10 Days in Japan (Part 4) – The Automatic Train and Other Experiences

Hi everyone ! Here is the 4th and the last part of my stories of visit to Japan.

Day 8

It was May 2, 2014. Another day blessed with wonderful sunny weather. After having early lunch, me and my husband Biplob headed towards Bunkyo Civic Center, a government building whose 25th floor houses a free observation deck. The deck is around 105 meters above ground and offers a panoramic view of Tokyo. From there we had an amazing view of the Tokyo skytree, the tallest structure in Japan.


Skytree, view from Bunkyo Civic Center

The cars and the people on the road beneath looked like small toys !


A typical crossing, view from Bunkyo Civic Center

From the observation deck, we could also see the famous Big-O in Tokyo Dome City, an entertainment complex. Big-O is a center-less Ferris wheel; it is in fact the first center-less Ferris wheel in history. Tokyo’s largest roller coaster, Thunder Dolphin, passes through the center of the wheel.


Big-O from Bunkyo Civic Center

After enjoying the Tokyo panorama, we finally came down and planned to go to Odaiba island. There was no direct train, so at first we went to Shiodome station and from there took another train to go to Odaiba. The train we boarded from Shiodome was a very special one! It was an automatic train, without any driver on board. This special train line is known as Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line and it is a transit system controlled entirely by computers.


Automatic train

I was on the very first seat in the train, and the feeling was as if I was enjoying a joy-ride.Views from the train was nice; we got to see glimpses of a bridge, nice view of the Tokyo bay and we also saw a huge Ferris wheel through two buildings.


Ferris wheel, from train

Finally we reached Odaiba, a large artificial island in Tokyo bay. The first thing that attracted our eyes was a replica of Statue of Liberty. In the background of the statue, there was a suspension bridge, known as Rainbow Bridge.


Replica of Statue of Liberty in Odaiba

Odaiba skyline had numerous tall structures, but the two identical buildings were really interesting.


Twin building, Odaiba skyline

We were amazed to see the headquarters of Fuji TV which is one of the most striking buildings in Japan. The building features a huge silver ball which serves as an observation deck.


The headquarters of Fuji TV

However, we did not enter the Fuji building. We were sitting by the Tokyo bay and enjoyed the view of sun setting behind the iconic and tall buildings in Tokyo, making the Tokyo bay blackish, with occasional golden tint. This reminded me of the day when we had the chance to see sunset in the backdrop of Mt. Fuji, from Kamakura.


Sunset from Odaiba

Even after sunset we were roaming around, walking on the shore of the bay and watched all the buildings and the rainbow bridge being illuminated with colorful lights. Some boats on the bay were also illuminated and they looked gorgeous.


After sunset

Though it was far away, but the Tokyo tower could also be seen from there.


Illuminated Rainbow bridge

Among the other interesting things, he saw a huge statue of a robot (Gundam) standing in front of the building of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, a shopping and entertainment complex.


Robot, Odaiba Island

We also saw the brightly lit Daikanransha, a 115-meter tall slowly-spinning Ferris wheel. We already had a glimpse of it from the train, but at night it looks pretty awesome as it is lit by thousands of neon tubes programmed to display multiple patterns in various colors.


Ferris wheel

It was time to go back to our lodge in Kashiwanoha. We boarded the automatic train again and at night the journey was more fun. A moderately dark surroundings… occasional glimpses of illuminated rainbow-bridge, Tokyo tower and other high-rises… a train with no driver, which will take us to our destination accurately… and that feeling of riding on a joy-ride… indeed it was quite an experience.

Day 9

Next day, May 3, was spent in a rather leisurely manner. I had to come back to India the next day (May 4), so we decided not do make the day too hectic. We cooked some Indian dishes together and had our lunch. The taste of the food compelled us to make a dine-out plan for night. So, in the late afternoon we arrived at the nearby shopping complex Lalaport. I bought some small gifts for my relatives and friends and had our dinner in the food court there. In that shopping mall, we came across some interesting shops. There was a dog-grooming salon, where the dogs were having their make-over by trained professionals. We also came across a dog-cafe there. A dog-cafe is a place where people can go together with their own dogs. There are fancy dishes for dogs, human food is available as well. In a dog-cafe, dogs are welcome to sit on a chair or a sofa and have their food from a nice bowl placed on a table. I was totally amazed to see this, as this is something I never saw in my own country.

Day 10

My visit to Japan came to an end. Biplob came to the airport to see me off. Soon, we both had to go back to our daily routine, but the time spent together in Japan was very much refreshing. My flight took off at the scheduled time… ‘Bye Bye Japan’ – I may have murmured, and Japan also said goodbye to me. Do you know how? By offering a mesmerizing visual gift… the snowcapped Mt. Fuji !!


Mt Fuji from air-plane

I did not have my camera with me, so I clicked a picture with my mobile phone. The picture is not awesome, but the view was.. and it will always remain in the core of my heart. In the rest of my journey back home, I was feeling like my Japan visit was complete and successful in every respect. Only that I was missing Biplob. But then the famous quote by John Gay came to my mind …..

We only part to meet again


4 thoughts on “10 Days in Japan (Part 4) – The Automatic Train and Other Experiences

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