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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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March 07, 2006
Osaka (Part 2) The Shin-Umeda Floating Garden Observatory
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

What is that and who would have built that thing?, I had asked.


I decided to go inspect the place. As you get closer you can see some interior superstructure that looks very interesting.


If nothing else, it's superb urban landscape.


From the front, it could be mistaken for one of those right angle Tokyo buildings.


But from the side, it's definitely Beam me up Scotty!


Now, what's all that about again?


There's definitely a lot of folks walking through there.


And they go up and down there to the right.


OK, I'll bite. How much to go up? At this week's rate it was between 5 and 6 bucks. What the heck, I'm a tourist, go for it.


The ride up the open elevator shaft is 35 floors and is as much fun as most any amusement park ride - well, if you're an old guy like me. If you have a fear of heights, definitely close your eyes.


And that's not all folks. Once you get to the top of the elevator shaft, you get on an escalator that goes up those 45 degree shafts and ride up five more floors. A open view escalator at about 500 feet? Whoa!


They call it the Floating Garden Observatory.


It's not really floating, It just feels that way. There's the big circular hole in the middle. And an open walkway on the very top - almost 600 feet from the ground.


The upper walkway provides a large venue for a 360 degree view of Osaka.


And at every point of the compass... North...






And West... there are building as far as the horizon.

And not like in Los Angeles, where the entire valley is filled with buildings. Osaka is filled with skyscrapers as far as the eye can see. It's the most substantial difference between the huge cities in Japan and those in the US. In the US there may be several 'downtown' areas where there are stands of tall buildings. In Japan, they've had to build up everywhere.

Officially, there are about ten million souls here.

It is staggering to behold.


That's my hotel - the Hotel Monterrey Osaka - a Euro style hotel dwarfed among the giant buildings around it.


That looks a little like my neighbor Pete's large scale model train in his back yard - except his perspective is from 20 feet - this is miles away.


The river runs East/West to the north of Osaka city proper (if you can call it that), and there are bridges across the river as far as you can see.


After a while, the sun begins to fade into the west. I think I'll stay and watch the sun set. And take entirely too many pictures.

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People Pulling

Trust you to get on top of things. The photos are extraordinary.

Posted by: Diana at Mar 7, 2006 7:06:47 AM

That building is wicked cool! And there's no such thing as taking too many pictures, silly!

Posted by: jan at Mar 9, 2006 5:05:10 PM

Your pictures are great. I have been there and my pictures didn't give justice to the magnificence of the building which your pictures had.

Posted by: rhyss at Jul 4, 2007 3:23:45 AM

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