On the way home from Malaysia, Joe and I stopped off in Tokyo, Japan.
It was my first trip there so it was a bit of a culture shock.


This is one of the sweetest pics of my sales guy and I in Japan.


Yeah, I can't believe I did this either. My mother would have lost it if she were there.


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Apparently, the Japanese really like the game Pachinko. It's like Plinko on The Price is Right.
Here's Joe showing off his predisposition to gamble.


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Joe and I took the subway around the city. It's actually pretty easy to get around despite
how lost Joe looks.


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We arrived late on a Saturday and took the subway into the Rappongi Hills district of the
city. There was a lot going on for sure, but I thought this was entertaining. This is a
motorized wooden cutout of a traffic officer right next to an actual traffic officer.


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Nice evening view of the radio tower from Rappongi.


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A view of Roppongi on a Saturday night. I thought the TGI Friday's was funny.


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I think this translates as "Dollar Store".


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This is my vehicle, but in Tokyo, it needs to have pimpin' rims. Yeah, that's right, that's
a Highlander with chrome.


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This is almost $3K for a little dog. Apparently small pets are a big deal here.


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I guess the Japanese like these action games. This is in an arcade in Roppongi where you
actually play the drums. My drumming skills weren't that good.

Ginza


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Joe and I took the subway into Ginza on Sunday to see the shopping district here. This is where
the Sony main store is, where some of the big Japanese department stores are, and where the
locals go to shop. I had wanted to see the big fish market, but it was Sunday and so was not open.


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A small side street in Ginza.


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This is a pretty high end "Eaton's" called Matsuzakaya. I guess they make nice kimonos.


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These were $50 cakes if you can believe it. The Shiseido company had these pastries on the ground floor.
I think they actually sell makeup though.


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We stopped at the famous toy store called Hakuhinkan Toy Park. This is a canned plant. You buy the can,
open it, and it grows a flower.


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I guess Joe really likes these characters and so we tried to find a stuffed version. Sadly, all we could
find was the candy version.


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Another example of the Japanese starting their kids on video games early. These girls are playing a
game where you (from what I could gather) play patty cake with a machine.


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At the Sony HQ store in Ginza, they have a BMW M5 on display (don't ask me why) but I got to sit in it.


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Outside the Sony store, there was what looked like a permanent advertisement for candy bars. These
were the "scientists" telling you about the new product.


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This is the moat that separates the city from the Imperial Palace.


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My sister Renee would say that I guess I can't bring my pirate show here since I can't camp or have
a fire. This is on the Imperial lawn.


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One of the many gates that regular people are not allowed to enter. Imperial Palace, Tokyo.


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I thought this bridge was pretty nice.


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One of the buildings inside the gates.


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Some of the old architecture of the Palace. I like all three of these houses in the same shot.


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"Stop looking at me SWAN!"


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When they build doors, they build doors. These things were super thick and just looked hefty.
This door is on the Ota-wan (gate).


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This is one of the guard houses that the samurai lived in, called Hyakunin-bansho. I thought of
my friend Trent Lengyel (now called Davin) and the Yellow Ninja. He must be up to number 10 by now.


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Honmaru garden, inside Higashi-Gyoen - the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace.


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Fujimi-tamon, or defense house, was a storage place for weapons and tools. This was named Fujimi since
from the roof on a clear day, you could see Mount Fuji.


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We had just missed hanami - or the cherry blossom festival, but some of the trees in the gardens were still
in bloom.


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The walls of the Imperial Garden, seen from Kitahanebashi-mon.


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I don't know why, but I really liked this Science Museum building.


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I was actually quite looking forward to buying everything I possibly could from a vending machine. Sadly,
we didn't spend enough time looking around to see a weird one, but here are some vending machines from
which I bought an ice cream (that's for you Nati).


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Asahi beer in a vending machine.

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