7 August 2000


(Click previews for a larger, color image)


These descriptions will be quick, since there are a ton of pictures.

This is the street in the Electronic Town of Akihabara.  Tokyo is divided into wards and Akihabara is one of the many.

Another view of the street in Akihabara, a very colorful place.

Dan on the streets of Akihabara.  You can see the height difference between the Japanese and me in this picture.

An alley in Akihabara.  They don’t like to waste space in Tokyo.  Real estate is at a premium and every bit must be used.

The crowd in Tokyo Station, the main train station in Tokyo.  This was taken at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon.  Weekday mornings are quite a bit more interesting.

A weird looking gold thing in Asakusa.  I have no clue what it’s supposed to be. 


[Update 8/8: George Constantin tells me: “[It] is supposed to be (I think) the foam of a beer mug, blown away by some pretty forceful wind.  I have seen something like that in their TV commercials, so this is how I figured it out.”] 


[Update 8/9: This picture has generated some controversy.  Chiaki Constantin, the wife of George (the previous updater), found the full story.  The mysterious shape is atop the Asahi Super Dry Hall, belonging to the Asahi Brewery.  On their web site, they say that the sculpture is: “…a burning spirit and not crap…” That is a direct quote from their site, translated from Japanese to English.]

Jessica Howell and her giant shrimp tempura.  Yes, they are shrimp.  The breading covers the shrimp and does not reach far beyond it.  You can imagine the size of these critters.

I am not drunk, but appear to be in this picture.  This is at the tempura place in Asakusa.

A building in the temple-area of Asakusa.

A warrior statue in the first building.

Another view of the first building,

In the shopping area by the temples.  These cat statues are supposed to beckon customers into stores (the gesture to encourage people to come to you in Japan means go away in the US) and bring good luck to the merchant.

The sword store.

A view of the shopping area of Asakusa.  There are many stores selling the same types of merchandise here.  It was crowded and busy everywhere.

Dan in front of another building in the temple area.

A rickshaw operator, waiting for a customer to pull around in his cart.  I was hoping a Sumo competitor would show up, but had no such luck.

The big temple in Asakusa.

Statues near the temples.

A view of the temple area.

To purify yourself before you go into the temple, you go near the smoke of the incense burner.

After the incense burner, you wash your hands here.  You are now ready to pray in the temple.

A decorative post that made up the area immediately around the temple.

Another shot of the temple grounds.

A statue near the temple.

Off to Ginza, the high-end shopping district of Tokyo.  This building has a video screen built into it.

The street in Ginza.

Dan on the street in Ginza.

The Ginza skyline.  There are a few familiar names here.

A particularly interesting looking building in Ginza.

Posters several floors in length on the side of a building in Ginza.

The Warner Brothers Store.  They have a large video screen playing cartoons above the entrance.  The Flintstones in the current entertainment selection.

Jon Collings posing with Ultraman.

Back to Tokyo Station.  This is the skyline near the station in the heart of Tokyo.

Can you say crowded streets?

Dan on the edge of the chaotic streets of Tokyo.

Two girls I was able to talk into having their pictures taken.  I saw many people wearing kimonos all day and finally got this picture.

Here I am presenting the plastic food in the window of a restaurant.  With the plastic food, you can preview the menu.  It is also said that the quality of an eatery can be judged by the quality of its fake food.

A guy playing pachinko in an arcade.  Despite the flash of my camera, he never took his eyes off the game in front of him.

A horse racing tabletop game.  There are betting stations all around this table.  The little horses race around the track at the start of the race.

Some neon signs near Tokyo Station.

Dan, waiting for the bus near Tokyo Station.

A view of the front of Tokyo Station.

My last picture of the day, posing triumphantly in front of Tokyo Station after the day’s conclusion.

The next few were taken in Kamogawa on Sunday.  Depicted here are more of the statues that typically show up at the scenes of accidents.

Dan holding two three-liter bottles of beer.

A view of local hamburger place, Mos Burger.  I have yet to be disappointed by their food.  Despite this, it fails to replace Taco Bell’s well-worn place in my heart.