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Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Page 5

Day 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017

My trusty old friend is a shining light

Today I went to somewhere I have been to before, the formerly secret and unofficial abandoned rail tunnel hike near Namaze station.
I say formerly secret, because since I was last here, and since anyone updated the internet, it has become an official hiking trail, and is now fully signposted, toilets installed, maps, safety barriers, rusty bridges replaced with new pedestrian bridges, car parking areas, vending machines, plum blossom grove, bear warnings, distance markers, shoe cleaning stations, blue vested helper old folks, loud speakers playing santa claus is coming to town, umbrella rental, bus stops either end, wheelchair ramps, ramen stand and phone charging point.
Thankfully they left the tunnels unlit, the main reason for going, which allowed me to use my old friend as you will see.
They do sometimes light the tunnels with temporary lighting and turn them into an art gallery, which might be cool.
So there you go, its no longer the risky climbing over dilapidated bridges where you might plummet to your death mildly risky adventure it once was.
I also remember it as being longer, and one website lists it as 14km, you would be lucky if it were 5km. It is now definitely old person friendly, take note mother.

On my way back I continued to re live my adventure from the last time I came here, and stopped at the same huge mall by the Itami airport for lunch, however this time I just had a little sandwich rather than the huge bi bim bap meal like last time, I must maintain my mildly overweight figure!

The train journey to Namaze and back from the station at the end of the hiking trail built inside a tunnel is quite short, but I still had to move 3 times due to mucus concerns.
There was a new highlight, not as great as the previous snot pump, but one guy lifted his mask, raised the sun shade blind thing and sneezed against the window, which was fully coated. He then lowered the blind, tried to clean the window with the blind, lifted the blind to check the success of his cleaning effort, realised he had just created a huge opaque smear of snot, and re-lowered the blind, then sneezed again on the blind, then got up and moved! I was amazed. People will think I am making all this up, I AM NOT, I cant make this up with such spectacular detail.

Upon returning to my hotel, quite early at about 2:30pm, I was in for some more surprises. All the rooms down my hallway were being cleaned, except mine cause I put up the no cleaning required sign. This meant I could see into peoples rooms, and it was an apocalyptically shameful display of filth.
The first room, which someone was still using as their bags were there, had pots of instant noodles everywhere, all over the floor, their contents both cooked and raw, and trampled into the carpet. The dry ones were now powder in places, the cooked ones were now mush. Then there was toilet paper all over the desk, why?
The second room had at least 20 beer cans on the floor, this person had left from what I could tell. The cans were sometimes upright, a few were tipped over with their foamy contents across the floor suggesting they had only just been tipped over, and some were crushed.
The third room still had people in the room watching the cleaners attempt to clean, and they had a pile of wet clothes heaped up like a small mountain in the middle of the floor, REALLY wet clothes, like they had all been soaking in the bath until this very second, there was a pool of water around their pile, on the carpet. There was also 3 people in a room only supposed to be sold as a single room. They looked Japanese, they had golf clubs.
I was genuinely shocked. I half expect the cleaners to hug me with joy after they clean my room, I make my bed, put everything away and zip up my case every time I leave. I only ever use one towel and use all my own toiletries which go back in a zip up bag. I kind of assumed everyone does.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Another 'blue' sky day in Japan. I use quotes because it has become badly polluted. And on that note, South Korea recently found out that over 90% of

Another 'blue' sky day in Japan. I use quotes because it has become badly polluted.
And on that note, South Korea recently found out that over 90% of their pollution is domestic, and not blown over from China, NASA did the study, its been big news there for a while.
I therefore expect that the pollution in Japan is all domestic, as its a lot further from China than South Korea, which is a short swim from the very highly industrial parts of northern China where nothing grows.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I changed lines once on my way to my destination, I enjoy shots like this.

I changed lines once on my way to my destination, I enjoy shots like this.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Once you get off the train, its about a 20 minute walk to the start of the hiking trail. I like those big buildings on the top of the hill.

Once you get off the train, its about a 20 minute walk to the start of the hiking trail. I like those big buildings on the top of the hill.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its a shame about the pollution. I also read that the water in this river is very badly polluted, and whatever you do, do not be tempted to go for a s

Its a shame about the pollution. I also read that the water in this river is very badly polluted, and whatever you do, do not be tempted to go for a swim, people have reported getting acid burns!
There is also a huge quarry just to the left of this shot destroying a mountain from the top down, still its a nice looking area!
And by the way, the red bridge I am standing on, thats not the way to the hiking trail, do not cross the red bridge, keep going. I knew this, I just wandered across to take photos.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And now the real hike begins, with huge spectacular rocks in the raging river, and some nice foliage to admire. It would be great for white water raft

And now the real hike begins, with huge spectacular rocks in the raging river, and some nice foliage to admire.
It would be great for white water rafting if the water wasnt sulphuric acid mixed with nerve gas.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A view back the other way. Ordinarily I say mountains look smaller than they really are, in this shot I say they look bigger than they really are.

A view back the other way. Ordinarily I say mountains look smaller than they really are, in this shot I say they look bigger than they really are.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is an example of a new pedestrian bridge thats been installed, and also other people. Lots and lots of other people, on a weekday. The trail must

This is an example of a new pedestrian bridge thats been installed, and also other people. Lots and lots of other people, on a weekday.
The trail must have been added to official Japanese hiking books, there were groups of school kids enjoying an excursion along the trail.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Nice contrast between haze on the left, color on the right.

Nice contrast between haze on the left, color on the right.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The first tunnel entrance. The first tunnel is straight, you probably dont need a torch, although you do walk over railway sleepers so might trip.

The first tunnel entrance. The first tunnel is straight, you probably dont need a torch, although you do walk over railway sleepers so might trip.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Bumped exposure and shadows, I like these shots.

Bumped exposure and shadows, I like these shots.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Water reflections. Japanese people would FREAK OUT if the water dripped on them, maybe its bad luck or something, but they really get hysterical about

Water reflections. Japanese people would FREAK OUT if the water dripped on them, maybe its bad luck or something, but they really get hysterical about it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Out the other side and you are in a secluded valley now.

Out the other side and you are in a secluded valley now.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And now it was time to get out my trusty old friend, the torch. I bought this torch here last time I visited this tunnel. I remembered I had bought it

And now it was time to get out my trusty old friend, the torch. I bought this torch here last time I visited this tunnel.
I remembered I had bought it years ago just before I left for this trip, so carried it all the way back to Japan.
It has not been used at all between trips, I turned it on for 3 seconds before packing it to make sure it still works, original batteries, and it does.
So its waited years between uses, and both times, in the same tunnel.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The second tunnel is the longer one, about a km long, and it has 2 bends in it, so the middle section is genuinely pitch black. You need a torch. Out

The second tunnel is the longer one, about a km long, and it has 2 bends in it, so the middle section is genuinely pitch black. You need a torch. Out the other side, more secluded valley.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And more.

And more.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And another for good measure.

And another for good measure.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now I am approaching the bridge, it used to require you to climb along a rusty metal gangway down one side....

Now I am approaching the bridge, it used to require you to climb along a rusty metal gangway down one side....


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now theres a pedestrian wooden bridge right up the middle with the gangways blocked off.

Now theres a pedestrian wooden bridge right up the middle with the gangways blocked off.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Completely derisked.

Completely derisked.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Just a couple to go, nearing the end here.

Just a couple to go, nearing the end here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is all new, none of this was here last time. Its a car park! Before the only way out was to go up a set of stairs into the train station inside a

This is all new, none of this was here last time. Its a car park! Before the only way out was to go up a set of stairs into the train station inside a tunnel.
Now there is a bus stop.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I took a knee to protest man-bashing.

I took a knee to protest man-bashing.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And like I said, I got off at Itami for lunch, to complete my day of doing what I did years ago.

And like I said, I got off at Itami for lunch, to complete my day of doing what I did years ago.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The inside of the megamall is very much like you would find in Australia, these do exist in Japan, but not in the middle of cities, only out in the su

The inside of the megamall is very much like you would find in Australia, these do exist in Japan, but not in the middle of cities, only out in the suburbs.
I wrote the same thing here last time I visited the same mall.


Umeda me a hamburg steak

Tonight I walked all the way to Umeda and back, which was quite interesting.
Umeda itself is massive, especially when you consider all the stations, and there are a lot. Most of which are owned by department stores who have their own private railroads.
I think the nicest one is probably Hankyu, and thats where I had my hamburger steak potato and egg meal as you will see.
Around Umeda there is also the terrifying earthquake baiting ferris wheel on top of a building, a lot of bars and karaoke bars and a whole heap of everything underground.
The layout is really confusing with all the train lines crossing over everywhere, I got lost multiple times, at one point I came back down the same street in the opposite direction when I thought I had been walking in the same direction away from that spot for ages.

On my way to Umeda I went past a very flash modern supermarket that includes a seating area with microwaves and boiling water where you can eat what you just bought - a great idea generally.
However on this occasion, a team of people were trying to recover from a situation where a huge bowl of some sort of red liquid food had tipped over whilst inside the microwave. This involved opening the door a little, letting some liquid run out, being ready with paper towels, making panicked noises and slamming the door.
I recalled fondly when my pumpkin soup tipped over in the same manner in a hotel microwave in Karratha.

And now the saga of the keys. I worked out that the way to get the breakfast voucher is to hand over your key, and get it back later in the day with the voucher.
I handed my key over again this evening, they know me now, so I dont get the passport police routine.
So I came back this evening, ask for room key 709, get the nod and Japanese thank you greeting, and get handed a key. I go in the lift, go to my door which is at the end of the hallway, it wont open.
These keys have gigantic tags on them with the room number, she gave me 907. So thats what your stupid key system creates, a situation where you give people that look like criminals the key to someone elses room.
Back down I go, hand over the key, explain its 907 and I am 709. Mass confusion, no one seems to accept that this could ever happen. The manager is summoned. Now I am getting the third degree from him in Japanese, I am guessing he suspects I somehow tricked them into giving me the wrong key. He was actually mad at me, of course I stared him down and said nothing at all, very easy to do when you cant understand what hes yelling about.
YOUR SYSTEM IS IDIOTIC. You have reached new levels of failure. And you are blaming the victim (me) for your own stupidity. If I knew how to fax a letter to the dormy inn head office I could get someone fired, but since Japan insists on hand written FAXED letters because its too damn hard to type Japanese characters, I am shit out of luck.
If that happened to me in Australia I would probably keep going back every day and demanding to see the manager to yell at him some more, for sport.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The path to Umeda starts at more covered shopping streets, quieter ones this time.

The path to Umeda starts at more covered shopping streets, quieter ones this time.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Along the way I passed a walking stick shop, thats all they sell! It occurred to me, in Japan you see some really old people going along really slowly

Along the way I passed a walking stick shop, thats all they sell! It occurred to me, in Japan you see some really old people going along really slowly, hunched over with a walking stick.
You never ever see people on a gopher (motorized old person scooter). I think they are an unknown concept to the Japanese. Maybe I can corner the market?


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I really like the huge roof over the JR Osaka station.

I really like the huge roof over the JR Osaka station.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - That truck is an advertising truck, with music blasting. This one is just video screens, but there are live performance trucks too that have pop stars

That truck is an advertising truck, with music blasting. This one is just video screens, but there are live performance trucks too that have pop stars singing (miming) in traffic.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - People moving from one giant station to another giant station using the overpasses. Also note the giant xmas tree, its already peak xmas in Japan, eve

People moving from one giant station to another giant station using the overpasses. Also note the giant xmas tree, its already peak xmas in Japan, every store is playing annoyingly happy jingles.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Yodobashi here is particularly enormous. I didnt even go in.

Yodobashi here is particularly enormous. I didnt even go in.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is the giant ferris wheel, and a store that looks like a computer tower case.

Here is the giant ferris wheel, and a store that looks like a computer tower case.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A bit more ferris wheel on a brightly lit corner.

A bit more ferris wheel on a brightly lit corner.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Umeda also has a whole heap of covered shopping streets, but they are more for locals and contain bars, karaoke, strip clubs etc.

Umeda also has a whole heap of covered shopping streets, but they are more for locals and contain bars, karaoke, strip clubs etc.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Hankyu has a heap of xmas display windows with animated characters. Heres a whole heap of drunken elves.

Hankyu has a heap of xmas display windows with animated characters. Heres a whole heap of drunken elves.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The Hankyu exhibition hall is celebrating Italy (I think?) featuring the Italian painting thats kept in France.

The Hankyu exhibition hall is celebrating Italy (I think?) featuring the Italian painting thats kept in France.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And finally, my dinner, which is a hamburger steak on top of a couple of vegetables, with Japanese style mystery sauce, an egg, mushrooms and a baked

And finally, my dinner, which is a hamburger steak on top of a couple of vegetables, with Japanese style mystery sauce, an egg, mushrooms and a baked potato. The potato was the best bit actually.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

mother on 2017-11-02 said:

YOu know you can walk to Umeda all the way underground. Also on top of the railway station you can get all the way to the top of the roof - not the sloping one and there is a vegetable garden.


David on 2017-11-02 said:

Incorrect, they were all Japanese, I predicted your racist response, and so have been checking closely.
Todays blind wiping snot guy was entering katakana on his phone using the useless Japanese text entry system.
Chinese people enter Pinyin using the same keyboard we use, which is much MUCH quicker.


Adriana on 2017-11-02 said:

I don't care what you say, the dirty snotters and filthy hotel occupants are from across the Japan sea.


David on 2017-11-02 said:

This time I didnt forget the comments box



Day 14 - Friday, 3 November 2017

Primordial typhoon deer attack

Today I went to Nara, fought off a lot of deer, walked 35km including through a primordial forest, and was again thwarted by the typhoon from going to my preferred destination.
Japan is struggling to recover from the typhoon, thats 3 times now! On my first full day the train didnt go to where I wanted to go, in Kyoto the trail connecting 2 temples was cut off, and today the primordial forest loop trail was still cut, with guards preventing me from even trying.
This meant a lot of walking around and back tracking to enjoy a hike in the hills above Nara, but back track I did, and I was rewarded with some great scenery.
Also being later to return, I got the great light at the end of the day for some bonus photos as I returned to the station.

Now, todays train journey was full of tourists, I had to stand up all the way back, and they were all Chinese and Korean tourists, AND IT WAS PERFECTLY FINE!
No snot stories today.
However on my way to Nara, I managed to get lost! I boarded a direct train to Nara from JR Namba, at one point we seemed to stop for a long time, I paid no attention. The train split in half and now I was on the wrong half! I wondered why my carriage emptied out....
So in a day of back tracking, I had to go back a couple of stops and rejoin the right train, adding probably 30 minutes onto my day, no big deal, but I was amused.

Since I took so many photos I will keep this brief and continue below.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I got up early, and was rewarded with great light for this photo which was taken right by my hotel.

I got up early, and was rewarded with great light for this photo which was taken right by my hotel.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - That is actually a rock climbing wall, and for whatever reason it appears as though they can hoist it up higher on the outside of this building. Eithe

That is actually a rock climbing wall, and for whatever reason it appears as though they can hoist it up higher on the outside of this building.
Either that or they are going to build more onto it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - It was at this point I got off to back track having realised I was heading off into rural areas unexpectedly. However, I was able to take this photo w

It was at this point I got off to back track having realised I was heading off into rural areas unexpectedly.
However, I was able to take this photo whilst waiting for a train in the opposite direction. The light today was pollution twilight all day.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After my brief detour, I was at JR Nara station, and I could taste smoke in the air. I checked the air quality index and it was about 200! Hazardous t

After my brief detour, I was at JR Nara station, and I could taste smoke in the air. I checked the air quality index and it was about 200! Hazardous to health!
I blame farmers burning crops.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Before I headed up the hill, I headed down the hill, google maps showed a big green area with castle ruins. It was not green at all! It appears as tho

Before I headed up the hill, I headed down the hill, google maps showed a big green area with castle ruins. It was not green at all! It appears as though its about to be a huge housing development.
There were lines of people registering to buy blocks of land.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This huge open field is for now, the castle ruins, theres nothing to see here really. But theres lots of people and a couple of different fairs going

This huge open field is for now, the castle ruins, theres nothing to see here really. But theres lots of people and a couple of different fairs going on.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Right in the middle is this 'attraction'. Not your best work Japan. This whole area reminded me of something you might see in a Chinese city no ones h

Right in the middle is this 'attraction'. Not your best work Japan. This whole area reminded me of something you might see in a Chinese city no ones heard of - huge, lots of people for no apparent reason, dusty.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And of course, a full band playing in the dusty middle of the wasteland with no shade and an amazingly high quality public address system. Quite bizar

And of course, a full band playing in the dusty middle of the wasteland with no shade and an amazingly high quality public address system. Quite bizarre.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Time to head back up the hill, I passed this car with a lot of distracting woolen animals blocking the drivers view. You see this often, but I believe

Time to head back up the hill, I passed this car with a lot of distracting woolen animals blocking the drivers view. You see this often, but I believe these ones are all home made, so I rewarded her efforts with a photo. I am going to presume its a her.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - In the suburbs of Nara I passed this huge shopping mall, no time for lunch today, I kept going. Nara is much bigger than I realised though.

In the suburbs of Nara I passed this huge shopping mall, no time for lunch today, I kept going. Nara is much bigger than I realised though.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now I am back in deer town. Here is the pagoda. The number of tourists was pretty overwhelming.

Now I am back in deer town. Here is the pagoda. The number of tourists was pretty overwhelming.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More fairs, selling corvettes.

More fairs, selling corvettes.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Deer everywhere. Everyone does deer pics, I remained somewhat restrained.

Deer everywhere. Everyone does deer pics, I remained somewhat restrained.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There really were a huge number of people. It was never uncomfortably busy, just surprisingly so.

There really were a huge number of people. It was never uncomfortably busy, just surprisingly so.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Deer wedding pics.

Deer wedding pics.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Ahhhh, color. Everyone gasp.

Ahhhh, color. Everyone gasp.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - When the deer have eaten enough, they dig themselves a mud pit and go to sleep.

When the deer have eaten enough, they dig themselves a mud pit and go to sleep.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Nearby you can pay to climb up this grassy hill and sit in the blazing sun. Or you can climb up over some rocks and photograph this rubbish bin!

Nearby you can pay to climb up this grassy hill and sit in the blazing sun. Or you can climb up over some rocks and photograph this rubbish bin!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - TRAGEDY, thwarted again. Me and lots of other people expressed our disgust, path closed. I bet it was perfectly fine to climb over the fallen tree. I

TRAGEDY, thwarted again. Me and lots of other people expressed our disgust, path closed. I bet it was perfectly fine to climb over the fallen tree.
I couldnt just go and find out, a small man had been tasked with keeping me out. He had a radio in his ear like an FBI agent to call the special hiking trail police if I attempted to pass.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Instead I had to cut back through the plethora of temples. I didnt take many photos here, because I have before on my last visit, and I was in a hurry

Instead I had to cut back through the plethora of temples. I didnt take many photos here, because I have before on my last visit, and I was in a hurry to find a path to hike up.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I found a path. This one also had a man, who spoke no English, but took me to the map board to explain where I could get to along this path. He was ve

I found a path. This one also had a man, who spoke no English, but took me to the map board to explain where I could get to along this path.
He was very helpful.
A short way up and this tree was coated in plastic. I think its to stop people climbing it for photos.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is part of the primordial forest, where logging and hunting has been banned for over 800 years. Looked like any other forest to me, with a better

This is part of the primordial forest, where logging and hunting has been banned for over 800 years. Looked like any other forest to me, with a better quality path.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Evetually I got to what I guess was the top, and had this lake all to myself! About half a kilometre before here the two paths I could use today merge

Evetually I got to what I guess was the top, and had this lake all to myself! About half a kilometre before here the two paths I could use today merged, and thats where everyone else stopped and went back.
Surely the lake is the attraction?


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The waters are brown looking, but big fish seemed to be flopping about in the water.

The waters are brown looking, but big fish seemed to be flopping about in the water.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Some more pollution twilight.

Some more pollution twilight.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I walked a full lap of the lake. Because the full looping trail was closed I would not get a view of Nara below today. However it would have been very

I walked a full lap of the lake. Because the full looping trail was closed I would not get a view of Nara below today.
However it would have been very hazey anyway, so perhaps the lake is a better reward for my extended hiking efforts.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Stance. SHORTS TODAY! It was 23 degrees. I am standing on what I believe was an ancient dam, somewhere up here theres temple ruins but you cant go and

Stance. SHORTS TODAY! It was 23 degrees. I am standing on what I believe was an ancient dam, somewhere up here theres temple ruins but you cant go and see them its completely reabsorbed by primordial forest.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - OK, selfie as well.

OK, selfie as well.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The path down was an ancient stone trail. The lighting was great for a lot of the time.

The path down was an ancient stone trail. The lighting was great for a lot of the time.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The path was however mossy and very very slippery at times. I ran where I could but often had to be careful.

The path was however mossy and very very slippery at times. I ran where I could but often had to be careful.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Once back down I was in time for golden hour! And it was pretty great. I was kind of glad I had been delayed a couple of times.

Once back down I was in time for golden hour! And it was pretty great. I was kind of glad I had been delayed a couple of times.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Color turned down! Almost a matte effect on this photo.

Color turned down! Almost a matte effect on this photo.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Starting to get dark, everyone was oohing and ahhing.

Starting to get dark, everyone was oohing and ahhing.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And then I just had to descend down this street back to JR Nara station, through hordes of tourists, many of whom were watching guys beat rice flour w

And then I just had to descend down this street back to JR Nara station, through hordes of tourists, many of whom were watching guys beat rice flour with giant wooden hammers.
Now I need to go get dinner immediately! I barely ate all day again. So this long post is probably typo riddled.


Resurrection

For the last few days I have realised the little camera bag that goes with me everywhere has been dying. The zip has been failing and making it harder and harder to open and close.
Not just fabric getting caught in it, the actual teeth on the corner were getting wider apart than they should be. Well today it completely failed.
This has been with me for nearly ten years and has been all around the world.
It also doubles as a coin purse, it has a front pocket to hold all the change I get which later gets fed into vending machines.
So it was a perfect camera bag, and now its dead.
But fear not, it has been resurrected as you will see below!

Tonight on my way to resurrect my old friend, I headed south, went to the pyrmaid thing at Shinsekai, had okonomoyaki and chatted with a very curious Japanese couple, then continued on to Tennoji and looked at the tallest building in Japan (excluding the skytree).
I have typed enough and walked enough today, over 50,000 steps, so onto the pics.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A band is seranading the glico man sign, on a boat. Thats the sort of thing that can happen on a regular night in Osaka.

A band is seranading the glico man sign, on a boat. Thats the sort of thing that can happen on a regular night in Osaka.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its Friday night, Dotonbori is particularly busy, I had to move on quickly to find some dinner in a location where I was more likely to get in.

Its Friday night, Dotonbori is particularly busy, I had to move on quickly to find some dinner in a location where I was more likely to get in.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - But first, here it is, dead case logic case, meat reborn case logic case. They are almost identical, I suspect they are supposed to be the same model

But first, here it is, dead case logic case, meat reborn case logic case. They are almost identical, I suspect they are supposed to be the same model but they changed the factory contracted to make them.
The store clerk was amused when I made him take it out of the packaging, stuck my camera in it, and handed him my old one to throw away.
He was also perplexed as to why I would take a photo of it all, whilst mouth trumpeting the last post to celebrate our fallen comrade.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My journey took me through Den Den town, I didnt have time to look in any shops, but its a great place! I needed more time in Osaka, and on that note,

My journey took me through Den Den town, I didnt have time to look in any shops, but its a great place! I needed more time in Osaka, and on that note, in Japan, holiday already half over.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Shinsekai, with the pyramid thing sticking up above.

Shinsekai, with the pyramid thing sticking up above.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Last time I came here it was very very quiet. Tonight only quiet, probably because its Friday.

Last time I came here it was very very quiet. Tonight only quiet, probably because its Friday.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Quiet means I could get into places to eat, Okonomyaki time. Here is the master maker. You can smoke in here, luckily no one was. A Japanese couple we

Quiet means I could get into places to eat, Okonomyaki time. Here is the master maker.
You can smoke in here, luckily no one was.
A Japanese couple were very interested in me, and asked lots of questions in broken English.
When I explained how long I am in Japan for and how often I come they were amazed, how can anyone take so many holidays etc.
The guy told me he would emigrate to Australia immediately.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here it is. I had the variety with added noodles, cause I was damn hungry. Although it was quite a small serve, but cheap!

Here it is. I had the variety with added noodles, cause I was damn hungry. Although it was quite a small serve, but cheap!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Iconic shot every visitor to this place takes.

Iconic shot every visitor to this place takes.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The covered shopping areas here are nothing to write home about, but I am anyway! Nice fake plastic autumn leaves.

The covered shopping areas here are nothing to write home about, but I am anyway!
Nice fake plastic autumn leaves.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And here is Tennoji, another major commercial area of Osaka, not far from Namba really. I like an overpass!

And here is Tennoji, another major commercial area of Osaka, not far from Namba really. I like an overpass!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The overpass allows long exposures of traffic. So I can get some starbursts.

The overpass allows long exposures of traffic. So I can get some starbursts.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is actually the tallest building in Japan excluding the skytree which isnt actually a building. It is only 65 storeys high, but in an earthquake

This is actually the tallest building in Japan excluding the skytree which isnt actually a building.
It is only 65 storeys high, but in an earthquake plagued country, thats high enough.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Tennoji was very nice, lots of people, the zoo is nearby, and this is a huge park. On Friday night its full of people, and surrounded by little cafes.

Tennoji was very nice, lots of people, the zoo is nearby, and this is a huge park. On Friday night its full of people, and surrounded by little cafes. I had a chai latte.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

Mel on 2017-11-04 said:

Absolutely love this blog! The photos are great and the witty commentary even better. Thanks for sharing.


Mother on 2017-11-03 said:

Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki - my favourite. Very nostalgia inducing photos tonight. We will soon be there booked for FEbruary now.


David on 2017-11-03 said:

The mall area was probably 5km from the tourist area.
There are actually a few malls there, they all like old though.


jenny on 2017-11-03 said:

Pity you didn't check out the shopping mall. I didn't know they had one in Nara. Only ever seen the main street to the temple area, but nice scenery shots as usual.



Day 15 - Saturday, 4 November 2017

The wind arrived

Right now its really windy, maybe another typhoon! I doubt it, I would have heard about it, although I had no real idea about the last one.
I am now in Kobe, its about 30 minutes from Osaka, its another huge city, it suffered a bad eartquake in 1995 killing 5000 people, I have visited here before but never stayed here, I will be here for 2 nights.
Thats the facts, I dont add superfluous adjectives when they are not needed.

This morning I had some procedural things to do, and I am continuing that right now, so its a kind of rest day, so not many photos.
First in Osaka I had to go to Shin-Osaka and advance purchase my remaining platt-kodama discount tour package shinkansen tickets.
This is an experience in paperwork and stupidity with at least 20 staples used, stamps, hot wax embossments, filing, ID checks, manual type writers all to buy 2 train tickets. It really is amazing this still goes on in Japan.

Tickets purchased it was time for lunch, before heading back to collect my bags, then head to Kobe.
Now that I am here, I am doing my washing, always a fun activity. Please note, Japanese people only know this as laundry, do not ask for change for the washing machine, they will have no clue.

Later on I will tell you about the exciting adventures in remote control room lighting. I forgot to take a photo of the remote, so it will have to wait until later, but now, my rant.

It must be awesome to be a woman in Japan. Heres how I think that works.
Until you get married you work in a fashion store or cafe.
You then get married, and never work again, you spend your life going on nature hikes and sitting in cafes sipping coffee.
Meanwhile your husband works himself as close to death as possible, sometimes he actually dies.
To top it off, no children, Japanese women have extremely low birth rates, and according to various news reports, never ever have sex with their husbands anyway - its not worth the risk of jeopardizing their lifestyle of leisure.
They also dont cook, house is too small.
Which also means, cleaning is about 10 minutes a week, house is tiny, no garden.
Just a life to do whatever the hell you want.
And on the odd occasion a woman decides to work instead, probably due to not marrying, they seem to die of overwork, which has been a really big news story for a while. So theres really no incentive to try. Just enjoy all the nature trails.
I have to pay to fly half way around the world to do this, they do it their whole lives for free!
The figures dont lie, only 10% of the Japanese parliament is women, the working rates for women aged 30+ are almost zero.
So I am going to reinvent myself as a Japanese woman and find a husband.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Many wires, so many wires, so many people going home looking destroyed.

Many wires, so many wires, so many people going home looking destroyed.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Yeah, nailed the light.

Yeah, nailed the light.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - On my wander I found the Kuromon market, which not only has toilets, but also has lavatories.

On my wander I found the Kuromon market, which not only has toilets, but also has lavatories.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Heres is a bit more market, one particular stall had a huge line, for cooked chicken wings, early in the morning.

Heres is a bit more market, one particular stall had a huge line, for cooked chicken wings, early in the morning.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There is also a line at the apple store, even though the new facial recognition failure device thats secretly storing your boob pics was released in J

There is also a line at the apple store, even though the new facial recognition failure device thats secretly storing your boob pics was released in Japan yesterday.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Near Shin-Osaka station I found a flea market. Some of the stuff for sale looks like it would be infested with actual fleas. Looks like a truck tipped

Near Shin-Osaka station I found a flea market. Some of the stuff for sale looks like it would be infested with actual fleas. Looks like a truck tipped a load of rubbish here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I stopped for some quiche, cause I am not a real man. I was the only male in the place, everyone else was a woman passing the time with cake and coffe

I stopped for some quiche, cause I am not a real man. I was the only male in the place, everyone else was a woman passing the time with cake and coffee.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And here is my room, probably the nicest of the trip so far, too bad I will only be here for 2 nights. It is the Sunroute Sopra Kobe Annesso. A bit of

And here is my room, probably the nicest of the trip so far, too bad I will only be here for 2 nights.
It is the Sunroute Sopra Kobe Annesso. A bit of a short walk from the Kobe station, but theres lots of little covered shopping streets nearby.
I shall investigate soon.


Surprisingly great

As I mentioned above, I have been to Kobe twice before but never stayed here. I think I have always gone to Sannomiya station and then headed up the hill to climb the mountain, so I have never been to the city area before at all.
It is great! Much much bigger than I thought.
Whilst I am sure Sannomiya is the main department store area, the bay area where I went tonight and its underground shopping passages was so large and interesting I never made it to the main part of town.
The harbour town area is very modern and full of restaurants and new expensive looking buildings, there is also a big ferris wheel, big dinner cruise boats, a huge maritime museum, lines of people which I joined, and everything is lit up.

Then back near my hotel, its the biggest most interesting red light district I have ever seen in Japan, not a lot of people, but a huge number of very big, establishments? Not sure what to call them, they are hotel sized and much more blatant than similar areas of Tokyo. They have menus printed on large posters with photos and prices!
And joining everything together is covered shopping streets, mostly closed after dark, but I think I passed 20 different ones, and havent really been anywhere yet.
So yes, Kobe surprised me a lot.

A few other things -
1. There are no tourists, not on a Saturday night anyway. I saw none, well maybe some Japanese tourists but no white people or even any Chinese that I noticed.
2. They sell Pepsi. I hunted high and low in Tokyo and Osaka for zero calorie pepsi, and couldnt find it. Here its in both Family Mart and 7-eleven. Imagine going to somewhere in Australia where they stock coke but not pepsi or vice versa in entire cities.
3. They are really proud of their beef, but no amount of pride is going to make me pay for it.
4. The stores not only sell banana chips, but sell them in a variety of sizes, pepsi and banana chips, I can retire here.
5. Little old men waving lit up batons to direct traffic are out of control. They are on every corner for no reason, there is no traffic, there are more people directing traffic than cars. Is it a work for the dole scheme? It just seems hilarious that when I have a walk signal a man will walk out into the road with nothing coming, do a special baton waving dance, talk on the headset in his ear, blow a whistle, and wave me across. Enjoy your debt to GDP ratio Japan.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - At first I was underwhelmed, this is a shopping street, uncovered, near my hotel. Every few metres theres a man with a glowing baton.

At first I was underwhelmed, this is a shopping street, uncovered, near my hotel. Every few metres theres a man with a glowing baton.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I descended, and found a huge underground mall, but also these 3 archery targets on the ground. I worked out all they can be for is the world lawn dar

I descended, and found a huge underground mall, but also these 3 archery targets on the ground. I worked out all they can be for is the world lawn darts championship, without a lawn.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I came up out of the underground in the harbourside area, and was greeted by lots of modern looking buildings and twinkling lights.

I came up out of the underground in the harbourside area, and was greeted by lots of modern looking buildings and twinkling lights.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Oh, and a full moon and a ferris wheel. I couldnt get a shot without cars here.

Oh, and a full moon and a ferris wheel. I couldnt get a shot without cars here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Not a great photo, mainly here for my mother, I am standing on a shopping centre and theres a heap more across the road and under the ground.

Not a great photo, mainly here for my mother, I am standing on a shopping centre and theres a heap more across the road and under the ground.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The colorful harbour. The green lit building on the right is the maritime museum, it appears to be very large.

The colorful harbour. The green lit building on the right is the maritime museum, it appears to be very large.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Moon lighting clouds. I tried some longer exposures here but found a shorter one worked better.

Moon lighting clouds. I tried some longer exposures here but found a shorter one worked better.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then a dinner cruise pulled up. There was a crush of people trying to take a photo of it.

Then a dinner cruise pulled up. There was a crush of people trying to take a photo of it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My dinner was awesome. There is a specific name for this but I forget what it is. There is an alcohol fuelled candle thing under the cast iron bowl. T

My dinner was awesome. There is a specific name for this but I forget what it is. There is an alcohol fuelled candle thing under the cast iron bowl.
This continues to cook whats in the bowl, and makes the rice go a bit crunchy. I ate it too fast to experience the full effect.
You can choose from lots of things, mine was beef and vegetables.
I waited here for over 30 minutes in a line, hence I never even got to Sannomiya this evening.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There are about 50 restaurants in this complex which are the old dock warehouse sheds.

There are about 50 restaurants in this complex which are the old dock warehouse sheds.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Theres also a fun park for children, but you dont need to use that, just go to this mall with crazy escalators. Its quite a weird sensation.

Theres also a fun park for children, but you dont need to use that, just go to this mall with crazy escalators. Its quite a weird sensation.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Underneath is a very huge premium aeon supermarket. Its an upmarket version, not your standard aeon. There are 3 places to sit and eat inside the supe

Underneath is a very huge premium aeon supermarket. Its an upmarket version, not your standard aeon. There are 3 places to sit and eat inside the supermarket, including a pizza restaurant.
Also you can just buy the ready meals and sit and eat them, pick and choose from the sushi etc. This is a contender for best supermarket ever! I think that honor still goes to the Lotus supermarket in Pudong, Shanghai.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And finally, heres one of the closed covered shopping streets. I really cant understand how there are so many of them here? Either side of this one is

And finally, heres one of the closed covered shopping streets. I really cant understand how there are so many of them here? Either side of this one is a huge red light district. I am frightened to take photos there, there are enormous men out the front of every place with ear pieces in looking angry.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - As promised, here is the lighting situation in my room. You can only control the main light with this remote. It took me ages to figure this out! I ha

As promised, here is the lighting situation in my room. You can only control the main light with this remote. It took me ages to figure this out!
I have wondered before what the point of the stupid big round fluro lights are that take up entire floors in electronics shops. In those shops they have them all turned to full white, full bright.
With the remote you can control not only how bright it is, but also its color, and now I want one!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Final shot this evening, I climbed out my window onto the fire escape to perch my camera on a rail for a long exposure. I dont really think I was supp

Final shot this evening, I climbed out my window onto the fire escape to perch my camera on a rail for a long exposure.
I dont really think I was supposed to do that! I could walk all the way along the metal gangway and look in peoples windows.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

David on 2017-11-04 said:

the entire harbour area is shiny and new, looks like the Gold Coast in QLD


mother on 2017-11-04 said:

Not strange at all that your rooms have a bath - that's what Japanese people do - have baths. Showers are just for cleaning yourself before you hop in the bath to simmer for an hour. Seems there is a lot of New Kobe since I was last there. No underground shopping mall when I used to go there shoe shopping in Sannomiya and the shotengai arcades. Maybe they were still being repaired afer the earthquake. Did you see any of the earthquake preserved areas round the harbour?


David on 2017-11-04 said:

I just sat on the corner of the bed.
This room is actually a lot bigger than my last two. The bathroom even has a corner bath. Strange that all my small rooms have actual baths n the bathroom.


mother on 2017-11-04 said:

Did you stand in the window to take you room photo? It looks tiny. A washing machine is called a sentakuki and washing is sentaku



No doubt there is more hiking and leaves on page 6, go there now!

Contents

Day 1 - Saturday, 21 October 2017
  26 hours door to door then more
  I want to murder your children
Day 2 - Sunday, 22 October 2017
  The journey is still not quite over
  Typhoon Lan
  Saturation point
Day 3 - Monday, 23 October 2017
  Fortunate train cancellation
  Wasted ramen opportunity
Day 4 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017
  Lost on twin peaks
  The new shiny Tokyo
Day 5 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017
  Snot pump
  Bus confusion
Day 6 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
  Mountain goat
  Shimizu ghost town
Day 7 - Friday, 27 October 2017
  Train to mountain stroll ropeway beach bus
  Second opinion
Day 8 - Saturday, 28 October 2017
  Drowning in a sea of tissues
  Artful rain dodger
Day 9 - Sunday, 29 October 2017
  Rain concentrator
  Better than forecast
Day 10 - Monday, 30 October 2017
  Equal best ever scenery
  Its not Halloween
Day 11 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
  Thwarted
  Halloween was Saturday
Day 12 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017
  The temple run
  Lost in expansion
Day 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017
  My trusty old friend is a shining light
  Umeda me a hamburg steak
Day 14 - Friday, 3 November 2017
  Primordial typhoon deer attack
  Resurrection
Day 15 - Saturday, 4 November 2017
  The wind arrived
  Surprisingly great
Day 16 - Sunday, 5 November 2017
  First everybody then nobody
  Pyramids of Sannomiya
Day 17 - Monday, 6 November 2017
  The turn for home
  You would never ever get wet
Day 18 - Tuesday, 7 November 2017
  Exposed
  Short visit to big city
Day 19 - Wednesday, 8 November 2017
  Castle in the fog
  I have seen all of it
Day 20 - Thursday, 9 November 2017
  Decline
  Resurgence
Day 21 - Friday, 10 November 2017
  Clinically clean
  Ready for action
Day 22 - Saturday, 11 November 2017
  All the views
  Here are your shops
Day 23 - Sunday, 12 November 2017
  I have returned
  Ueno to Shinjuku is not far
Day 24 - Monday, 13 November 2017
  Central mountain route
  Surprise downpour whilst tired
Day 25 - Tuesday, 14 November 2017
  Value extraction
  Night of the long exposures
Day 26 - Wednesday, 15 November 2017
  Between the tracks
  The last supper
Day 27 - Thursday, 16 November 2017
  Narita procedural update
  The end