JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Sumida-ku 墨田区
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Site of Lord Kira's Estate or Honjo Matsuzaka-cho Park. Lord Kira was the villain in the famous Chushingura vendetta. 吉良邸跡・本所松坂町公園741 views
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Priests splash cold water over themselves at the Nose Myokenzan Betsuin in Sumida-ku, Tokyo357 views
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The plum blossoms bursting at the seams at this small shrine called Omurai Katori Shrine.228 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree souvenir chopsticks.195 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree as seen from the air. It just stands out since there are no tall buildings around it.179 views
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Priests appear159 views
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McDonald's and Starbucks will be right under Tokyo Sky Tree.154 views
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Yokozuna statue153 views
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Map of Ryogoku. The Kokugikan sumo arena is north of the station, as well as the Edo-Tokyo Museum.145 views
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More sales girls wearing happi coats during Tokyo Sky Tree pre-opening festivities for Sumida Ward residents on May 20, 2012.139 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree is clearly visible from Asakusa.138 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree as seen from Sarue Onshi Park in Koto Ward.137 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree souvenir ball-point pens.134 views
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About the plum blossom festival. They have koto performances, serve hot sake and matcha green tea (for a fee), and a photo shoot of local tourist ambassadors.133 views
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I like the sales girls wearing happi coats, a symbol of the shitamachi (old merchants' quarters) area of Tokyo.133 views
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Finally went up Tokyo Skytree for the first time in Sept. 2013. I waited for a clear weekday and went early in the morning. 130 views
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You can either buy a ticket at the door or buy a reserved ticket for a specific day via their Website. Visiting Tokyo Skytree on snowy days can be dangerous. Clumps of snow clinging to the struts are known to fall to the ground.125 views
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Old postcard showing Ryogoku Bridge over Sumida River and the old Kokugikan in the distance.121 views
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Food court121 views
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The higher observation deck called Tembo Galleria has a unique design with a spiraling walkway called the Skywalk.120 views
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Kapulanakehau "Kehau" Tamure has a Tokyo Sky Tree ornament in her hair as she performed during Opening Ceremony festivities at Tokyo Sky Tree for Sumida Ward residents on May 19-20, 2012..119 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree118 views
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The exposed struts inside the observation deck are padded so you don't crack your head when you bump into it. Lonely people who don't have anyone to hug could hug one of these. It's soft enough.117 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree souvenir towels.115 views
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Lower lookout deck.112 views
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JR Ryogoku Station platform for the Sobu Line.108 views
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Inside Sumo Photo Museum107 views
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Sumo Photo Museum105 views
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One restaurant in Solamachi has an outdoor terrace.102 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree and plum blossoms at Omurai Katori Shrine in Sumida Ward.100 views
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Filled with a water hose93 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree 東京スカイツリー93 views
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On a clear day, the views are marvelous, with Mt. Fuji (upper right) and many Tokyo landmarks visible. 93 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree and plum blossoms at Omurai Katori Shrine in Sumida Ward.92 views
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Nose Myokenzan Betsuin at a street corner. In Feb., priests at this small temple splash cold water on themselves for 30 min. Near Honjo-Azumabashi Station on the Toei Asakusa Line or JR Kinshicho Station on the Sobu Line.91 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree has a unique curving side.91 views
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Views from the Skywalk.91 views
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Another stage had Mukojima geisha performing. Mukojima is in Sumida Ward. http://mukoujima-kenban.com/index.html90 views
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Soft drinks in Tokyo Sky Tree-shaped bottles.90 views
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The Skywalk can get quite warm on sunny days.90 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Tokyo Skytree.90 views
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Sky window over a rest area in Solamachi.88 views
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Mukojima geisha performing. Mukojima is in Sumida Ward. http://mukoujima-kenban.com/index.html87 views
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Books about Tokyo Sky Tree.87 views
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Miso from all over Japan.86 views
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Stunning views. Sumida River.86 views
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Male (kane) hula dancers at Tokyo Sky Tree.85 views
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One of the shopping alleys inside Solamachi.85 views
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On the food floor, they were giving out yummy samples. This is shumai.85 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Arena had another stage.84 views
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I saw one school girl here who looked very nauseous (likely threw up in the bathroom) with a friend rubbing her back.84 views
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Here, you can buy another ticket for 1000 yen to go up further by 100 meters to the higher lookout deck called the Tembo Galleria, 450 meters above ground.84 views
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I overheard one woman say, "The city looks like it's made of Lego." I had to agree. 84 views
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They were extending the train station. Roof still under construction.83 views
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Front of Kokugikan. The wide stairs make it quick for many people to exit the building. It is a sleek, modern building with a spacious interior. The roof collects rainwater for use in the toilets.82 views
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On May 20, 2012, dancers from the Hawaii Aloha Academy danced to songs played by Kehau and her trio on May 20, 2012.82 views
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The Solamachi (Skytown) shopping complex below Tokyo Sky Tree was also open to Sumida Ward residents for a preview on May 19-20, 2012. All the shops were open and held an opening sale. Tokyo Sky Tree officially opened on May 22.82 views
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Opening sale on the food floor.82 views
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Sake from all over Japan.82 views
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The least crowded time is weekday mornings between 8 am to 10 am. I got there at 9:30 am on a Friday and was happy to see no line to buy a ticket (2000 yen) to go up. 82 views
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The problem with buying a reserved ticket for a specific day is that you won't know what the weather will be like that day. It's not worth going up on a cloudy/rainy day.82 viewsLow clouds can easily cover the lookout decks and all you may see is cloud white. They also close the tower on windy/stormy days.
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The first/lower observation deck is called the Tembo Deck. 82 views
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The Skywalk is not recommended if you fear heights.82 views
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Gateway Bridge82 views
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Asakusa Kannon temple, Sensoji as seen from Tokyo Skytree.82 views
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Much more crowded in late morning with lots of school kids on class trips.82 views
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Sumo Photo Museum 相撲写真資料館81 views
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Foot of Tokyo Sky Tree which was the only thing not open during pre-opening festivities for Sumida Ward residents on May 20, 2012.81 views
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The food floor was the most crowded and noisy. This fish market was holding special opening sale selling lotta seafood for 634 yen (in reference to the Sky Tree's 634-meter height) during pre-opening festivities for Sumida Ward residents on May 20, 281 views
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I went from 0 to 350 meters above the ground in less than 10 min. There are four elevators.81 views
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Tokyo Skytree ticket counter. Empty on weekday mornings from 8 am to 10 am.81 views
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Asakusa81 views
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Asakusa Kannon temple, Sensoji81 views
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Ueno Park (National Museum)81 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree souvenir shop.80 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Station platform.80 views
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The shopping complex integrated with Tokyo Sky Tree is called Solamachi (meaning Sky Town) which includes an aquarium and planetarium. This is an odd sight at first with all these people, after having gotten used to seeing this place devoid of people.80 views
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Near the foot of Tokyo Sky Tree during pre-opening festivities for Sumida Ward residents on May 20, 2012.80 views
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Merchandise of Tokyo Sky Tree's official mascot.80 views
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From the Solamachi shopping complex, there is a window from which you can view the foot.80 views
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Each elevator has a design based on one of the four seasons. I went inside the summer elevator with a fireworks design. The elevator is very fast going up.80 viewsPart of the elevator door is also transparent. Close your eyes or look away if you start to feel sick/dizzy. Please don't vomit in the elevator.
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Ryogoku80 views
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Ryogoku80 views
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Sumida River and Asakusa80 views
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Kokugikan sumo stadium as seen from Ryogoku Station. More Kokugikan photos here.79 views
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This stage in a small park near the Sky Tree, they had hula performances in the afternoon on May 20, 2012.79 views
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On May 19-20, 2012, Tokyo Sky Tree held pre-opening festivities for Sumida Ward residents (Tokyo Sky Tree is in Sumida Ward). Various entertainment was held at three performance stages.79 views
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On May 20, dancers from the Hawaii Aloha Academy danced to songs played by Kehau and her trio on May 20, 2012.79 views
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A load of fish for only 634 yen. In Japanese, "634" can be pronounced "Musashi" which refers to the Sky Tree's 634-meter height. Musashi was also the name of the old province that included most of Tokyo.79 views
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It's much cheaper to visit Skytree on your own instead of going on a typical bus tour. But a bus tour may exempt you from a long wait to go up since they have their own reserved tickets for a specific time.79 views
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The line for that ticket was also very short before 10 am. Elevator to go higher.79 views
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Going further up.79 views
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This is the ticket line for the higher Tembo Galleria. A 20-min. wait already by late morning.79 views
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As soon as you get out of Oshiage Station, you can see it towering above. Already it draws many tourists to the area gawking and photographing it.78 views
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Tokyo Tower78 views
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On May 20, 2012, dancers from the Hawaii Aloha Academy danced to songs played by Kehau and her trio on May 20, 2012.77 views
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This road connects Tokyo Sky Tree Station with Oshiage Station and was formerly crowded with people before the Sky Tree opened.77 views
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Northern Sumida River77 views
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National Diet Building77 views
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Tokyo Skytree shadow.77 views
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Tokyo Skytree Station77 views
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Pet memorial, Eko-in76 views
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The shopping complex hides the tower's three legs.76 views
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Kapulanakehau "Kehau" Tamure who was a member of Nā Palapalai, provides music along with her trio.76 views
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Back on the lower deck.76 views
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Tokyo Dome75 views
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Menu75 views
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Benches provided75 views
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Chanting prayers74 views
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This little park was purchased in 1934 by locals and donated to Tokyo to mark the site of Kira's estate. Free admission.74 views
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The walls inside have panels such as this one. Painting depicting Lord Asano's attack on Lord Kira at Edo Castle.74 views
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In April 2010, I went to see what the fuss was about. I can see Tokyo Sky Tree from my window at home in eastern Tokyo, so naturally I got very curious about this thing which seemed to have sprouted from nowhere.74 views
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Picture-taking service on lower deck.74 views
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The following photos were taken in March 2012, about two months before Tokyo Sky Tree opened on May 22, 2012.73 views
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Solamachi means Sky Town.73 views
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If you look closely, you can see stairs winding around the tower.73 views
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Shopping complex.73 views
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See-through floor73 views
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Waiting for the elevator to go down. It took longer for me to go down than to go up. There's no time limit on the observation decks. You can stay there all day I think.73 views
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Elevator with autumn design73 views
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Kids exercising.72 views
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Gate to Eko-in temple where early sumo tournaments were held. The temple was originally built in 1657 for the repose of over 100,000 people who died in the Great Fire of Meireki (Furisode Fire). 回向院71 views
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Sumo monument in Ekoin temple. Sumo matches were held here regularly from 1833 to 1909 when the Kokugikan sumo stadium was built.71 views
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Memorials for those who died in maritime disasters.71 views
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The temple itself looks so modern and ordinary that it does not look like a temple.71 views
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When the tower opens to the public in spring 2012, it will no doubt become a major tourist attraction. The sleepy neighborhood of Oshiage will transform into one of Tokyo's hottest spots.71 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Station71 views
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See-through floor71 views
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Line for the elevator to go down.71 views
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Elevator with winter design71 views
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Next to a portrait studio is a small garage with sumo photos on the walls.70 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree is near Oshiage Station in Sumida Ward which is next to Asakusa.70 views
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After it snows in Tokyo in winter, beware of chunks of snow falling from Tokyo Sky Tree. They have known to crash into nearby homes below. Read article here70 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree and plum blossoms.70 views
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Near the construction site was this little Info Plaza showing a model of Tokyo Sky Tree.70 views
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The new Tokyo Sky Tree Station on the Tobe Line, just one stop from Asakusa Station. Renamed from Narihirabashi Station.70 views
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Poster announcing the train station name change.70 views
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58 days until Tokyo Sky Tree opens.70 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Station platform.70 views
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People gawking at Tokyo Sky Tree. It's best to see it on a sunny day with the blue sky in the background. Even at 338 meters high, it is already looking something awesome.69 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree. Just wait till it reaches its full height of 634 meters and become Japan's tallest structure. It's gonna be more than awesome.69 views
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The Tembo Deck has three floors. One floor has a cafe and prices were quite cheap. Almost the same as any coffee shop on the ground.69 views
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JR Ryogoku Station. This part of the station building is now a beer hall. The train station entrance has moved to the right of this.68 views
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Marker for the Ako retainers' avenging their Lord who was forced to commit seppuku when he attacked Lord Kira at Edo Castle.68 views
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Model of Tokyo Sky Tree inside the Tokyo Sky Tree Info Plaza.68 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Station platform.68 views
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Old entrance to Ryogoku Station with a high ceiling and giant portraits of sumo wrestlers.67 views
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Present entrance to Ryogoku Station (during spring festival).67 views
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Shop selling sumo goods.67 views
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Pet memorial, Eko-in temple.67 views
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Tokyo Sky Tree Station platform.67 views
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Sumo monument in Eko-in temple. Sumo was first held here in 1768. 力塚66 views
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Shrine hall65 views
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Meanwhile, the old Tokyo Tower will lose broadcast customers and see a great drop in income.65 views
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The temple has many other memorials and monuments.64 views
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JR Ryogoku Station 両国駅63 views
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Painting depicting the retainers proceeding to Ryogoku to get Kira's head.63 views
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Ryogoku Station exit. Only one sumo portait hangs here.62 views
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Tatsunami-beya sumo stable.60 views
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Cemetary60 views
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Top of Tokyo Sky Tree so far. That's 338 meters into the air, already taller than the old Tokyo Tower's 333 meters by April 2010 when these photos were taken.60 views
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Edo-Tokyo Museum59 views
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Matsuzaka Inari Shrine. On the right is a small, roofed stone monument engraved with the names of 20 of Kira's samurai who died during the attack. 59 viewsThe stone monument was built by a local shopkeeper.
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Shopping/hotel complex being built next to the tower.55 views
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The base has three legs shaped like a triangle. One side of this triangle is about 70 meters wide.54 views
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It won't be just a tower for broadcasting. It will also have lookout decks and a shopping/hotel/restaurant complex adjoining it.53 views
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