Thursday, January 27, 2011

Christmas Break 9: New Year's Eve

Friday, December 31st

On the morning of New Year's Eve we went back to Roppongi Hills to go to the observatory on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. It's a little expensive because the ticket also includes an art museum, but we decided to do it anyway. I'm glad we did because the view was fantastic!




We saw Mt. Fuji! Do you see it in the picture above?



Shinjuku Skyscraper District



The reflection of the city on the ceiling was neat. That's me in the picture.


Odaiba


Then we payed an extra 300 yen to go up the roof. This was the part I wanted to do the most.


It was really cool! Here's a video:


After the sky deck, we headed back down to the art museum. It was mostly just really really weird creepy stuff (like a stuffed deer with braces on its legs and a dress made out of wolves heads), but there were a couple cool things. My favorite was this small circular "room" where you were surrounded by a bunch of screens with a video of a waterfall projected onto them. The floor and ceiling of the room were mirrored. It really made you feel like you were moving. It felt a bit weird to walk around. When you looked down it felt like you were moving down, but when you looked up it felt like you were moving up. The video of the waterfall slowed down and sped up at different times, which added to the experience.

Next we went to Tokyo Dome City, which is an amusement park. There is no admission. Instead you just pay to ride the rides you want to. We walked around and looked at several of the rides but they mostly looked pretty boring and expensive. The only ride that looked like fun was the roller coaster but it wasn't running. Though, based on the prices of the smaller rides, I'm sure it's really expensive.


So Tokyo Dome City was pretty much a waste of time. Next we went to Ginza to go back to Itoya so Jonathan could buy something he had liked there before.


That evening we went to Zozoji Temple to countdown to the new year. Many people got balloons, attached a wish to them, and released them at midnight. We wanted to get balloons, but the information I read online wasn't really correct about the times (or we were just confused) so we didn't get balloons. :(

There were a lot of foreigners there. Most Japanese people celebrate New Year's with their families. Plus, whenever I searched online for New Year's events in Tokyo, the countdown at Zojoji Temple was the only big thing that came up.


We had gotten there around like 8:00, so we had quite a bit of time to spare. It was busy, but not packed yet, so we left to go eat dinner. The restaurants near the temple were busy and once we got a bit further away we had trouble finding one that was open. We eventually found an Italian restaurant that was open. I was excited because they played Backstreet Boys music the whole time! Haha!

When we returned to Zojoji, it had gotten a little more crowded, but it was still pretty easy to move around. We even found a place to sit down for a while.


I didn't get a balloon, but at least I got a glow stick! They were passing them out for free.


It didn't get extremely crowded until maybe about 45 minutes before midnight. At that point it was really difficult to move through the crowd. So we spent the last little bit standing in one spot waiting for the countdown to begin.

Here's a video of the countdown!!! Tokyo Tower was sparkly!





Happy New Year!

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