Archive for January, 2009

Week II

Japan – Kyoto, Tokyo (postscript from the 3rd Feb)

Alright, I broke a contract of mine, I went to a mcdonald restaurant. But I assure you, I only had ice cream and watched the Japanese society at its decline. I just used the environment to backup pictures and to write down stuff. You see, a few days ago my camera – I know, I should have already bought a new one – had a problem with the memory card. All photos were lost, and that all happened at my perfect jump location. Now, imagine some terrified Austrian guy with camera and equipment sitting at the side of those orange shrines in the hills somewhere in the suburbs of Kyoto trying to fix his camera.
Anyway, the pictures were lost, but the camera works again, just my trust is a bit flushed down the sink. Update: the memory card seems now completely gone to a better life.

Still, I made my first self-made jump picture and proudly present it:
jumping

What else is there to summarise about Japan? I’m starting to like Japanese fashion somehow, but also to dislike their food a bit. And, the rare fish is the least problem.
Also, Kyoto is colder than Tokyo. Nevertheless the weather was much sunnier. Come to Japan if you want to hear police-cars excusing their fast speed, understand why Japanese don’t like to talk english and get defeated by toilets. Just remember: 7-hour nightbus-trips are the worst.

– dragons and wells, funny food presentations
dragon well food
– kyotos famous golden temple, and Kiyomizu temple (on stilts)
golden temple Kiyomizu temple
– a lot of stuff (tuna) at Tokyos fish market and the final result
tuna basic sushi set
– and: drink vending machines, skyscraper and huge shopping malls..
vending machine shinjuku skyscraper around shibuya

Next stop: Auckland tomorrow afternoon.

January 31, 2009 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Week I

Japan – Narita, Tokyo

Forget everything you’ve heard – it’s all different anyway. Well, maybe not everything but a lot. Reality is like realising that the black box of an airplane isn’t black at all. Actually, I didn’t see one myself, but that’s what you learn when you’re caught in a plane – for eight hours.
So what about Japan? The people aren’t that small. Now, they are a bit smaller than average, which is enough that you might find stairs, toilet rooms and things that hang from temple ceilings a little small or low designed. In general you might say Tokyo is a bit into extremes. Many people are either running to get somewhere or knocked out and sleeping in their subway seats or in cars on the side of the street. What’s quite interesting is, even with the extreme fashion tendencies of the young generation it’s easy to stand out with blue jeans and a light gray and red winter jacket.

Winter is probably a good season to avoid masses of tourists. Still, now in January Japan seems a bit sad, missing it’s colours and cherry blossoms and that stuff – apart from the plastic thingies you can find everywhere.
Tokyo is big with a population of over 12 million. Nevertheless, it’s rather hard to get lost. There are city maps and subway stations at every other corner. The hard part is to find a specific place because of their building signing system. Also there are various subway and inner railway companies which makes route and cost estimations a little more difficult.
Anyway, Tokyo is a city built for many, many people. Small places to eat are everywhere. Small machines where you can buy pre tempered coffee and cold drinks ubiquitous. At every other corner there are police cabins and it generally seems like they found perfection for a full employment scheme. ‘Alright-and-attention-shouter’ for reversing commercial vehicles, ‘bicycle-closer-side-by-side-positioner’, ‘people-by-passing-waver’ at one-man construction sides.

What’s not to be missed:
– Asakusa temple and market; big shopping malls around Kanda
asakusa temple kanda
– Tokyo City Hall, and the view from the 45th floor
tokyo city hall view from city hall
– Sumo, when you’re there around tournament time
sumo I sumo II
– and, of course a lot of temples, shrines, parks, trees..
temple park park

Next stop: Kyoto tomorrow morning.

January 24, 2009 at 10:36 am 1 comment


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