Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 11 Second day in Tokyo

Good morning Tokyo! It feels slightly colder here in Tokyo compare with Fukuoka. Before traveling, i always check Japan meteorological forecast website, i think the predictions are quite accurate. Today's weather prediction is going to rain, so i better carry my umbrella with me.

Waiting for train to Ueno station at Minami-Senju station

This noon after lunch time, i will have an appointment with Mr. Kaz Kobayashi from Welz Animation Studio. I know Mr. Kobayashi previously from the internet, then after i had a plan going to Japan, he invited me to come over to their office in Tokyo. Their office is located at Shibaura, Minatoku. The easiest way to get there is by Yamanote train, then exit at Tamachi station.
Shibaura is a modern business commercial area with several company headquarters are located in here. No wonder it was packed with lots of men and women in suits during lunch time!

Tamachi station

My lunch with Saba fish
Welz Animation Studio office at 4th floor

Welz Animation Studio has been established in Japan about 10 years in CG industry. They have worked with companies like Konami, Yamaha, Nissan, Sony Ericsson, and they made various kinds of products from TV commercials, TV anime series, Pachinko games, dan audio books. 
During office hour, Mr. Kobayashi was kind enough to invited me to come over to his office. I told him that i currently staying at Studio Kura, Fukuoka as residency artist from 3DSense Media School and i'm having a great time staying in Japan. I said "Watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi hanashimasu!" (i can only speak little japanese), but fortunately Mr. Kobayashi can speak english very good so we didn't have any difficulties during our talk. Later on, Mr. Kobayashi explained about how manga and anime has become essential and important part for the japanese culture. Offcourse, we all know how popular Japanese animation really is because of their own style and uniqueness. As for now, japanese animation has already starting to incorporate 3D elements on their CG animation. If last time Japanese were quite strict about their animation style which mostly dominated in 2D animation, now they have started to combine them with 3D animation as well.

After that Mr. Kobayashi show me some of wonderful projects that Welz have done. Mr. Kobayashi explained, that now Pachinko games has already become part of popular demand in CG industry here in Japan. It is so popular that you can find Pachinko games here in almost everywhere. People can play Pachinko for many hours, thanks to the power of storytelling which is nicely blend with stunning and impressive visuals of 3D animation. Therefor, it is important for CG artist not only to have the good skills, but also have a good knowledge about Japanese culture in order to convey a clearer message for the consumer audience. In future, Welz Animation is planning to expand their company and create bigger networks as well to cooperate with foreign countries as well. You can check about Welz Animation Studio on their website on 
At the end, I thanked Mr. Kobayashi for the nice talk and wish him all the best in future.

Having a talk with Mr. Kaz Kobayashi
Mr. Kobayashi with one of their most popular audio book "Kironosekai"
From Welz animation, i went to a place called Odaiba which is not too far from Tamachi and Shimbashi. To get to Odaiba, you need to cross "The Rainbow Bridge" with Yurikamome train or Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line from Shimbashi station.

"The Rainbow Bridge" connecting Odaiba to the heart of Tokyo

You can see Tokyo Tower at the background

Inside Yurikamome train

A 115-meter Ferris wheel, Daikanransha

Decks Tokyo Beach shopping mall

Aqua City shopping center

A great spot to relax enjoying the view of Tokyo bay and sunset

Odaiba was initially built for defensive purposes in the 1850s, dramatically expanded during the late 20th century as a seaport district, and has developed since the 1990s as a major commercial, residential and leisure area. The place has some of Tokyo's boldest architectural creations, such as the Fuji TV Building, Telecom Center and Tokyo Big Sight. You can find two most visited statues here, one near the Aqua Tokyo Beach shopping mall is replica of the Statue of Liberty, and the other side at Diver City shopping center is a "life size" Gundam. Today's Odaiba is a popular shopping and sightseeing destination for Tokyoites and tourists alike.

Replica of the statue of Liberty

This 1:1 (around 10 foot tall) Gundam model is based upon the original RX-78-2 which was made famous in the original Gundam anime series, Mobile Suit Gundam (Kidou Senshi Gundam). On certain timings, they will run a short episode film of Gundam, and the robot later can turn his head, open the the hatch and even have lights and smokes come out from his body. Rain starts falling down in the middle of the show,  lucky i had my umbrella with me. Inside the Diver City shopping mall you can also find Gundam Cafe, so this place really sums up as a most go destination for all die hard Gundam fans!

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