Tag Archives: Photo

Shibuya: The Busiest Crossing In The World

Light inside the tunnel
After the long walk I almost felt exhausted, however, my feelings were still exiting because I had reached another destination, another place where I could visit for the first time, a new adventure where I could tell the other people about. I managed to get there without asking anybody for any direction, just my common sense, sense of direction (if I have got any, but I think I have some) and the train map that has got nothing to do with the road map.
I knew that I had arrived at the destination because there was a sign that was pointing at the entrance of Shibuya station. I entered a stair case inside a building, went up the stairs and the first thing that I noticed was that there was the entrance of a shopping centre. There were different shops and an escalator that was going to the floors below.
Picture 1: Down the escalator
Picture 1: Down the escalator
Outside was already dark by at least 1 hour, however, the lights inside the shopping centre and those that were coming from the shops were illuminating the inside of the building in the same way that the lights illuminate the inside of the buildings when closer to Christmas, but without any of the Christmas decoration.
Shibuya Station
 
I kept walking tirelessly until I saw that the number of people were growing. I was entering a tunnel. That tunnel was narrow and had windows. I could see that this tunnel was actually a walking bridge and from the windows there was a beautiful view of tall buildings, the roads underneath and I could also see that the tunnel was going to have a left turn. After walking a few minutes, the tunnel started to get larger and the number of people increased by a large margin.
Businessmen, schoolgirls, schoolboys and people with shopping bags were filling the tunnel and I realised soon afterwards that I was inside the train station. This larger tunnel was leading to the train platforms. People were entering the platforms from left and right. I think the time was between 6-7. Tokyo Shibuya rush hours and there was a lot still to come.
Better than Piccadilly Circus
 
After I had passed all the platforms from the tunnel, the building took me to a staircase leading on the street level. Step by step I managed to reach the exit and another staircase that led me to Shibuya Hachiko Square. The square was crowded and I noticed that in the middle of the square there was a statue of a dog. A lot of people seemed very interested about that statue and were taking photos and selfies with the dog.
hachiko_square1
Picture 2: Dog in Hachiko Square (from http://www.yayanoctopus.com)
Dog's Statue in Hachiko Square (From http://youinjapan.net)
Picture 3: Dog’s Statue in Hachiko Square (From http://youinjapan.net)
In front of me I noticed a pedestrian crossing and I could see on the corners on the other side of the crossing some very interesting buildings, some of them with a very interesting shape. I took some photos of the buildings in front of me and then I walked closer to the pedestrian crossing and took more photos.
Picture 3: QFRONT building
Picture 4: QFRONT building

Pictures 5,6,7,8: different buildings and different designs

Pictures 5 and 6: Beauty of the buildings
Pictures 5 and 6: Beauty of the buildings

SAMSUNG

Pictures 7 and 8: More from Shibuya
Pictures 7 and 8: More from Shibuya
The buildings were magnificent, especially at that time, when the sky was dark and the lights were standing out beautifully.
One of the corners of the crossing reminded me of Piccadilly Circus in London, a better version of Piccadilly. It had a screen with a video showing an advert and other LED adverts on the building. Almost everything was in Japanese characters.
Picture 4: Sibuya's Piccadilly Circus style
Picture 9: Sibuya’s Piccadilly Circus style
Another of the building had a Starbucks on the first floor (or second floor if you live in an Asian country). The tallest of the building was the most unique of the buildings. The bottom part was looking like that it had cubes with glass windows one on top of the other. The cubes were not parallel to each other, one was moved towards this direction and others moved towards other directions.
Picture 5: Cube Building
Picture 10: Cube Building
Wow!!!
 
After taking a number of pictures, I moved to the edge of the pedestrian crossing.
  • Wow!
I thought to myself.
  • Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!
What has fascinated me was to see all the pedestrian traffic lights going green all at the same time and hundreds/thousands of people crossing the road all at the same time. In pictures it looks beautiful, but for real, watching the reaction of that large number of people crossing the road live it really gave me a wonderful impression of the place. Something that I have never seen before – ever. It was just fantastic.
Picture 6: Shibuya's famous pedestrian crossing
Picture 11: Shibuya’s famous pedestrian crossing
My experience in Tokyo was just getting better and better. The only thing I felt sorry was for not crossing the road alongside all those people. Everyone is an individual, however, at that crossing everyone looks the same. I wondered what was the proportion of people crossing the road just because they needed to cross it and the people that were crossing the road just to try the feeling, maybe once in a lifetime.
Next adventures
I wasn’t feeling hungry yet, so I decided to go back to Shibuya train station. Jump on a train and then go back to Harajuku because I felt that I had to take some photos (which I had posted in ‘Cosplay Hunting in Harajuku‘). After that I felt hungry and decided to go to eat in Shinjuku.

Akihabara ‘Super Mario’ Building

Not yet, Harajuku has to wait!!!…

After Ginza and before going to Harajuku, I decided to go to Akihabara by myself to have a look around and have lunch there. I wanted to take some photos at maid girls that were handing out leaflets for the maid cafes, but they told me that I was not allowed to do that. So I decided not to take photos in case they think that I am a stalker. After a short walk I decided to move away from the ‘maid area’.

Electric Building

Leaving the ‘maid area’ didn’t mean leaving Akihabara, but going to discover something different. As I mention in the ‘Akihabara: The Electric Town‘ post, I entered the building that has stairs that, from outside they look like Super Mario Bros’ pipes, but this time I decided to discover what was hidden on the other floors.

It didn’t take long to reach that building from where I was, to tell you the truth, I was there within 5 minutes.

Funny Looking Laptops

Once entered into that building, I took the ‘ pipe escalator’ to the other floors to see if they were going to sell items different from those found in UK. The most of the things are the same or very similar, however, what impressed me a lot was the thickness of the Japanese laptops. The screen part was about the same, however, the block of the laptop that holds the keyboard was much thicker.

I was really surprised about that and I was wondering why they were as thick. However, the thing that impressed me more than anything else was the design of the laptops. The design was far from futuristic, surprisingly, the design was very static, more similar to the old laptops that used to sell in the early 2000’s. For a country like Japan, where everyone think is ahead of the times, this has surprised me a lot.

Raw Egg

After a thorough investigation of the store, I decided to go nearby for a lunch. I found somewhere cheap where to eat, one of those places that can be found anywhere throughout Tokyo.

After choosing something from the vending machine, I went to look for a seat and waited for the waitress to come with the food to my table. The food I order was below the 600 yen mark and it included a bowl of rice, some sliced pork on top and an egg still inside the shell, I thought it was a boild egg.

I started eating the sliced pork and the rice first, then when the waitress came along, I asked how to eat the egg. The waitress she said to open it on top of the rice and so I did. When I broke the egg, I realised that it was still raw. I have never eaten in all my life a row egg. I thought if I was going to mix it with the hot rice, the egg was going to cook by itself. I was wrong but I decided to eat it anyway. Half a year later I found out that eating raw egg was part of the Japanese culture, in fact, Japanese eggs would not harm the health due to its freshness. ‘Tamago gohan’ is the raw egg served on top of a bowl of rice and then eaten, usually with a bit of Japanese soy sauce and a pinch of salt.

Really Hentai
After finished eating, I went to walk around the area to see what other things the place was offering. I turned into a narrow street and to my surprise I saw a 6 storie building ) that was selling exclusively only school girl uniforms. The six floors include the ground floor (in Japan the ground floor is considered as first floor unlike western countries) and in addition had the basement. Either that depato (department store in Japanese romanised) was selling uniforms for schools, or more probably it was selling uniforms mainly for cosplaying, or for the maids that were working in Akihabara, or maybe for certain men in order to satisfy their hentai fantasies, or maybe for all of those reasons. I could see on the windows some of the school uniforms displayed and on the ground floor there were some kids’ size anime stickers of school girls and magazine pages.
I was really surprised that a department store so big was selling just schoolgirl uniforms. I was really tempted to have a look inside but I decided to go against my temptation just in case people thought I was a hentai. Even though I was in the country famous for hentai (perverts, at least Japan is seen this way by westerners), I still didn’t know much about Japanese culture to consider to enter that store.
Hentai Building?
Hentai Building?

Tokyo never stopped fascinating me. Tokyo is a really marvellous city, even though many people think that Japan is a very strange country. At the end of the day I respect their culture and I would never change is because is so different from the west and I was sure that Japan was hiding more fascinating things and my staying in Japan had just started. (Next).

Purikura at Ueno

After leaving Asakusa, we got the train to the nearby station of Ueno. Ueno is one of the main points of Tokyo, probably one of the most important. This is because it is sited on one of the main corners of Tokyo on the train line that goes round like a circle.

At first Ueno seemed a bit like Camden Town in London, because it has a market along the rail bridge, but still Tokyo style. Mari and I didn’t stay long at Ueno and because it was already getting late and we still have to go for dinner, she took me straight to an entertainment shop. Once inside the shop we went straight to a Japanese style photo boot. That photo boot is not one of the classic photo boots that are used to take classic photos, such as passport photos, but it is like being inside a photo-shop machine.

We had to stand inside the photo boot and there was a screen with a lot of different options and everything was in Japanese, and because at the time I could only read Hiragana, some Katakana characters and my Japanese was limited only to few words, I really couldn’t understand anything of what was written. Anyway, we put around 500 Yen into the machine and then she started playing around with the screen by choosing different options and then we had to pose to take photos. Mari did everything and I just had to pose when she told me to.

The machine started taking photos very quickly, every few seconds. I can’t remember how many photos the machine took, but they were quite a lot.

After taking all those photos, we came out from the machine and she started playing around with another screen attached on the outside of that photo boot. With a special pen that can be read by the screen we started decorating the photos and we started writing few things on the photos in different colours. That machine was really powerful. When finished to decorate the photos, she had to enter on the screen her phone email address. Then we waited few seconds and a set of different photos came out from the machine in the same way a normal photo boot does. Then she also received an email with the photos taken. We cut the set of photos, I took some and she took others and then we left to the next destination.

Akihabara ‘Super Mario’ Building

Not yet, Harajuku has to wait!!!…

After Ginza and before going to Harajuku, I decided to go to Akihabara by myself to have a look around and have lunch there. I wanted to take some photos at maid girls that were handing out leaflets for the maid cafes, but they told me that I was not allowed to do that. So I decided not to take photos in case they think that I am a stalker. After a short walk I decided to move away from the ‘maid area’.

Electric Building

Leaving the ‘maid area’ didn’t mean leaving Akihabara, but going to discover something different.  As I mention in the ‘Akihabara: The Electric Town‘ post, I entered the building that has stairs that, from outside they look like Super Mario Bros’ pipes, but this time I decided to discover what was hidden on the other floors.

It didn’t take long to reach that building from where I was, to tell you the truth, I was there within 5 minutes.

Funny Looking Laptops

Once entered into that building, I took the ‘ pipe escalator’ to the other floors to see if they were going to sell items different from those found in UK. The most of the things are the same or very similar, however, what impressed me a lot was the thickness of the Japanese laptops. The screen part was about the same, however, the block of the laptop that holds the keyboard was much thicker.

I was really surprised about that and I was wondering why they were as thick. However, the thing that impressed me more than anything else was the design of the laptops.  The design was far from futuristic, surprisingly, the design was very static, more similar to the old laptops that used to sell in the early 2000’s. For a country like Japan, where everyone think is ahead of the times, this has surprised me a lot.

Raw Egg

After a thorough investigation of the store, I decided to go nearby for a lunch. I found somewhere cheap where to eat, one of those places that can be found anywhere throughout Tokyo.

After choosing something from the vending machine, I went to look for a seat and waited for the waitress to come with the food to my table. The food I order was below the 600 yen mark and it included a bowl of  rice, some sliced pork on top and an egg still inside the shell, I thought it was a boild egg.

I started eating the sliced pork and the rice first, then when the waitress came along, I asked how to eat the egg. The waitress she said to open it on top of the rice and so I did. When I broke the egg, I realised that it was still raw. I have never eaten in all my life a row egg. I thought if I was going to mix it with the hot rice, the egg was going to cook by itself. I was wrong but I decided to eat it anyway. Half a year later I found out that eating raw egg was part of the Japanese culture, in fact, Japanese eggs would not harm the health due to its freshness. ‘Tamago gohan’ is the raw egg served on top of a bowl of rice and then eaten, usually with a bit of Japanese soy sauce and a pinch of salt.

Really Hentai
After finished eating, I went to walk around the area to see what other things the place was offering. I turned into a narrow street and to my surprise I saw a 6 storie building ) that was selling exclusively only school girl uniforms. The six floors include the ground floor (in Japan the ground floor is considered as first floor unlike western countries) and in addition had the basement. Either that depato (department store in Japanese romanised) was selling uniforms for schools, or more probably it was selling uniforms mainly for cosplaying, or for the maids that were working in Akihabara, or maybe for certain men in order to satisfy their hentai fantasies, or maybe for all of those reasons. I could see on the windows some of the school uniforms displayed and on the ground floor there were some kids’ size anime stickers of school girls and magazine pages.
I was really surprised that a department store so big was selling just schoolgirl uniforms. I was really tempted to have a look inside but I decided to go against my temptation just  in case people thought I was a hentai. Even though I was  in the country famous for hentai (perverts, at least Japan is seen this way by westerners), I still didn’t know much about Japanese culture to consider to enter that store.
Hentai Building?
Hentai Building?

Tokyo never stopped fascinating me. Tokyo is a really marvellous city, even though many people think that Japan is a very strange country. At the end of the day I respect their culture and I would never change is because is so different from the west and I was sure that Japan was hiding more fascinating things and my staying in Japan had just started. (Next).

Quick Note About the Photos Taken

I just want to mention quickly that the photos of my blog have been taken by my Samsung Galaxy S (first generation Galaxy) and then from the iPhone 5 that I bought in Japan. No professional cameras have been used unless stated. All the photos have been taken by me and the maps of my introduction have been taken randomly from Google.

Background Photo:The background photo has been taken by myself at Asakusa Temple in Tokyo, near Asakusa train station on 08 September 2012.

Purikura at Ueno

After leaving Asakusa, we got the train to the nearby station of Ueno. Ueno is one of the main points of Tokyo, probably one of the most important. This is because it is sited on one of the main corners of Tokyo on the train line that goes round like a circle.

At first Ueno seemed a bit like Camden Town in London, because it has a market along the rail bridge, but still Tokyo style. Mari and I didn’t stay long at Ueno and because it was already getting late and we still have to go for dinner, she took me straight to an entertainment shop. Once inside the shop we went straight to a Japanese style photo boot. That photo boot is not one of the classic photo boots that are used to take classic photos, such as passport photos, but it is like being inside a photo-shop machine.

We had to stand inside the photo boot and there was a screen with a lot of different options and everything was in Japanese, and because at the time I could only read Hiragana, some Katakana characters and my Japanese was limited only to few words, I really couldn’t understand anything of what was written. Anyway, we put around 500 Yen into the machine and then she started playing around with the screen by choosing different options and then we had to pose to take photos. Mari did everything and I just had to pose when she told me to.

The machine started taking photos very quickly, every few seconds. I can’t remember how many photos the machine took, but they were quite a lot.

After taking all those photos, we came out from the machine and she started playing around with another screen attached on the outside of that photo boot. With a special pen that can be read by the screen we started decorating the photos and we started writing few things on the photos in different colours. That machine was really powerful. When finished to decorate the photos, she had to enter on the screen her phone email address. Then we waited few seconds and a set of different photos came out from the machine in the same way a normal photo boot does. Then she also received an email with the photos taken. We cut the set of photos, I took some and she took others and then we left to the next destination.