Contemporary Tokyo

A lot of people have the impression that Japan and Toyko have only traditional culture and customs to offer. Today I went in search of the more modern side of Tokyo – which sits side by side with the architecture from a byegone era.

My first stop was the iconic Tokyo Tower – which is modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I ascended to the first level viewing platform (150 metres – 490 ft up) to get a great view over the rooftops. Here’s the view looking down a leg to the ground below:

Leg And Shadows
Leg And Shadows

My next port of call was the gardens of Zōjō-ji Temple – which I had seen from above, and which sits in the shadow of the tower. The Shinto deity Jizo is very much in evidence here, especially in the poignant Unborn Children’s Garden:

Unborn Children's Garden
Unborn Children’s Garden

Next I made my way to the Yurikamome Light Railway – Toyko’s equivalent of London’s DLR – for a trip to the most modern part of the city, the district of Kōtō. Both road and rail traffic cross Tokyo bay on the double-decked Rainbow Bridge to access the area. Much like the DLR, passengers can sit right at the front of the driver-less trains and get a great view of where they are going!

The Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge
Convention Center Approach
Convention Center Approach

One of the most recognisable landmarks on the island is the futuristic Fuji TV building – which looks like something out of a science fiction film:

Future Shapes
Future Shapes

I’ve no idea why, but I find the crazy structure of the Rainbow Bridge spiral access ramps fascinating – who on earth would conceive of such an arrangement, let alone actually go and build it? The top deck is for express vehicles and is fed either end by an elevated motorway section, whilst the lower deck houses twin rail tracks in the middle and one lane each way on each of the outsides, carrying local traffic. The train must have a much shallower gradient than the vehicle lanes – which leads to this glorious mess (nearly shot of the day for Day #1725):

Rainbow Bridge Spiral Ramp
Rainbow Bridge Spiral Ramp

Here are the rest of my images from the day: