. For something like this, I’d have preferred to drive. However, with the roads and traffic in the Tokyo area, that would be a major headache. I don’t think I could find a parking space, either.

For an overnight trip to a destination only one and a half hours away by train, I took a whopping four buses and eight trains. I love the train system in Japan, and could easily travel everywhere, but I wish I could do it with my daughter being a couple years older.

Ever take a trip or commute that frustrated you because of the transportation system? Or having to deal with young children?

Six Days, Three Earthquakes

It’d been a while since I’d felt an earthquake. On Wednesday, I felt the first one in a long time.

Wednesday’s was felt at the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. It would’ve been nearly impossible to feel if we hadn’t been sitting down. Sunday’s earthquake happened while I was working. And today’s earthquake also happened while I was working. They were all small earthquakes.

Is it possible to become desensitised to an earthquake? After all these years, it seems that small earthquakes like this are nothing more than a feature of the land. When they happened, my thoughts were, “Oh, it’s an earthquake.” Ten years ago, I would’ve been thinking, “Wow! It’s an earthquake!” They don’t seem to impress me anymore.

The Imperial Palace Makes Me Want to Do What?

Today’s visit to the Imperial Palace was a very good one. Just take a look at this.

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That is just a small part of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor and Empress of Japan live. We can’t go in there, but we can go into the Eastern Gardens. That was beautiful. While walking around through the multiple gates, the landscape, and the many native Japanese plants, we noticed how everything was carefully constructed and planned.

Well, looking at how things were built, I had a strong desire to do two things. First is worldbuilding. Second is play SimCity 4. SimCity 4? Yes! It’s one of my favourite games, and I loved watching my cities grow. Unfortunately, the CD is covered in dry food after my daughter decided to play with it after eating. Not sure how I can get it off now.

Anyone else get a desire to do anything like that? Let me know in the comments below.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Let’s not even think about the colds we have, first of all. My sister has been here for 11 days, and we’re now on the 12th full day with only today, Wednesday, and Thursday to go for sightseeing. She goes back to Canada on Friday. The time has flown so quickly.

We’ve seen a lot, but it could’ve been better. We could’ve been healthy. She’ll remember Japan as the country she visited twice and caught a cold both times.

Today is a big day. Off to Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Tomorrow is Tokyo Station area, Imperial Gardens, and Tokyo International Forum. We may have time for something else, so we’ll see. On Thursday, it’s Marine Tower, Chinatown, and the Yamate area. We may see Hikawa-maru and Sankeien. She’s already been to Chinatown, but it was very brief. This time, probably having lunch there.

And that’s it. Then she goes home on Friday. We’ll see her and my mom in five and a half months when we move to Canada, though.

Well, time for three days of great sightseeing! And plenty of videos.

Inspired by a Science Museum

Today, my sister and I went to Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Odaiba, Tokyo.  Every time I’ve been there, I’ve found something new and very interesting to look at. Of course, much of the museum is interactive. However, today was a bit different.

20151014-215743-79063216.jpgThere was one exhibit that allowed everyone to join a future city, get a job, and become a citizen. The concept was interesting. Simple, but very interesting. Another exhibit had people walking around an area while logged in to a system. There were cameras above that watched each person walking around, and it kept track of where everyone went. You had to interact with these personalities which helped it determine things about you, and finally that information was turned into a song. I recorded the song on video, which I’ll get up when I’m able to.

But these things showed some future ideas that were things I’d never thought of. What I like about that museum is that it focuses on future technology. And when writing science fiction, you have to think of future technologies that have yet to be invented. But sometimes, it’s not just technology, but forms of entertainment, culture, and jobs. There’s a lot to think about, and it has me inspired.