Taking a day out to tour Tokyo is a luxury that I cant afford these days and only managed to pull one off because I was filming for Culture Japan Season 2 Episode 12. Today Yumi from AmiAmi and I will be your tour guide on this lovely Sunny day.
From Lalaport, one can take the Himiko - a boat designed by Matsumoto Leiji - creator of Space Battleship Yamato, Galaxy Railways, Galaxy Express 999 and many more. You can find out more about the boat and departing times in the Himiko Tokyo Boat Cruise post.
Wifey also helps out with the TV production and manages the second camera.
Taking some B-roll.
The Himiko approaches.
The interior of the Himiko is so cool - would love an office like this!
Fans of Galaxy Express 999 with particularly like the cruise because the voice actors and actress give a tour of the ride down the river over the speakers.
Yumi prepping the figures for the shoot on the Himiko.
Caption this photo.
Interrogating the passengers.
I recently found out that the Himiko is owned by a friend of a friend ^^; Was also told that I could use the Himiko whenever I wanted for a Culture Japan Night. Vividblaze also performed on the boat a few moons ago.
Wifey shooting some B-roll for me.
One of the coolest cockpits on Earth.
Arrival at Asakusa.
Tokyo Sky Tree in the background. 634 meters tall and currently the tallest tower in the world. Public opening is this May.
Himiko picks up more passengers before heading back down the river.
My sound man Komoda-san and camera man Nara-san.
Asakusa- where you can experience a more traditional Japan right in the heart of Tokyo - a must visit. But we can make the experience more special and traditional by getting changed into a more appropriate attire.
Tokyo Sky Tree - so tall you can see it from Singapore.
There are anime people in the streets.
Japan is a bicycle country. London wasn't a bicycle city when I left the UK but when I went back I was shocked to see them all over the place. They introduced some congestion charge for cars which entered the city - this encouraged the citizens to bike it to work.
Do you ride a bicycle to work or school? If so, what brand you recommend? I must get a new one this year and make it into an Itachari.
An introduction to a scene or cut is called Maefuri .
B-roll is known as Butsudori .
Camera-san is the camera-man and Onsei-san is the sound-man.
Hiiki is a wide shot while Yori is a closeup shot.
Itatsuki is where the subject is sitting down before the next cut begins.
Hakeru is to move out of the camera's view.
Shomei is lighting.
Pinto ga atteinai means that the camera is out of focus.
Musen refers to the wireless mics.
Just thought I'd throw a few Japanese TV production terms at you ^^;
I think its supposed to be a panda bus which you can see around the streets of Asakusa.
The term Kimono is not just to describe garments for the ladies - men wear kimono too.
Entrance to Sensoji - the Kaminarimon gate.
Once you pass under the Kaminarimon gate - this is what you will see. This street is called Nakamise which is lined with food and traditional goods.
This shop is on the right as soon as you enter Nakamise. Filled to the brim with Japanese-ness.
Lots of friendly folks too!
Glad I chose a job where I do lots of laughing which is supposed to be good for the health ^^;
If you are visiting Nakamise then go on an empty stomach as there is lots to nibble on.
Annotate in this photo what you would like to nibble on.
We filmed this episode on the 5th of December - t'was pretty cold in just the kimono ^^;;;
If you want to try out the kimono's during the cold seasons, make sure you wear some of that Uniqlo Heat Tech stuff.
The Asakusa area is a fantastic place to take photos. If you are wondering whether you are allowed to take photos of the shops - just do what I do and take the photos first and ask later.
And then forget to ask later.
At the end of Nakamise is Sensoji temple. Everything is lit up at night and becomes a photographers paradise.
The traditional rubbing along with the modern.
Making a prayer before moving along to the next location.
Its not just the temple - all the back streets of Asakusa are lit up and look lovely at night.
As you walk down Nakamise towards Sensoji temple, you will see this road branching off from your left.
Filming the wrap up for Episode 12. We dont always film in order that the viewers see due to location and time constraints.
Next stop is Hoppy Dori - a road filled with Japanese style pubs. In the Summer, everybody is sitting outside enjoying the long evenings. In the Winter, everybody is inside being warmed up by the stoves.
The name of this restaurant is Motsukushi. To get to Hoppi Dori, head to the location below.
After filming its time to treat the crew to some nom noms.
Thats a wrap! At the end of a days filming, everybody would say to each other Otsukaresama deshita! - a greeting used when somebody has been through some sort of hard work or ordeal. Folks in a hairdressers would even use it after you've had your hair washed - because you leaning back in a chair is supposedly an ordeal ^^;
Most of these photos taken on the Sony NEX-5N with some on Nagatopyon's Lumix GF2.
If you liked the photos in this post then you may want to watch the episode in full 720p which I uploaded to YouTube for you ;-)
More places to visit in Tokyo listed up below.
Other related Culture Japan posts below.