The plan was to go to Tokyo Tower to see lights on Christmas eve. Tokyo Tower is a major landmark, but it's funny because it looks like a normal neighborhood until you turn this one corner.
BAM! Giant tower!
We went to the observation deck for the sunset, and I just kept working my way around in a circle until it was dark.
To the north, I liked the faint orange-yellow-blue reflection on the buildings to the left.
To the southwest, Mount Fuji.
A little more west:
As the sun drops further, the colors change.
The city lights get more intense to the southeast:
Sunset complete, we went to most of the attractions in the building at the foot of the tower.
This was, in theory, a horror show called "Space Wax" in the brochure, although it had nothing to do with either space or wax.
The concept was 3-D versions of traditional Japanese ghosts and other horrors in a haunted house setting, but it was hard to muster any fear or surprise. We couldn't tell if it's old or just low-budget, but it wasn't really quality CGI.
Next door was a wax museum that was pretty interesting, though. Not all the American celebs looked quite right, but it was a neat experience.
There was an aquarium, and I'm a fan of aquariums, so we did that. My first clue that this may not be all I had hoped it would be was when I noticed that, in the glossy brochure full of fancy photos, there was a listing but no image.
It started off all right, these turtles were amusing.
And frogs don't need much room or company, I don't think.
These things are neat - they're clear! They've got stuff in their head and a spine, but you can see right through them.
This may have been my favorite display.
One crazy shrimp was scuttling away with a fish head.
Weird thin fish. They have eyes, but it's hard to tell where they are.
Sand worms are weeeeeird. And a little creepy.
At first, I was amused by this sign. Then I saw exactly how many piranha varieties were along that wall and put my hands in my pockets.
It was like a piranha prison, and I'm not sure how to feel about that.
Interesting colors (not a piranha):
Transitional species, anyone? It's an albino version of what was in the tank next to it, but this guy wasn't hiding his face. And those are definitely legs. Kind of useless-looking, but definitely legs and not fins.
I hadn't thought about it, but I didn't know these guys could move their eyes in completely different directions. I couldn't tell if he was looking at me or the fish next door. Or both. Probably both.
We had a moment. Unfortunately, there were a lot of tanks filled with large fish crowded too tightly together for my comfort. It breaks my heart a little.
This turtle seemed able to amuse itself well enough:
The last tank in the aquarium, by the exit, had some very artsy-looking fish. Not sure what they are, but they sure are purdy.
Outside in the cold-but-not-as-cold-as-it-is-in-the-States.
By the crosswalk (I don't know the story, but it's dog statues.)
Across the street, our first taste of non-tree-wrapped-lights for the evening, in front of a dentist's office:
In an open-air mall...I'm told that there are structures like this in FL and CA, but this whole idea of muddling the distinction between Inside and Outside is fascinating to me. Bonus, there's a giant inflatable something-or-other in the main plaza, next to the crepe stand and the Christmas concert.
A video survey of this immediate area from a few floors up:
• To the right of the inflatables, under that overhang, is where the concert is happening.
• To the right of the screen, just above the big TV screen, the ascending light is attached to the building elevator.
• How lucky is it that I managed to get the train, the elevator, and a helicopter? I'm pleased.
Another side of the building, ground level. What is this sea of blue lights?
It's literally a sea of blue lights. Shaped like waves around an abstract tree of sorts. There's a long line, so I think there's some sort of couples good-luck-for-the-new-year thing going on.
From farther back and a floor up, because there were too many people in the way up close.
This clip gives you an idea of how beautiful and ambient it was, although the music was easier to hear and the traffic was easier to ignore in real life.
From another floor up, an unobstructed view of the reflection. It's all ambient (and you can hear at least one or two women remark that it's sugoi), then at around :30 it has some sort of seizure.
And some more crazy light, ending with the soothing blue again.
And to finish off the adventure, here's this creepy billboard.
And to all, a good night.