Tuesday, 2 October 2007

City of Glass 玻璃之城

I fell in love with riding on the monorail in Tokyo. I first took the ride one evening where the brightly lit city of Tokyo impressed me so much that I decided to take the monorail once more during the day time, just to admire a different set of scenery. And it was certainly a worthwhile journey.

A ride on the Yurikamome Line offers spectacular view of the bay front, the sea and the Rainbow Bridge. What I found particularly fascinating is that the rail tracks are built so close the skyscrappers that I felt like I was travelling through a valley, only there were different kinds of mountains.

A city of glass .... blue, green and white.... everything seems monotone and even the weather played along, as the sky was always gray. It is a kind of feeling hard to explain with words; it is as if all these existed inside a crystal ball, so real yet untouchable.

And the Rainbow Bridge of course! After admiring it's beauty during the night just the other day, I put my camera on standby all throughout the ride so that I can get a few shots of its magnificent beauty by day. So here they are...

Ring's Kiasu Tips: If you take the monorail from Shimbashi, towards the direction of Toyosu, you have got to sit on the left side of the train. It offers the best view of the Rainbow Bridge and sea view. Trust me, it's trial and tested! Naturally, on the return trip, grap the seats on the right side.

I alighted at Aomi(青海)station where the Toyota motor showroom is. Honestly I wasn't planning to go there but since I was on the monorail line going there, I thought there is no harm to drop by.

Why is it call 青海? The sea ain't green... strange.

The Toyota motor showroom. I don't know what is so great about it. Maybe only the guys will drool over it.

The Ferris Wheel. So colourful! Simply looking at it is already delightful.

Zepp Tokyo, a place for concerts.

Travelling tips: Mikey said that my blog is informative, sometimes. Sometimes only. Hmm.. when receive feedback, one should work on improving oneself. I thought I can share with you some travelling tips on the metro, rail and monorail system of Tokyo. Hopefully, this will be informative.

As a traveller, I like to purchase day tickets that can allow me to travel on the various modes of public transport.

(1) One day open ticket on Tokyo Metro only (Yen 710). This will allow you to travel on most of the subway lines in Tokyo. It is almost good enough to take you to most tourist attactions but I prefer option (2) below which I will explain why shortly.

(2) Common one-day ticket for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway (Yen 1,000). For a couple of hundreds Yen more, I would prefer to invest in this type of day ticket. Though you could reach places like Asakusa and Shinjuku with the Tokyo metro lines, I think it is faster to use the Toei Subway. Furthermore, for a person like me, who doesn't plan my trip properly and like to hop onto subway from the nearest station I see, it is best to buy this kind of ticket that offers greater versatility.

(3) Tokyo Combination Ticket (Yen 1,580). With this ticket, you can take the metro and subway as well as the bus and Tokyo JR lines (the train). I see few reasons why a tourist would need this as I haven't found anywhere I'd like to visit that I cannot reach with the subway. Therefore, my 2 cents' worth is, if you really need to ride on a train, buy a separate ticket.

Unfortunately, there isn't a combo ticket that covers the monorail as well.

Many people think that the Tokyo subway system is so complicated that they become apprehensive about it. On the contrary, I think the subway system is comprehensive and the signs and routes are so clearly marked that it is hard to lost your way in it. What I found particularly useful is the estimated distances (30m, 50m, 100m, etc) to the destinations that are clearly marked on the direction signboards. They gave me assurance from time to time that I am walking towards the correction directions.

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