Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tama-center (多摩センター)and Warner-Mycal Cinemas

Tama Center is a small but neat town further from Tokyo's center than Mitaka. To get there from Mitaka (and in particular where I live in Mitaka) one needs to take the bus (either Odakyu[小田急] or Keio [京王] 14 or Odakyu 6 from Mitaka City Hall stop [三鷹市役所前]) to Chofu Train Station (調布駅). The trip from there to the Tama Center Station takes about 15-20 minutes and stops along the way include the Yomiru Land which I may check out later on a sunny day.

The first thing that greets you at the Tama Center Station is a big sign proclaiming this to be the "Hello Kitty's Town". The main pedestrian way seems to stretch between the train station and a large number of stairs with huge Hello Kitty inflatable "statues". Since this is the Christmas/New Year's time there is also a huge lit Christmas Tree and the whole walkway is flanked by smaller trees.

On a sideroad from the main pedestrian way lies the Hello Kitty/Sanrio Puro Land. I have not actually been inside - I think I will be waiting for my sister's visit (she is a huge fan) before I try going into this... cute and cuddly... place. I did see quite a few tourists around which may explain all the English translations around on signs and menus.

The place in general feels very new and the movie theatre is one of the reasons for this. The Warner-Mycal Cinemas is one of the few places around which has Digital 3D - this lets the audience enjoy new movies using Real3D glasses with a "perceived 3D effect". I must say I was pleasantly surprised - I watched Beowulf there in 3D and not only was the movie rendered in impressive 3D with perspectives/depth added in pretty much all shots but also I did not get a headache after the 2 hr long movie. This is a welcome change compared to the head splitting experience of watching Spy Kids 3D (yes I did watch that movie but I swear it was in the name of watching something in 3D). They also use the nice plastic Real 3D glasses as opposed to the cardboardy cheap glasses used with the earlier 3D movies (which could be shown without extra equipment). The movies are very expensive in Tokyo - the standard price for a new movie is around 1800円 - in this particular case I had to pay 200円 extra for the glasses (which you get to keep so for the next movie I will not need to get glasses again).

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