To mark the centennial of the Tokyo Station building a special light was held on the 20th of December which marks the exact 100 year birthday of the station. The building has been through wars and Earthquakes but after a recent five year long renovation project it looks better than ever right now. The light show on the more neglected Yaesu side of the station will keep going for a few more weeks though, although without the special text messages. A good place to take walk when the weather is not too rough! The 20th saw quite a lot of rain and very very cold winds.
Nothing blingy today, I just loved the orangey light over these streets of Ginza so I had to take some photos and share with you. Technically the first few photos are of buildings to the south east of Tokyo station, Yaesu. Recently there’s been quite a lot of new construction in the area but there’s a few older building still around to show us what Ginza used to look like as it was rebuilt after the war. One of my favorite areas of Tokyo!
Sometimes, when you least expect it you can get reminded about the fact that Japan wasn’t always this peaceful and there are still a handful ongoing territorial disputes with other Asian countries over islands around Japan. Probably the biggest dispute is the one about the Kuril Islands, or the Northern Territories as they are sometimes known in Japan, or Sakhalin in Russia. Here’s one old sign that has been stood in front of Tokyo station, at the Yeasu side, for decades, reminding people who pass by not to forget the people who once lived on the Kuril Islands up north off the coast of Hokkaido. The sign reads: 北方の領土 かえる日 平和の日, which loosely translates as “The day the Northern Territories are returned is the day of peace.” The islands were divided between Russia and Japan a century and a half ago but they have changed hands over the course of two major wars and even to this day there are sometimes shots fired over the matter. These signs and sometimes statues are set up by interest groups and more or less tolerated by the government who prefer to handle foreign diplomacy on their own. But apart from the matter with the Northern Territories, Japan and Russia have a very good relationship, which is good since they are very close neighbors and share a lot of history.