Thursday, December 10, 2009

Urban Adventures

Japan doesn't have Thanksgiving and had moved directly to preparing for Christmas.  Decorations were everywhere.  Queen's Mall had several large trees and Christmas lights around the facilities.  There was also plenty of public art around the mall.  Of course there are many western chain stores including fast food favorites includnig Wendy's, Crispy Creams (with long lines) and McDonalds.

This is a group of school children wearing their pink school beanies.  Does it remind you of your college freshman days and wearing beanies for identification.  Am I telling my age?

Queen's Mall 2nd Floor Christmas tree.  The mall is multi-leveled and is in three sections with street bridges connecting the sections.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the post office and purchasing a beautiful collection of stamps. It was also fun shopping in small drugstores.  The gum and candy flavors are very different.

The Yokohama Art Museum is a grand facility on the exterior.  Unfortunately for us it was closed on the Thursday we tried to visit.  The city planners have made it easy to try a variety of activities within a four block area of the exhibition hall.

This is one of several large scale sculptures around the mall grounds.

One of the most interesting parts of the urban exploration was visiting Ginza in Tokyo which was closed to auto traffic on my Saturday visit.  Folks were taking photos and wondering around the street shopping in the top of the line shops and department stores.  The signage was exciting too.

Now this is a new age angel.

Citizens on parade for some cause.

Of course visiting beyond Ginza was equally interesting.  We had been informed about the 100 Yen Stores the local equivalent of our Dollar Stores.  You know we had to find those.  Hotel staff gave us good direction and after a few missed turns we had fun checking foods, stationary and everything else they had for sale for 100 Yen.

Local street and alleys near subway and 100 Yen store.

It was rainy the first  three days we were in Tokyo but not enough to deter us from our adventures or our photos.

Sculpture of woman and child near 100 Yen store.  I was also interested to find many public phone booths although citizens had cell phones. I still have my ongoing interest in utility covers that I'll be sharing later.  I always look for them in cities that I visit with the hope of creating some work about them in the future. 

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