Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan


This oughtta blow your mind. Tokyo, Japan has a Statue of Liberty just like France and the United States do. Located in Odaiba on Tokyo Bay is Lady Liberty. Apparently back in the 50s or so, France lent theirs to Japan. It became such an awesome tourist attraction that when Japan had to return the borrowed statue back to France, they commissioned one of their very own.

You can get right up next to her so it’s basically a photographer’s wet dream. Now I’m not a very good photographer. In fact, I’m still learning (and have been for a reallllly long time now) but here’s my best recommendations for photography for Japan’s Statue of Liberty. During the day, you’ll most likely need just your camera because you can get right up next to her so your shots should come out tack sharp (unless you’re doing HDR or something like that then you’ll have to mount your camera on a tripod – see tripod notes below.)

If you’re shooting her at night obviously you’ll be on a tripod since you’re working with longer exposures. Do not set up on the walkway right next to her. You can feel every footfall as folks walk up to look at her resulting in ugly camera shake. Off to either side of her and still very very close, you can set up there to shoot Lady Liberty or swing around 90 degrees and shoot the Bay with Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower and all the colorful tourist boats that come out at night (see yesterday’s post to view these pics.)

So here she is below, in all her glory….Tokyo, Japan’s Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

The blog owner with her two best friends ever.

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

The blog owner….always looking for that perfect shot.

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty with Rainbow Bridge and Tower Tower in the background

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

The blog owner – basically this is how she spends her life when she isn’t working…with a camera held up to her melon.

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Statue of Liberty, Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo Bay – Odaiba, Japan


Now this was a truly cool place and if you are into photography and going to Tokyo, Japan this location is a must see!! Odaiba, Japan is a “suburb” of Tokyo in the Tokyo Bay area. It’s got awesome shopping, lots of scenic spots overlooking the bay, Rainbow Bridge, colorful tourists boats at night, a Statue of Liberty (yes, you heard me correctly,) and Tokyo Tower off in the distance.

Photographers – bring your longest lenses, good UV filters and your tripods. In my next post, you’ll see the shots I took of the Statue of Liberty there with instructions specifically for shooting it.

Rainbow Bridge with Statue of Liberty in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Rainbow Bridge with Statue of Liberty in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

My view from the Washington Ariake Hotel 16 stories up

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Rainbow Bridge with Tokyo Tower in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Bay Tourist Boats at Night

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Rainbow Bridge with the Tokyo Tower in the background

Tokyo Bay in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan during the day

Fun in Yoyogi Park


Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

This guy below was busting his best moves all by himself in Yoyogi, something considered perfectly acceptable.
When you live in a country expecting complete conformity, the only acceptable place to be yourself is Yoyogi Park on a Sunday afternoon.

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

NOTICE SHE HAS HER PANTS ON INCORRECTLY – THEY ARE BACKWARDS!!!

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Culture Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Puroland Review- Hello Kitty’s Amusement Park, Tokyo, Japan


Straight up let me tell you I hated this place with a blazing passion and was super pissed off I spent even 1 yen to visit it (nevermind the $120 it cost for 3 of us which didn’t include the one lousy ride they had – that would’ve cost another $12 a person.)

I’m a chick. I grew up on Hello Kitty. In general, I love cats. Thus going to Puroland was very high on my list. It took all my powers of persuasion to convince the two guys with me to go. I wish I had never left the hotel.

Firstly, it’s an hour away from Tokyo on the Keio Line headed to Tama center.

When you arrive, it certainly seemed promising (ref pic below.)

Puroland is Sanrio's Hello Kitty amusement Park outside Tokyo, Japan.

Puroland is Sanrio’s Hello Kitty amusement Park outside Tokyo, Japan.

When you get to the window you have to choose between a ticket for access to everything or access to everything excluding rides. Note that!! Rides(s)  Rides being the plural of the word Ride indicates more than one ride. In this case, I was hoping for maybe a roller coaster or zipper or other cool stuff like that.

Upon entering the structure, Sanrio pukes Hello Kitty and all her buddies on you bombarding every conceivable sense and after a quick whip around the single hall, you realize that’s all there is.

There is precisely one ride, a slow boat to nowhere, that even the toddlers seemed incredibly bored by.

They had one show going on with some dancers in cat costumes otherwise there was fuck all else.

One hundred twenty dollars, an hour train ride, 48 hours of groveling and begging to go and this was the result.

Basically I just wanted to curl into the fetal position, stick one thumb up my ass, the other in my mouth and cry myself to sleep to dream of all the cocktails or delicious foods I could’ve spent that money on.

Here is who Puroland might be good for:

  • Really old grandmothers who get around on walkers and would be happy to just sit somewhere a while.
  • Girl toddlers aged 2-3 years (ONLY girl toddlers, take a boy toddler here and he will be unconditionally scarred for life.)
  • The guy in the cubicle next to you that you hate with every mortal fiber of your being who steals credit for your work, has a ghastly flatulence problem and to whom you would like to see tortured endlessly by having to sit through a saccharine, grotesquely overpriced Sanrio-centric singing and dancing show.

Final thoughts: Do Not Ever Go To This Place……..Ever.

 

 

This is Yokohama


Yokohama Japan has its own different thing going on. First of all, it’s home to one of my favorite places on Earth, the Ramen Noodle Museum. Not far away is Kamakura, Japan which houses the second largest Buddha statue in Japan. Another thing to know is that it has the second largest Chinatown in the world after…dunh…dunh…daaahhhhh….China! Go figure.

Bust A Move

Tearing up the karaoke at Big Echo in Yokohama Japan

Karaoke in Yokohama Japan

The blog owner at Big Echo Karaoke in Yokohama Japan

Shinyokohama

Inside the Prince ShinYokohama Hotel

Yokohama Japan

Yokohama Japan

Prince Shinyokohama Hotel

Prince Shinyokohama Hotel

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Chinatown in Yokohama Japan

Yokohama Japan

View from 46 stories up in the Prince ShinYokohama’s restaurant called the “Top of the World.”

Yokohama Japan

View from 46 stories up in the Prince ShinYokohama’s restaurant called the “Top of the World.”

Yokohama Japan

The Top of the World

Yokohama Japan

It’s called the “China Blue” and it’s so yummy!!!

Yokohama Japan

No it’s not a urinal. This is the ice machine and water fountain in the hotel corridor. Don’t pee in it!!!

Yokohama Japan

Ramen Noodle Museum-Yokohama Japan

Bebop is Alive and Well in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan


Who says the 50s are dead? They’ve never been to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, Japan just off Shibuya at one side and Harajuku at the other. Just at the entrance on the Harajuku side, you’ll find these cool cats every Sunday practicing their best bebop allulah.

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan

Subway Scenes from Tokyo, Japan


Some of my best moments were spent in subways in Japan. I found it the singular most fascinating place to people watch and come to understand the idiosyncrasies that typify the Japanese. There are so many rules both spoken and others that were merely social norms, it was inevitable I broke them. And believe me, I probably broke all of them. Some of them are: do not talk on the train, do not put makeup on, do not eat, do not drink, and especially, never, ever make eye contact with anyone else. They hate that!

However, as a foreigner living there I was something of a curiosity to them and they really wanted to stare. Staring is considered sooooo rude in their culture though. One of my favorite games was watching them watching me trying not to get caught at it. The best way to do this was for me to face the windows as if looking outside the train. The windows are reflective though so I could see them very well. If I turned around to look, they would always be looking away. Facing the window though…..well…you get the idea.

Another anomaly I would experience was the occasional prejudice against me as an American. I didn’t take it personally. It’s just the way they are sometimes. Most often that meant no one would sit next to me on the train. Frankly, I loved and exploited this when it would happen. The train could be wall to wall with riders but no one would sit next to me. What a convenient place to set my purse and belongings! This never bothered me. Moreover, mothers with children would usually have one of two reactions to me getting on the train. They would either take their children and go as far away as they could from me, or, conversely, push their children at me while saying “Engrish, Engrish….practice Engrish.” This always brought a smile to my face.

Another peccadillo of Japanese culture is the premise of pretending to sleep. This is an extremely common and socially acceptable way to avoid having to look at or talk to anyone else on the train. One out of three riders would pretend to sleep. The instant the train stopped at their stop though, they jumped up and were off the train.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

A typical rider gets on the train.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

And instantly pretends to be asleep so as not to engage anyone else.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

This was a humorous solution I recently found to the swaying issue when pretending to sleep on the train.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

This lady was so elegant in her kimono.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

This lady is wearing something called a Yukuta. It’s like a kimono but less expensive and more every day wear.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

This handsome fellow is wearing “geta” on his feet. These are the traditional wooden sandals they wear.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

This was an ad inside the train.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Also an advertisement.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Main entrance to Ebisu Station in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Sign for Ebisu Station in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Looking out the window onto a typical Japanese street scene.

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Inside a station.

`Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

I just really dug the pattern as it curved to the right

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan

Subways and Trains, Tokyo, Japan