Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Presidential Visit

President Obama is here in Tokyo right now!  Raku and I are working in a Starbucks where we saw VP Biden's entourage a few months ago, hoping we get lucky again, but so far nothing.  We're pretty close to the action and it's been interesting to see how Tokyo prepared for the visit.  Last week major train stations stopped letting people use the coin lockers, and I've heard the trashcans are closed down too, not that they're easy to find on a good day.

We live in Akasaka, the same neighborhood as the Prime Minister's residence, and there has been a huge police presence since the beginning of April.  Seriously, at least one officer on every corner plus others on patrol.  John's office is just around the corner from the hotel the president is staying in, and he said security is crazy.  When he left work yesterday, right around the time that Obama arrived, the streets were closed down and police were requiring ID of anyone trying to walk into the area.

Last night we went to the Mori Art Museum, which has a really great Andy Warhol exhibit right now, and I noticed that the colored lights around the top of Mori Tower had been changed to red, white, and blue.  Mori Art Museum is really a fantastic place in Tokyo.  They don't have a permanent collection, but they always have great shows (I've been to the last four).  The best part is that it's on the 52nd floor, and included in the ticket price is admission onto their observation deck - one of the best views of Tokyo, in my opinion.  There are several bar/cafe places up there too, and they're almost never crowded.  From the view last night we noticed that Tokyo Tower has gotten in on the fun, changing it's lights to red and white stripes with a block of blue at the top.  My picture is pretty terrible, but lets blame John for that, I'll try to get a better one tomorrow night.

Tokyo View with Warhol Exhibit Reflected in Background

Tokyo Tower Dressed Up Like the American Flag

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