Monthly Archives: January 2010

Exploring Japan: Winter lights at Tokyo Dome City

On January 10, 2010, after attending the Furusato Matsuri Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward, I looked around Tokyo Dome City a bit.  It was approaching sunset, and they started turning on the winter lights.  Tokyo Dome City is an entertainment complex that includes the Tokyo Dome stadium, an amusement park with a roller coaster, a spa, and a shopping centre with many restaurants.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

This is part of Tokyo Dome City, a complex connected to Tokyo Dome, that has entertainment, rides and restaurants.

This is the roller coaster. Looks like fun!

The roller coaster actually goes through a hole in the building.

This large geodesic sphere will soon be very colourful.

In Tokyo Dome City, there's a seafood restaurant called Bubba Gump. If it sounds familiar, it's a name from Forrest Gump.

The winter illuminations have been turned on!

This one is very colourful.

There are a lot of restaurants and shopping in this building.

Everything is all lit up. You can see Tokyo Dome in the background on the left.

A similar view from the last picture, but with different settings on my camera.

There's a fountain on the ground floor. I find this place very colourful.

That's the first sphere I saw, but now lit up.

The first sphere with Tokyo Dome in the background. It's sunset now.

There's another smaller sphere.

A look back at the sphere, roller coaster and ferris wheel.

This walkway has colourful arches that change colour.

See? They changed colour.

To find Tokyo Dome City, check out this map:

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Filed under 23 Wards, Bunkyo-ku, Japan, Tokyo

Furusato Matsuri Tokyo – January 10, 2010

On January 10th, I went to Tokyo Dome to see the Furusato Matsuri Tokyo (ふるさと祭り東京), which is a festival celebrating food and culture from around Japan.  Tokyo Dome is in Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo, and is the home of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants baseball team.  It’s part of an entertainment complex called Tokyo Dome City, which I will cover in the next post.  But for now, let’s take a look at the festival.

I've arrived at Tokyo Dome for the festival.

Here's the entrance of Tokyo Dome. There were many people waiting to get inside.

The wait to get inside Tokyo Dome was about 30 minutes.  The line was very long.  I took the last picture shortly before entering.   But then, I finally got to go inside.

Inside Tokyo Dome, I could now see the festival area on the field.

Down there, there are many places to buy food from all over Japan, as well as other products.

It is crowded! There are so many people here!

This is very colourful, isn't it?

An even better look. See all the dolls on it?

So far, I’d been on the floor and in the crowd for about 5 minutes.  For the next while, I explored the food stalls, which featured food from all over Japan.  There wasn’t just food, but also drinks, alcohol, and even a wine tasting area.  In the end, I had some yakisoba (fried soba noodles) from Fujinomiya in Shizuoka and some ice cream from Okinawa.

More crowds. You can see a place that sells omu soba, which is omelette with soba.

The big screen in Tokyo Dome is being used to show performances that are happening near home plate.

There's so much food being sold around here!

Yakisoba is being sold here. Mmmm, it looks good.

So, I bought some yakisoba. This is Fujinomiya yakisoba from Shizuoka prefecture. It was very good!

After some eating, the next thing to do was go watch some performances.  I had to find a seat.

Here's a view from up higher. Next, watching some performances. The sign that says "deguchi (出口)" means "exit."

This is the home plate area. Here, there are many performances being done during the 4 day long festival.

I watched 2 performances. This group, the people in purple, is from Okinawa. They're a group of elementary school students who will perform with taiko drums.

And here they are performing!

And some more. They performed for about 15 minutes.

Here are some videos.  I didn’t have any zoom, so the quality isn’t very good.  However, you’ll get a good idea about the music.

After that, the kids switched with the adults.  I’d like to note that there was a man sitting in front of me who was dancing along with the music.  You may be able to see him.

The second performance was also a group from Okinawa. They were adults, though.

The festival was very enjoyable.  I had a good time.  But then it was time to leave and make a visit to Tokyo Dome City.

Now I'm back outside Tokyo Dome. That's all for the festival!

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Filed under 23 Wards, Bunkyo-ku, Festivals & Events, Japan, Tokyo

The state of the blog address

Today, I bought a memory card reader for my computer so I can transfer pictures from my camera to my computer.  My old Sony Vaio could read Memory Sticks, my new Toshiba Satellite reads SD cards.  My camera uses Memory Sticks.  Well, that’s one problem solved.  Next, I need to transfer all of my pictures to my new computer.  At the moment, I can only upload pictures to the blog from my old computer, which I will continue to do until I have the pictures transfered.  I have a LAN cable, so I guess I’ll figure that out sometime soon.

Anyway, coming very soon are pictures and videos from Furusato Matsuri Tokyo and the Grand Sumo Tournament.  Then I’ll finally get to work on Sankeien and my big backlog of photos.

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Filed under Blog Announcements

Plum blossoms are blooming

On my way to work today, I saw a plum tree with many pink flowers. They’re already blooming! It’s not even February yet. Here’s a photo I took of it.

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Filed under Nature

I met someone famous

I’m watching sumo right now, and I went to get some food. On my way back, who did I meet? The really big Musashimaru. I spoke to him a little, but I was a bit shocked to suddenly see a former sumo wrestler like him up close. And he was a Yokozuna! I thought I was just going to watch sumo, but I ended up meeting Musashimaru. I wish I’d taken his picture.

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Filed under Sports

A couple Edmonton videos

Before I continue with the posts about Japan, I have a couple more things to show about Edmonton.  These are a couple of videos I took.  The first is my sister’s dog, Romeo.  I was teasing him with his new toy.

Second is the dragon in the theatre on the day that I saw Avatar.

Next, I’ll get back to posting pictures and videos from Japan.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Alberta, Canada, Edmonton

Winter in Japan

Japan’s a long country from north to south, and winter varies widely depending on where you are.  In Okinawa, it’s subtropical and warm.  In Hokkaido, it’s cold and snowy.  In the bulk of the country, it depends on which side of the country you’re on.  The Sea of Japan side is very snowy, as are the interior mountains.  The Pacific Ocean side is generally free of snow, but it does get dusted by the white stuff one or two days a year.  I’m in the middle of the country on the Pacific coast.  In fact, I live a 13 minute monorail ride from a very popular beach.  This area is a mild part of Japan, and it usually doesn’t freeze.  Last winter, I didn’t see any snow at all.  I’ve heard there’s been snow in Tokyo and Saitama this winter.  I haven’t seen any here in Kanagawa, though.  It may have snowed somewhere in Kanagawa, but I didn’t see it.  Maybe I will yet.

People in the Tokyo area aren’t accustomed to significant snow.  But when it does fall, the sound of tire chains fills the air.  Not exactly a winter tire region.  No one really needs them here, anyway.

Also, homes aren’t insulated well, since more than half of the year is warm (20 degrees or higher can be experienced from late March to November).  There’s also no central heating, so people usually heat their homes with small heaters, kotatsu (a low table with a heater underneath) or air conditioners (yes, they’re also heaters in Japan).  I have a kotatsu, but I haven’t used it for heat.  I usually use the air conditioner.  However, I am very tempted to plug this table in.

I’m looking forward to spring, so I don’t have to wear my coat inside my own apartment.

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Filed under Daily Life, Weather