There is an old SF book written by Isaac Asimov in 1988. – Prelude to Foundation. In this book, young mathematician Harry Seldon takes his first visit to a huge planet Trantor, a center of galaxy, an enormous metropolis that covers all of its surface.
When I think about Tokyo, I think of Trantor as well. Tokyo and Yokohama are connected and along with Kawasaki and Chiba, make a big inhabitant and business area. It is said that Tokyo Metropolis is 90km wide from east to west, and about 30km from north to south. Main airport for international and intercontinental flights is in Narita, 60km from downtown of Tokyo. The best way to reach the center of Tokyo or Yokohama is to take Narita Express train. Soon, about 20 minutes you will enter Chiba city and after that point you will see nothing but buildings, roads, trains and bridges. Officially, there are more than 12 millions of people living within 23 of Tokyo areas and about 2.5 million that comes every day from adjacent areas to work and to study. First time I was there, I couldn`t but to ask myself how is it possible that everything works perfect, with so many people around. A look at the system of public transportation didn`t help much.
Still, everything works. The system is divided into 26 different JR East lines and about 10-12 subway lines, every one marked with its own colour. The most complex, according to my opinion is Tokyo Station, with its 10 levels and more than 3000 trains per day :faint: First time when I was there alone, I needed to walk slowly and follow directions. But once you get into the system, everything else is just a scheme. Follow the lines, follow the marks and you are safe 😀 And hold the left side. Like in England, people here drive on the wrong side of the street 😛 and therefore expect from you to hold a left side on the side walks, stairways and escalators. Especially during rush hours, holding the left side will give the opportunity to people on your right to run if they are late for a train or going to office.
Tokyo was once a small fishing village called Edo. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first in the line of Tokugawa military rulers (shogun) made Edo a center of his government in 1590. During Meiji restauration, Edo became a capital city and changed its name to Tokyo (East Capital), after emperor moved from Kyoto in 1869. By that time, population of city exceeded 1 million.
Tokyo recovered from two major destructions that happened during 20th century: one was earthquake in 1923. when about 140000 people died, mostly from fire that started after it. The second one was during WWII when bombing in 1945. took about 100000 lives and left about 1 million homeless (half of the city was destroyed). Looking at Tokyo today, it is hardly imaginable – it took less than 70 years to become one of the biggest cities in the world.
I will not bother you much about details of my purpose to visit Japan. I was invited to take part in Nakamura Ryu Battodo Taikai (competition) that was held in Yokohama, in November 24th. I must say that I have a great pleasure to practice hard under guidance of teachers from Kakuseikai dojo. I am very grateful to them for patience and effort. Also, I met some very nice people from Washington DC and California, people who helped me when the help was needed. I took a bronze medal in 3rd and 4th DAN level for performing Battodo kata.
I didn`t have much time to spend in Tokyo and all of the above photographs are taken from Flickr and Wikipedia. Licensing is as follows:
– for the night photo
The file was found here; license;
– for the aerial photo:
This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Imperial_Palace_Tokyo_Panorama.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 2.5 license.
Blogs I Follow
- Thrifty Campers
- A Walk with Wildlife
- The Spryte's blog
- The View From My Bowl
- Humanity in Syria is at risk
- Make every day a little bit special ♥
- Robin's Robins
- coisart's canvas
- A Sneak Peek On Things I Like
- A Canadian in Ireland
- The Fish Tank
- This Insubstantial Pageant Faded
- der Wandersmann