Japan Day 3
Sunday, February 24th, 2001
@ Tokyo, Japan
All Photos © 2001 Ting and Randy Vogel

Tokyo Map
Randy the Fuzzball
View Looking Left Out Hotel Window

Today, Ting got up early to implement the new firewall for the Japan office while Randy the fuzzball (that's me) tried to sleep off jetlag.

The hotel moved us last night into a new room on the 18th floor that has a data jack. As depicted in the new room-view pictures, it was a dreary day. I was not psyched to explore the cold and rainy outdoors, so I took the subway to the Akihabara district to check out the electronics stores instead. The only truly photoworthy item was the full-size, working R2-D2 built out of Legos. Too bad I couldn't do digital videos, or you'd be able to see it rotate its head back and forth while squeaking and blinking its lights.

Upon arriving back at Akasaka-mitsuke station, the underground passageway was dark, except for blacklights that lit up the zodiac paintings on the ceiling. I started taking pictures, but before I could get very far, the regular lights came back on and the blacklights went out. For the rest of the week, I kept hoping to catch the display again, but it was always OFF.

Before we set out for dinner, Ting took a few pictures to show the night-view from our hotel room. We set out looking for two unagi restaurants and ended up in the area around Ting's office. Since it's a business district, most of the restaurants were closed on Saturday night -- including the two restaurants we had in mind. With stomaches rumbling, we decided not to walk all the way back to the Akasaka district for dinner and settled instead on a basement pub near Yotsuya Station. The pub turned out to be a pretty good choice, except for all the cigarette smoke. The menu had pictures, so ordering was relatively easy. The first dish to arrive was an assorted mushrooms appetizer, which turned out to be a grill-it-yourself choice, delivered with a sterno-powered hibachi. In addition, we ordered sashimi, fish cakes, chicken skewers, and other dishes. The menu had lots of choices!

After dinner, we set out walking, where we came across both the smiling granny statue and the mysterious Brain Building. While attempting to loop around to our hotel, we somehow ended up on the far side of the Geihinkan or State Guest House, also known as the Akasaka Detached Palace. Fortunately, just when we were beginning to feel depressed about finding our way back, we came upon a helpful policeman in a koban, who pulled out his detailed city map and gave us directions back to the hotel. Just past the palace guest house, we spotted a raccoon walking in the trees, but it was too dark to get a good photo, so you'll just have to use your imagination to picture a japanese raccoon. Beside which, I really had to pee. I tried explaining to Ting that in Japan, it is not impolite to pee at the side of the road, but she would have none of it, so we continued trudging back. Finally, we got to the hotel just when my eyes were turning yellow. I had to visit the bathroom in the hotel lobby to prevent the overflow from sloshing out my ears.

View Out Hotel Window
Lego R2-D2
Blacklight Taurus
Blacklight Scorpio
Blacklight Hall
Night View Looking Left Out Window
Night View Looking Out Window
Roasting Mushrooms
Randy & Granny
Brain Building
State Guest House