Time Lapse in Tokyo – Late 1970s to now

I was over in Tokyo some dog years ago and when I decided to stay over here a few days after a business trip, it was not with the idea of trying to find places or views of things I saw then. I don’t recall too many of them; yet I tromped all around Tokyo back then. I walked here, walked there. I remember being on the Ginza at Christmas in the late 1970s. Christmas trees, lights, signs saying “Ginza wishes you a Merry Christmas”.

These days they block of the street and you stroll up and down the mega shops on the street itself. I was walking along and stopped cold though. I saw this one place that I had this vivid memory of. Of all places it was a beer hall. Well, if you know me, you would probably say “figures”. But I had to stop and just stare and the memory came back. Its like some dusty old synapses suddenly relinked and I had this memory of going into that beerhall, drinking a beer, perhaps eating. I felt rather uncomfortable to tell the truth. It was like a connection was made from another time. It Lion BeerHall though. The beerhall of Ginza. A place in the way back machine I had went to, drank and ate at. Why was I there? I don’t know. What was I doing in Tokyo then? I seem to remember waiting for someone or heading off elsewhere. Back then, I knew Tokyo pretty well I think.

I also went to Ueno Park and the Ueno area. This area can be characterized as place of differences. One beautiful park with museums, age old temples. Then down the next street crowded stalls with people selling ties, suits, toys, fake this and real that. Man. You gotta see it if you are here.

Some tips for you would-be Japan travelers. Get a Tokyo Metro day pass! Very worthwhile. You can ride all over the Metro which is really like 7 lines or something for all day and just use the one card. Its cheapo too. Don’t worry about understanding the system. Its all in english around. You can get the day passes from hotels like the ANA very easily. Also get a lonely planet Tokyo book. Don’t neglect the book that tells you stuff. Get a Metro subway map and plan out the day. Resources you may want to consider in planning a series of day adventures:

  1. Tokyo Guide – this site is very nice and tells you all the good stuff.
  2. Tokyo Metro Subway – the site is in english and it tells you how to do everything with the subway.
  3. Lonely Planet Tokyo Guide – this guide really spells out where to take the turns, what to see, what to do. Maps are great in it. I bought one in Tokyo but now I think of it I should have been studying and researching.

Well, that was today’s adventures. I may head back to Lions for the stew. I remember eating the stew there now and its only two stops down for me on the subbie. Tomorrow I’m hitting the road to the Electric Zone called Akihabara. More on that journey tomorrow.