Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sings of the Right Light

We left Kyoto, although I could have happily spent the rest of our remaining time there. From Kyoto station, we took the Shinkansen to Tokyo; a serene ride to an overcrowded city. Upon arrival, it took us a while to get our bearings straight and we had plenty of time to adjust to the city that (as we would find out to be true) never sleeps. The first thing that caught my attention was the way that Tokyo used lights. There were attention grabbing sights in Kyoto, but many of them were centuries old. This was in stark contrast to the high-tech competitive nature of Tokyo. I took advantage of our downtime to capture the following raw footage of a sign near our subway station exit.

Much like the digital age travelers we were, much like the city, and much like the “mono no aware” nature of things, this sign encapsulated a part of everything. Like most everything we have experienced here, I did not understand the sign. I did, however, understand some universal emotions upon looking at the lights; fascination, awe, an impression. Of course there are hundreds if not thousands of signs like this one, but it was really my first look at Tokyo. Shortly after this was filmed, I saw another usage of light play in the city. Located next to our hostel is a hotel where patrons can pay for either a full night or merely take a “rest” for a cheaper bill. The ever-changing-chromatically-lit sign for the hotel can be seen for miles around Senso-ji (the temple near our hostel). The following was filmed right outside our rooms.

These signs go to show that for advertising in Japan, many times it's just a matter of the right light.

Feel free to check up on my thread on to read more about my adventures in Japan.

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