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Tokyo cruisin'

I'm a fan of Google's StreetView. Rather than seeing it as a gross invasion of privacy, I see it as a way to visit places I probably won't be able to go to. It won't ever provide the sounds and smells, but it is better than a tourist map. To go exploring little back alleyways of Tokyo. I, very sadly, have doubts I'll ever make it there. And thanks to streetview, I have doubts that if I did, I'd ever find my way out of the chaos.

Did you ever watch Serial Experiments Lain, or Clannad or some sort of animé that seems obsessed with disorganised electric lines? Perhaps they lived here:

Streetview - Freaky wiring over a road in Nara, Japan.

This one isn't in Tokyo, it's in Nara prefecture near Osaka. Go there!
Hey, did you know Japanese traffic lights were horizontal? No, neither did I...


Note - the links given will open streetview. Give it a few moments to load and set itself up. To see the world like in these pictures, click on the "expand" icon at the upper-right of the streetview picture, as indicated here:

Streetview - making it all bigger.
Also, it should go without saying that this incredible mass of imagery (I dread to think how many Gb we're looking at!) is © Google.


There's a bridge over Tokyo Bay It is a trial for streetview as it is a double-layer bridge. Oh, and on the west end are not one but two roads running parallel. Jeez, and I thought London was bad!
Once you get on the bridge, the views are worth it...

Streetview - Tokyo Bay Bridge

The link to explore yourself is here, but be warned that clicking ahead may suddenly drop you on the lower level.


Now tell me, doesn't this just look like so many back roads in so many animés?

Streetview - Freaky wiring in a peaceful Tokyo suburb

Yup, it even comes complete with hairy electrics. Go explore! I love this place, I feel like I've been here already, but I don't know from which animé...


The fact of the matter is that Japanese people like fish. I guess it is to be expected given it's an island and all... but I really don't like fish. So this warmed my heart - and as an added bonus you get to hear a Japanese girl struggle with milkshake and cheeseburger...

Streetview - KFC and McDonald's side by side in Tokyo

Wow... Shibuya. No girls in sailor outfits. In fact, there's a lot fewer people than I expected. Was this photography all taken during a rehearsal for nuclear strike or something? Anyway, you can see it here.


No comment. I shouldn't be surprised for a country that offers the delights (?!) of the Maid Café, but whatever... no comment.

Streetview - don't ask... :-)

And, if you really really must.


Finally, how could we leave without visiting an enduringly popular landmark?

Streetview - Tokyo Tower
Streetview - Tokyo Tower

Don't just look at the photos, go see it for yourself!


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Mick, 12th January 2010, 22:13
<<Hey, did you know Japanese traffic lights were horizontal? >> There are some in CAnada. Saw some in "CubeBeck" on the way to Montreal! Funny - there was no warning that on leaving Ontario that not only would all the English signs disappear(whereas everywhere else, French and Anglaise lived in perfect harmony) the traffic lights became strangely horizontal too.
Rick, 12th January 2010, 22:50
Québec and French... it seems "interesting" to me that they seem so hung up on their Frenchness, yet I've watched some TV shows in québécois (rebroadcast on TV5-FBS) and it's a very bastardised version of French. I mean, for a start it sounds totally different so it needs to be subtitled for French people. It would appear that various language constructs are different (ordering of how a sentence is said, on replay the audio and the subtitles didn't match at all in some things). And, excuse me, what is a "lie-tehrrr"? Oh, you mean a "lighter"? As in what, in French, is called a "briquet" (bree-kay)? Strange... :-)
Rick, 15th February 2010, 02:41
Just for those who wondered about <cough>that picture</cough>, I knew in Tokyo there was a McDonalds and a KFC size by side near Shibuya. So I got Google to list 'em all until I found it. If you go to the map location of that picture, and turn left, you'll see a McDonalds...

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