Tag Archives: Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station remade…to how it was

2 Oct

The iconic 東京駅 (Tokyo Station) near the 皇居 (Japanese Imperial Palace) was built in 1914 but it was destroyed in the World War II Allied bombings of Tokyo in the 1940’s.

After the war, it was rebuilt similarly, but not exactly the same, as it originally was.
One main difference was the fancy glass domes on top of the original station building were replaced with a simpler design.

This is how Tokyo Station looked when I came to Japan.

Tokyo Station will be 100 years old in 2014. So, the government decided, a few years ago, to redesign the station back to how it looked when it was originally built.

The renovations were completed on schedule and the renovated (retro) Tokyo Station had it’s grand re-opening yesterday (2012 October 1st (which was 都民の日 (Tokyo Residents Day)).

This is how Tokyo Station looks now…like it looked 100 years ago.

Just like all grand openings, the stores and restaurants in the station had specials and sales for the occasions…so of course, the station was crowded yesterday with people who wanted to take advantage of the specials and also wanted to see the newly designed station.


Some photos

24 Dec

Here are a few photos I took around Tokyo yesterday.

Public mailboxes in Japan are orange and have two slots. One for domestic mail and one for international.
But in late December, they’re changed…they become one slot for 「年賀状」 (New Years Postcards) and the other slot for all other mail.

Click here to read a post I wrote that explains a lot about New Years in Japan…including 「年賀状」 (New Years Postcards).


Until early January, the left slot is for 「年賀状」 (New Years Postcards) and the one on the right is for other mail.


「年賀郵便」 (New Year's mail)

Yesterday was 「天皇誕生日」 (the Emperor of Japan’s birthday). It’s a national holiday in Japan.
On Japanese national holidays many buildings such as post offices and 交番 (Police Boxes) display the 「日の丸」 (Japanese flag). It can also be seen on the front of city buses and along streets.


Putting the flag away in the evening.


「パンダ・クロース」 ("Panda Claus")

This panda reminded me of a sign I saw last March in Ueno about the panda that the zoo will be getting.
Click here to read my post about it.

Also, I have a few posts about the many different flavors of Kit-Kat in Japan.
Click here to see the most extensive post.

Well, I saw a store in 東京駅 (Tokyo train station) that sold many of the flavors.

This store sold many flavors, including 「わさび」 (Wasabi), 「いちみ」 (Chili), Strawberry Cheesecake, and the store's recommendation: Blueberry Cheesecake.

Japan is Eco

6 Dec

Japan is becoming more and more 「エコ」 (“eco”).

How do you say “eco” in English? I’m not even sure. 😉
It’s a Japanese abbreviation for “ecological” or “ecology”…and it describes acting out of concern for the environment.

In Japan, most convenience stores won’t give a plastic bag for small purchases anymore until the customer requests one.
And supermarkets often give bonus points on the customer’s point card if they use their own personal shopping bag rather than taking bags from the store.

Also many restaurants now use regular, washable 箸 (chopsticks) instead of 割箸 (disposable chopsticks).

Japanese automakers are working on making cars that use rechargeable batteries, solar power, or hybrid vehicles.

Every household in Japan separates their garbage.
And large, unnecessary appliances such as clothes dryers and dishwashers are virtually non-existent in Japan.

And even people who have cars in Japan use public transportation such as the trains and buses as often as possible. And when going short distances, most people walk or bicycle.
It’s possible to buy auto insurance in Japan that is only valid on weekends, because many people only use their cars on the weekend and use the trains for their work commute.

Also, last year, a few of the busiest train stations have begun using the footsteps of people walking through the train stations to generate electricity to run the station.

This sign says that the foot traffic over this special mat in Tokyo Stn generated over 3600 watts of electricity so far that day.

And then, if you go to 「江ノ島水族館」 (“Enoshima Aquarium“) south of Tokyo by 2009 December 25, you can see the 「デンキウナギのクリスマスツリー」 (“Electric Eel X-mas Tree“).
The electricity to power the lights on this Christmas tree is generated by an electric eel.

How about your country? Is there an “eco movement“?