After the gala we went city hopping until we ended up at Roppongi (a city you may know from reading the blogs, I am not such a big fan of). I enjoyed the watering holes we stumbled into, but when the clubs came, I left.
Today (Saturday) I went back to Tokyo Tower. I figured it were only a few clouds in the sky so the view would be good. The view was average. Apparently there were more clouds than I thought. Still, it was a lot of fun. The only downside to the tower is that there are lines at every turn. The tower is modeled after the Eiffel Tower, but is actually higher by about 10 meters. Personally, I think it’s higher because the lightening rode sticks up further than the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t have a ruler, but I distinctly remember the Eiffel Tower as a more imposing structure. In any event, the observations decks were at 150m and 250m. After waiting and crowding into tiny elevators I got to both decks. The sun was setting (i think behind mt. fuji) when I was at the lower deck, so that made for a couple nice shots. By the time I got to the upper deck, it was dark. The Tokyo skyline also made for some nice shots, but each deck was enclosed in glass, so the pictures weren’t as great as they could have been. To avoid the lines, I ended up climbing down about 1000 stairs to get to the bottom. At the bottom, I used the cool stitch function on my camera to take this massively long picture (a shrunken version seen here) of the tower. Then I had some spicy thai chicken for dinner – it was delicious.
On a side note, I began my Japanese language classes. The class meets every Tuesday and Thursday and will, I think, be a huge asset. Even though I haven’t learned all the conversational or directional tools I will need, speaking a little in Japanese goes a long way toward getting people to be responsive. Basically I explain I am learning Japanese and then tell them what I know. They invariably suggest new words and help with the conversation – so it’s working out.