Totoro's rants

Totoro's rants

Day 3 : Tokyo - Ueno, Akihabara

JapanPosted by Totoro42Blue Tue, November 20, 2007 15:07:49
Sunday morning: Prospect is rain.

With the prospect of rain we chose some indoor sight-seeings, and the closest were the museums at Ueno park. The umbrella I bought the day before, to remain somewhat dry from the downpour at Sunshine City, came in handy shortly after we left Ueno station walking towards the National Science Museum.

Even though we were there quite early it was already filling up with people. As luck will have it there was a special robotics exhibition at the moment, so we bought a combination ticket for both the museum and the exhibition, that turned out to be very wise as the robotics exhibition was the most interesting.

The 'lady' (her design left no doubt about her 'gender') below was the first that greeted us at the exhibition. I have no clue if 'she' was able to anything at all or was just there for show.

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There was an ongoing show as we entered with some small biped robots (they seemed to be controlled remotely, so not self-contained), where they would act as goalie and some young boys from the audience got the chance to kick a goal. The robots were able to quite nicely throw themselves sideways and block the ball.

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This is after the show and notice the guy at the table just to left of the guy in the reddish shirt. He is repairing one of the robots from the show. The red tank like one to the left was going to perform next but as they started to doing some repairs on one of the middle wheels, we decided not to wait for that and walked on to the ASIMO show.

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Honda's ASIMO robot doing a show, although it was predefined what it (somehow I see this one as a male althought his walk is distinctly female - like walking in high-heels, at least the way many young Japanese women walk in high heels) should do, it was still quite interesting to watch how sure 'he' looked walking and running about, putting down stuff and picking up stuff. I am beginning to think that there is limited practical use for this within a decade or so.

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After the exhibition we had a bit of a walk around until we found the technology part of the museum. It was a bit disappointing for a museum called a national musuem as this section was rather small. Only airplane on display was a Mitsubishi Zero from World War II. We skipped the rest of the museum as there was a lack of interest and the museum was getting really filled up. It was a sunday after all.

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Walking out of the museum we ran into this full-sized mockup of a sperm whale.

We then continued into the park, skipping, sniff, the art museum and an Edward Munch exhibition there. Well, it was probably as full as the science museum, so it would have been no fun.

Walking back through the park towards the station we encountered a number of colourfull tents stringed together. Inside was a market with quite a number of interesting stuff like pottery and porcelain. Did not buy anything as I did not have high hope for its survivability back to Denmark on a plane.

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Outside the market I ended up alone doing my usual fiddling with the camera and looking around for motives, when an elderly Japanese gentlemen asked me if I was a tourist, in very good english by the way. So we ended having a nice chat about why Japanese are a bit shy around foreigners, why it helps to know a few Japanese words to break the ice, and what the differences are between Scandinavia and Japan.

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On our way home around Nihonbashi I noticed this small house (compared to the ones around it) or rather the weatherhen on top of it. Because I dont think the odds are good for that to actually show the wind direction.

We split up and Helle and I went shopping in the local supermarket PORoROCA to stock up on some supplies (drinks, candy, chocolate and youghurt-like stuff). So we ended up early at the hotel and we all went out in the evening for Akihabara, where we decided (but did not buy) on the Fujifilm F50fd camera instead of the Canon Ixy 2000 as replacement/supplement for the Canon Ixy 1000 we bought last time in March. The only thing I got was Dualshock 3 rumble controller for my PS3.

On our way home we found out that it seems, at least in our neighbourhood, the restaurants are closed on a Sunday. So we tried to the local McDonalds, where I made the bad choice of not buying a Teriayki burger but instead going for the standard Big Mac, bad choice.

Spend some time coming back to the hotel in the evening with telephone calls to get my mobil phone account reopened, as it had been closed by Telmore - due to their fault, although they of course tried to blame it on everybody and the kitchen sink. The bad part was, that they had not even SMS (which they do normally) that there had been a problem, but had just sent an email and immediately afterwards closed the account. Really usefull when you are halfway around the world with limited access to email.

Unsorted photos from this day are available here.

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