Life in Japan 2003/2004

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Apple Store Ginza
Life in Japan 2003/2004 Thanksgiving | Main | Satoshi and Ayu's Wedding

December 04, 2003

Apple Store Ginza

On Sunday November 30th, Apple computers opened their first international retail store in Tokyo, Japan. Instead of placing the store in Tokyo's computer and electronic center Akihabara, they choose the upscale shopping district of Ginza. De and myself were two of the first 10,000 people that were there to see this milestone in Apple retail history.

The store was scheduled to open at 10AM, and we got there a little after 9:30AM. This was not early enough to be one of the first 2500 who received a special Apple gift. Not by a long shot! At 9:30 the line was already 10 blocks long. While De walked to the end of the line to secure a place for us, I took a few pictures of the first people entering the store. There was a exciting buzz in the air. Steve Jobs was on hand to celebrate the grand opening. I ran back to find De and our place in line. It was a far walk from all the excitement at the front of the line. It didn't help much that it was raining on this happy Apple day. I found De and settled into our spot in line. After about 30 minutes we struck up a conversation with the couple in line behind us, John and Etsuko. They were teachers in Osaka, but moved to Tokyo four years ago to be teachers at private schools. Spirits were high and soon after 10AM the rain stopped and the line was moving at a semi-constant pace. As our conversation with John and Etsuko continued we learned that besides being a Mac fan John was born and raised in San Francisco. This gave us hours of conversation material.

Our plan was to just check out the Apple store and met up with Kaori and Yuko for lunch. We had no idea that every Mac user on the Kanto plain had the same idea as us. As it turned out, when the time that we had planned to met Kaori and Yuko came, we were still in line. So we called them and asked them to join us. At this point we had been standing in line for about 2 and a half hours, but we honestly didn't feel bad. We had a good time. After 4 and half hours we stepped through the doors of the store. Every group of customers entering the store was meet with cheering and clapping by the Apple Staff. We were so excited to be inside the store we cheered and clapped with them! The store was cool. It was the nicest Apple store I have ever been to. To make a long story short we walked around the store for about a hour with Yuko and her friend Kayoko, checking out the new 20" iMac, G5's , and the new Powerbooks.

You can view our pictures here.

See pictures from the Apple site here. Posted by brian at December 4, 2003 12:28 AM

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