More Trips

Frangland July 19


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China4 April 18


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Taiwan4 March 17


Japan6 October 16


Europe May 16


Japan5 November 15


Korea2 March 15

Even More Trips

HongJapWan March 2014
Sichuan March 2013
Tokyo3 October 2012
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Japwan March 2012
China November 2011
Korea September 2011
Taiwan March 2011
London3 June 2010
Japan May 2010
London2 February 2010
London September 2009
SE Asia December 2005

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Page 3

Day 7 - Friday, 2 November 2018

Forced into danger on Mount Myogi

Today is the last day of validity for my 3 day train pass. Last day of getting up at 5:30am for an epic journey. Well I am sure there will be more, and I am sure I will get another 3 day Tokyo wide pass when I am back in Tokyo in a couple of weeks time, but tomorrow I will not go on a long journey and I might have time to buy a coffee. I have not had a coffee for 3 days and I am ready to fight anyone, or I am constantly sleepy. Actually neither of those things, caffeine withdrawal is a myth, just like the flu vaccine and man going to the moon and the supposedly round earth. I digress.

For todays epic journey I headed into the heart of Gunma prefecture, to one of Gunma's 3 famous jagged mountains, Mount Myogi. They really do have a jagged mountain list.
This mountain is the most deadly in all of Japan, with over 50 deaths! As I was climbing I saw the rescue helicopter, but I suspect it was delivering building supplies, as you shall see.
Anyway, I planned a non dangerous route, but ended up having to do a more dangerous route, but not a super dangerous route. This is because the easy route path and fallen in a landslide, which was being rebuilt. That is probably where the helicopter was delivering supplies to.

There were probably signs explaining this, but I could not read them, so it meant doubling back for over an hour and selecting the more dangerous path, which means it was time for ropes and chains.
This will probably explain why I saw almost no one on my trail, they knew the path was impassable. While backtracking I did pass a couple of groups, and I told them in English while making a big x with my arms that the path is broken. One guy spoke English and told me he knew, I asked if there was another way, he said no. What if I walk back down and along the road I asked? He said yes, but not much interest, have low expectations. I found that amusing.
Anyway, there was another path up to one of the peaks, just no other path along the front of the peaks that takes you through rock archways etc.

So despite being thwarted in my plan, I still managed to climb to the top, and not die. Quite the achievement.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My journey was a 55 minute shinkansen to Takasaki, which is a large city of 1/2 a million people (who knew?), then the Shinetsu line for about 20 minu

My journey was a 55 minute shinkansen to Takasaki, which is a large city of 1/2 a million people (who knew?), then the Shinetsu line for about 20 minutes to Matsuida. A very short journey compared to the last couple of days despite being longer in distance. From Matsuida station its about a 4km walk up the road to Myogi shrine. The internet will show people complaining theres no bus and that taxis are expensive. I jogged, it took 30 minutes. Quit complaining, get jogging.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - As I would later find out, landslides here are a real issue. I can see the entire mountain coming down in a decent earthquake. Signs informing residen

As I would later find out, landslides here are a real issue. I can see the entire mountain coming down in a decent earthquake. Signs informing residents if they are in the certain death, probably death or possible death zones are everywhere.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Lets start climbing. There are a couple of shops at the base, but I was too early for them to be open. I probably did not need to be so early today, a

Lets start climbing. There are a couple of shops at the base, but I was too early for them to be open. I probably did not need to be so early today, a 7am departure would have been fine.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The path up to the shrine is steep, but nice enough.

The path up to the shrine is steep, but nice enough.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Also quite colorful. Whats up with the strange colored blue sky? Is Japan seeding the sky with blue chemicals again?

Also quite colorful. Whats up with the strange colored blue sky? Is Japan seeding the sky with blue chemicals again?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The junior shrine below the main shrine. I was again wasting too much time shrining about in shrine land when I should have been climbing.

The junior shrine below the main shrine. I was again wasting too much time shrining about in shrine land when I should have been climbing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The main shrine is small but colorful. Hard to photograph due to the dark shadows, blazing sunshine.

The main shrine is small but colorful. Hard to photograph due to the dark shadows, blazing sunshine.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Time to start the climb.

Time to start the climb.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The lower parts were quite colorful. I was high on momoji fever.

The lower parts were quite colorful. I was high on momoji fever.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - If my path was not destroyed, I would have ended up all the way around there. Nice photo this one.

If my path was not destroyed, I would have ended up all the way around there. Nice photo this one.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Oh no! They are busy building a new path. Despite me not photographing them, there are 10 guys working on this, so it should be repaired soon enough.

Oh no! They are busy building a new path. Despite me not photographing them, there are 10 guys working on this, so it should be repaired soon enough. Amusingly, when I arrived, a guy in a helmet furiously blew his whistle at me, like I might just walk straight off a cliff. Anyway, out of 10 guys, none spoke English, so they lead me around to show where the path had collapsed. I kind of thought I could make it up and around where they were building / surveying the route for the new path, but there was no way they were going to let me try. Retreat!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I think this is just after I found my new path, it was ropes and chains so my camera was put away, not many photos of the climb to here.

I think this is just after I found my new path, it was ropes and chains so my camera was put away, not many photos of the climb to here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another nice photo, many layers of trees and mountains add depth.

Another nice photo, many layers of trees and mountains add depth.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Can I really get up there?

Can I really get up there?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another point where I found a safe spot to rest briefly, whip the camera out.

Another point where I found a safe spot to rest briefly, whip the camera out.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Ahh, yes, heres some chains. Its very hard to make them look like you actually ascend a cliff using the chains.

Ahh, yes, heres some chains. Its very hard to make them look like you actually ascend a cliff using the chains.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - A bit more chain. Obviously I couldnt photograph the longest rockiest bits, as I was hanging the hell on.

A bit more chain. Obviously I couldnt photograph the longest rockiest bits, as I was hanging the hell on.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Da! For whatever reason they have stuck the Chinese character for big on a big rock. Also a good spot to catch your breath. It was slow going up the c

Da! For whatever reason they have stuck the Chinese character for big on a big rock. Also a good spot to catch your breath. It was slow going up the chains.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Nearly there!

Nearly there!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here I am, looking out on my kingdom, looking down my pig nose at everyone with disdain, DISDAIN.

Here I am, looking out on my kingdom, looking down my pig nose at everyone with disdain, DISDAIN.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I looked down. I dont believe in 'dont look down'.

I looked down. I dont believe in 'dont look down'.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And heres a view from the top, or at least the top of the peak I could actually get to today.

And heres a view from the top, or at least the top of the peak I could actually get to today.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It is not particularly high, just 1100 metres, but it is very challenging and the scenery is great.

It is not particularly high, just 1100 metres, but it is very challenging and the scenery is great.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - On my jog back to the station I was compelled to stop and smell the flowers and take in the view.

On my jog back to the station I was compelled to stop and smell the flowers and take in the view.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I ran too fast back to the station and had 20 minutes to kill before the train came, so heres the station, Matsuida, another station that does not hav

I ran too fast back to the station and had 20 minutes to kill before the train came, so heres the station, Matsuida, another station that does not have a shop.


Omu-Mapo-Tofu in Shinjuku

Tonight I went back across town to everyones favorite part of Tokyo, Shinjuku. I like it too, its great for photos, and tonight I was very happy with the photos I took, so that was good.
The train to get there was very full, and a dog was barking. The other day on a train I heard a kitten making kitten noises (how do you type that, its not really a meeeoowww?). So I am now wondering what animal will be next on the train, perhaps one of those baby lambs that get sold to Japanese girls as pedigree dogs? Thats always funny.

Shinjuku on a Friday in good weather was very busy but apparently not busy enough. The main news story right now on BBC and ABC is that Japan has relaxed the migration ban and needs a million migrants fast to try and save their country. Presumably you cant come unless you can demonstrate you have been sterilized, bloodlines must be maintained. The emperor is struggling to maintain his own bloodline, his children keep abdicating the throne and marrying some guy they met at the local convenience store.

One thing I always find funny in Shinjuku is the Japanese junior tough guys. These are the trainee yakuza who dress like computer game characters and stand in the street trying to convince you to go into their bosses club. They look about as threatening as hello kitty.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Its a taxi, in front of BIC Camera. I started my tour of Shinjuku on the wrong side of the tracks, and I really did not make it very far away from the

Its a taxi, in front of BIC Camera. I started my tour of Shinjuku on the wrong side of the tracks, and I really did not make it very far away from the station, there is just so much to see.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Can I shoot f/4 at night handheld? Yes I can.

Can I shoot f/4 at night handheld? Yes I can.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This homeless person takes up more room than the average Tokyo residents house. They have constructed an elaborate cardboard fortress.

This homeless person takes up more room than the average Tokyo residents house. They have constructed an elaborate cardboard fortress.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The wrong side of the tracks is quiet like this, apart from the one street that leads from all the government buildings to the subway, you cannot walk

The wrong side of the tracks is quiet like this, apart from the one street that leads from all the government buildings to the subway, you cannot walk against that tide at 6pm.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Japan takes temporary road lane markings very seriously, with these cool orange lights leftover from Halloween.

Japan takes temporary road lane markings very seriously, with these cool orange lights leftover from Halloween.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I was very impressed with the low light performance of my camera. This is 1/15, f/6.3 and only iso800, handheld. Its also a heavy crop. A crop of a ha

I was very impressed with the low light performance of my camera. This is 1/15, f/6.3 and only iso800, handheld. Its also a heavy crop. A crop of a handheld 1/15 of a second night shot and still sharp! IBIS is great (In body image stabilisation). What language am I speaking?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This one is high iso, iso1250, and the noise is perfectly fine. I love how 3d it looks.

This one is high iso, iso1250, and the noise is perfectly fine. I love how 3d it looks.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Just a random shop in Shinjuku.

Just a random shop in Shinjuku.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I found what would later be part of my dinner!

I found what would later be part of my dinner!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Still on the wrong side of the tracks, it was time to explore some alleyways.

Still on the wrong side of the tracks, it was time to explore some alleyways.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Which sashimi shall I have, horse or whale? RAW HORSE!

Which sashimi shall I have, horse or whale? RAW HORSE!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The fat guy on the left makes this photo a keeper.

The fat guy on the left makes this photo a keeper.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - So 3d! I was sneak taking these shots, they all came out ok, this is the best of about 5 I took.

So 3d! I was sneak taking these shots, they all came out ok, this is the best of about 5 I took.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - As part of my job here in Japan I have to note when bags are put out for collection at the wrong times. This was under the train lines.

As part of my job here in Japan I have to note when bags are put out for collection at the wrong times. This was under the train lines.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I had to wait for the traffic lights, so why not take another photo of neon?

I had to wait for the traffic lights, so why not take another photo of neon?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Random shop with shop owner.

Random shop with shop owner.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - While waiting for my dinner I snapped this while no one was looking. Quite happy with the SUBJECT SEPARATION. I know all about photography terms now.

While waiting for my dinner I snapped this while no one was looking. Quite happy with the SUBJECT SEPARATION. I know all about photography terms now.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here is my dinner. Its omurice, combined with mapo tofu. The omelet has rice under it, you cant really see the omelet properly because they poured

And here is my dinner. Its omurice, combined with mapo tofu. The omelet has rice under it, you cant really see the omelet properly because they poured the sauce on top rather than around the sides like in the picture. It was delicious, from now on I want all my mapo tofu served with omurice.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is photo of the day! A 1:1 crop of that guys head shows perfect detail in his hair, I studied the pixels.

This is photo of the day! A 1:1 crop of that guys head shows perfect detail in his hair, I studied the pixels.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Is this the normal robot cafe or a new one? I have never been and will never go, I hear its terrible.

Is this the normal robot cafe or a new one? I have never been and will never go, I hear its terrible.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

jenny on 2018-11-02 said:

I agree with previous comment. Photos are all very clear and you are getting good at framing your shots too


David on 2018-11-02 said:

@melskius - Thankyou, I appreciate the feedback, the camera is a Sony a7ii purchased just before I left for this trip. I am still learning how to get the most out of it but am quite happy so far.


melskius on 2018-11-02 said:

You have taken some fantastic photos. Great depth of field.



Day 8 - Saturday, 3 November 2018

No train day

Before we get started, I should mention I again got racially insulted today, thats twice in a week, Japan has changed. A store vendor decided to call me a white dog, and told me to get lost. I also had a guy bump into me who was walking along reading his phone who then screamed at me in Japanese, but I think he might have had mental issues, so I will let that one slide. Store vendor however, he was just an asshole for no reason other than being a massive racist. Maybe its reaction to the new immigration policy saga. Who knows.

Today I made a conscious decision to not go on any train. The last 3 days I have been on every single train in the Greater Tokyo and surrounding prefecture area. This meant a lot of walking, 30,000 steps by 2pm, mainly aimless wandering between a couple of destinations on what I had decided would be a day of rest.

My first destination was a garden, Rikugien. Apparently its something to do with the 6 key principles of poetry, which are rhyming, dissing, talking in an English accent for no reason, using words that dont actually exist, pretending to be smart when you are actually just a drunk student and then rhyming again. Because this park is to do with the 6 principles of poetry, I will only score it 6 out of 10, it was a little brown and disappointing. In a few weeks time it will be open at night when they turn the ancient trees into christmas trees and shine lights on them.

My next destination is where I was racially assaulted and threatened with violence in the street, the old Japanese neighborhood of Yanesen.
This is a few streets of little shops with no convenience stores cashing in on their newly acquired tourism status. Some of the food places have lines out the front and posters proudly advertising the time they were featured on NHK tv. I did not stay long because I feared for my safety here, I did not realise it was off limits to non Japanese people.

On my loop back from there I headed through Nippori which involved a visit to a cemetery where I studied the sign of rules, and nowhere did it say NO PHOTO, so I took a photo. My day finished with a selection of dainty sandwiches from the excellent Andersen bakery, it was full but when I sat down, people moved and I ended up having spare seats either side of me. Very considerate of the old grandmas to give me so much room!

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another clear day in Tokyo! The fire escape was open so I wandered out and took a photo of this bird glued to the tv antenna to improve reception.

Another clear day in Tokyo! The fire escape was open so I wandered out and took a photo of this bird glued to the tv antenna to improve reception.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Just a random dragon wrapped around a sword protected by 5 Buddha statues on a street corner.

Just a random dragon wrapped around a sword protected by 5 Buddha statues on a street corner.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is not the actual garden, this is inside the Tokyo university grounds. I was not sure if I was allowed to just go in and wander around, but once

This is not the actual garden, this is inside the Tokyo university grounds. I was not sure if I was allowed to just go in and wander around, but once I saw old people running about in 1970's tracksuits I decided it was OK. The place was largely deserted, especially this garden area. I fished for turtles for a while.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The university like all universities is a strange mixture of buildings that are old and grand and new and shiny, intermixed in strange combinations wi

The university like all universities is a strange mixture of buildings that are old and grand and new and shiny, intermixed in strange combinations with stair cases leading under and above where you need to to.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I passed many many.....many shrines and temples today, I limited my photos to a couple. This one is also a cemetery, but it is not the main cemetery o

I passed many many.....many shrines and temples today, I limited my photos to a couple. This one is also a cemetery, but it is not the main cemetery of the day.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Heres another one, not a cemetery, but nice trees. Very bright light.

Heres another one, not a cemetery, but nice trees. Very bright light.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Japan recycling to China green sword standards. I was impressed by the clear plastic bottles, all lids removed. I went into the store and discussed wi

Japan recycling to China green sword standards. I was impressed by the clear plastic bottles, all lids removed. I went into the store and discussed with the owners what kind of rebate they are getting currently for their hard work in source separation.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now I am in the proper garden. I waited for a while for a clear bridge shot but it never came, so enjoy WOMAN ON BRIDGE. The water was green.

Now I am in the proper garden. I waited for a while for a clear bridge shot but it never came, so enjoy WOMAN ON BRIDGE. The water was green.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This area will probably be spectacular MOMOJI in a few weeks time. I like to use all caps when I use words that I find entertaining to myself. Here in

This area will probably be spectacular MOMOJI in a few weeks time. I like to use all caps when I use words that I find entertaining to myself. Here in my hotel room I yell them out as I type them.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I enjoyed this moss covered trunk for a while.

I enjoyed this moss covered trunk for a while.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It was not a highly impressive garden in my opinion, in some ways the university pond was more interesting.

It was not a highly impressive garden in my opinion, in some ways the university pond was more interesting.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Bonus pic, dirty water.

Bonus pic, dirty water.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This was the only red tree in the place, I had to muscle my way through throngs of people with huge zoom lenses to get to the front with my non zoom l

This was the only red tree in the place, I had to muscle my way through throngs of people with huge zoom lenses to get to the front with my non zoom lense.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - There is a small hill to take in the view. I followed about 10 people up, despite being only maybe 40 steps, they all ran out of puff one after the ot

There is a small hill to take in the view. I followed about 10 people up, despite being only maybe 40 steps, they all ran out of puff one after the other before the top and started having coughing fits. A woman got to the top and actually laid down on the bench. Others attended to her. They were not that old, so this was confusing, many old Japanese people climb proper mountains.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Looks a bit dead.

Looks a bit dead.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Politician or magician? You decide.

Politician or magician? You decide.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Entering Yanesen. There are many funky cafes for beard waxers.

Entering Yanesen. There are many funky cafes for beard waxers.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The main tourist street. Be careful here, you are not welcome!

The main tourist street. Be careful here, you are not welcome!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I left quite quickly.

I left quite quickly.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Get your baskets and pots and pans here. They are proud to offer both.

Get your baskets and pots and pans here. They are proud to offer both.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The walk through the cemetery was nice, a couple of joggers went by which I thought was mildly amusing.

The walk through the cemetery was nice, a couple of joggers went by which I thought was mildly amusing.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I stayed here for a few minutes watching the trains go by, remembering my days of train rides longingly.

I stayed here for a few minutes watching the trains go by, remembering my days of train rides longingly.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Around the Nippori station area this market had sprung up. Many of the vendors are making the stuff for sale right here and now. Which means painting

Around the Nippori station area this market had sprung up. Many of the vendors are making the stuff for sale right here and now. Which means painting anime figurines.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here is the skytree. I have not been there yet on this trip, maybe when I return to Tokyo in a couple of weeks time. I have still never been up it

And here is the skytree. I have not been there yet on this trip, maybe when I return to Tokyo in a couple of weeks time. I have still never been up it.


I left Japan and went to Roppongi

I had been to Roppongi once before, the very first time I came to Japan, which was all the way back in 2010, so long ago in fact, on that particular trip I did not climb any mountains at all! I remembered from then that it was full of nightclubs and African gangsters. I could not find them this evening, but I did find lots of luxury western stores and more non Japanese people than Japanese people. I could not afford to eat anywhere near the Mori gallery so I wandered off and got lost twice.
You can see the Tokyo tower from Roppongi hills, but I could not work out how to get there, I walked around in circles a few times and then gave up, crossed under a road (yes, thats what you do), and came out over a road. Staying with the art theme, I was in an Escher illustration.

Eventually I ended up in a long park alongside Tokyo Midtown. The map for the park showed a pond, I walked 3 laps in the dark before I was able to find the pond in this tiny park built on the side of a dark hill. It was really strange how lost I managed to get. Then to top it all off I could not figure out how to get back into Tokyo Midtown so ended up climbing a barrier designed to prevent people from crossing a road that was blocked off from traffic. Then I found my soup, mission accomplished.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - ROPPONGI CROSSING, its not Shibuya crossing but the exit from the subway suggests this is the place to go. I can confirm that it is indeed a place you

ROPPONGI CROSSING, its not Shibuya crossing but the exit from the subway suggests this is the place to go. I can confirm that it is indeed a place you can cross the road. I need to stop doing all CAPS, generally I like to abuse brackets (because I have sub thoughts mid sentence).


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I recently read that this American franchise has the world record for the highest average number of calories per menu item of any restaurant franchise

I recently read that this American franchise has the world record for the highest average number of calories per menu item of any restaurant franchise in the world. Thats worth a photo?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is the Mori Tower. There are lots of high end shops and art galleries in it. Chances are if you have been to Tokyo you have been here. The area r

This is the Mori Tower. There are lots of high end shops and art galleries in it. Chances are if you have been to Tokyo you have been here. The area reminds me of Central in Hong Kong.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I have seen this spider somewhere else. In London I think? They are reaching plague proportions.

I have seen this spider somewhere else. In London I think? They are reaching plague proportions.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is the art gallery. They have glued a Christmas tree over the door and placed a flying saucer in the courtyard. It's going to be an alien invasio

This is the art gallery. They have glued a Christmas tree over the door and placed a flying saucer in the courtyard. It's going to be an alien invasion Christmas.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The local Mercedes Benz dealership is both a cafe and a restaurant. Theres a couple of cars to buy hidden in the back also.

The local Mercedes Benz dealership is both a cafe and a restaurant. Theres a couple of cars to buy hidden in the back also.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Before today I had no idea that Thailand and Peru had the same food.

Before today I had no idea that Thailand and Peru had the same food.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I got so lost I ended up in strange wedding dress world. This building stands out on its own and the stuff in it looks cheap. Weird.

I got so lost I ended up in strange wedding dress world. This building stands out on its own and the stuff in it looks cheap. Weird.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - An art installation celebrating shower curtains. 1/6 second handheld! IBIS is awesome. It was much much darker here than the photo would suggest.

An art installation celebrating shower curtains. 1/6 second handheld! IBIS is awesome. It was much much darker here than the photo would suggest.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I couldnt really tell what was going on here. It seemed to either not be finished or be neglected. There were some people sitting wondering what they

I couldnt really tell what was going on here. It seemed to either not be finished or be neglected. There were some people sitting wondering what they were supposed to be doing here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I finally found the pond, and took another 1/6 of a second handheld shot. I can see stars in the sky. These were not visible with the naked eye. The p

I finally found the pond, and took another 1/6 of a second handheld shot. I can see stars in the sky. These were not visible with the naked eye. The pond was pitch black. I will have to try astrophotography one day, just as a nerdy technical exercise in camera settings.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Is this piano made of solid crystal or perspex? Either way I am sure it sounds terrible as a result.

Is this piano made of solid crystal or perspex? Either way I am sure it sounds terrible as a result.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My dinner. Soup! Vegetarian! This is not the main brand, Tokyo Soup Stock, it is a clone of it. You even get the 2 soup combo like at Tokyo Soup Stock

My dinner. Soup! Vegetarian! This is not the main brand, Tokyo Soup Stock, it is a clone of it. You even get the 2 soup combo like at Tokyo Soup Stock. I like this concept, please come to Australia. I think this place was called Chowders Deli.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I love a curved subway station.

I love a curved subway station.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I am in luck. The Rubens exhibition is still on. I will be able to see the 5 boobed lactating woman! Bucket list item, TICKED. So much art tonight!

I am in luck. The Rubens exhibition is still on. I will be able to see the 5 boobed lactating woman! Bucket list item, TICKED. So much art tonight!


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

adriana on 2018-11-03 said:

not really a fan of Roppongi, though the view from the Mori tower is worth it and it has a great bar to enjoy the night view on the 52nd floor.


David on 2018-11-03 said:

Its the same place, stairs leading down to the shopping street.


mother on 2018-11-03 said:

So the traditional area we went to was near Nippori, but it started with some stairs going down into the shopping street. This place looks different.



Day 9 - Sunday, 4 November 2018

Japan Airlines domestic experience

Getting to Okinawa was surprisingly challenging.

Before I set off, I did a long lap of the deserted areas of Akihabara and Ueno and took photos of streets with no people. As you can see Tokyo is very grey today, I am leaving at the right time.

Now I will start my journey. Its not that it took long, but there were a lot of frustrating annoyances along the way.

The train to Haneda airport was fine, plenty of room for my bags on the Yamanote line and then whatever the train line is that goes from Shinagawa to Haneda, which is not a monorail (there is a monorail that goes from somewhere else). Sure there are stairs but I dont care, I can carry my bag.

Now I must check into my JAL flight at Haneda. This took well over an hour.
Eveyone has stupid types of luggage to check in, lots of pets, lots of baby products, lots of gift bags with household goods in them that can surely be purchased in Naha. These were all Japanese people including a massive school group, more on them later.
It all took so long because JAL was double wrapping everything being checked in with bubble wrap. Getting a ticket and baggage tag required a computer first, right before the person you hand it to. Most of the employees at the check in counters stood staring blankly while the passengers could not work the computers.

The line got out of hand, so instead of opening more check in counters, people came out from behind them to push people closer together in the line. Japanese logic. Eventually me and a hundred other people got marched out of the line to another line waiting area, where you waited for the line to be shorter, then we got to rejoin the line. Excellent Japanese logic this one.

Once I got to the front of the main line, I handed my printouts from the computer, which they then typed into their own computer, and printed me out a copy of my print out, then made a copy for themselves, then stamped it then handed 2 out of 3 copies to me.

Next up we have security, No one in Japan has been on a plane before so they dont seem to understand security at the airport. The trains dont have security. The amount of concern people had for their carry on double wrapped in bubble wrap tins of spam was ridiculous, white glove people were giving them assurances the xray machine would not destroy the delicate spam texture.

The best was still to come. At the gate, the whole entire school group were being idiots, and laying around on the floor. When it came time to board, ANOTHER PRINT OUT for each passenger, which they then scanned, stamped, and manually typed into a computer, for each passenger! The school kids seemed to be deliberately pretending to be stupid to see who could delay the flight the longest. The worst was still to come.

Never before have I experienced such disgraceful behavior on a plane. These kids, equal numbers of boys and girls, were running up and down the aisle pretending to be planes, and occasionally, screaming at the top of their lungs in packs of 20 or more. Maybe mass groping was going on? I hear thats a thing in Japanese schools. This was alarming most people on board, everyone was turning around to check on the commotion. As the plane spooled up to maximum thrust they all screamed in unison, it was deafening! And then as we lifted off, screaming again, and about 10 boys stood on their chairs! During the actual take off! Arms spread out like they were pretending to be an aeroplane (airplane according to spell check). I really could not believe this.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - As a waste expert, I must point out that this doesnt really change anything. Unless someone was going to buy empty plastic bottles to specifically mak

As a waste expert, I must point out that this doesnt really change anything. Unless someone was going to buy empty plastic bottles to specifically make a bullshit xmas tree, then the same amount of plastic was wasted. It just occupied some space for a couple of months first.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now we start our deserted streets tour, juts rubbish and delivery trucks in Akihabara. I followed the trucks around for a while.

Now we start our deserted streets tour, juts rubbish and delivery trucks in Akihabara. I followed the trucks around for a while.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - If you squint you can see a couple of people, I expected to see more drunks going home.

If you squint you can see a couple of people, I expected to see more drunks going home.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Dirty.

Dirty.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This shop believes that the more signs they have, the more customers they will get.

This shop believes that the more signs they have, the more customers they will get.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - More rubbish.

More rubbish.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - You can see these guys hanging around everywhere. They identify stores as being members of the new imperial army.

You can see these guys hanging around everywhere. They identify stores as being members of the new imperial army.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Looking back towards Akihabara from Ueno, also quite deserted, I could have walked up the middle of the road.

Looking back towards Akihabara from Ueno, also quite deserted, I could have walked up the middle of the road.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My standard leaving Ueno shot. The reeds are higher than previous years. I had to stand on a bench to get above them.

My standard leaving Ueno shot. The reeds are higher than previous years. I had to stand on a bench to get above them.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - That is part of the Haneda check in line. I had already checked in by now. There seems to be no priority check in and the line is shorter than when I

That is part of the Haneda check in line. I had already checked in by now. There seems to be no priority check in and the line is shorter than when I was in it, moved out of it and then moved back into it again. There is an employee with a 'line starts here' sign.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - School kids laying around on the floor. These were 16 year olds, but they either had mental issues or were deliberately being idiots. That kids bald h

School kids laying around on the floor. These were 16 year olds, but they either had mental issues or were deliberately being idiots. That kids bald head on the bottom right looks suspicious!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Best photo I could get of my plane. It was all but full, I had a spare seat next to me though. JAL domestic have managed to squeeze the dreaded 10 abr

Best photo I could get of my plane. It was all but full, I had a spare seat next to me though. JAL domestic have managed to squeeze the dreaded 10 abreast in a 777. Singapore airlines only does 9 abreast. There was no food on the flight, and the cup of water was a one time offer and tiny.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Okinawa (Naha) airport is large and spacious. There were a lot of large jets parked around the place, lots of international flights.

Okinawa (Naha) airport is large and spacious. There were a lot of large jets parked around the place, lots of international flights.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - JAL do however have recycling for baggage tags and plastic bags. I bet they burn both though! The bag tags with the sticky stuff cant really be recycl

JAL do however have recycling for baggage tags and plastic bags. I bet they burn both though! The bag tags with the sticky stuff cant really be recycled, but the glue makes them burn really well.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Since there was no food on board I hung around the airport and had a sandwich. There are lots of food options and shops. It would be no problem to get

Since there was no food on board I hung around the airport and had a sandwich. There are lots of food options and shops. It would be no problem to get here a couple of hours early for your flight.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Getting into town didnt take long, theres a monorail, but they dont take Suica / icoca / pasmo, you have to buy a paper ticket. Weird.

Getting into town didnt take long, theres a monorail, but they dont take Suica / icoca / pasmo, you have to buy a paper ticket. Weird.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - We passed some old US Air Force jets. I saw lots of current ones parked at the airport also. Theres a couple of cool things here, an F-4 Phantom, F-10

We passed some old US Air Force jets. I saw lots of current ones parked at the airport also. Theres a couple of cool things here, an F-4 Phantom, F-104 Starfighter.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here is my hotel, its an APA, it looks very new and it looks a lot like my APA in Ueno. The bed is a lot harder here though.

And here is my hotel, its an APA, it looks very new and it looks a lot like my APA in Ueno. The bed is a lot harder here though.


Taco rice everywhere

Its a good thing I like taco rice, because if you come to Naha in Okinawa, its the main thing to do see eat and discuss. So I will do all of those things. Many years ago, I was poor, and lived in a city without food options, back then I used to enjoy making my own taco rice. Well now I dont need to make it myself to feel poor again, instead I can come to Okinawa and find it everywhere!
I will talk more about taco rice in my pictures.

My first impressions of Naha, at night, in the tourist area are very good. It is very bright, clean, vibrant and interesting. It is Japan, but like Hawaii (disclaimer: I have not been to Hawaii). There are lots of tourist shops, beachwear shops, but also many nice cheap eating options and palm trees. Apparently the city only has 300,000 residents but due to the huge number of tourists the whole place is set up for people who are out and about doing stuff, just like me, who is also a tourist. I checked the flight arrivals website, other than internal Japan tourism which is massive, the next biggest group by far is Korea, there are 20 flights a day from Seoul. I dont know if thats relevant or interesting but I have typed it now so it stays, NO EDITING.

The main street extends very far, so far that I didnt even walk its full length. There are long covered shopping streets running off the side, and the part I did not investigate appears to have bigger malls and department stores. So plenty to keep me entertained for the 4 nights that I am here. Now I need to work out what to do in the day time, there are no mountains!

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It gets darker later here due to Naha being significantly west of Tokyo, this means I was out before it was dark. I should do that more often because

It gets darker later here due to Naha being significantly west of Tokyo, this means I was out before it was dark. I should do that more often because I like this photo.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is parking garage. The cars are triple stacked. How does it work? How do you get your car down from the top? I went in and examined it and still

This is parking garage. The cars are triple stacked. How does it work? How do you get your car down from the top? I went in and examined it and still cant work it out.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I like this photo also, you can see the monorail going past on the left.

I like this photo also, you can see the monorail going past on the left.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the main street. My first glimpse of the main street, not a particularly special part of it, but the light here makes for a nice photo to my a

Here is the main street. My first glimpse of the main street, not a particularly special part of it, but the light here makes for a nice photo to my aging eyes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is one of the covered shopping streets running off the side of the main street. I counted 4 of them so far.

This is one of the covered shopping streets running off the side of the main street. I counted 4 of them so far.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Other than the aforementioned taco rice, steak houses are also popular. Advertising Okinawa beef with little Australian or NZ flags shoved into the pl

Other than the aforementioned taco rice, steak houses are also popular. Advertising Okinawa beef with little Australian or NZ flags shoved into the plastificated versions. I just invented the word plastificated.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Okinawa even has great guitar stores. Better than any in Melbourne. Impressive for this 'small' town on an island far from the main islands of Japan.

Okinawa even has great guitar stores. Better than any in Melbourne. Impressive for this 'small' town on an island far from the main islands of Japan.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Very dark here, but still a nice photo. There is a river of sorts running through and under the city, it looks like you can walk along it at night, pr

Very dark here, but still a nice photo. There is a river of sorts running through and under the city, it looks like you can walk along it at night, probably catch a few eels.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - They have spent a lot on street furniture. This long boat with little seats doesnt seem to belong to any store, its just there for anyone to use. I sa

They have spent a lot on street furniture. This long boat with little seats doesnt seem to belong to any store, its just there for anyone to use. I sat here for a while.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Snoop dogg-e-dogg. I refuse to call him snoop anything else, because I am OG.

Snoop dogg-e-dogg. I refuse to call him snoop anything else, because I am OG.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - For dinner I went to a bar. Gimme a whatever of jack and a jager bomb highball aperol spritz.

For dinner I went to a bar. Gimme a whatever of jack and a jager bomb highball aperol spritz.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - At my bar I had.... Taco rice, FUSED with omurice. Under the egg is rice, taco meat, lettuce, tomato. It was cheap and delicious. They made their own

At my bar I had.... Taco rice, FUSED with omurice. Under the egg is rice, taco meat, lettuce, tomato. It was cheap and delicious. They made their own salsa fresh, it came in a cocktail shaker thing. That was also delicious.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another delicacy of Okinawa is purple sweet potato. I want one. They also use them in a dessert tart. I also want one of those.

Another delicacy of Okinawa is purple sweet potato. I want one. They also use them in a dessert tart. I also want one of those.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Did you ever wonder what baby pineapples look like? These are real! They fit inside a shot glass.

Did you ever wonder what baby pineapples look like? These are real! They fit inside a shot glass.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - There are hundreds of similar shops selling general tourist gifts like this, but the stores have gone to a lot of effort to make themselves stand out

There are hundreds of similar shops selling general tourist gifts like this, but the stores have gone to a lot of effort to make themselves stand out from each other.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Stopping at the family mart on the way back to my hotel, what did I see? More taco rice of course!

Stopping at the family mart on the way back to my hotel, what did I see? More taco rice of course!


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

jenny on 2018-11-04 said:

I have never had taco rice. Is it available in the mainland I wonder?


Mother on 2018-11-04 said:

Well what a day! Hope there are no horrid school kids on your next flight. Where were their teachers? this will cause a huge staff kerfuffle - many meetings will be held and much discussion and then nothing. Also your skills are obviously needed in teaching the Japanese how to organise airport logistics efficiently. I would have had airport rage.



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