Last year I worked in the Tokyo office of my company. I spent there two weeks. I am a curious person, therefore I didn't waste my time after work on sipping sake. Every evening I would venture into the city. Well, two exceptions. I did sip some sake with my Japanese colleagues. And on my last day I went to bed early. Here is a loose collection of my impressions from Tokyo - part II. If you have missed part I - read it here.
Part One focused on historical Tokyo - we have strolled thru the Imperial Gardens and visited an old commercial district Asakusa. Impressions of Tokyo - part II will take you on a tour of contemporary Tokyo.
Out of place
XIX century Japan was going through rapid social, economical and political changes. Within one generation it went from deep feudalism to industrialism. Part of the changes was hiring European architects and engineers. Public edifices dropped the distinctly Japanese character and started to look like buildings in Europe or in the USA. For me the building is out of its place. We have to respect, however, also that part of history of Japan.
Shibuya is a busy commercial district with even busier train station. It cannot be missing from my impressions of Tokyo. The station is known for two tourist attractions. Both are Tokyo essentials. One of them is the Shibuya Crossing - an intersection of five streets in front of the Shibuya station. Interestingly, when the lights are green for pedestrians, they can cross in all possible directions. Including a diagonal shortcut.
I drive a Toyota and it's the fourth car of that brand I own. I appreciate the reliability and well-thought, if not always chic, design. Four years ago I decided to ditch a diesel and go hybrid. Toyota was the obvious choice (for me), as their pioneered in that field. Interestingly, though, Toyota do not believe in fully electric cars. They think that hydrogen-powered cars are the future. Another part of the Toyota story is Lean Manufacturing. The concept had revolutionized car making and later made it into IT (ever heard of Agile?).
Toyota city is all in one - a shop, a garage, a musem and technology showroom. They bisected their cars to show the internals. There are cars of the future and cars we can drive now. Definitely a place to visit.
I hope you have enjoyed my impressions from Tokyo - part II. Part I focused on historical Tokyo, part two took us on a tour of contemporary Tokyo and even offered a glimpse into the future. At least the future of cars.