Bigger, Better, Louder

The perfect store from the outside at least, for a middle schooler and his teacher father.  Located on Cat Street in one of Tokyo's many hip neighborhoods near Shibuya.
The perfect store from the outside at least, for a middle schooler and his teacher father. Located on Cat Street in one of Tokyo’s many hip neighborhoods near Shibuya.
On our quest to walk in Bill Murray's, "Lost in Translation" footsteps, we happened upon streets near Shinjuku  Station where the final scenes of the movie with Bill  whispering something in Scarlett Johansson's ear were filmed.  What that is will probably never be known, which of course is what makes it all the better.
On our quest to walk in Bill Murray’s, “Lost in Translation” footsteps, we happened upon streets near Shinjuku Station where the final scenes of the movie with Bill whispering something in Scarlett Johansson’s ear were filmed. What that is will probably never be known, which of course is what makes it all the better.
Yoyogi Station with its mini Empire State Building (to match the min Statue of Liberty in Odaiba perhaps)
Yoyogi Station with its mini Empire State Building (to match the mini Statue of Liberty in Odaiba perhaps)

Alex take a long penny-board ride down the gentle hill and mostly pedestrian Cat Street near Shibuya.  Alex asked for a skateboard even before we moved to China, but finally got his wish after a visit from a skateboard shop on Cat Street.
Alex take a long penny-board ride down the gentle hill and mostly pedestrian Cat Street near Shibuya. Alex asked for a skateboard even before we moved to China, but finally got his wish after a visit from a skateboard shop on Cat Street.
Despite being one of the mostly densely-populated cities in the world, Tokyo feels safe for pedestrians and skateboarding teens alike.
Despite being one of the mostly densely-populated cities in the world, Tokyo feels safe for pedestrians and skateboarding teens alike.

Reflections of neighboring buildings take on a diamond effect on a mirrored building on Jinnan Street in Tokyo.
Reflections of neighboring buildings take on a diamond effect on a mirrored building on Jinnan Street in Tokyo.
Elevated subway cars head into the final half mile to the world's busiest train station at Shibuya in central Tokyo.
Elevated subway cars head into the final half mile to the world’s busiest train station at Shibuya in central Tokyo.
Weathered doors and locks on an old and abandoned shop near Cat Street reveal  their own story.
Weathered doors and locks on an old and abandoned shop near Cat Street reveal their own story.
Hachiko Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world, is named after the loyal Akita dog once belonging to a university professor Ueno. Each day, the dog would wait for the man to return to Shibuya station for the walk home.  Even after the professor died, the dog continued to show up each day and wait. The dog waited every day for 9 more years until he himself died in 1935.  The dog's loyalty became a lesson for all Japanese school children, and a life-size statue of the dog and a mosaic adorn the busy plaza outside the train station today.
Hachiko Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world, is named after the loyal Akita dog once belonging to a university professor Ueno. Each day, the dog would wait for the man to return to Shibuya station for the walk home. Even after the professor died, the dog continued to show up each day and wait. The dog waited every day for 9 more years until he himself died in 1935. The dog’s loyalty became a lesson for all Japanese school children, and a life-size statue of the dog and a mosaic adorn the busy plaza outside the train station today.
Hachiko in bronze-the original was melted down for bombs in World War II outside of Shibuya Station is one of the most popular meeting places in all of Tokyo.
Hachiko in bronze-the original was melted down for bombs in World War II outside of Shibuya Station is one of the most popular meeting places in all of Tokyo.
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the 122nd Emperor of Japan Meiji and his wife Shoken, although the pair are buried in Kyoto. Alex and I are standing in front of a Torii gate leading to the main shrine and gardens.  100, 000 trees were donated from all parts of Japan to help fill in the forest that surrounds the shrine's 175 wooded acres. Hillary Clinton on her first official overseas trip as Secretary of State under newly elected President Obama, visited the site in 2009 to show her respect for the Japanese culture and people.
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the 122nd Emperor of Japan Meiji and his wife Shoken, although the pair are buried in Kyoto. Alex and I are standing in front of a Torii gate leading to the main shrine and gardens. 100, 000 trees were donated from all parts of Japan to help fill in the forest that surrounds the shrine’s 175 wooded acres. Hillary Clinton on her first official overseas trip as Secretary of State under newly elected President Obama, visited the site in 2009 to show her respect for the Japanese culture and people.
One of Tokyo's old streetcars is now a tourist information center.
One of Tokyo’s old streetcars is now a tourist information center.
A couple hipsters hang outside of the Hachiko Crossing subway station near the Starbucks.
A couple hipsters hang outside of the Hachiko Crossing subway station near the Starbucks.
A train overpass heading into a nearby station in Tokyo.
A train overpass heading into a nearby station in Tokyo.

The Rolling Stones logos adorn a neighborhood wall.
The Rolling Stones logos adorn a neighborhood wall.
Alex poses under a sign along a side street in Tokyo. Alex poses under a sign along a side street in Tokyo.[/caption]

Tokyo lights up after dark with neon, cars, and thousands of pedestrians, revealing clearly why the set designers for the futuristic science fiction film, Bladerunner, relied heavily on the city for inspiration.
Tokyo lights up after dark with neon, cars, and thousands of pedestrians, revealing clearly why the set designers for the futuristic science fiction film, Bladerunner, relied heavily on the city for inspiration.
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