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Nick's Japan Journal

by Nick

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Welcome to the blog of my trip to Japan back in August.

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From Tokyo Bay (on the river)

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What a pleasant way to get from Asakusa to Odaiba!

The water bus goes all the way to the island with a stop to change boats,
although I believe there is a direct service too.

I would highly recommend this. It took about and hour and an half, but it
was very relaxing, had unique views of the city which you wouldn't see if
you were taking the monorail over and had plenty of time to take it all in.
19th Aug 2006, 15:28   | tags:,,,comments (0)

In Asakusa: What on earth is that?

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Apparently it is the Asahi Brewery building and is supposed to represent a
beer glass. Go figure!

Ten out of ten for original architecture though.

Just before I got to Asakusa, I did make a stop at the site of Will Adams former home (very difficult to locate - took me all morning) in Nihombashi. A nice chap stopped to take a photo for me and chatted for a while about "Muira Anjin".

Anyhow, I have spared you another picture of another stone/monument. I am pleased I found it though.

Tokyo Tower

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Just a pic from down the road, I went up the tower on my last trip and don't
plan on visiting it again this time, so this is probably the closest I'll
get.
19th Aug 2006, 14:28   | tags:,comments (0)

I can't get enough of this stuff.

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Why can't we get this back home?
18th Aug 2006, 14:35   | tags:,,,comments (2)

Shibuya

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This evening I met a really nice Japanese guy called Kubo. Forgot to get his picture for here :-( Had a really good chat about travel and stuff though.

Afterwards I stopped for "gyudon" (beef and rice) and then went for a wander around the shops. Took this great picture of Hachiko Crossing (eventually found it HD!) Thought a video might capture the atmosphere a bit better though so have posted that too.
18th Aug 2006, 14:23   | tags:,comments (3)

Wanna buy some furniture? Why not shop on the train?

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If you were in any doubt that capitalism was thriving in Japan, then take a look at this. The seat pockets of today's train trip all had these lovely catalogues.

At first I thought it was just an in-flight magazine type of thing or a menu
for the buffet car.Think again. Food is indeed available, but within these glossy pages, you'll also find toys, gifts, clothes, gadgets, kitchen goods and furniture to mention just a few!

Just like shopping at Argos while on your way to wherever :) Although I can't imagine them presenting you with your new ironing board while you hand over your yen from your seat. Presumably, large items are delivery only!
18th Aug 2006, 14:19   | tags:,,comments (2)

Ito

Probably boring for most, but here are some pics from my day trip to Ito.

I have previously mentioned on here, my intention to go to Ito, but if you didn't see it and can't be bothered to look for the post, here is a quick recap.

I live in Gillinham in Kent where a guy called Will Adams was born. He travelled to Japan in 1600 on a Dutch ship as it's pilot, the crew of which barely survived the journey.

The Shogun would not allow Adams to return to the west but wanted to keep him as his personal advisor. Adams was called upon to design and oversee the building of Japan's first western style ships. He was also given the honourary title of Samurai: the only westerner to ever hold the title.

There is loads more to the story, but it's all on Wikipedia, or alternatively you could read James Clavell's "Shogun" which is loosely based on this true story if you are really that interested.

The first few pictures are from the "Miura Anjin" Memorial Park. That's what the Japanese used to call him.

The last are just general views of the river and the sea front.

There was a festival in his honour on 10 August which unfortunately I missed but for various reasons was unable to come earlier :-(
18th Aug 2006, 13:52   | tags:,,comments (2)

Sushi anyone?

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Especially for hildegard. It was purchased from a convenience store though, so it's probably the sushi equivalent of a Ginster's Pork pie!
17th Aug 2006, 14:17   | tags:comments (6)