Tokyo on Ferrari (跑车内看东京)

THE most expensive apartment in Tokyo

THE most expensive apartment in Tokyo

I was very fortunate to have the chance of catching up with a friend and his family in Japan during my stay in Tokyo. Not to mention the pleasure of bunking into a guest room at their apartment during the weekend – everybody knows how expensive the hotel rates are in Tokyo! I was initially expecting a (small) traditional Japanese apartment with cozy tatamis, but was only to be astonished by the fact that I was staying in Tokyo’s most expensive apartment! A whooping USD 18K is but only a month’s rental fee…..

这次的东京之旅很有幸地跟一位身居日本的朋友再次相会。原本以为我会住在一间“民宿”,体验一下当地人的生活方式。未能料想,我竟住进了东京租金最昂贵的高档公寓!跟想象中的榻榻米与小饭桌有很大的出入。哈哈!

大门深锁,与世隔绝

大门深锁,与世隔绝

There were at least 3 high-tech electronic gates that would prevent any unintended guest from getting close to the residential areas. No wonder this apartment is one of the favourites among Tokyo’s celebrated public figures.

不愧是明星、政治家与企业家聚集的豪宅,单单需要扫描或拨电解除电动门锁的“机关”便有3层,足以将任何的不速之客闭门在外!

All-automated carpark. Fanciful.  全自动停车场

All-automated carpark. Fanciful.
全自动停车场

Not to mention how fanciful the various function rooms, pet washing room (yes, there is one!) and car parks are. 90% of the cars parked at the residential parking lots were high-end sports cars, giving one the illusion of walking into a car exhibition showroom. To bring that jaw-dropping astonishment to the next level, there was an all-automated “valet” parking system which demanded nothing but only the driver’s press on the buttons in order to fetch his/her car from the underground lots.

And vroom vroom, we were all set to have a ride outside!

公寓内的许多设施都是自动化的,最令人咂舌的那个全自动的停车间。只需几个按钮,你的驾坐便会从地底的停车场“浮现”在面前。

Never imagined I'd be driven around on a Ferrari one day...

Ferrari coupé cabriolet by the Tokyo Bay. Matching shades of blue.

I have seen many dashing Ferraris flaunting themselves on the road, but have never thought of being driven on a coupé cabriolet before. Though I’m not a fan of these big boys’ toys, I was told that the particular model I sat on belongs to a limited edition version with only 10 other twin siblings in Japan.

Other than a plush blue Ferrari on Saturday, I was also being driven around on a black Porsche SUV on Sunday (sorry folks, I forgot to snap a picture of the Porsche…)

Accelerator stepped, engines roared, hardtop retracted, heads turned, momentary vanity granted.

On a less than 2 hours sightseeing trip, I could hardly say that I “have been” to the various key attractions in Tokyo. Literally, it was a sightseeing trip, as I did not manage to get down the car, except for a 5 minutes rest by the Tokyo Bay.

DSC_3289_2

向来对车子不敏感的我,没想到能够有机会乘着一辆全日本仅11辆的限量版法拉利开篷跑车穿梭于东京的繁华街区。隔天,竟然又坐着一辆拉风的黑色保时捷去下北泽吃午餐(忘了拍张车子的照片)。

人生旅途上就是因为这些“没想到”而变得有趣吧!

浑厚阳刚的引擎声,20度的温柔阳光,以及道路两旁路人投来的目光。。。只能说这是个有别一般的观光之旅。而且,真的就只是两小时的观光, 因为除了在东京湾的5分钟逗留时间,全程没有下车的机会。

DSC_3246_2

如果感觉东京铁塔与巴黎铁塔有着异曲同工之处,那不奇怪。因为它正是以巴黎铁塔为范本而建造。去年2月,它的“日本最高建筑”头衔正式被东京晴空塔(又名东京天空树/Tokyo Skytree)取代。现主要作为瞭望观赏台以及旅游景点之用。

The iconic Tokyo Tower 东京铁塔

The iconic Tokyo Tower
东京铁塔

Did it ever cross your mind that there is a resemblance between the Tokyo Tower and the Eiffel Tower in Paris? That’s simply because an Eiffel-Tower-lookalike was what the Tokyo Tower was meant to be! Not very original yea? :P

Perhaps due to its juxtaposition to a modern surrounding, the vibe of the Tokyo Tower swings toward modernity. I look forward to witnessing the historic grandeur of the Eiffel Tower one day!

20度的阳光,刚刚好。

20度的阳光,刚刚好。

Daikanransha (おだいば) - one of world's largest ferris wheels
Daikanransha – one of world’s largest Ferris wheels

Standing proud as the world’s tallest till 2000, the Daikanransha (おだいば) still remains as one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels after The Singapore Flyer and The London Eye.

Round and round it goes, up and down it goes, our Ferris wheel of life.

俯瞰御台場(おだいば)的五彩城摩天轮(パレットタウン大観覧車)曾是世界最高的摩天轮,直到2000年伦敦眼开幕。现今的“世界之最”是新加坡的摩天观景轮(Singapore Flyer)。虽然我是个新加坡人,但不得不说,五彩城摩天轮是我心中的“之最”。比起绚丽璀璨的夜间装饰灯,我更倾心于阳光下五彩缤纷的乘客舱,感觉仿佛回到了儿时的游乐场。

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A driving range in the house?!? 住宅内的高尔夫球练习场... 有必要吗??

A driving range in the house?!?
住宅内的高尔夫球练习场… 有必要吗??

Guess who stays behind this mega high wall,

who has a driving range in his house,

who’s the most wealthy man in Japan today?

It’s the CEO of Uniqlo – Mr Tadashi Yanai.

I was surprised by this answer because one would expect the wealthiest family to be associated with one of those conglomerates like Mitsubishi or automobile giant like Honda. Interestingly, the reason these families (despite still being extraordinarily wealthy) fall off the richest chart is the punishingly high inheritance tax in Japan – up to 50% (especially on properties). The more heirs one has, the less each heir gets. Hence, one can easily imagine the magnitude at which old family businesses are split up, after going through public listing and a few generations of inheritance.

住在这堵高墙后的是日本最富裕之家。猜猜看这座建在东京最昂贵地段的豪宅究竟大到什么程度?游泳池不算稀奇,这里面竟然有个高尔夫球练习场!再猜猜,谁是当今的日本首富?

他不是本田企业的后代,也不跟三菱财阀有什么关系。他是优衣库(Uniqlo)的创始人兼总裁-柳井正。

优衣库之所以成功,主要有两大原因。一是柳井正在创业初期看准了中国的低价服装制造业的潜力,迅速地在日本扩张其低价却品质不差的服装业务;第二则是柳井正的长远国际观。在国内业绩稳定的时期,他并没有因此而怠慢,反而加快脚步趁着全球化的趋势而迅速扩张国际市场。当今的优衣库已是全球第五大平价服饰品牌(在 Zara, H&M, Gap, 与 The Limited 之后)。

The 6th avenue of Tokyo 东京富人区
The 6th avenue of Tokyo
东京富人区

I’ve gotten a glimpse and a microscopic slice of the high life during my weekend stay. The best part of that? Is the realisation of what wealth can and cannot bring to one’s life. The more we own, the less we have. No doubt one should strive towards a higher standard and quality of life, but it does not mean the optimum is excessive luxury. Do we need to have driving ranges at home? Do we have to own a Airbus A380? Do we want to live in houses with walls that provide security level as high as prisons?

To each his own. But I guess ultimately everyone hopes to live a carefree and contented life which glitters in its own unique way, and that we would have no hesitance in riding through the entire journey all over again. :)

这个另类的周末让我浅尝了一口高档生活的滋味。最开心的是,我从中带走的并不是一摞子的羡慕或是任何对现状的不满,而是对上流社会的更深一步了解,包括其中毫不值得宣扬的极端表现。

人生,拥有的越多,得到的越少。

与其坐在豪华跑车内走马观花,我还是比较向往自在地步行于大街小巷,用心体会异国的风情、品尝他乡的滋味、聆听陌生却令人振奋人心的脉搏。

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  1. Pingback: What did I do when I first crossed that quarter of a century? | Travelgraphy

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