Skip to main content

Teleport to Venus

Today I travelled through a Teleport.
It took me out to Venus Fort.
Then I went over a rainbow
And returned to somewhere I know
We caught a train, one drove a car
But really we didn't go very far.

We've been looking to purchase some Japanese household items on this trip and heard about a chain of stores called Nitori. There's one at Odaiba, so we caught the Rinkai Line from Shinjuku to get there. The exit station is the futuristically, and unfortunately inappropriately, named Tokyo Teleport. I would gladly use a teleport to return to Sydney rather than fly past Typhoon Neoguri.


There are quite a few shops and activities at Odaiba. We started at Megaweb, which hosts a large Toyota showcase of their technologies and cars. If you have an International Driving Permit or local license, and can speak Japanese, you can test drive one of their cars around a set track. There are also some driving activities for younger kids, though the choices are limited for non-Japanese speakers, especially on weekends. Fortunately, Alex just scraped below the upper age limit for driving an electric toy open top Lexus around a small course.


Toyota were much more restrictive about allowable actions than Ford in Melbourne, with traffic lights setup to only permit one car to drive around each section of the tiny course at a time. No racing here!


We then crossed over to Venus Fort, whose interior has been designed to simulate a Roman town, complete with a painted sky. Nitori proved to have some of the items we needed at a very reasonable price, but more interesting was Pet Paradise with its chest carriers, strollers and wheeled luggage carriers for dogs. I was tempted by a Shinkansen styled dog bed, but also amusing were the dachshund costumes, ranging from a Shinkansen to a pirate to characters from Monsters Inc.




There was also a Lego store (there's a small Legoland in a nearby shopping complex) with a great range of Lego, including the very retro-cool Ghostbusters car.


Rather than return by Teleport to Shinjuku, we took the automated Yurikamome automated elevated metro train back to Shimbashi. There are great views of Tokyo's port and towers through the front windows of the train. It does a spiral climb down the "Rainbow" bridge as well.


From Shimbashi we used the Yamanote Line to return to Shinjuku where, after dumping our furniture back in the hotel, we had a very, very filling and reasonably priced shabu-shabu meal at a branch of Nabezo. Then it was Yodobashi Camera time. Such wonderful memories of getting electronics from Yodobashi in West Shinjuku, but this time I only found a somewhat limited range of model railway gear, purchasing only tracks, from their hobby branch, plus a PS3 controller. No more Sony VAIO computers...


Alex and I had a small dinner of soba noodles from a little stall in the warren of tiny, mostly yakiniku, bars to the north-west of Shinjuku Station. When we first ate there in 2003 the owner was surprised to see a foreigner. Now they queue up for the best soba I've had.


More shopping followed. And a final night in my second home. As we wandered through the shops today I imagined owning a small apartment and being able to fit it out, decorate it with all the beautiful homewares and gadgets we saw. I love the small scale compared with giant Australia. Yet there we return.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A lazy day at the beach

It's 2am and somebody is still setting fireworks off on the beach in front of the hotel. I can't see the explosions as I have the window shuttered, but I can still hear them. I've wanted to have a lazy day and today was the closest I got. I woke up in the night from a very sad dream. Dreams follow crazy paths, but this one resolved itself as so. An entity had been causing disruption of computer systems around the world. It turned out that this entity had emerged from the computer networks and had been struggling to gain access to more computing power so that it could live. The entity had taken on the persona of a woman. The protagonist who had "defeated" the entity discovered that it was alive, spoke to it. Ultimately fell in love with her. But his prior actions would lead to its death. As a gift to her he downloaded his memories so that she could experience life even as she died. I know it sounds like a pulpy sf or technopunk plot, but dreams are about feeling

The sound of running water

We made it home from Osaka. There is a special feeling that comes when your arrive at your house after a holiday. It is utter relaxation. No longer do you need to worry about other language or customs. There is no need to look up directions, to plan out your day, to journey between sights. Then again, you now need to clean up your own mess, to make your own bed. Rather than eat out you need to cook your own dinner. The shower is weak and the toilet doesn't wash your bum. And you need to wake up early tomorrow morning in order to spend a day at work. You are back to your old routine. Looking back upon this holiday in Japan I've decided that the theme of running water has applied to each of the days. Sunday - Arrival in Osaka - washing ourselves Japanese style Monday - Matsuyama - water from the hot springs at Dogo Onsen Tuesday - Takamatsu - waterfall at Ritsuen-koen Wednesday - Tsumago - streams of water throughout the town Thursday - Takayama - the sounds of rushing water e

Insanity at 40,000 feet - Part 2

We could relax for a moment. The gate lounges at Kuala Lumpur's LCCT were crowded, but our gate was not yet open. Once it was we quickly made out way outside for the long walk to the aircraft. The terminal offered no air conditioned respite from the tropical weather outside and we were perspiring on both sides of the gate. It's a pity that taking photos on the tarmac is forbidden, because the tropical evening sun cast a beautiful orange-gold light. Our flight to Singapore was on an AirAsia A320, the workhorse of a low cost carrier. The legroom was shorter, but still adequate and the width felt greater than their longer cousin we had just flown. Alex sat at the window and was excited to see the world outside, chattering loudly. Captain Raj gave a detailed, but clear, explanation of the flight, listing runways and routes like an aircraft enthusiast. We launched into hazy grey skies that were soon dark for a very typical hour long flight to Singapore.