Tokyo guzzler: Days 100-112 – Tokyo Skytree and horse racing

Good news – I have a new job!! Yes, it’s only taken me 4 months. I’ve really enjoyed the business language classes I’ve been doing. And I’ve made some pretty good contacts out of it as well. But in January I’ll be starting work at the same school as Maz. I’ve been out of work since late-July and slipped into a semi-feral state. So I’m very excited to be going back to work early in the new year.

We finally managed to go up Tokyo Skytree yesterday. The views, as expected, were phenomenal:

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Mount Fuji, just over 100km away, overlooking Tokyo. Will it ever erupt again? Experts seem to think it’s a case of when, not if…

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Outlook towards Shinjuku (top right) and Otemachi / the Imperial Palace area.

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Downtown towards the sea, the Rainbow Bridge and Haneda Airport.

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Shadowplay.

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Asakusa Sensō-ji, not too far away from the Skytree. It looked so small from so high up in the sky.

Skytree is awesome and well worth visiting. Much more so than Tokyo Tower, which is poor in comparison. The panoramic view is unparalleled in Tokyo and the urban sprawl just goes on as far as the eye can see. There are two viewing decks, one at 350m and one at 450m. We went to the very top, although in all honesty it’s as worthwhile just going to the first level. We managed to get there for opening time, so queues were non-existent and we walked straight in.

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Big Christmas animal (and a polar bear).

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Maz says Merry Christmas!

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Red carpet treatment at the illuminations in Ebisu.

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Gurt big ‘un. This giant tree smelt amazing.

Last weekend we went to the Japan Cup. It has a purse of ¥476,000,000 (about £2.5m), making it one of the richest races in the world. The course was rammed with just over 100,000 people. As expected, we didn’t win any money. I am the worst gambler in the world when it comes to horses. I backed the horse that had won the race for the previous two years, the clear favourite in the betting. And, true to form, it cantered round the track and finished nowhere in sight of the leaders. I have no doubt that if I’d been laying the horse it would have stormed to victory with a new track record!

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We pushed our way through the crowd and got a great view, right in the middle of the grandstand. People for as far as the eye can see…

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…..and the same that-a way.

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And they’re off! Note the 66m TV screen in the background, the biggest in the world when it was installed. I heard it was purchased in the Black Friday sale after much pushing and shoving. Thankfully nobody got hurt and the police were not called to intervene.

We have lots of visitors coming to Japan in 2015. Here’s 5 reasons to come (or maybe not!):

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4 thoughts on “Tokyo guzzler: Days 100-112 – Tokyo Skytree and horse racing

  1. It thrills me to bits seeing your commentary and photos. Thanks so much – and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. It is brilliant about your job. I sure you will take full advantage and within the limitations use your enterprise. Maybe even a bit of lab technician for science practicals……………..Congratulations.
    I can’t wait to come over. New Year activity will include research into Japan. Your life seems to be going very well – interesting and stimulating. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!
    I was very stimulated at Margrit’s grandaughter’s birthday party on Saturday. It was in a mountain adventure playground and there was a bit for adults too. Flying down the river attached to a cable. I don’t know what you call it in English. Fab! anyway. The kids had a great time and they were all cheering when three of us took to the adult circuit. And it was a beautiful bright sunny day in idyllic mountain river scenery.
    I love the shadow photo from the blog. Chapeau!
    Lots of love,
    Marion

    Like

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