Posted by: leospurr | May 3, 2009

And so the Gold starts flowing…

54 stories to go

54 stories to go

This upcoming week in Japan marks the long-awaited for “Golden Week”.  It is technically three days of holidays – running from May 3-5. This year starts on Sunday with Constitution Memorial Day, followed by Green Day, then Children’s Day on Tuesday.  However, because one of the holidays falls on the weekend, an extra freebie holiday is applied to Wednesday, furikae kyujitsu!  Are you keeping up?  Regardless, most companies will be closed the entire week, and my school is no exception!  Classmates and friends are taking trips throughout Japan, as well as overseas.  Putting my well-honed analytical skills to use (and because I’m cheap), I’ve decided to stay put in Tokyo, because everyone else will be leaving Tokyo, and we’ll have the whole city to ourselves! 

Serious work requires uber concentration

Serious work requires uber concentration

We started our stayput adventures today with a visit to one of Tokyo’s tallest skyscapers – the Mori tower at Roppongi Hills  I see this monstrosity of architecture almost daily, and have heard of it’s fanstastic views from its observation deck.  The true inspiration was from a poster I saw in the subways that advertised a special “Kids Sky Park” open just for Golden Week .  It seemed like a fun way to spend a few hours.  We were there for SIX hours, and the boys didn’t want to leave when I finally persuaded them it was time to head back home.  During non-holiday periods, the 52nd floor hosts Tokyo City View with a 360 degree observation deck to see Tokyo.   For the remainder of the week, the 52nd floor will be overrun with kids of all ages, dragging their parents through all of the totally fun play areas.  The play areas were constructed by a Japanese importer of European toys called BorneLund.  I am now their biggest fan!    David was glued to a cool building fort area where he literally worked for hours with a wrench and bolts.  Chris spent most of his time in the rolling bubble ball.  It was great physical and mental work for the boys.   There was also a station where the boys could color their own carp balloon, write their wishes for the year, and then release them from the helo deck on the roof of the building.  David was more interested in his building mission, so Chris and I colored balloons.  Chris wrote, “I want Super Mario Sunshine (for real!)”  His punctuation and spelling were impeccable – who could deny the kid his only wish for the year??  We released the balloons from the helo port, and with dismay watched the balloons actually DESCEND from the top of the building – I think they landed near the Emperor’s private residence.  Hope he pulls through with that Super Mario Sunshine wish!


Rolling bubble ball!!

Carp balloons in flight

Carp balloons in flight

With the kids fully engaged, I got to see the latest exhibition at the Mori Art Museum  without interruption, and pretended to be inspired and awed by the 12 hanging disco balls that were reflecting light in a darkened room, and the y-shaped circle of lightbulbs flashing on and off.  I’ve frankly been more mesmerized and inspired by watching flashing Christmas tree lights, but hey, that’s just my lack of modern art appreciation.    The one piece that I really wanted to see, I mean interact with – a huge rolling silver pinball machine-like ball that you had to move out of the way so as not get hit while you appreciated all the reflections of light and customers – was “out of order”.  Someone must not have gotten out of the way fast enough.



  1. Super Mario Sunshine, best GameCube game we ever played. You can’t go wrong with that! Plus it’ll give you something to do; keep you from getting bored.

  2. Sounds like staying in Tokyo for Golden Week has really payed off! You found some great activities. Both we and the Pipes say hi from Seoul!

  3. Actually that analysis was waaaay off, if the mob we encountered yesterday in Harajuku was any indication. Everyone has “ascended” to Tokyo so they could attend the opening of the Forever 21 store – go figure! Love the pics from Korea – looks like you’re enjoying it!

  4. Wow–6 hours. I don’t think my boys have been engaged in anything for 6 hours. Very cool!

    • You’ll start pulling your hair out about those daggone Nintendo DSs soon – they’ll want to be on them for hours!

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