Tokyo: The Electronics Promised Land

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I’ve never been to Norway, until that happens, I won’t know what it’s like to visit the place of your ancestry. For the last couple days, this question has been spinning through my mind as I took my little Sony camera through the streets of Tokyo.

Not quite the futuristic, Jetson-like city I had first imagined, but Tokyo is definitely many few steps ahead of most. It started at the immigration offices. Passport stamp? I don’t think so — more like a barcode printout with a digital fingerprint scan. Then, the efficiency and precision of the bullet trains was staggering, waitresses took my order on a contraption resembling an iPhone rather than a notepad, and a visit to Akihabara (electronics city, pictured above) offers a dizzying amount of discounted electronics and seizure-inducing street lights.

I did my best to approach this phenomena with indifference — this is Japan after all — until I stepped foot into the Sony showroom in the Ginza area of town. This is where the current and future Sony ideas are on display. Let me tell you, the future is going to be cool. Concert quality earbuds and a home theater Bill Gates would be interested in. Then I turned into Tony Stark from Ironman with the new giant screen touch computers that are on their way. Correction: the future is going to be very cool.

As I walked away from the building I pulled out my Cybershot from my pocket. I took a picture of the sign on the the building and thought, “for this little camera, this must be a lot like the Promised Land.”

With all that I’ve seen and experienced in my short time in Tokyo, I’m becoming convinced it may be a Promised Land for more than just my little point and shoot.

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