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The final stop on our whirlwind tour was Tokyo, the capital of Japan and a world capital of business and culture. Its size is overwhelming--every time we came out of a subway station, we found ourselves surrounded by dozens of skyscrapers. We had a blast exploring bits and pieces of this sprawling metropolis with Emma and Eli, and on our own.


In Ginza, the shopping district where we stayed in Tokyo


With Emma and Eli outside of the Kokugikan sumo arena


Inside the sumo arena, we watched the first day of the annual autumn sumo tournament


Jesse enjoys a video game requiring to keep time on a drum. The easy levels weren't a problem, but the advanced stages were fiendishly tough to keep up with


Enjoying sushi in Roppongi


The Cavern Club in Roppongi hosts incredibly talented Beatles cover bands nightly. Here we are with the members of Shirokuma Company, one of the two house bands.


An example of the options available on Japanese toilets, including sprayers, deodorant, and the sound of running water


The Tsukiji Fish Market, in central Tokyo, is where thousands of fisherman and fish wholesalers ply their wares to the city's chefs


Squid


Shellfish


Eli admires the huge pieces of bright red tuna


Workers use band saws to section the frozen fish


Octopi and more


Roe


Squid


Asahi Beer's headquarters. The black building on the right is supposed to resemble a beer glass with a "Flame of Gold" (designed by Philippe Starck) on top. We were not surprised to learn that its nickname is the Turd of Gold.


In front of Asakusa Shrine


Jessica pulls a face in front of a statue in Asakusa


A friend of Jesse's at McKinsey introduced him to Nori, business school classmate who lives in Tokyo. As luck would have it, Nori had organized a cruise on a yakatabune around Tokyo Harbor for a number of classmates and co-workers, and he invited us to join them.


On board the ship, which included karaoke and sunken tables loaded with sushi, tempura and bottomless glasses of beer


Yuksa and our host, Nori


Ling Ling, the giant panda, at the Tokyo (Ueno) Zoo


A red panda


Japanese Girl Scouts, so cute in their matching dresses and blue hats


Home to 8 million people, Tokyo's population swells to 12 million on workdays, as commuters stream in on trains from the suburbs. Shibuya Crossing, next to the Shibuya train station, is one of the busiest intersections in the world.

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Jesse stands out from the crowd


Another view of Shibuya Crossing


Entrance to the Shinjuku red light district


Brightly lit signs advertise bars, peep shows and more in the red light district


Skyheart is a "Sexy Attraction Pub"


Top Dandy VIP appears to be the Japanese equivalent of Chippendale's

 

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