Tag Archives: 池袋


8 Feb

My kids were given five tickets to the movie 「西の魔女が死んだ」 (“The Witch Of The West Is Dead“).


The tickets were valid for yesterday and the day before (Friday) only, and only at one 映画館 (movie theater) in 池袋 (Ikebukuro, Tokyo).

Friday is a 平日 (weekday), so we planned to go yesterday. But when we got to the theater, they announced that the theater was full. We decided that the next showing was too late and we just couldn’t see it.

Oh well.

Maybe I’ll rent it when it’s released on DVD.

The story of the movie is about a thirteen-year-old girl who is one-quarter English (her grandmother is British) who decides she doesn’t want to go to school anymore. Her parents send her to spend some time with her English grandmother who lives in the countryside.

There’s a rumor that her grandmother is a witch, so she asks her grandmother to teach her to become a witch. The grandmother agrees…but what she actually teaches her are important life lessons.

The grandmother is played by Stephanie Sachiko “Sachi” Parker.

Do you know Sachi Parker?

Probably not. But you probably do know the famous American actress Shirley MacLaine.
Sachi Parker is Shirley MacLaine‘s daughter.
She was raised in Japan by her father (Steve Parker). She’s fluent in 日本語 (Japanese).

So instead of the movie, we went to サンシャインシティ (Sunshine City).
サンシャインシティ (Sunshine City) is a block of buildings in 池袋 (Ikebukuro, Tokyo) that include a shopping center, a convention center, a hotel, a movie theater, an aquarium, a planetarium, an observatory, offices, and more.

The observatory is on top of the 60-story サンシャイン60 (Sunshine 60) building.

Click here to visit the サンシャインシティ (Sunshine City) website (in Japanese only).

Here are some photos that I took around 池袋 (Ikebukuro, Tokyo):

(Many restaurants in Japan have a plastic display of the menu out front.)

(Many restaurants in Japan have a plastic display of the menu out front.)




Tokyo Sky Tree

12 Jun

東京タワー (Tokyo Tower), built in 1958, is 333 meters tall. Taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France that it was modeled after.

At the time, it dominated the Tokyo skyline. And was used as a transmission tower for Tokyo’s radio and TV stations…as well as, a popular tourist attraction.

The tower’s fifty years old this year and it’s still used as a transmission tower today (and a tourist draw, as well)…but Tokyo now has many buildings that dwarf the Tokyo Tower…and obstruct the radio and TV waves.

So, the government decided to build a taller transmission / observation tower, to be completed by December 2011 and stand at nearly 634 meters tall (2080 feet).

It will be built at 隅田川 (Sumida River), near 浅草 (Asakusa). And it will be the world’s tallest tower.

This is what it’s expected to look like:

I think it’s an awesome sight. But I really like huge towers, skyscrapers and bridges!

The only thing I don’t like about it is it’s name…

Before a final name was decided upon, it was temporarily referred to as 新東京タワー (New Tokyo Tower). That was bad enough…but the official name for the new tower is: 東京スカイツリー (Tokyo Sky Tree)!

What an unfortunate name.


Did you know that Japan’s Sumo Wrestlers went to America?

For the first time in 27 years, the top-ranking Sumo Wrestlers held matches in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

It was reported in the Japanese news that it was very popular with the American public.

Is 相撲 (Sumo) catching on in America?


On Saturday, a new subway line will start running in Tokyo.

The 副都心線 (Fukutoshin Line) will connect Ikebukuro to Shibuya and eventually expand to go from Saitama to Yokohama.

The name of the line translates to something like “Nearly downtown”. That’s my own translation…not an official title. 副都心線 (Fukutoshin Line) is just a name of a train line, not a normal everyday expression—so it’s hard to translate.