Since a picture is worth a thousand words, and also because I am lazy and don't want to write lots of words, I now present my trip to お台場 Odaiba in picture form!
(Taken from the Yurikamome monorail line headed in to Odaiba. Ryan and I had to meet the walking club at Odaiba, so we got to cheat and took public transit rather than walk over the Rainbow Bridge. To the left is the giant Ferris wheel, to the right the Teleport Building and Sphere.)
(Odaiba's beachfront, with Rainbow Bridge in the background. The part of the beach where we ate lunch with the walking club was farther along; sadly, there was no volleyball going on there.)
(The Main Transmitter. I was kind of surprised the bridge area where we first walked would be open to the public, but the transmitter antenna does make a graceful photograph from there.)
(Teleport Station itself. The way I understand it, the reason the city's only teleporter was built out on Odaiba island, in the middle of Tokyo Bay, was that if it went Akira or something then most of the city could be saved. Of course now we know it's perfectly safe, but back in the early research days they didn't! In any case, the crowded public transit system here needs every means of transportation at its disposal, so it makes sense for them to fund things like this.)
(A Mobius loop. I thought it was funny how much the public art in the area reflected the theme of teleportation. Consider this playground-style reflection on space-time wormholes: You can get in one hole, go around in one full circle to 'where you started,' and you will come out somewhere different-- the interior of the loops! So something that would normally be two separate circles become merged into one, allowing transit between two formerly inaccessible areas.)
(Statue outside the Teleport Building. Another piece of teleportation art I enjoyed. I mean, you have a human figure on one side, an empty form on the other side, connected with lines flowing through the air-- about as direct a visual metaphor for the 'entanglement, transmission, reconstruction' model of teleportation as any I can think of.)
(The Teleport Sphere, where all the magic happens. Apparently it had to be specially insulated from ground tremors and such, so they ended up with this odd construction style of crossed trusses and things. Pesky earthquakes.)
(The Living Matrix. We all went inside the Teleport Building, though only one of us got to go in the Sphere, and this covered one whole side of the lobby. I doubt it was an actual working part of the teleport machinery, but it was beautiful to look at-- multicolored lights playing across a field of grass, suspended sideways on the wall. Very Close Encounters. Squint closely at the bottom of the picture and you can see the red "Pirates of the Caribbean" posters.)
(Arrival. As I said, there was only one guy who got to actually use the teleporter, since it's still pretty restricted at this point. They told us to wait at a certain spot on the patio at a certain time, and they would send him to a point 3 meters off the ground. Of course they had the trampoline they use in most cases, but a bunch of guys wanted to try catching him and they kindly let us. Amazingly I got a shot of him just after he appeared-- I'm not even sure if it's the afterglow or if his leg is still materializing.)
And yes, by the fact that this post exists, you can assume I made it back from Kyoto in one piece. It was a lot of fun, and produced upwards of 400 pictures, so I look forward to sharing at least some of it all soon!