Friday, October 24, 2008

Tokyo And The Art Of The Taxi Driver

Okay, so we still haven't taken the metro. We took cabs today. And, this account of Tokyo cab drivers now seems very accurate. Navigating Tokyo seems to be a bit of a mystery – even to the people who you'd think would know it best. After telling him our destination and showing him on a map, our cab driver took our map and examined it very intently. Then, he wanted to keep our map and set it on the seat beside him for a while. Finally, after examining his map at a stop light he handed ours back to us. 
After a fairly quick ride, we eventually ended up at our destination, the Museum of Modern Art. We took in the permanent exhibition, Modern Japanese Art from the Museum Collection. A fascinating condensed retrospective of the last one hundred years of Japanese art. With this pic representing the current state of affairs – two HD "canvases" displaying a digital piece, featuring sound and motion, spanning the two. (The photo does not do it, nor the other 4 pieces in the series, justice.)
We had a delicious late lunch with a roomful of Japanese "ladies who lunch " at the museum restaurant, H2 (apparently run by the restaurant Queen Alice) and spent a few hours taking in the exhibit. We're now back (again) at the hotel and I think we may be down for the count today (I think Hol already is). All-in-all, I'd feel good about the first day if we didn't leave the room again tonight.

This last pic is our view looking West – I think. Regardless, it's the direction we'll be heading tomorrow to walk the streets of Ginza which are sealed to auto traffic on the weekends.


Sanity said...

Apparently Google Earth w/Streetview for the iPhone has been released. Perhaps it will be of service while abroad.

Chris said...

It probably would be a great help. However, in the interest of nor racking up crazy international data charges (which somehow didn't happen in France) I'm only using native apps. The Lonely Planet Japanese phrase book and Kotaba! Japanese dictionary have been invaluable.