The 38-Story “Otsu Mary”

One of the tallest buildings around here is the 38-story “Otsu Mary” building in Otsu City, Japan, over the small mountains to Kyoto's east. Zak lives near there, so I've seen it from outside many times, but got a chance to go inside today while accompanying him and his family to a small dinner gathering.

Here's a picture I happened to have taken earlier in the fall from the aforementioned mountains that shows the six-year-old building...

38-Story “Otsu Mary” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm — 1/350 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
38-Story “Otsu Mary”

The dinner was on the 27th floor, so I thought we'd be treated to some nice views, but the big surprise was to find out that it's hollow.

Inside Looking Up -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Inside Looking Up

The picture above is taken from the same place that Zak is standing in the shot below.

Zak Putting his Wide Angle to Good Use -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak Putting his Wide Angle to Good Use

The bottom of the hollow area is filled with water, with a gazebo in the middle. The gazebo would have been a perfect place to take a straight-up picture if it weren't for its roof being in the way. So, about the only place to get a nice shot looking up is to shimmy out the edge of the pool with your back against the outside of an elevator shaft.

In the shot above, Anthony looks on from the lobby window.

Somewhere -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Somewhere

There are 587 units in the building, and it wouldn't surprise me if the cleaning lady (in pink, just left of center in the shot above) feels that she's dusting the same railing all day. At least she doesn't have to do it alone; when I took this shot, there was another lady in pink several floors above her, just out of frame to the left.

Looking Down from the 38th Floor -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Down from the 38th Floor

We visited the top, of course, and enjoyed the photographic opportunities. I'm fine with heights so long as I'm not leaning directly over, so I was just a tat uneasy while taking the shot above.

Looking down, you can see the gazebo roof in the middle, with the reflection from the water around it. The column running halfway up the center is the elevator shaft mentioned earlier, which serves just the lower 16 floors. (Other elevators serve other sets of floors, of course.)

I see online that there's a grand unit for sale on the 37th floor. It's a regal 1,730 square feet, and at today's exchange rate, runs about $675,000.

View with Zak's 10mm Wide Angle -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm — 1/40 sec, f/4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
View with Zak's 10mm Wide Angle
The Angles from a Different Angle -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + 10-20mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm — 1/45 sec, f/4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
The Angles from a Different Angle
Photography from the 27th Floor -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Photography from the 27th Floor
Gazebo and Water -- Otsu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 45mm — 1/40 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Gazebo and Water

All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

I used to be less scared of heights, but as I got older, ……. wisdom maybe. I notice no neck strap to keep from dropping camera. Brave guys.

Mel

— comment by Mel Lammers on December 9th, 2007 at 3:27am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

I highly doubt that vacancy within the Mary is still there. When we were house-shopping last year we found that real estate agents would leave the best properties on their websites even after they had been sold. It’s bait. You then call to ask about the really nice property, but then get told, “Sorry, that’s no longer available. Can we show you this piece of @#$@#% instead?”

— comment by Zak on December 9th, 2007 at 9:16am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

I wonder how big of a splash a penny tossed from the 37th floor railing would make? I’ll bet innumerable small boys have already done that particular physics experiment.

— comment by Marcina on December 9th, 2007 at 11:22am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

Ha, on the same day, maybe at the same time, I was in the other ridiculously tall and oddly-shaped building in Otsu, the Otsu Prince Hotel.

— comment by nils on December 10th, 2007 at 11:22am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink
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