Tokyo by Night

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  ,
Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tokyo is a different animal at night. When the sun sets, the modesty of the society is overshadowed by the extravagance and brilliance of its structures. It's as bright as Vegas, but with so much more going on. It's a hundred different signs telling you a thousand different things. While at it's core it is overwhelmingly visually stunning, a walk through Tokyo's streets at night is a multi-sensory experience. Pachinko bells and music echo through the narrow walkways, the chatter of pedestrians surrounds you, culinary aromas waft from restaurants and food stalls, and you bump and stumble through the crowds like a leaf carried down stream. We wandered through the Shinjuku district for a couple of hours one night. We did almost nothing, but it was impossible to be bored. It was like an ongoing light parade, except we were in the procession.

My general impression of Tokyo is that it is from the future. And by that I don't mean that the city and its architecture are ultra-modern. I mean it is from the actual future. Every movie I've ever seen that depicts a non-post-apocalyptic future shows a city that looks just like Tokyo. If you were wandering the streets and a Star Wars style hovercraft zoomed over your head, you wouldn't be the least bit surprised. I actually found it surprising that such a vehicle wasn't present as I rounded each corner. And at night the feeling is magnified ten-fold. The city looks like nothing I've seen before. It's just incredible.

I'll post some photos. And if you look at them think to yourself, "Dane, that doesn't look like the future. It looks just like New York or Chicago or Sydney," just know that you're wrong. It looks like the year 2065.
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