Posts Tagged ‘Japan’
This year Nara, the first capital of Japan (710-794), celebrates 1300 years. Also a place I once spent a year in in my youth. But that’s a different story.
Today it was almost 40C and I had a meltdown after meeting the first deers in the park. A friendly lady in the restaurant where we were sitting noticed my distress and came to the rescue with a bag of ice. Back on my feet we visited the great Buddha in Todaiji temple, constantly stalked by cheeky deers.
Back in Kyoto after a nice bath there’s tonight’s sukiyaki to look forward to. I will become fat as a buddha.
A 2.20 hour trip from Tokyo we arrive in an even hotter Kyoto. 38 degrees C and our brains are about to shut down to save energy. But I’m in a yukata, sitting on a porch with a cold beer, an eight course traditional dinner, listening to the frogs croak and the carps jumping in the pond below our feet.
Tomorrow it is time to revisit my beloved Nara. And the cheeky deers!
My moms cousin suggested that I should visit Nikko while I was in Tokyo. I asked Chika and Dave to join me on the two hour train ride north east. We had a great time, mostly laughing, eating and enjoying the amazing surroundings of Nikko. The camera seemed to love these adorable two and I ended up with 200 pictures. Mainly of them!
Tomorrow I’ll be leaving for Narita and spend the last night there. I’ll be heading home on Thursday morning. My time in Tokyo and Okinawa has been memorable and filled with fun and joy. Thanks to all of you who contributed to that.
Roppongi is known as Tokyos entertainment area with many foreigners. The amount of embassies and foreign corporate businesses in the area are said to be a contribution to this. Whether you like it or not Roppongi has it’s sides. Like the Mori tower with Tokyo City View and brand new just finished Sky deck, a helicopter platform in the roof from which you can stand outside to enjoy a complete 360 degr. view of the entire Tokyo area. On sunny days you can see Mount Fuji. We didn’t, but it was still a great view. A nice way to end an even nicer weekend with my favorite girls.
Harajuku is a very special place. A part of Tokyo that lacks tall buildings but has plenty of narrow little shopping streets with everything from Gothic Lolita stores to teriyaki crepes. It also has a nice park with all kinds of…creatures. And I say creatures because I’m not only referring to human beings. But all kinds of beings. It was a nice lazy Sunday in Harajuku.
I’m a very lucky girl. Not only do I have great friends, they even come visit while I’M visiting Tokyo. Our Taipei representatives Charlotte and Tove flew in from Taiwan the other day and we’ve been busy busy busy. Outings, nightings, partying, karaoke, dining, shopping, and exploring has been on our schedule for this intense weekend. Tomorrow monologuers dear friends will fly back. Here’s a small pick of things we’ve been up to.
So last night we did a karaoke session from 3 am to 5 am. Before that at a bar enjoying a (five) cuba libre with some live painting. And before that an izakaya dinner with salty beans and ice cold draft beer.
In an hour my two dear friends Charlotte and Tove are coming to spend the weekend. I flew them in from Taipei. There will be outings, more karaoke (these girls are PROS), nice food, drinks, sights and tons of photos. Be sure not to miss out. Keep an eye on monologuer.
A five star first day. All thanks to my moms cousin that took me out for sights. After a tall americano at Starbucks we headed for Asakusa temple which was completely crowded. Regretfully I missed the cherry blossoms this year, but I found some late bloomers here and there along the way.
After Asakusa we took a boat ride to Odaiba, the artificial island created for sole business and pleasure. Sun was out, 21 C and a light breeze. We stopped for cake with a skyline view at Odaiba before heading back downtown to the royal palace park.
I was told that all the greens (see below) were completely white and pink a couple weeks ago (yeah, just rub it in already) from cherry flowers. But I caught a few late bloomers (different kind of cherry tree) here as well. And there are worse places to be a homeless cat than the palace park.
Ended the day on the 36th floor in Marunouchi having the best sashimi ever. I really appreciate the Japanese attitude towards food. Small but many and various dishes to slowly make you full. Especially if it’s an 8 course dinner it’s kinda impossible to scoop food into your mouth. This place made dinner look like art. And taste like heaven.
You know that song by U2? They’re singing about Tokyo. If you ever were in doubt. Locating a hotel on a map with only chinese characters and feeling disoriented from the darkness of the metro doesn’t relly help. Sure, being on my own in Tokyo is exiting, no doubt. The feeling of being completely lost vanishes after a nap in my hotel room in Asakusa. The nameless streets of Tokyo waits for me. Time to explore!
Tomorrow morning I’ll head north for Tokyo. Getting out of Okinawa mode will be hard. I became quite used to stroll around in my havaianas, not really doing anything but enjoy the weather, company or food.
Yesterday night Hiroshi, the mariner, took me for kaitenzushi (sushi on conveyor belt). I hardly ever eat sushi when I visit Japan as there are so many other nice things to try that you can’t have elsewhere. But kaitenzushi is always fun.
Today a young engineering student showed me around campus and then took me to Tropical beach. You’ll hear more from Tokyo. Sayonara, Okinawa.
Left: Campus. Right: Tropical Beach
View from the campus cafeteria.
A sneak peak on life under the sea here in Okinawa. Our mariner Hiroshi and his two equally marine friends took us snorkeling and all of them, being marine biologists of course, can name all living things in the ocean. Hiroshi will even fetch things for you. Like a blow fish. Or a sea star. What a gentleman.
The snorkling crew of the day consist of three Japanese, a Swiss guy and me. All pro snorklers at the least, all of them scuba dive but they lowered themselves for me and mom today. Such nice people.
Clown fish a la Nemo.
We make such a nice couple I think, blow fish and I.
Todays pictures are courtesy of Hiroshi Inoue.
Not as late and long as it sounds really. Visiting the american version of Okinawa was interesting though. Very stereotypical and selected of course. Our guide, 23-year old marine biologist Hiroshi and his friend Yuka, took us for some pizza and then a tour of Chatan, American Village in Okinawa. You probably already know that there are several American military bases on Okinawa since WW2. I didn’t know there was so much activity going on there still.