Every visitor to Tokyo shares a common experience when driving in the from the airport. The driver will point out the Tokyo Tower:
The Tokyo Tower will then wink at you from around every corner to which your host will turn to you and say,”There’s the Tokyo Tower!” as if it were the spot housing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
RUN FOR IT!
As many of you know, my mother is in town. Nicknamed “Thin Lips” for the ability to compress both lips in to one thin line producing a pure evil expression usually directed at Sister 3, the Tourist. Yesterday we had an afternoon to fill, so after 9 months of avoidance, we headed toward the Tower of Tedium.
Unlike other famous viewing spots, the Seattle Space Needle for instance, the view from the deck is similar to the view from the ground- lots of squares. Although I did find the grassy patch on top of the building in the foreground of interest.
As if the management sent out a broadcast in anticipation of our arrival, several holes were cut in the viewing deck for the entertainment of the Clampitts. We started slowly by taking pictures of the parking lot below.
This went on for several minutes as we jumped, laid, and ran over the glass. Until Andretti-san got carried away and was asked to stop by the manager. Next time he’ll have to remain in the car if he can’t control himself.
We were elated to discover that for an additional 2400 yen another elevator would lift us even higher for what would certainly be more fun and an even stellar view. We clamored aboard the elevator where a woman’s voice warned us that the ominous, never before heard sounds we were hearing were “nothing to fear, but just the every day, normal creaking sounds of the elevator. ” We pushed each other out of the way getting to the windows, pressed our noses, hands and mouths against the glass in anticipation of the untold mysteries yet to behold from above, and were met with this:
We turned tail for the elevator headed in the direction to the Tower’s myriad of attractions on the 4 lower levels. Back down the world’s creakiest elevator listening again to the woman informing us not to fear, which is scary in itself. How about greasing that thing with a good dose of WD-40? I mean, these guys wash the windows… Luckily for this man, I intervened as Andretti-san and the Offspring were headed over to shake the ladder.
In a generous mood, I opted for the “Combination Ticket” which bought entry in to Nippon’s Playland, the Wax Museum, and Nippon’s Magical Dungeon. We didn’t have time for the aquarium.
Only the Japanese can build a Magical Dungeon which can keep Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese speaking children, 2 teenagers, a Senior citizen and 2 adults entertained. It took all of us to get out of the jail in which we eventually found ourselves. Hint- one of the bars is rubber. Don’t panic when your purse gets caught, one of the nice ladies will remove it once the screaming hits a certain decibel.
In an attempt to cover all target audience bases, a “haunted house” was included. I preferred my last experience at the 4-D theater in the Camden Aquarium being spat upon and rocked in my seat by Sponge Bob Square Pants to this jiggly 60’s version which left me nauseous from blurred vision.
No amount of cajoling in either language would convince the uniform clad ticket clerk to sell one of the masks. Perhaps she knew I had plans to re-enter the Magical Dungeon as the “Jailed Avenger.” Maybe that would’ve only been funny to me.
A uniquely Japanese experience, all attractions in Japan have a themed cartoon character. Please meet the Younger of the two Noppon brothers. We spent much of the day discussing two things: What exactly ARE the Noppon brothers and who is Noppon?
I feel obligated to include at least one fact in this post. Like a radio dial, the Tokyo Tower is divided in to sections based on frequency.