Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tokyo Midtown Lights

(Tree covered in LEDs, next to the LED blanket.)

How to start this...
Living in Tokyo is like being in a shopping mall 5 miles square. There are stores everywhere, and big, flashing signs to direct you away from one store and towards another. Now, imagine that the stores are packed even closer together at the nucleus, and that one of the biggest shopping complexes at that nucleus is large enough to border on the exits of three separate subway lines. That's Tokyo Midtown.

(Part of the LED blanket, from the "pier".)

Midtown put on its second annual Christmas illuminations show this year (2008), and the center piece was a 12,000 LED blanket on the front yard, animated to portray the galaxy, with big constellation pieces in the outer corners. Unfortunately, the animation was designed to be viewed from the rooftop galleries of the neighboring skyscrapers, and was pretty much invisible from the ground. There was one small vantage point from a pier-like structure running along the lawn, about 40 feet off ground level, but it only had enough space to let 4 people see the LED display at one time, and the four people already there ahead of me refused to let anyone else in. So that part of the display was wasted on me. But, the rest of the lights were pretty good.

(Midtown "chapel", this one you sit inside and enjoy.)

There was another chapel here, but unlike the Shinjuku display, this one didn't have the push button panel. Instead, it was more of an acoustic sound scape, and the idea was for the audience to sit inside and watch the lights change colors and patterns. Intriguing simply from a mechanical engineering viewpoint.

(Lights in the Midtown plaza, leading to the main shopping complex.)

I'm not inclined to return here any time soon (too upscale for my pocketbook), but I may be in the minority here. At least, judging by all the people that walked along the light-trimmed trees whispering "sugoi" to themselves.

Youtube link 1.

Youtube link 2.

Youtube Link 3.

(More of the LED blanket.)

(Fiber optic chandelier in the main shopping complex plaza. It changes colors over time.)

(Inside of the "chapel", looking to the ceiling.)

(Tree-lined street near the LED blanket. The lights are actually strings and tubes hanging from metal "baskets" attached to the trunk of the trees.)

(More of the street lights.)

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