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    So, you know, Google Earth is kind of cool, but just how old are those images of Japan? For those whose lives are also 渋谷中心, check this out:


    That section labeled “WTF?!” is the site of the Cerulean Tower Hotel. As you might imagine, that means the parking lot shown…


    …has been gone for quite a while. The darned thing is 40 floors. It opened in 2001. Not even in Japan can they bring two halves of a modular skyscraper on flatbed trucks down National Highway 246, upend them on the foundation, and rivet them together. Maybe I’m seriously missing something, but I’m guessing the image dates from around 1997 or 1998. (The Infos Tower nearby is already there.) I mean, it’s a free service–I’m not being ungrateful, and it’s actually kind of cool to see things where they were right after I’d come to Japan. It’s just odd. Maybe the version you have to shell out for has more up-to-date stuff?

    7 Responses to “隠れん坊”

    1. Toren says:

      Good lord…what did it cost to park there, that close to Shibuya Station? $10 a minute? The mind boggles at what that land was worth.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      No kidding! I’m trying to remember–I used to take walks to clear my head in the middle of the work day a lot, and I’m sure I walked by it all the time. I assume it was by monthly rate, but it was a long time ago, and there would have been no reason to pay especial attention.

      On a lighter note, I got to see the detached houses that used to stand on the site of our current apartment building.

    3. John says:

      I used to jog past that parking lot! I lived where Shibuya, Meguro and Seatagaya kus all intersect (not far from Shimo Kitazawa). It wasn’t that far a jog, and the traffic was not too bad (although it was even better to jog around the Tokyo Fire Department training station over there in either Setagaya or Shibuya ku, I forget where the border was drawn).

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      Did you get to see cute guys working out? Not that you would have cared, or anything–just wondering.

    5. Sam says:

      There’s a much more prosaic reason–there just isn’t that much up to date high resolution imagery available. I don’t know of any high resolution satellites, civilian or military, that has been on a long term high resolution mapping of every square meter of the world mission. There’s just too much to image and not very many satellites. Almost all high resolution imagery was originally requested by someone sometime in the past, and the imagery will be from that time.

    6. Sean Kinsell says:

      Oh, yeah, I mean, I know it’s not a live action cam, or anything. I was just surprised that it was so very far out of date. It never occurred to me that the images could be a decade old. Tokyo seems like one of those cities that would be mapped frequently.

    7. John says:

      Well, yeah, there were a lot of guys working out in the yard when I jogged by. But they had so much equipment on it was hard to tell if they were human, let alone good looking.

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