Sunday, November 13, 2011

Item From the Past: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Near constant wind today, but not the blustery, cold blow you usually get in November. It was an unusual day, more springlike than anything else. But it's a trick. Winter is bearing down on us.

Oddly enough, I have a soft spot for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in the Shinjuku district of that city. During my very first walkabout in Japan in March 1990, I rested for a few minutes in a small green spot -- and there aren't that many of those in Tokyo -- not far from structure, which is about 800 feet high. It's an impressive skyscraper, designed by Kenzo Tange, and for a number of years the tallest building in the country.

At that moment the building wasn't finished. The skin was on, but there was still a lot of construction noise coming from the interior. In November 1993, when Yuriko and I visited Tokyo for a long weekend, we looked at the building from the same vantage. This time, I had a camera.

If the observation deck had been open then -- and I don't think it was at the time -- we would have certainly gone up for a look. These days not only is it open, it's free. Can't say that about to many things in Tokyo.

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