Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday 1.19.08 -Second visit to Shibuya

Saturday the 19th I went back to Shibuya to visit Tower Records, which still exists in Japan, but has gone out all over the United States. I wouldn't have known Tower Records was an American thing, except other study abroad students from the Philadelphia campus of Temple University told me that there used to be a big Tower Records in Philadelphia. While at Tower Records I purchased some souveniers and was tempted to buy a Tokyo city guidebook at the international bookstore, but decided not to because there is a large English language library at school, with guidebooks.

It was a beautiful day to be out and about. At least it wasn't raining this Saturday when I went to Shibuya. That blue, that's the sky reflected in the mirror windows of that building off one of the main streets in Shibuya.

I realized that I hadn't taken any crowd shots yet. This is a photo of the intersection outside of Shibuya station, which is one of the busiest train stations in the world. The guides said something like 4 million people go through Shibuya station daily.

What amuses me about these two photos is that there are hundreds of people just standing at the edge of the sidewalk waiting for the walk light to turn green so they can cross. The road was moderately busy, but not particularly, in the United States there would be so much jay walking right about now. 

When I was in the guided tour last week the Japanese guide was incredibly scared for our lives when we went ahead and crossed the street without a green walk light. Trust me, there weren't any cars/bikes/motorcycles/mopeds/trucks that would've run into me when I crossed, because I looked both ways.

And the light is green! GO!!!!

Isn't it a cute little truck? Awww....

There are many more motorcycles on the streets of Tokyo than there are cars, but even more bicycles than there are motorcycles. Most of the motorcycles I've seen are this style versus the cruiser style I ride in the states. Probably because they're easier to maneuver. 

Another thing I have noticed about Tokyo: There is so much space between cars! These cars are stopped at a light. I couldn't get a good shot to show that they're not moving, but there is frequently a car length or more between cars at all times, and they don't really switch lanes -ever.

Haha, cute little motorized bike outside of a shop. It must be nice to not have to lock up your bike. It's because the bike registration process with the police is extensive, and riding an unregistered bike is a serious crime, like as bad as grand theft auto in the United States.

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