Top sites in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

Foreign or domestic, wherever you go, there you are! Tell us about your travels at home or away. Got any good travel/culture/customs tips?! Places to go or avoid or hidden gems?!
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

Top sites in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka

#1 Post by LostCalls » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:37 pm

Dear WeAreAwake community,

I'm heading to Japan on Monday for about 10 days (wish it were longer!). I'm going to mostly be in Tokyo but will take a short side-trip to Kyoto and Osaka for one day each. I'll be traveling with a native Japanese speaker.

What I'm wondering is, given that there will be so incredibly much to see and do, does anyone have any suggestions for absolutely must see places/must do activities? I know I must come to terms with the fact that I can't possibly see everything--not even close--and it probably wouldn't be enjoyable to even attempt that. Living in NYC all my life, I still can't say I've seen or done even close to everything here, so I fully realize that larger Tokyo (plus the other two cities) in about a week's time will be limited.

But yes: any top picks (besides the Park Hyatt)? Thanks so much in advance.

User avatar
Bob_san
Site Admin
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: United States
Contact:

#2 Post by Bob_san » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:11 am

Oh my gosh yet another weareawaker is visiting Japan! Woohoo! Have a wonderful time and don't forget to write and send photos! ! !

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#3 Post by LostCalls » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:03 pm

Hey!!! I'm in Japan right now.

Of LiT sites in Tokyo so far, I've been to the scramble crossing in Shibuya, a number of the nearby shrines, and have passed the Fujiya building that we see from Bob's taxi window at the end of the film. NY Bar at the Park Hyatt is coming up later in the week!
Last edited by LostCalls on Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Bob_san
Site Admin
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: United States
Contact:

#4 Post by Bob_san » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:58 pm

AWESOME!!!

The link is messed up with an extra dot so here it is clean:

http://whosthattwister.blogspot.com/

Ithildriel
Ikebana Fan
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 12:16 am

#5 Post by Ithildriel » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:38 pm

Thanks for the link to the blog, LC. Sounds like you are having a great time so far! :)

User avatar
silvermoon
Suntory Time
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:48 pm

#6 Post by silvermoon » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:22 pm

good to hear, lostcalls, hope u have a great time!

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#7 Post by LostCalls » Sat Aug 04, 2007 1:22 am

Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind messages! Everything has continued to be amazing here. Tonight is the night for the NY Bar at the Park Hyatt! I'll be going to dinner elsewhere nearby in Shinjuku with my friend's family, but we'll then be heading over afterwards. I'll let you know if I meet Charlotte or hear any Woo-hoos! Also, the photos on the blog will be a bit delayed...the encoding on the page is messed up over here; I'll deal with it back in the States.
Last edited by LostCalls on Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#8 Post by LostCalls » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:56 am

We went! Park Hyatt and the NY Bar are totally breathtaking. We heard a jazz combo with a singer who might have been The Jazz Singer--though she did not have red hair. I'm not sure...but somehow, it seemed like her.

Heading to Kyoto early tomorrow morning, so must get to sleep now...but I promise I'll update the blog soon.

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#9 Post by LostCalls » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:05 am

Just a few teasers till I get to some faster internet...

Shibuya Crossing at night

Park Hyatt on left

From a window at the NY Bar

"I like it here...if I fall, someone will notice."

The Thrill is Gone

(not exactly) Alone in Kyoto
Last edited by LostCalls on Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Just Like Honey...
Suntory Time
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:56 pm
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

#10 Post by Just Like Honey... » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:11 am

Oh, beautiful!

Feel my jealousy. FEEL IT!!! :lol:
I'd rather be a gear in a big, deterministic, physical machine than just some random swerving.

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#11 Post by LostCalls » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:14 pm

Here's a link to various LiT-related photos I took while in Japan a couple of weeks ago.

If you're interested in seeing non-LiT-related photos from my trip, send me a PM.
Last edited by LostCalls on Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Bob_san
Site Admin
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: United States
Contact:

#12 Post by Bob_san » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:40 pm

Thank you!

I am so happy people who go are sharing their experiences and photos for the rest of us!!!

User avatar
Flyonthewall
WooHoo Guy
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:57 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

#13 Post by Flyonthewall » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:12 am

Awesome pics. I really need to just say to hell with it and go :roll:

thnx for sharing.
"...Stay here, with me...."

The Search for Charlotte continues....

silentguest
Evelyn Waugh
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: California

#14 Post by silentguest » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:15 pm

Cool pics LostCalls, I also enjoyed reading your blog. Speaking of cool, did you get to see the Park Hyatt pool?

And what was the atmosphere like in the NY Bar? Did it feel like you were in the movie and Bob or Charlotte might walk in at any moment?

Also did you find any LIT merchandise at the Park Hyatt gift shop or anywhere else in Tokyo?

User avatar
TokyoGirl
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 6:07 am
Location: Alone In Kyoto

#15 Post by TokyoGirl » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:04 pm

Great pics, thanks for sharing :D
She's got the moves to rule the world...

User avatar
Pitman
Suntory Time
Posts: 411
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:12 am
Location: Toronto

#16 Post by Pitman » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:51 pm

One of these days....I'll be posting pics there!!

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#17 Post by LostCalls » Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:02 am

Hi, folks. To answer a few questions:

Yes, I did see the pool at the Park Hyatt. (It's a cool pool...) However, I saw it from a distance; you can see it through its geometric glass envelope if you look down from one of the windows at the NY Bar level. I wish we could have gotten closer...but alas. Save something for next time, right?

I didn't get to see the gift shop at the Park Hyatt; I'm frankly not even sure where the shop is located.

The atmosphere in the NY Bar: let me begin by saying I was trying to contain myself the whole time I was there. It was, for me at least, almost an emotion overload. My two friends did a good job of keeping me in touch with reality. I think the film captures the vibe of being there quite well. It's a very cool place; in fact, it really aims for that old time New York cool thing...especially with the live jazz. There are some murals high up on the side walls (which I think are not visible in the film) that depict the old NY jazz scene. It was truly surreal for me to sit there while a jazz combo (with a female singer) was playing--as you can see in my photos. That just kind of put things over the top. The view (sadly not captured as clearly as I'd have liked in my photos) was really breathtaking. When the elevator opens up on that floor, you're deposited onto a kind of corridor between the NY Bar and the open kitchen that's around the corner...but the view from even this waiting area is ridiculous. It's pretty much the view you see at the main menu of the LiT DVD. Again, if any whispy female voice happened to hum "ahhh ahhh" at that moment, I probably would have fainted.

One thing that was a bit odd at first is that the spatial proportions of the NY Bar seem different in real life than in the film. The distance from the long table with the lamps (at which Bob often sits) to the window wall that's behind the musicians is not as great in real life as it appears in the film; being there, everything seemed a bit more narrow. However, when you look at the place on a diagonal angle from the entry point just past the reception post, you get exactly the view which corresponds with the first semi-long shot of the bar in the film when "The Thrill is Gone" begins on the piano.

As I mentioned elsewhere here, I did not see any LiT-related drinks on the menu--not even under their specialties. I considered ordering a vodka tonic...but I ended up getting one of their specials--which was basically a lot of fruit and a lot of alcohol. It was quite good, though. The band that was there was also quite good...and the singer honestly kept freaking me out because I really thought that somehow it could be the same woman...even though she was not a red-head or anything...just a feeling. (She took a break but did not order champagne so far as I could tell.)

The other amazing thing about being up there was that it was a moment in our trip at which my two friends and I started reflecting on how it felt to be in Japan and what the whole thing was starting to mean to us. These two friends are people that I've known well for about 20 years, and yet that moment in the NY Bar was something that I think appreciably deepened our already deep friendships. Really, the entire trip did that...but sitting on 52 (I think that was it!) and having that kind of visual and emotional perspective for a moment really coaxed some subtle magic from behind the everyday stuff. I realized at that moment that I disagreed with something from the film: I think going back to Japan will actually be more fun.... but this realization went hand in hand with knowing that the circumstances under which I was there were totally different from those of Bob and Charlotte. Neither of them wanted to be there in the first place, they didn't go into Japan with friends (not exactly), and they didn't really have any way (save their own burgeoning curiosity) to get a handle on the culture or the language. However, I easily see how sitting in that bar looking out over Tokyo--all that silent glowing--could produce or fuel a feeling of isolation...or alternately of the ability to make some incredible connection...with something.

(Also, my blog is woefully behind! I promise I will continue to update and account for the rest of my time.)

Does it get easier?
LC

Ithildriel
Ikebana Fan
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 12:16 am

#18 Post by Ithildriel » Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:10 pm

Lost Calls, your writing is enchanting, really, and so descriptive. I enjoy the few pictures you have posted, but with your way with words, they really are almost not needed. Do you write professionally? You should.

User avatar
LostCalls
Lounge Singer
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:34 am

#19 Post by LostCalls » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:37 am

Ithildriel, thanks for the compliment. I do hope that my words can begin to convey the feeling of being there, while all the while I know that they will always, necessarily fall short of capturing the lived experience. This is a common frustration I have with writing, and it's probably why I don't do it as much as I think I might like.

I've not written professionally--just plenty of English, theatre, and other assorted humanities papers over the years...and two short, personal essays I wrote a couple of years back.

Also, I read a lot of E. B. White. His style is so graceful and seemingly effortless...also unpretentious while remaining intelligent. I'd recommend that you (all) should check out a collection of his essays--there are a few out there and they're all great. You're probably already familiar with Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, or Trumpet of the Swan...

I'll post a short E. B. White essay to the Lounge section here...

Post Reply