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Jerry Pournelle

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

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I stayed at the New Otani Hotel in Chibo. This is a very nice and very modern hotel, across from the Convention Center. Most of the area is accessible by overhead walkways, so that in theory you need never go down to street level at all. The walkways go by your hotel and allow entrance on the second floor, and to the train stations, and buildings full of restaurants, and one-building malls. There is even a public square and park with running stream over a street intersection. The upper levels are clearly nicer and better kept than the lower, and there are glass shields from the strong winds that blow up in the evening.

One afternoon I took a long walk, from my hotel, which appeared to be in the middle of a downtown modern city, down to the beach about half a mile away. I passed several small parks, one large park, and a sports stadium. I went along the beach, then turned to follow a small walkway along a canal. The canal ran through the middle of a series of skyscrapers labeled SHARP and TOSHIBA and SONY.

Here is my walk.

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About a quarter mile from the hotel. This is the Nippon Convention Center where they hold World PC Expo. It is enormous, as you can see: not as large as LVCC, but it's big enough.

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Same view with the telescopic lens of the Olympic 400 DL Zoom. I really like that camera.

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The beach is separated from the city by a strip of trees about 50 feet wide, and some grass. The whole area is overgrown with kudzu, so that it looks a lot like Atlanta.

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They don't make it easy to get to the beach. You have to cross the kudzu barriers and the trees. When you get there you see why they hide it.

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It's pretty well the same as far as you can see. To my left is the strip of trees. It's fenced off here, but there's a hole in the fence, and through the hole a tunnel into the kudzu and trees; were I in the US I'd expect a hobo jungle to be at the end of that well worn path into the fenced off woods. I did NOT go look.

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It all looks like this. There is a meticulously maintained park not a hundred feet from here; but the beach is a mess. Long Beach is similarly located: a beach next to an industrial city. It's kept clean and swept. This looks more like a junkyard; apparently no one cares at all about the actual beach.

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Some people will fish no matter what the conditions...

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There are these areas along the coast, about 50 feet inland from the beach.

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Looking west. I would suppose that's Tokyo itself in the distance.

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Turning inland. That's the sports stadium ahead.

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Not sure why I included this. Heading west by north past the sports stadium.

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That's the sports stadium. I'm circling it to get to the walkway along a canal.

 Click to go to What Is This Place? page
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The stadium parking lot with the Nippon Convention Center dead ahead. Note the TBS truck.

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This is not a hundred yards from skyscrapers. They are building a brand new city out here in Chibo.

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A helicopter has just brought in a VIP to the stadium.

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Going down to the canal walkway. These bicycles have been abandoned. Lord knows how long it has been since anyone cleaned up here.

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The canal. There aren't many birds, but at least you know the canal isn't polluted bad enough that gulls avoid it.

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The canal-side walkway. To the left and above is another, better maintained, walkway, but clearly not many people walk or run along the river (canal) here.

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Detail work. This was intended to be decorative.

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Looking across.

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But while the design was decorative, the maintenance is lacking. The streets above are cleaned daily; but the canal walkway isn't.

Continued tomorrow...