Caught (up) in traffic

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Daily Archives: August 10, 2013

Walking around Ginza

The Ginza District in Tokyo is one of the most prominent areas for both shopping and offices. It is reputed to be upscale as many of the world’s top brands such as LV, Chanel and Hermes have big shops here aside from the more recognizable Japanese shops like Matsuzakaya and Mikimoto. From a transport perspective, it is a very accessible area with metro lines having several stations here and the district being a few minutes walk from the JR Lines. Sidewalks are wide and therefore a boon to pedestrians and cyclists. There are no jeepneys, tricycles or pedicabs here that are used in the Philippines as modes for almost door-to-door transport and for short travel distances. Instead, you have to walk between buildings and metro or JR stations or bus stops.

2013-07-30 19.20.42Cyclists making a turn at an intersection in Ginza.

2013-07-30 19.21.27Taxis patiently wait for pedestrians to cross before making a left turn (Japan’s using the right hand drive system) – you will hear no horns from motorists as they give way to pedestrians and cyclists cross the streets unlike Metro Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines where motorists will run over people despite the latter having the right of way.

2013-07-30 19.22.30Vehicles crossing a busy intersection in Ginza. Turning vehicles position themselves for the turn phase of a signal in anticipation of the green light and would give way to crossing pedestrians including stragglers who made the cross at the last instance.

2013-07-30 19.22.46Navigating in Ginza – newcomers can get lost in any city and especially something as large and seemingly complicated as Tokyo. Fortunately, we now have map apps in our smart phones and we can more easily determine the way to our desired destinations. This is a friend and his daughter consulting the map on our way to our dinner venue.

2013-07-30 21.13.38This fuzzy photo was taken as we crossed the street to get to the Higashi Ginza subway station where we parted with some of our company. The bright building at the center of the photo is the Kabuki Theater.

2013-07-30 21.22.45Access to the Hibiya Line’s Higashi Ginza Station – note again the wide sidewalks.

2013-07-30 21.22.52A quick shot of a street in Ginza with buildings and signs all lighted up.

2013-07-30 21.24.00The lights and signboards reminded me of Shibuya (remember the movie Lost in Translation?) and Shinjuku, in other parts of Tokyo. I was not able to go there on my recent trip but will surely go next time I’m in Tokyo.

2013-07-30 21.24.29Another look at a street as we crossed it to reveal a long line of buildings with the shop and store signs lit up.

2013-07-30 21.51.08A large electronics store, Bic Camera, near the JR Yurakucho Station. Japan is well known for electronics and Tokyo is dotted with a lot of electronics stores selling the latest gadgets and appliances. Of course, there is the Akihabara “electric town” where there are stores and shops everywhere selling the same plus games and collectibles for hobbyists. But that, as they say, is another story to be told in a future post.

2013-07-30 21.51.19Wide pedestrian crossing at the JR Yurakucho Station. The area is host to many offices and generally has high pedestrian volumes.