I’ve returned to Hamburg on october 15th, and even though there are some more pictures I haven’t posted yet but consider worth it, I haven’t had any free time on my hands to edit them properly for uploading. I might do so in the future, or I might not, but until further notice I’ll discontinue the work on this blog.
I’ve very much enjoyed doing it, and the website will definitely stay up for longer, so everyone to whom I give it’s URL has a chance of reading it and viewing the pictures.
Update 2012/04/01 14:03: This closes the series of posts migrated from the old Japan Blog.
Time for some pictures from my second trip to Tokyo, this time accompanied by my girlfriend. As I already mentioned, the weather wasn’t that good, but there were still many things too see which I missed on the first trip.
A Nozomi type Shinkansen train, arriving at Shin-Osaka station.
When we arrived at our ryokan in Ueno, there was a festival going on. It was not raining at that time, so the parade where people were carrying small but heavy mikoshi – portable shrines – through the streets went on as scheduled. Unfortunately, the evening festivities were cancelled due to the rain which started in the late afternoon. Here are some pictures of the parade and some I took at the Nezu shrine which we visited on the following day. The Nezu shrine is the place where the main events of the festival where supposed to take place – had it not been for the bad weather.
This small fishtank can be found on the platform of the Nezu metro station.
A not yet finished part of another highway around Shinjuku.
Some pictures from our neighbourhood in Ueno. The third picture shows a rentable parking space – it’s pretty cheap, just 100 Yen for 15 minutes during daytime. I wonder how you can make much money off of that, considering there is only a single spot for rent.
On the third day in Tokyo we went to the wholesale fishmarket at Tsukiji. It’s pretty famous, so there are a lot of tourists around. You really have to watch where you go, as there are people delivering goods on small motorized carts speeding through the market stands. Dangerous.
It’s been about ten days since my last post now. In the meantime, my girlfriend has returned to Germany, and I caught a cold which i’m still mildly suffering from. So I finally found some time to prepare pictures for uploading.
We returned from our trip to Tokyo on the 20th – pretty exhausted. The weather was mixed – heavy rain on sunday, some clouds and occasional rain on monday and clear sky on tuesday – but far from perfect considering we planned on exploring the city on foot. Nevertheless, there was a lot to see and overall it was an interesting experience. We even managed to meet a friend from Hamburg who’s going to stay in Tokyo for a year from now on. Maybe I’ll post some more pictures from Tokyo in a future update.
Which brings me to the topic of this post – Nara. I have visited Nara twice now, and scrolling through my old posts I noticed that I’ve never posted any pictures. I’m going to make up for that here. Nara is about as far as Kyoto if you go there from central Osaka – roughly half an hour by train – and the trip is absolutely worth it. The city is quite small, and most of the major historic sights are located in a big park area east of the main station. Which is where I went both times and spent nearly a whole day strolling around visiting the shrines and temples.
Another remarkable thing about the park in the eastern part of Nara is that there are lots of tame deer around. They usually gather around the stands where tourists buy shika sembei – deer cookies – to feed them. It’s not so much tourists feeding the deer though – it’s more like the deer ambushing the unsuspecting tourists as soon as they buy the cookies.
Kofukuji. A buddhist temple which dates back to the 8th century. Its five story pagoda has become a symbol of Nara.
Sagi Ike. A quiet pond somewhere in Nara park.
Todaiji. Probably the most famous temple in Nara, home to the biggest wooden building in the world.
There haven’t been any new posts recently, which was due to me being very busy in the last two weeks. The weather has turned to the worse in the beginning of september, which didn’t really make for interesting photo opportunities, so I spent some time studying. On top of that, my girlfriend arrived here to visit me on the 6th of september, which naturally put a dent in my uploading activities. Last weekend, we went to Yunoyama Onsen in Mie prefecture to visit a friend, which was very nice – I’ll upload some pictures from there later.
In the meantime, I’d like to show you some pictures which I took during the last months, but never felt like uploading because they were out of context in the other posts.
In order of appearance: Osaka Castle moat, the Osaka King Festival at the castle park, an evening at the Dotonbori Arcade.
Some of the many cats that live at my house in Sakai. My girlfriend took the second picture.
Tokyo. The promotion girl in the third picture was very thoroughly explaining the advantages of buying a new mobile phone from NTT DoCoMo.
On the second trip to Kyoto I also visited Rokuonji, which is usually called Kinkakuji, even though that name only refers to the gold-clad building which can be found on the temple grounds. It’s a major tourist attraction, and everyday busloads of travellers come to see it.