Two days in a

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Two days in a row I've been to some of Tokyo's atypical spaces. Yesterday it was Daiba, an island of shopping malls and entertainment complexes. The day before it was the convention center, actually east of Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. It is another planned complex with hotels, office buildings, and the convention center halls.

Both of these places seem foreign--their vastness seems American. Yet of course they are Japanese. Modern Japan continually rebuilds itself using whatever adaptation of international style is practical and attractive.

The Tokyo I'm used to, the one I love, is cramped, crowded and run down. It's full of neon, workers shouting greetings and people stopping in the middle of the street to make a phone call. Not practical or attractive at all. But charming and captivating in its way.

Maybe Daiba and the convention center on the outskirts of the city, are the vanguard of future inner city planning. I hope not.

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