Well, well, well... here I am back among the Japanese sims in Second Life. I would like to thank Nick, who works as a teacher in Japan, for giving me the SLURL for the virtual Tokyo Tower. This is not, as you might expect, on the Tokyo Tower sim, but instead is on Dejima, part of a 3-sim cluster that also includes NTT Docomo (discussed later).
The Tokyo Tower is, as you can see below, strongly influenced by its far older Parisian cousin, the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most obvious landmarks in Tokyo, in part due to its garish white and orange colour scheme - apparently the result of air safety regulations. It has an observation deck at 150 metres which affords a spectacular view of south Tokyo and the district of Roppongi. The virtual tower sits at the centre of the Dejima sim. Around it you will find sky-diving activities, a music venue, an outdoor movie theatre and a few other buildings. One of these is closed to visitors, and belongs to Digital Marketing Inc., who seem to manage the content for the many video screens on the sim. Although largely complete, there are still parts of the sim that are under construction. There is also a bug in the lift mechanism inside the tower: it is permanently stuck on the ground floor, its door flickering between open and closed states, while a voice repeatedly yammers "the ground floor" at you. Anyway, here it is:
And here's a couple of photos of the RL tower that I snapped earlier this year:
From Tokyo Island, if you look to the South West, you will see in the distance an enormous upturned hemisphere floating in the sky. It looks big enough, but as you approach it, you realise it is huge, covering almost the entire sim over which it floats. This is the virtual home of leading Japanese telecommunications firm, NTT DoCoMo. A skyscraper rises from the centre of the hemisphere, but it is on the surface that you will find most of the action. There is information about kids' phones, a telco museum and a shop, with links to the NTT DoCoMo website where you can buy the phones displayed. High above the site sits a strange assembly of blue blocks. A teleport will take you up here, where you will find a ski jump (of sorts). I say "of sorts", because instead of skis, you will be jumping aboard a giant mobile phone (cellphone if you prefer). My effort proved rather pathetic, but that was before I discovered the "Rainbow flight" bracelet, which seems to offer some extra lift. It looks quite nice - but the enjoyment value was not that great. Maybe it works better for competitions.
Since the company is selling phones as well as services, it is no surprise to find the place strewn with giant phones:
Finally, I see that Torley was here about 12 weeks ago, and has some nice snaps.