We spent part of the Takayama trip agoinising over our inability to use our JR tickets fully and explore Tokyo. Having kept an eye on radiation levels in the Daily Yumiuri, we decided that we’d have a day trip to Tokyo. The trip on the slow bullet takes ¬†almost two and a half hours to cover 500km. Roughly the same time it takes us back in Melbourne to get Camperdown (half the distance) on VLine. Still, it’s not fair comparing gold rush era infrastructure to 1970s infrastructure, or Japan’s can-do mentality to our own she’ll-be-right one. Or is it?…

We thought we’d get a look at Mt Fuji as the bullet sped past but ended up with a lot of blurry images which sort of look like clouds or fuzzy buildings but could be the famous mountain.

I was keen to check out Akiba (the local nickname for Akihabara) at least, having missed out on the 10th annual Anime Fair (cancelled due to the earthquake/tsunami). The local train network was still picking itself up after the disaster, and electronic bulletins informed passengers that whatever scheduled train had been cancelled or delayed reason being earthquake. In Melbourne we have similar notices where the 8.47 from Broadmeadows has been cancelled due to a kitten crossing the tracks.

My memory of Akihabara from 1998 was of an exciting place with lots of exciting things happening. People, colors, lights, noises (sadly, I came down with a migraine from hell that time which could explain the colors, lights & noises), and wild & weird electronics as far as the eye could see. Post earthquake reports were unfortunately accurate. There were no thronging masses. Electronics shops and department stores had their power dimmed and all their displays turned off with signs indicating they’d gladly demo them for you if requested. And the tip of the Tokyo tower was as reported, slightly bent.

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