It was not so long ago I posted about the construction of a new building in old Tokyo called the Asakusa Culture & Tourism Center. Well now it’s finished and I’ve been over to take a look. I was extremely rushed as it was closing in 10 minutes upon arrival, so I just rode the elevator up to the eighth floor (the top tier) and was greeted with the sight you see above. There were two open terraces, a small lounge and a small bar on that floor, and making my way down I saw some of the installations and displays as well as the cinema floor. All in all, it’s a great building, although I was not so sure about the quality of the finish of the exterior. What is great though is the view from the top terraces. As you can see it was a full moon when I went, and in the foreground you can see the buildings around Asakusa metro station, behind those the Sumida River complete with blue lanterns floating on it for the Tokyo Hotaru (firefly) Festival, and on the far bank the Asahi building with the equally iconic and controversial sculpture on the roof designed by architect Philippe Starck and towering over everything is the new Tokyo Skytree Tower.
Asakusa Tourism & Culture Center closes at 8pm, so make sure you go just before then to catch this night view. Also look north for equally amazing views of Nakamise Dori and Sensoji.
There’s a new social networking site for sharing your photowalks called SANPO built by one man in Tokyo, Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko. Although I haven’t signed up myself yet, I’m planning to, and I’m very supportive of anyone trying to launch a web app off their own bat. I also think this site would be genuinely useful for me as a new way to share the photos I take and plot them geographically. I’ve totally abandoned flickr these days it seems, and I really don’t feel like uploading them to facebook, so I’d all but given up on sharing my photos, and this had caused me to stop taking my camera out as much as I used to. Sites like this give you an audience and that tends to give you impetus to upload. Take this site for example. I wouldn’t have visited half the places I have in Tokyo and I wouldn’t know half as much about it if I didn’t have this blog to encourage me to do so. The service is still evolving, but why not signup and upload some pictures? It’s not just limited to Tokyo!