Here we come Kyoto! We took fastest train in Japan "Shinkansen" to go to Kyoto.
We spend a day in Roppongi to immerse ourselves into the contemporary art and architecture. Here is some snap shots of us having great time!
After trying again and again, we finally saw the beautiful skyline if Tokyo today! Our first attempt was on Friday--everyone was too tired so we decided not to go. Our second attempt was on Saturday night, but there was an earthquake that prevented us from going to the top floor of the building. Finally, this morning we made our way to the top of the Roppongi Center, and boy, was the view breathtaking! It was definitely worth the wait, in fact we even got to see two exhibits during this time.
There were three exhibits within Roppongi Center and we had access to two of them: Star Wars: Visions and Simple Form: Contemplating Beauty. The Star Wars exhibit showcased many costumes and props used in the movies and there were wonderful works of art that were absolutely breath taking.
Once we finished looking at the Star Wars exhibit, we headed to the Mori Art Museum and saw the Simple Forms exhibit which showcased a variety of art revolving around the concept of beauty within forms. The show was well thought out and allowed me to connect to the work in every aspect. It was very inspirational to me and I hope I can use all of this insight in my future projects. The installation photographed above is titled Luminal Air Space-Time by Ohmaki Shinji.
We are now headed to Kyoto on a bullet train for our next adventure!
It was really hot day but we kept walking! We started to visit Senso-ji, Asakusa, Tokyo National Museum, and Ginza. We also tried to visit Mori Art Museum to see the exhibition and the night view of Tokyo from the top of the building, but it didn't happen because of the earthquake. It is unfortunate that we missed the spectacular night view, but fortunate that we didn't get trapped in the elevator for over one hour...
When we were about to enter to the ticket booth to Mori Art Museum on the second floor of the building, the earthquake hit. Some students felt the shake, but the building was very safe. The security people announced that the building has no problem, but the maintenance clue need to check the safety of the elevator. It was immediately stopped at the some floor for safety reason. We were so glad that we were safe!
We started the morning off strong by beginning our adventures at 7am. After eating breakfast at Sakura Hotel, we hopped onto the subway and went to the fish market. Although we did not get to see the fish auction at 5am, it was still an exciting experience to see! The market was hustling and bustling. People all around us were in constant motion. It was quite interesting to see all of the different varieties of fish on sale at the many, many vendors.
After the fish market, we went to the shopping district of Harujuku! I had my very first crepe there and it was quite tasty! There were a lot of young school kids running around, so I was a little surprised considering it was a Friday around 1pm... But I think Masako said the children were on a school field trip, so that makes sense. The Japanese are a very fashionable group of people. The women are always in heels and wearing a skirt or fancy pants and the men always seem as though they are ready for a work presentation. With only 30 minutes to look around, we soon continued our adventure to the Meijing Shrine.
We walked towards the shrine through a paved path with trees towering over us. I felt like I was in a Jurassic Park! The trees were huge and soared so high up in the sky! The temple was great! We even briefly saw a wedding ceremony take place! While siting down to sketch for a little bit, I noticed there was a daisy symbol used throught the exterior decorations.
Briefly stopping in Shibuya, I got to see and take a picture with Hitachi, the dog! After that we headed to the 21_21 contemporary design exhibit. Considering I'm a graphic designer, I completely geeked out! The exhibit revolved around the idea of units and measurement (Photo above showcases the measurement of 1GB in characters, photos, and time.) I'm sure I my fellow designers were here they'd freak out about how great Japanese design is too! It was so wonderful to see such amazing work and be inspired by wonderful artist and designers :) It was definitely the highlight of my trip so far!
Once we finished visiting the art museum, we went back home. It was quite a long day and my feet hurt a lot! But it was definitely worth it! It's only been a couple days of adventuring in Japan, so we'll just have to wait and see what else is in store for us!
We were in Harajyuku to visit crazy busy fashion district and tranquil Meiji Shrine. They magically co-exist right next each other.
This video is of the Tsukiji Fish Market. We went to the Fish Market Friday morning at 9 am. It was a great place to visit. Too bad the video doesn't have Smell-O-Vision.
Tsukiji Fish Market Video
We Arrived to Narita Airport safely. We took a bus to the center of Tokyo and subway to get to our first hostel! Our fist meal in Tokyo was yummy!