Thursday, September 08, 2005

Back in Tokyo!

Finally, a proper blog post. Terence and I have been going and going the past couple of days, all I've wanted to do is to jump in bed and sleep at night. Not tonight! No, tonight, you all get a real blog post! :)

Terence and I are back in Tokyo after our brief trip into the Aichi prefecture. We left feeling hopeful and excited about the Expo, and came back frustrated, sunburned and unhappy about the Expo. But I'll let Terence tell you all about the Expo. I'll just say I would have rather spent my time here in Tokyo.

We woke up and got going to the Expo. We rode both trains to get out to the Linemo to go to the site, but the line for the Linemo was packed! We decided to take the bus out to the Seto Area. Terence had heard that the pavillions there were less packed and we'd get a chance to see some cool stuff. We did see some cool things OUTSIDE the Seto expo site. We saw a hydrogen car filling up at a hydrogen storage site.

They also have busses that run off hydrogen transporting attendees to and from the expo sites.

We put our admission tickets into the turnstiles and went into explore. We came across a man who was talking about Habitat For Humanity from Portland, and he also expressed some frustration with the expo. At the Seto site, all of the pavillions had at least a 2 hour wait and all the pavillions had given out tickets already! So Terence and I were out of luck to see anything in the Seto site. We did see this cool dish, though.

The dish is filled with these huge colored glass globules. It is more impressive in person, and with the sun gleaming on it today, it was stunning.

Terence and I then decided that we'd head to the main expo site using the gondolas that had just opened up for service. When we got on the gondola, we noticed a sign saying that the glass would go opaque for a few mintues while we passed by some apartments in order to protect their privacy. (Terence's note: It's a electrochromic glass - really cool. One moment it's clear, the next moment it's got a opaque white, frosted finish on it.) Terence started to get nervous when he couldn't see where we were going, and when the glass finally became transparent, he got even more nervous when the gondola stopped. I had some fun teasing him, but also tried to calm his nerves. :)

When we got to the main expo site, we decided to go to the Robot Station so Terence could check out all the cool robots. We saw:

A child care robot;

A reception robot;

And a (really creepy IMHO) tour guide robot.

After we checked out the robots, we decided to go to the country pavillions, but everywhere we went, there was at least a 2 hour wait for the pavillions. So, being hot and tired, we decided to pack in for the day and head back to Tokyo early.

Here's Terence eating our new favorite snack, rice balls! We're waiting for the train to Nagoya.

Cute Japanese ladies on the train.

We took the train into Nagoya, and I got in line for tickets to the Skinkansen. Terence decided to go and try and buy some from the kiosk, since the line was super long. So I waited, and moved up in line, and moved up in line, and was the third person from the front when Terence came back and said "train leaves in 10 minutes!" So we booked it to the platform, while on the way he tells me that there were no tickets for the super express in the regular carriage, so he purchased tickets for the first class carriage, so we wouldn't have to wait an hour for the next train.

First class ticket holders get 2 tickets! Weird, huh?
(Terence's note: One's the regular Shinkansen fare, the other is the first class premium on top of the Shinkansen fare)

Our shinkansen arriving.

I'm enjoying first class WAY TOO MUCH! Got lots of knitting done on my mom's birthday sock. :) (I'm almost a the heel, Mom! I'll have these done by the time I get back, I promise! )

Terence's speed photo-167 mph!

Yay! Back in Tokyo!

We checked back into The New Otani, and decided to head out to Roppongi Hills for dinner.

We get to take the Tokyo Metro instead of the JR trains to Roppongi Hills.

We had Korean BBQ, and a bunch of other annoying Americans were there talking loudly while we were eating.

But Terence BBQ'd the food, and we had more Kobe Beef. MMMMMMMmmmmm..... Kobe beef.......

Here's the tower at Roppongi Hills that we ate at. There's an observation deck at the top that we weren't able to go check out.

By then, it was time to take the subway back to the hotel.

See you tomorrow!


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