Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 12 - Part III - This Town is Really Crowded

 As Tavin and I wandered around the endlessness that is Tokyo, it would suddenly strike me just how crowded this town is.  In some ways it is deceptively small.  Almost nothing is over 10 or so stories.  Certainly, there are a few newer buildings that are 30 or so stories,

We ate lunch at one of the restaurants on the top floor.
Heck of a view - authentic business lunch fast food,
and the waitress wanted to know about Tavin's chopstick boingees
but most buildings top out at around 10.  Much of this is due to stringent building codes for earthquake purposes. 
But due to lack of space almost nothing is shorter than 3 or 4 stories.

There are just lots of people!
Can you tell it's cold/flu season?
As an elementary school student I’d watch movies of the salary men and school kids being squished onto the trains by the subway guards, and I would worry that they might get squashed on the tracks by all the other people.


A 3rd grade part of me was relieved that there is evidence of the measures they have taken to keep people safe in the crush of rush-hour commuting.

American high schools sprawl all over the place with play grounds, athletic fields, parking lots and woods to go smoke in.  But here in Tokyo high schools are shore-horned in along shopping streets, and cantilevered out over the sidewalks.

And when the density of the city was really getting to me, and the sheer price of real estate becomes evident, there is the Imperial Palace. 

That is some expensive real estate, especially considering the moat.

It feels a lot like Buckingham Palace in London, but instead of the high wall that lets you see nothing at all, you can gaze across the moat at all those trees and empty spaces.

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