(See also Tokyo Shopping and More Tokyo Views.)

Trains, Stations, and Tokyo Station

Tokyo's train system is legendary for precision timing and efficiency. It really is a nice system, and aside from the near-constant noise from recorded broadcasts and staff announcements, the commuters are in general much quieter than on most equivalent US trains. (Of course, there are always exceptions.)

I lumped these photos all together in this section because ... well, they all sort of have to do with trains.

Interior of express train
from Narita to Tokyo

Yamanote-Line green train

A bento (Japanese lunch) store
in the Tokyo Eki (station) vast store complex.

An immaculate Tokyo taxi
sitting in front of Tokyo Eki.

The Forum
is a disturbingly futuristic
steel-and-glass architectural creation
adjoining Tokyo Station (I think).

Escalators leading out of
the mechanical belly of the forum.
(Even the Forum's bathrooms are steely.)

The outside of Tokyo Station,
looking frighteningly quaint
amidst the more modern steel-and-glass.
Inside, it is a vast shiny
complex of stores, stores, stores.

Ticket vending machines.

Drink vending machines,
elegant and futuristic and clean.
(I much prefer Japanese drinks to the usual
cola/soda/pop selection of American ones.)
These drink machines are EVERYWHERE!
I even bought a nice corn soup can from one in Kyoto.

Ticket-reading machines at a train station.

Other Views of Tokyo

Tokyo is ... huge. I mean, huge. Even when crossing over the Edo river out of Tokyo, it just doesn't seem to end. Building after building, house after house, office after office, shop after shop. And within every house and apartment is a person or persons, every life unique, every person bestowed with their own thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and experiences.... Just like in any other place where people live and work. It's just that in Tokyo, there's just so MUCH of it (and so similar-looking) that it really drives that vastness home (at least to me).

Tokyo at night

More Tokyo at night.

A cute Japanese garbage truck
(Not sure this is Tokyo, but hey)

Tsukiji Honganji
(A Buddhist temple)

Kabukiza Theatre
(In olden times, sake barrels were sent
as compliments to favored actors.
They retain a connection with theaters.)

A flower (at night)
growing outside a house in Kanda, Tokyo.

Gifts from Mito and Nagano

Mito is a city within an hour or two drive from Tokyo. Among other things, it is famed for its natto (a fermented soybean condiment eaten with rice). A lot of Westerners who look at or try natto can't stand its slimy texture. I guess it's an acquired taste....

The apple in the last shot is not from Mito, but from Nagano. However, it was eaten in Tokyo. It was very big, crisp, sweet, and tasty. It had loads of the apple flesh so saturated with sugar that it turns translucent (near the core); the Japanese call that "mitsu" ("honey" or "nectar").

Real Japanese high schoolers
at Mito Eki (I think)

Mito Natto
(wrapped the old-fashioned way
and brought triumphantly back to Tokyo).
Natto used to form naturally when
wrapped in straw (rice straw, the 'net says) like this.

Natto, opened
(Yum ... or is that yuck?)

Big, tasty, Nagano apple.
Home-grown (by a farmer in the family).
Hands are held up for size comparison.
I believe every apple is
individually covered in a bag
while still very young on the tree.

(See also Tokyo Shopping and More Tokyo Views.)

Back to Rei's Japan 2003 Photo Index

Photos, text copyright 2003 Eri Izawa