Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Government Metropolitan Building, Shinjuku (with Gramps)

This entry starts with a story of kindness over 20 years ago. My grandparents came to Japan to attend a Rotary conference and to see their Japanese exchange daughter Keiko. They stayed in Shinjuku, Tokyo and were picked up each day by Yuji Kumi who drove for over an hour to collect them and take them to the conference in Chiba (the prefecture next to Tokyo). Yes, Chiba is the prefecture with Narita Airport and Disneyland in it. Anyway, Gramps wanted to see Yuji and his family while he was visiting me here in Saitama (also a prefecture next to Tokyo). So i arranged for us to meet at Shinjuku and left the rest up to them. Yuji's daughter Sachiko was also a rotary exchange student in the area near my grandparent's town. She and her daughter Nana also came to see us on the day. Their English was awesome after 11 years living in the USA. Nana is 12 years old and bilingual. Her English and Japanese are both top rate.

The morning started well when Sachiko and Nana met us at the station. Then we headed to the Metropolitan Government Building. Very famous because it has an observation deck which you can get great views of Tokyo from. The photo below is of the number of floors in the building. Both 12 yr old Nana and 25 yr old me were amazed at this. We both felt our ears pop as we went up in the elevator. The view was amazing as can be seen from the photo further down the page.

The below views are taken from the 45th floor observation deck. It is 202 metres high.

Below is a photo of a huge rake for leaves. And i mean huge. It was up on a wall in the foyer of the building. It is meant to bring good luck to all those who work in the buildings. It is 2.2 meters in diameter and 4.2 metres in length. It weighs 250kgs.

The final fascinating thing we saw was this amphitheatre which slopes downwards so that when it rains the water is collected and then used to flush the toliets of the building. Not a bad idea i think. This area also reminded me of Roman with the circular building.

I was really pleased to be able to go to this building. I have been wanting to since i arrived so it was really awesome to finally make it there. And well worth it. The views were awesome.

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