Posts Tagged Shiodome

July 25, 2004 – Tokyo with the Penpal

Rental boats at the Ueno park duck pond

Rental boats at the Ueno park duck pond

I managed to wrangle a day off, and met The Penpal at Tokyo station. Recently we have always been meeting in either Numazu or Kawasaki, so this was a nice change.

Our first stop of the day was Ueno Park. We walked around the park and rented a swan shaped paddle boat in the duck pond. Yes, it’s cheesy, but it was still fun. After Ueno, we moved on to Shibuya to explore the area.In the evening, we went to the Shiodome building in Shimbashi to look for restaurants. We ate dinner in a sensibly priced restaurant, and then decided to check out how expensive the restaurants on the 46th floor are.

In big buildings in Tokyo, you can usually find restaurants in both the basement and the upper floors. The restaurants in the lower levels are more likely to be moderately priced. The restaurants on the upper levels are likely to be expensive, especially in skyscrapers. Shiodome was no exception – one of the restaurants near the top offered a multi-course meal for a fixed price of 10,500 yen (not including drinks).

The best part of the evening was the glass elevator from the basement to the 46th floor. We got an amazing view of nighttime Tokyo as it fell away from us. Highly recommended.

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January 12, 2004 – Coming of Age Day

Shiodome City Center

Shiodome City Center

Today was a National Holiday: Coming of Age Day. It is a holiday to celebrate all the people who became 20 years old in the past year. 20 is considered the age of majority in Japan. Since I had the day off, I went to Asakusa with Yumi and one of her friends.

Asakusa is home to Sensoji – a giant Buddhist temple. The approach to the temple is a 250 meter long shopping area called Nakamichi. This is a great place to buy souvenirs and touristy stuff. Due to the holiday, the temple area was completely packed with people in kimonos, so getting around was difficult.

After spending some time around Sensoji, we went to the Shiodome area near Shinbashi and Ginza. This area used to be occupied by a large train station. Expressways and changes to other nearby train stations made the original Shinbashi station unnecessary. Since real estate is at a premium in Tokyo, the large area of land occupied by the train station and yards was redeveloped into an area filled with skyscrapers. Shiodome has become on of Tokyo’s most modern city centres.

The three of us wandered around some of the tall buildings and then went to a restaurant called “Vietnam Frog” for dinner. The food was fantastic and they had an English menu.

As a conversational English teacher, I have to be fairly good at having a conversation. I usually pride myself on being able to talk to almost anyone and still be somewhat interesting. During dinner my brain shut down and I literally had nothing interesting to talk about. Seriously, nothing. I ended up discussing my job in English at great length for some reason. When I got home later I was thinking “why did I just end up talking about work the whole time?”.

It was a great day out – I got to see a historical side of Tokyo and one of the newest major developments as well. I just wish I would have been a little more interesting for my friends to listen to…

(full rewrite of original post which was only 4 sentences long)

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