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Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Page 1

Day 0 - Monday, 11 March 2019

Retrospective

Here is a montage of all the best photos from the Japan8 trip. If I didnt put this here the first photo would be the map I made in MS Paint.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Behold the montage!

Behold the montage!


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Day 1 - Saturday, 27 October 2018

Posting from the future

It is not 27 October yet, unless it is and I have forgotten to update this.
This year I will be spending more time in Tokyo than in previous years, because I find that has the best transport options for day hikes. However to mix it up a bit, I am also flying to Naha in Okinawa, then flying back to Fukuoka for a few days before taking the train to Nagasaki and then flying back to Tokyo. So there will be a few new cities and internal flights rather than bullet trains.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I made a map to explain where I am going. Enjoy my map.

I made a map to explain where I am going. Enjoy my map.


Update - it is now 27 October, I have moved from the future into the present, read on.

Posting from the present from the airport

Now I am at Melbourne airport. Right now I am in the Singapore Kris Flyer lounge eating fruit salad and struggling with their stupidly slow internet. Just minutes ago I was waiting in a line at the TOURIST REFUND SCHEME counter to claim money back on my new huge heavy expensive delicate camera. More on the camera later, now its time for a good old fashion tales from the inefficient line story.

The Australian Tourist Refund Scheme is a scheme to convince you that getting your money back on purchases you made just prior to departing on holidays to prevent you from wanting to buy overseas is a foolish endeavor, and you should buy overseas so as to avoid the terribly understaffed, ridiculously inefficient line.
You line up with your invoice and goods, and wait, while the woman at the only counter open out of 20 goes through the invoices of people trying to get money back on $5 purchases.
Meanwhile, theres a gaggle of idiots trying to convince people they are very important and should be allowed to push to the front, some claim they are on flights about to depart, I challenged them to show me their boarding pass or fight me, they left entirely.
Every now and then, a member of BORDER FORCE arrives to talk to the woman serving the line of over 9000 people to tell her that no one else is coming to help her, and that she should just 'suck it up princess'.

Unfortunately 99% of people have no clue how the scheme works and dont have real invoices or are trying to claim invoices they already claimed last week. The whole thing was a showpiece for failure, but it kept me entertained.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the usual photo from my balcony. None of the buildings in my immediate vicinity fell down since my last trip. Lots more are being built. I thi

Here is the usual photo from my balcony. None of the buildings in my immediate vicinity fell down since my last trip. Lots more are being built. I think my suburb is now the densest in Australia, and I am the densest person in it.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - A special treat. The crap that I take on a holiday. Note I take lots of underpants. There are also 2 backpacks and a man bag. Also a bag full of age d

A special treat. The crap that I take on a holiday. Note I take lots of underpants. There are also 2 backpacks and a man bag. Also a bag full of age defying elixirs and stuff that helps me to see even though I am almost completely blind. Finally my trusty old coat, I bought a new one but could not deny my 15 year old coat another journey, even though its not warm and not waterproof and my new one is.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here I am on the bus. The woman behind me was photo bombing. Little does she know that my new camera has a sensor about as big as my head, so everythi

Here I am on the bus. The woman behind me was photo bombing. Little does she know that my new camera has a sensor about as big as my head, so everything is always out of focus including my huge head, and she is reduced to a mere smudge.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I am very healthy. Feasting on rabbit food and water in the Singapore Airlines lounge, desperately trying to remember how to use my convoluted home ma

I am very healthy. Feasting on rabbit food and water in the Singapore Airlines lounge, desperately trying to remember how to use my convoluted home made web site that features one giant text file with cryptic codes for everything, and breaks entirely if I forget to add a double pipe in the right place.


Singapore airport has no butterflies

Now I am in Singapore airport, famous for its butterflies and plastic plants. More impressive is its size but it does appear to be quite dated these days.
I feel lucky to have got here on time, I thought we were going to divert due to a medical emergency.

A few rows in front of me a woman started vomiting, a lot. That happens quite often, I generally start to accept my fate, death by Ebola. Anyway, the vomiting did not stop, and doctors were called, oxygen was given and eventually they laid her out on the floor on a solid plastic ironing board looking thing she was strapped to and the captain came down to check out the action. I was sure we would land in Karratha and I would go back to work. Strangely they seemed to fix her a number of stiff drinks to get her going again, maybe that was her problem in the first place?

Eventually they decided to put her back in her seat and we continued on. Actually we continued on throughout this ordeal, you cant really pull the plane over on the side of the sky to consider what happens next.

The remainder of the flight was long and boring, lots of minor bumps, enough to keep the seatbelt sign on and allow me to observe the constant to-and-fro of people getting up despite the sign, the stewardess running around shaking her hands telling someone to get back in their seat, and then eventually people just all ignored the sign.

Here in Singapore airport, the lounge is crap, the butterflies are all dead and its hot as hell outside.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is my plane, on the ground in Melbourne shot through tinted dirty glass. A Boeing 777, my second favorite plane to fly in economy on due to 9 abr

Here is my plane, on the ground in Melbourne shot through tinted dirty glass. A Boeing 777, my second favorite plane to fly in economy on due to 9 abreast seating. The only issue with these is they are very loud, much much louder than my favorite plane for economy travel the 8 abreast Airbus A330. Also the wifi did not work on-board, despite the screen in my seat advertising that it was working. I punched my screen repeatedly to try and make it work but of course thats not where it works from, I needed to punch somewhere in the roof lining.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is a plastic and glass tropical garden in Singapore airport. They need to dust it more often.

Here is a plastic and glass tropical garden in Singapore airport. They need to dust it more often.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I walked the wrong way and decided to take a sky-train back around. A stood at the front of the first carriage and pretended to be the driver, includi

I walked the wrong way and decided to take a sky-train back around. A stood at the front of the first carriage and pretended to be the driver, including yelling 'NEXT STOP, TERMINAL 3'. No one paid me any attention though.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is the butterfly garden, but where are the butterflies? I have taken this exact photo multiple times, normally with butterflies. Actually I took

This is the butterfly garden, but where are the butterflies?
I have taken this exact photo multiple times, normally with butterflies.
Actually I took this almost identical photo again to compare my new camera to my slightly older still new camera. I have too many cameras.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - They put out plenty of cut up pineapples for the elusive butterflies, but still I could not find a single one, and I looked everywhere. The pineapple

They put out plenty of cut up pineapples for the elusive butterflies, but still I could not find a single one, and I looked everywhere. The pineapple was quite delicious.


There are currently 12 comments - click to add

Nino on 2018-11-01 said:

Awesome another trip! Always enjoy following along with your holiday blogs, thanks for sharing!


motehr on 2018-10-29 said:

We have also been to MT Takao, but in winter, though it was a warm day then too. Your photos are very clear!!! What is your new camera? Pity it doesn't have a zoom though - no close - ups of Fujisan.


adriana on 2018-10-28 said:

Well you won't get many comments then. How was the curry soup?


David on 2018-10-28 said:

Because I prefer it that way


adriana on 2018-10-28 said:

How come we only get the comments window if we go through the full trip report?


Brian on 2018-10-28 said:

no booze just the wrong food.


mother on 2018-10-28 said:

No pills, no alcohol, only qantas chicken. Stick to the vegetarian meal from now on.
You must look really dodgy for all the scrutiny you get.


David on 2018-10-27 said:

@Brian, yes, and last night's culprit was also a middle aged white woman. Was my mothers situation also caused by too much pills and alcohol?


mother on 2018-10-27 said:

maybe the butterflies have joined the bees.


Brian on 2018-10-27 said:

I know another woman who got sick on her way home from Japan and caused a panic.


adriana on 2018-10-27 said:

It's 1am here and I am waiting for your update. I see you are promoting Bonds these days


David on 2018-10-27 said:

yeah



Day 2 - Sunday, 28 October 2018

Narita airport DNA test

Greetings from Narita airport where I have been DNA tested, finger printed, iris scanned, bag searched, laptop contents checked and questioned extensively as to why I am a single white male in camo pants traveling alone. The answer to the camo pants for travel is the pockets to carry stuff like my passport in.

The flight from Singapore to Narita was very early, nearly an hour early, due to a roaring tail wind. Nothing much of interest happened on the flight, but since it was only 5 hours they only allocated 1 hour to sleep, preferring to serve a meal up until 2am and then another meal an hour later. So now I am doing my usual super over tired zombie walk, where I stare at people without realizing and cant hear my own footsteps. Maybe I will have a tantrum and cry hysterically like a baby?

The real fun started at the customs in Narita, there is now a 3 stage immigration / database profiling procedure, followed by a 2 stage customs procedure. Let me explain further.

It used to be that you did the finger print scan and photograph and passport check all at the one counter, they have separated that now, and also selectively take a cheek swab DNA test to add you to their national database of foreigners to frame for crimes.
Next up is the passport check, which was longer than normal, the guy asked me why I am here, why did I go to China, not sure why thats any of his business.
Then you go get your bag, for whatever strange reason in Japan they take the priority bags off the belt and store them out of view so that you stand at the belt for 20 minutes like an idiot until you realize a small man already carried your bag away for no good reason with his white gloves.
Then you line up to have your bag inspected, mine got inspected fully, and they made me boot up my laptop and the guy pretended to look at windows explorer. Not sure what he thought he would find just by watching me scroll through the list of folder names.
Then comes the extensive questions about why I am in Japan, what will I do, do I have money, do I know anyone here, am I on drugs, am I carrying alcohol, do I intend to leave, am I a foreign spy, do I intend to impregnate any pure blood locals, what do I think about Shinzo Abe.

After all that I was still too early for the post office to collect my WiFi puck/dongle thing so I had an expensive coffee that was actually quite good and started typing this nonsense.
Right now I am on the Kesei Skyliner Grand Rapid Limited Reserved Partial Express heading to Ueno, where I will be many many hours too early to check in at the local APA hotel that specializes in re-imperialising once glorious Japan.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Narita airport has a viewing gallery! And its full of people with very fancy huge cameras. It is outside the customs area so I guess if you like to ta

Narita airport has a viewing gallery! And its full of people with very fancy huge cameras. It is outside the customs area so I guess if you like to take photos of planes you can just come here whenever you feel like it. Unfortunately the selected location is not great for viewing anything except the other people doing the viewing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Proof that I was at Narita Terminal 1 viewing gallery. I must silence all doubters.

Proof that I was at Narita Terminal 1 viewing gallery. I must silence all doubters.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - In case you cant wait to even leave the airport to buy plastic trinkets, dont worry, theres thousands to choose from as evidenced in this out of focus

In case you cant wait to even leave the airport to buy plastic trinkets, dont worry, theres thousands to choose from as evidenced in this out of focus photograph. I selected a teddy bear sitting on a toilet and an anatomically accurate ghost.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Before boarding my train I decided to wander around the streets for a while, see if I could hide in the luggage compartment of a bus or just generally

Before boarding my train I decided to wander around the streets for a while, see if I could hide in the luggage compartment of a bus or just generally cause the airport police to become concerned. I am very good at making Japanese department of gardens and zebra crossing police nervous.


Nakano not Nagano

As suggested above, I was many hours too early to check into the hotel however the new trainee on the desk greeted me with 'I hope you are an English speaker because I am a trainee and need to practice, good morning sir, how are you today?'.
She was actually a very good English speaker but also very nervous, and extremely disappointed that my room was not ready despite basically no room in the history of the Japanese hotel industry every being ready until exactly 3pm.
After some frantic concern about my health and wellbeing, she charged around from the counter and attached tags to my bags with an elaborate system of knots and then physically tied them to a hand rail on the wall, before telling me 'I will take special attention to ensure your bags are very safe under my care'. She then held the bow as I backed away slowly to start my day.

At first I thought I might just hang around Ueno, a part of Tokyo I am very familiar with and like a lot, but then I decided the subway station was the best chance for a bathroom after a gallon of coffee, so I found a random station and headed down.
The map suggested I could go direct to Nakano, famous for its broadway and collection of toys favored by obese people with facial hair that seems to grow in sporadic patterns. Excellent! I had been there once before, on my trip when I decided to fly to Japan for a weekend, today I had more time to spend, except I got off at the wrong station and then had to walk a couple of kilometres to get there.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is Ueno. Cloudy today. I messed with the white balance of this photo slightly as I am still learning about my new camera. This is one of my favou

Here is Ueno. Cloudy today. I messed with the white balance of this photo slightly as I am still learning about my new camera. This is one of my favourite areas of Tokyo, its a great collection of food, dodgy African guys selling fake sneakers, electronics shops, traditional shops selling wax stamp seals required if you want to send a fax, pawn stores, porn stores and the occasional store that does not appear to be selling anything at all, those are too exclusive for me to dare enter.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - On my walk to Nakano (not Nagano, thats a long walk), I passed this excellent sign that features a random fish to help you accept that your only metho

On my walk to Nakano (not Nagano, thats a long walk), I passed this excellent sign that features a random fish to help you accept that your only method of escape during an earthquake will be closed down. This photo is a huge crop, I dont need a zoom.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I managed to find a random temple along the way. This is not hard to do in Japan. I have no idea what kind this is or what it is called. It has lots o

I managed to find a random temple along the way. This is not hard to do in Japan. I have no idea what kind this is or what it is called. It has lots of fancy cars parked on the gravel to prevent westerners from taking photos that make Japan look like a temple filled blissful paradise instead of a Porsche Panamera parking lot. The orange witches hat makes this a truly fantastic photo.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is Lord Rayden from Mortal Kombat. I cut the top off his bo staff with my poor framing.

Here is Lord Rayden from Mortal Kombat. I cut the top off his bo staff with my poor framing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Behind the temple is a cemetery. I dont know if it is ok to take photos of them or not, so I did. Nice light. This is my second best cemetery in Asia

Behind the temple is a cemetery. I dont know if it is ok to take photos of them or not, so I did. Nice light. This is my second best cemetery in Asia photo, I took a better one a the fishing village in Tainan, Taiwan. Actually I thought about that a bit more, I also took a good one in Hong Kong. So this is the worst cemetery photo I ever took.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - They also have these cool series of Buddhas or whatever wearing their red jockey caps. Entire mountains have been vandalised with these things.

They also have these cool series of Buddhas or whatever wearing their red jockey caps. Entire mountains have been vandalised with these things.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - If I had of got off at the correct station I would never have got a free sumo lesson. I looked a bit weird being the only fully grown man participatin

If I had of got off at the correct station I would never have got a free sumo lesson. I looked a bit weird being the only fully grown man participating with these kids, but the instructors didnt seem to mind. Or did they? They were yelling, possibly at me, I couldnt tell.
What I do know is that I absolutely DESTROYED the 8 year old girl that challenged me.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - They all bowed down before me.

They all bowed down before me.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the main street running through Nakano. So colorful. The sun was coming out from behind the clouds.

Here is the main street running through Nakano. So colorful. The sun was coming out from behind the clouds.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Nearby was a market selling dolphin chunks on skewers. Quite salty, I think they must have soaked the flesh in sea water.

Nearby was a market selling dolphin chunks on skewers. Quite salty, I think they must have soaked the flesh in sea water.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Next up we have a local performance of the Japanese epic, Our great nation shall rise again and wipe all other nations off the face of the earth. I go

Next up we have a local performance of the Japanese epic, Our great nation shall rise again and wipe all other nations off the face of the earth. I got sidetracked here, but as I was typing this the imperial army went past my hotel with a cavalcade of 10 armored cars flying huge rising sun flags with much MUCH louder loud speakers than I have ever heard before.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is the actual Nakano Broadway, it is much like the other covered shopping streets of Japan. I have no doubt I will photograph more of them before

This is the actual Nakano Broadway, it is much like the other covered shopping streets of Japan. I have no doubt I will photograph more of them before this trip is over.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Further proof I was at Nakano, not Nagano.

Further proof I was at Nakano, not Nagano.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I remember this store from the last time I was here. An entire store dedicated to secondhand headphones, including in ear monitors. An amazingly unhyg

I remember this store from the last time I was here. An entire store dedicated to secondhand headphones, including in ear monitors. An amazingly unhygienic concept, but one I approve of. They let you try them! They even supply moist disinfectant tissues which are completely ineffective but everyone gets to pretend they are safe from the dreaded ear rot.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The second hand watch shop goes on and on forever. If you like watches, come here.

The second hand watch shop goes on and on forever. If you like watches, come here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I am not going to Kyoto on this trip, and I dont need to. Torii gates smack bang in Nakano. Very low, I hit my head on each one. What is inside this h

I am not going to Kyoto on this trip, and I dont need to. Torii gates smack bang in Nakano. Very low, I hit my head on each one. What is inside this height limited archway you may ask? Secondhand manga girl action figures showing their panties. Just like in Kyoto.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The creepiest photo of the day is the doll spare parts shop. Much like the other stores it goes on and on forever.

The creepiest photo of the day is the doll spare parts shop. Much like the other stores it goes on and on forever.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I tried for some artistic blurring. Not bad.

I tried for some artistic blurring. Not bad.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Nakano is 4 levels of 100 shops per level of stuff like this. Most of it secondhand. Theres secondhand electronics and camera shops too. If you want t

Nakano is 4 levels of 100 shops per level of stuff like this. Most of it secondhand. Theres secondhand electronics and camera shops too. If you want to buy something interesting, go here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - On the return journey I decided to get off at the station before Ueno, my hotel is in between the stations. This provided me with another nice view.

On the return journey I decided to get off at the station before Ueno, my hotel is in between the stations. This provided me with another nice view.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I like colors. So I found some colorful flowers to take a photo of and see what my colors look like. Quite colorful I think. Do you also like colors?

I like colors. So I found some colorful flowers to take a photo of and see what my colors look like. Quite colorful I think. Do you also like colors?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My tiny hotel. Its an APA. I stayed here before. It is fine. Also very cheap. I like short sentences.

My tiny hotel. Its an APA. I stayed here before. It is fine. Also very cheap. I like short sentences.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And now photo of the day! The view if I lean out of the emergency exit from my 12th floor hotel room is very excellent. Very very excellent. I can kee

And now photo of the day! The view if I lean out of the emergency exit from my 12th floor hotel room is very excellent. Very very excellent. I can keep an eye on the new imperial army from here.


I should be more tired

I think I slept for a maximum of one hour on the plane. Before departing I woke up at 6am Saturday morning Australian time which is 4am Japan time. So 1 hours sleep in 40 hours. Cool.
So I should be more tired, when I have done similar journeys before I have been more tired. Oh well.

This evening since I forecasted being tired I did not go very far, in fact I just walked to Akihabara and back and had dinner and took photos of neon, standard Tokyo activity.
It was quite busy there, although the streets dont remain closed off at night, and there is a lot of construction going on. There are also lots of tourists.

At one point I went into a convenience store to get a drink and there was a family of spoilt teenage children demanding to have pringles and chocolate for dinner because all Japanese food is horrible and they hate this place and want to go home. They could barely move under all the weight of the crap their parents had bought for them.
I used my patented glare of death at a couple of them and they moved away from me looking back over their shoulders to check I was not still glaring at them...I was.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is Ippudo. Famous in most of Australia for Ramen. It started in Fukuoka. The other day I went to one in China some place. Now it is in Tokyo. You

Here is Ippudo. Famous in most of Australia for Ramen. It started in Fukuoka. The other day I went to one in China some place. Now it is in Tokyo. You can now get ramen in Tokyo!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Some neon. I am quite happy with the low noise quality of my night photos.

Some neon. I am quite happy with the low noise quality of my night photos.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is Gokyudansan, famous for his purple legs. Gokyu is the first gay cross species hybrid in anime. He is part man and part eggplant, and his lover

Here is Gokyudansan, famous for his purple legs. Gokyu is the first gay cross species hybrid in anime. He is part man and part eggplant, and his lover is also part eggplant. They go on epic journeys to taste the fear of their enemies which apparently involves spinning around a lot until you turn into a gelatinous blob.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Some more neon. There were lots of people handing out pamphlets for the local nurse cafe, where you pay $150 to have your temperature taken. Price als

Some more neon. There were lots of people handing out pamphlets for the local nurse cafe, where you pay $150 to have your temperature taken. Price also includes a piece of cake.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Under the train track thingy.

Under the train track thingy.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the local Yodobashi. I have eaten dinner in the camera shop before. It has 2 levels of dinner places. I decided I should really get back to th

Here is the local Yodobashi. I have eaten dinner in the camera shop before. It has 2 levels of dinner places. I decided I should really get back to the hoteland go to sleep, so I went with the camera store food court to save endless wandering not deciding on what is not the best option to not have to eat.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now that the location decision was made, I still had to decide on which mini restaurant I would eat at, that turned out to be easy, SOUP CURRY! I sele

Now that the location decision was made, I still had to decide on which mini restaurant I would eat at, that turned out to be easy, SOUP CURRY! I selected the vegetarian option that is potato and okra, and the hottest 100/100 scale on the chilli.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I thought I would get to bed early but then I saw a public screening of Men in Black! Will Smith and that other dude whos name I forget in one of the

I thought I would get to bed early but then I saw a public screening of Men in Black! Will Smith and that other dude whos name I forget in one of the 17 greatest buddy cop alien hunting movies ever made. Hearing it dubbed in Japanese really added a new dimension to the narrative.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

David on 2018-10-28 said:

and thats the way its going to stay, just go to the trip and click latest at the top....I hate the backwards blog style, I much prefer the forward direction story style.
The backwards blog style is only there to attract the googlebot to get me a higher ranking on google by making everything into short posts for people with short attention spans


mother on 2018-10-28 said:

Still have to go through the full trip report to get to a comments box. This could become tiresome.

I see my favourite department store in Ueno area - Matsuzakaya. I have many. I would have stayed in the Dormy Inn next door.



Day 3 - Monday, 29 October 2018

Far beyond Takao

Today I also went back to somewhere I went when I came to Tokyo for a weekend a few years ago. On that occasion it was pouring with rain and I bought a plastic coat from the convenience store and made it only to the top of the cable car station before sliding my way down a muddy lesser known path. It was a great time, but today was completely different and better.
The weather was ridiculously good, so good that when I was on one of the many summits an elderly Japanese man told me 'The weather is painfully amazing today, such amaze!'. And he was right.

I decided to go to Mount Takao, the most popular hiking destination in Japan, and see how far I could get with my revised setup of larger camera, and larger backpack. Both posed no issues, and I made it to my furthest of 3 options, approximately 25km total hike, which is a long way in the mountains, close to 7 hours including some running.
Much of the hiking trail features spots to take in the views of Mount Fuji, so I did that, as you will see. I twice got asked by Japanese people to take their photos, despite being covered in mud from slipping at one point, covered in sunscreen because the cheap stuff my work gave out for free does not absorb into my rugged wrinkly old man skin but did constantly run into my eyes causing them to become filled with blood, and generally being very very sweaty because I hike / run fast and dont carry a little Japanese hiking towel. So it was surprising they would give me their camera. Anyway, onto the huge number of photos. There are lots so dont expect huge long descriptions of the view, unless I get creative.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is Takao station. It is very easy to get to and only about an hour from Ueno on the Chuo Rapid line which skips many stations. I have riddend thi

Here is Takao station. It is very easy to get to and only about an hour from Ueno on the Chuo Rapid line which skips many stations. I have riddend this line many times, it gives you a great appreciation of how huge Tokyo is.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It is not yet peak color, that will come, but the trees still look amazing, like a computer game from the 1990's.

It is not yet peak color, that will come, but the trees still look amazing, like a computer game from the 1990's.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The hike up to the top cable car station of Takao is more of a road, with shops, this is by all reports the number one hiking destination in Japan due

The hike up to the top cable car station of Takao is more of a road, with shops, this is by all reports the number one hiking destination in Japan due to its proximity to Tokyo, it is the easiest place to go to see Fuji.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Obviously there will be temples. My photo is poorly framed.

Obviously there will be temples. My photo is poorly framed.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I was happy to have a bigger backpack for its water carrying abilities. Today I did not need it. This is the top cable car station, there are vending

I was happy to have a bigger backpack for its water carrying abilities. Today I did not need it. This is the top cable car station, there are vending machines everywhere. My day had really only just begun at this point, it was a good thing I left my hotel at 6:30 in the morning.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I believe I will be hiking all the way around to those peaks. I was excited! VERY EXCITED! So excited I slipped over in a very strange spot for no goo

I believe I will be hiking all the way around to those peaks. I was excited! VERY EXCITED! So excited I slipped over in a very strange spot for no good reason at all, I dont even know what I tripped on, but it made my entire right leg brown with mud.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - There are many views to be had of greater Tokyo as you will see. I believe many people take the cable car up at night to look at the lights. Lazy peop

There are many views to be had of greater Tokyo as you will see. I believe many people take the cable car up at night to look at the lights. Lazy people. Actually you could easily walk up to here at night, its more of a road than a path to this point.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Extremely bright sun today. Challenging photo conditions. Still I didnt use any gradient filters to process these shots to make the sky blue. Highligh

Extremely bright sun today. Challenging photo conditions. Still I didnt use any gradient filters to process these shots to make the sky blue. Highlight recovery is great in full frame whatever nonsense camera.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - From the cable car to this temple / shrine complex is still very busy, full of brave people walking the few hundred metres in their hiking gear.

From the cable car to this temple / shrine complex is still very busy, full of brave people walking the few hundred metres in their hiking gear.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Each of these signs represents a person who committed sepukku because he didnt get enough instagram likes.

Each of these signs represents a person who committed sepukku because he didnt get enough instagram likes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now we will have a few temple photos, prepare yourself for ancient traditions.

Now we will have a few temple photos, prepare yourself for ancient traditions.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This double headed golden dragon is blessing everyones bear scaring bells. You pay a few hundred yen to leave your bell here for a few minutes before

This double headed golden dragon is blessing everyones bear scaring bells. You pay a few hundred yen to leave your bell here for a few minutes before you head off over the mountains. It is very dangerous to hike without an unblessed bear bell.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Every temple needs a shopping mall.

Every temple needs a shopping mall.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I dont think I was supposed to be in this area, but I found a cave you cant stand up in with various candles and stuff at the end.

I dont think I was supposed to be in this area, but I found a cave you cant stand up in with various candles and stuff at the end.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - By now I realised if I wanted to make it to my furthest hiking option end point that I was spending too much time messing about in the temple theme pa

By now I realised if I wanted to make it to my furthest hiking option end point that I was spending too much time messing about in the temple theme park, so I hip and shouldered these people out of the way and got going.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Why there was no one at this shrine I do not know? It is much more colorful than the others but theres no one here.

Why there was no one at this shrine I do not know? It is much more colorful than the others but theres no one here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - HYPERVENTILATE! HERE SHE IS! This is where I was told the weather is painfully amazing.

HYPERVENTILATE! HERE SHE IS! This is where I was told the weather is painfully amazing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Have a bit more fuji. It has more snow than I was expecting. More than last year at this time. Perhaps it will melt again, its going to be over 20 deg

Have a bit more fuji. It has more snow than I was expecting. More than last year at this time. Perhaps it will melt again, its going to be over 20 degrees all week.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - There are many peaks to go over, most of them have a little cafe / eating area like this. However about half of them are run down or abandoned. After

There are many peaks to go over, most of them have a little cafe / eating area like this. However about half of them are run down or abandoned. After Mount Takao I went up and over a few other peaks, named Kagenobuyama, Doshoyama and finally Mount Jinba where I started my descent. It would make more sense if I named them from photos taken at that point but I cant remember which was what.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I was trying to find new ways to photograph Fuji, this one features a tree trunk.

I was trying to find new ways to photograph Fuji, this one features a tree trunk.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - There are other far off peaks to look at other than Fuji.

There are other far off peaks to look at other than Fuji.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - A scene of utter devastation. Japan is second only to the destruction of the Amazon in their shocking deforestation.

A scene of utter devastation. Japan is second only to the destruction of the Amazon in their shocking deforestation.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Actually I think all those trees on the left are plantation rather than old growth, but I am no expert.

Actually I think all those trees on the left are plantation rather than old growth, but I am no expert.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This area was shown on a sign as plum blossom area, there have been many news reports of plum blossoms appearing now, at the wrong time of the year be

This area was shown on a sign as plum blossom area, there have been many news reports of plum blossoms appearing now, at the wrong time of the year because of numerous typhoons keeping the weather warm. No blossoms here though.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - A bit more view of Tokyo.

A bit more view of Tokyo.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This wasnt even one of the main peaks I dont think? But from here you can descend to a bus stop, so it was the end point for many hikers, not me thoug

This wasnt even one of the main peaks I dont think? But from here you can descend to a bus stop, so it was the end point for many hikers, not me though!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The path then became the most common type in Japan, hard dirt with trunks sticking out to trip you over surrounded by cedars.

The path then became the most common type in Japan, hard dirt with trunks sticking out to trip you over surrounded by cedars.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Fuji framed by trees with a huge highway in the bottom of the valley. There is a very long tunnel under where I am standing.

Fuji framed by trees with a huge highway in the bottom of the valley. There is a very long tunnel under where I am standing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - That is the other side of the highway, heading back to Tokyo.

That is the other side of the highway, heading back to Tokyo.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - THE STANCE IS BACK. It never really went away. It is definitely shorts and tshirt weather today.

THE STANCE IS BACK. It never really went away. It is definitely shorts and tshirt weather today.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I look hot and wind swept. Although it wasnt actually windy today. Apparently the weather was perfect?

I look hot and wind swept. Although it wasnt actually windy today. Apparently the weather was perfect?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - More of greater Tokyo. How many damn pictures did I take? My fingers are getting tired and I need to head out for dinner.

More of greater Tokyo. How many damn pictures did I take? My fingers are getting tired and I need to head out for dinner.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another of my favorite styles of hiking trail, low bamboo. I like it more when its just low bamboo on its own but any bamboo is better than no bamboo.

Another of my favorite styles of hiking trail, low bamboo. I like it more when its just low bamboo on its own but any bamboo is better than no bamboo. Thats a fact. Actually I dont even think it is bamboo. I clearly just like saying bamboo.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is a bit of color. I expected more. I guess the typhoons might be delaying autumn. Not to worry, I am here for a few weeks.

Here is a bit of color. I expected more. I guess the typhoons might be delaying autumn. Not to worry, I am here for a few weeks.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I see these photos everywhere on the internet, so I took one myself. I used my tilty screen thing so I didnt have to tilt my neck. Convenient.

I see these photos everywhere on the internet, so I took one myself. I used my tilty screen thing so I didnt have to tilt my neck. Convenient.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Its a dinosaur with a penis for a head! This is the top of mount Jinba, my final peak for the day. I have no idea what Cockasauras is for.

Its a dinosaur with a penis for a head! This is the top of mount Jinba, my final peak for the day. I have no idea what Cockasauras is for.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - One last view shot. The path I am on just continues all the way to fuji. I was out of time today.

One last view shot. The path I am on just continues all the way to fuji. I was out of time today.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I knew when what time the bus departed, 25 minutes past the hour. Not that it was a big problem because they depart every hour, but I decided to run a

I knew when what time the bus departed, 25 minutes past the hour. Not that it was a big problem because they depart every hour, but I decided to run as much as I could on the way down to get the next bus, I made it! This is a fairly typical tiny mountain valley town in Japan.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here she is, waiting for me, a bus that was at the right stop at the right time. The last stop! It took about 45 minutes for it to get back to Tak

And here she is, waiting for me, a bus that was at the right stop at the right time. The last stop! It took about 45 minutes for it to get back to Takao station. It filled up with school children who wisely stayed the hell away from me.


Asakusa without the shrine

Asakusa is near Ueno. The main shrine of Tokyo is there, Sensoji or something like that. Everyone goes there, buys plastic versions of the shrine takes photos. I have done that 3 times. Tonight I managed to be the first person in recorded history to go to Asakusa and not see the shrine.

I decided I had not yet done quite enough steps today, so I walked there and back from Ueno. It is really not that far, and I like to wander around the back streets and peer in peoples windows, a window on ordinary Tokyo life. The most unusual thing I saw was a man in his underwear playing a tuba. The second most interesting was a guy cleaning his fish tank while his cat watched.

In Asakusa I found my dinner and a few rather strange cafes, as you shall see.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I didnt see the main shrine but I saw this one in the backstreets. It had a sign explaining its purpose. It is a shrine for business people to come an

I didnt see the main shrine but I saw this one in the backstreets. It had a sign explaining its purpose. It is a shrine for business people to come and wish for successful business and wealth. While I was taking the photo a couple of salary men did come and do a small bow hoping they get that big promotion down at the office or whatever.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - No need to go to Miyajima to see Torii gate floating in the water, here you can see one rising above concrete. That reminds me, I have not been doing

No need to go to Miyajima to see Torii gate floating in the water, here you can see one rising above concrete. That reminds me, I have not been doing any of my amazing haikus yet. You are in for a real treat when I remember.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the famous 1/50th scale model golden shrine. Japanse children do not build models of ships or racing cars, they build model shrines. Some asse

Here is the famous 1/50th scale model golden shrine. Japanse children do not build models of ships or racing cars, they build model shrines. Some assembly required. Lots of glue. Japan glue is inferior glue.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I bought an entire collection of pots to assist me in my one true love, baking things in pots. Luckily they sold me a case to carry my pots in so I ca

I bought an entire collection of pots to assist me in my one true love, baking things in pots. Luckily they sold me a case to carry my pots in so I can wheel them all around Japan before carrying them home on the plane.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This old lady lost all her money on bitcoin so now she has to grill mystery meat on sticks in the middle of the night and sell them to passing strange

This old lady lost all her money on bitcoin so now she has to grill mystery meat on sticks in the middle of the night and sell them to passing strangers. Actually this was a heavy crop, and despite that it still looks good to me, no noise etc. Sharp as a tack, whatever a tack is, all I know is photo websites describe things as being 'tack sharp'.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - OMG A HEDGEHOG CAFE! Its probably cruel, I dont know, I dont speak hedgehog to ask them.

OMG A HEDGEHOG CAFE! Its probably cruel, I dont know, I dont speak hedgehog to ask them.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It looks like they take them out of the glass tank things. They dont seem to be too prickly to pick up or try and run away. Maybe they drug them. I be

It looks like they take them out of the glass tank things. They dont seem to be too prickly to pick up or try and run away. Maybe they drug them. I bet they are delicious. This one is a heavy crop through glass. I will stop talking about crops soon. I dont need a zoom.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is an Asakusa street. The weather this evening was DELIGHTFUL, caps to emphasize the ridiculous description of the weather. Despite it being so n

Here is an Asakusa street. The weather this evening was DELIGHTFUL, caps to emphasize the ridiculous description of the weather. Despite it being so nice outside, Tokyo seemed very quiet.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is my dinner. Its a kind of ramen. I think I should have gone to Ippudo Asakusa (they had one). This ramen was beef in a beef broth. The menu had

Here is my dinner. Its a kind of ramen. I think I should have gone to Ippudo Asakusa (they had one). This ramen was beef in a beef broth. The menu had a lot of English and talked about how healthy it is compared to normal ramen.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Last photo tonight is a rather non remarkable photo at first glance. Except these plants are for sale. By day this is a nursery. They just leave their

Last photo tonight is a rather non remarkable photo at first glance. Except these plants are for sale. By day this is a nursery. They just leave their plants out like this after they go home overnight. No one will steal them....or will they?


There are currently 5 comments - click to add

Brian on 2018-11-07 said:

Enjoying all your photos David. Now you have 2 people following your trip.


drude on 2018-11-05 said:

A tack is a type of nail used to fix carpets to floors. New camera looks great


bobule on 2018-11-01 said:

sweeet lord satan that beef looks DELICIOUS!


David on 2018-10-29 said:

You still have not worked out what the button labeled latest does then? Also you have not figured out that pressing contents will take you straight to the bottom?
Also the reason it's like that is because I don't want the comments.
Also you do not know how to use a telephone at all to send me messages, you forgot how I guess. You will now claim you have never used Google hangouts and I made that up. I even sent you an sms from Skype reminding you.
The comments are here so you can tell me you don't know how to use the Internet over and over, no other reason.

Also complaining that you have to scroll through the content to get to the comments? Does that mean you don't want to actually read any of it you just want to comment?
That is what YouTube is for, commenting about content you didn't even watch!


jenny on 2018-10-29 said:

scrolling though all the posts to get to the comments section is a major flaw. Nobody is going to comment, even your mother will eventually give up.



Contents

Day 0 - Monday, 11 March 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 27 October 2018
  Posting from the future
  Posting from the present from the airport
  Singapore airport has no butterflies
Day 2 - Sunday, 28 October 2018
  Narita airport DNA test
  Nakano not Nagano
  I should be more tired
Day 3 - Monday, 29 October 2018
  Far beyond Takao
  Asakusa without the shrine
Day 4 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018
  A tale of two fish markets
  The overrated Shinagawa
Day 5 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018
  My short hike became very long
  The great Shibuya Halloween crush
Day 6 - Thursday, 1 November 2018
  Rocks and clouds on Izu Peninsula
  The unknown metropolis of Kitasenju
Day 7 - Friday, 2 November 2018
  Forced into danger on Mount Myogi
  Omu-Mapo-Tofu in Shinjuku
Day 8 - Saturday, 3 November 2018
  No train day
  I left Japan and went to Roppongi
Day 9 - Sunday, 4 November 2018
  Japan Airlines domestic experience
  Taco rice everywhere
Day 10 - Monday, 5 November 2018
  I found a mountain in Nago
  Night of the many cats
Day 11 - Tuesday, 6 November 2018
  I joined the imperial navy
  Okinawa does not understand beaches
Day 12 - Wednesday, 7 November 2018
  Castles and shopping centres
  I have developed a taste for tarts now
Day 13 - Thursday, 8 November 2018
  Island hopper
  Christmas light hysteria in Hakata
Day 14 - Friday, 9 November 2018
  Repeat mountain and beyond
  Surprisingly quiet Tenjin
Day 15 - Saturday, 10 November 2018
  Pollution day in Karatsu
  Reflecting on sumos in ramen stadium
Day 16 - Sunday, 11 November 2018
  Oops I did it again
  The healthy option
Day 17 - Monday, 12 November 2018
  Greyasaki
  I can see in the dark
Day 18 - Monday, 13 November 2018
  The over sharing of the view
  Leaving port
Day 19 - Wednesday, 14 November 2018
  The never ending hills of Nagasaki
  Crappy photos in Urakami
Day 20 - Thursday, 15 November 2018
  All about the bridge
  Lard night
Day 21 - Friday, 16 November 2018
  Deja Vu
  From Kanda to Harajuku
Day 22 - Saturday, 17 November 2018
  Hiking with others
  Brief trip to Ginza for curry
Day 23 - Sunday, 18 November 2018
  Greasers
  Quiet night in Shimbashi
Day 24 - Monday, 19 November 2018
  Kawagoe by train to see trains
  Roller coasters in the rain
Day 25 - Tuesday, 20 November 2018
  Magnificent Lake Okutama
  The long way back
Day 26 - Wednesday, 21 November 2018
  Long train to large Buddha at Nokogiri
  I warned you all
Day 27 - Thursday, 22 November 2018
  The grey and the train
  The end