Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tokyo Tower, Minato, Tokyo

Several weeks ago, having caught a glimpse of the Tokyo Tower on our way to Oedo Onsen, hubby and I decided we had to go back to the tower sometimes soon. We finally did recently and I have to say it was really fun!

Actually, we didn't intend go to Tokyo Tower that night. Hubby is a bookworm so I wanted to take him to the Used Books District in Jinbocho to let him roll around in all the books he loves. There were so many used book stores and hubby went in almost every single one of them ^.^ We left the place shortly before dinner and hubby got himself a small loot - 2 hardcover books in beautiful condition for a mere 1,000yen! Apparently these are from a series books on classical Japanese literature and are an older edition that came out in the 60's or 70's. There is a newer edition of these books with minimal updates, only each cost somewhere between 6-7,000yen! Hubby says his professors all use the older edition anyway, referencing to the page numbers and specific footnotes and whatnot, so he is better off sticking with the same edition as theirs.

After dinner at Jinbocho, we realized we still had a couple of hours before the Tokyo Tower turns off its light (at 8PM, if you're wondering). Since we were only a couple of train stops away, we hopped over to see the tower up close. Plus it was a beautiful clear night and the moon was clearly visible, so why the hell not, right?

We got there and took a very nice and quiet stroll up to the tower with me snapping pictures every few steps. It was very picturesque, though my camera doesn't do the scene any justice at all! I guess you'd just have to be there and see it for yourself.

It was surprisingly cheap to go up the Tokyo Tower. The tower has 2 "portions," so to speak. From the ground up to the Main Observatory, i.e. the lower deck where the lit "2011" is, costs just 820yen/person. Going up to the Special Observatory, i.e. the upper deck, the thin round bank 4/5 the way up, cost an extra 600yen/person. Altogether, hubby and I spent only 1,420yen/person in comparison to the $40+/person we spent to go up the Empire State Building. There was not a long wait either, like 10 minutes in comparison to the 4 hours we had to line up for the Empire State. Now that we think back, damn that was a painful waste of time.

View from the ground, right underneath the tower.

View of the Rainbow Bridge from the Main Observatory (the lower deck, inside the lit "2011"). Watch the video I took from inside the elevator going up to the lower deck.

View of Roppongi Hills (surrounding the building at left) and downtown Roppongi from the lower deck.

View of the Japanese Diet Building from the lower deck.

View of downtown Ginza from the upper deck, the Special Observatory. Watch another video I took from inside the elevator going up to the upper deck.

Upper deck view of the highway below, which looks like a glowing giant starfish with tentacle arms, and Rainbow Bridge on the upper left corner.

Coming down from the observatories, hubby and I decided we should get some ice cream at the Baskin Robbins on the 2nd floor of the tower where the gift shops and restaurants are. Oh yes, and for some reason, my ice cream cone was huge, way bigger than hubby's even though we bought the same size LOL! But hey, I didn't utter a word of complaint :P

My absolute favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor is Nuts to You. I first had it way back in 2005 as a JET and when I came home to the states, I looked in pretty much every Baskin Robbins before realizing Nuts to You was a Japan-only flavor T.T I don't understand why, because it's just maple-flavored ice cream with all sorts of nuts in it, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, etc. A death wish to those with nuts allergy but a delicious goodness I just can't get enough of xD Other than being in cosmetic and magazine freebies heaven, I have yet another reason to be glad I'm living in Japan again ^.^

Tokyo Tower with all its light turned off after 8PM.

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