Japan Photolog – Kyoto

June 19, 2007 at 10:55 pm | Posted in anime, Anime & Manga, Japan, Kyoto, Travel | Leave a comment
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Photos from Kyoto, more on Flickr!

Kyoto Train Station.
Kyoto 1

Some sort of all day musical performance at the station.
Kyoto 3

Looking down on the Silver Pavillion.
Kyoto 18

They’re so conscientious they even brush the moss.
Kyoto 23

Streets near the temple.
Kyoto 35

Along the Philosopher’s walk.
Kyoto 33

The Philosopher’s walk. Quite relaxing.
Kyoto 30

Entrance to the Heian Jingu Shrine.
Kyoto 52

Walking along the canal and back into the city.
Kyoto 55

For a fast escape?
Kyoto 56

Something going on at Town Hall involving cheerleaders.
Kyoto 59

International Manga Museum.
Kyoto 62

Autographs on the International Manga Museum’s coffee shop wall.
Kyoto 61

Japan Photolog – Sakai

June 19, 2007 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Japan, Sakai, Travel | Leave a comment
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Photos from Sakai, more on Flickr.

Japanese Garden in the Japanese city of Sakai.
Sakai 81

More of the garden.
Sakai 72

Power lines ruining the garden.
Sakai 58

I believe this is the Peace Tower, it’s completely massive and overbearing. I suspect that if Japan goes nuclear this is where they will launch their missiles from!
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Peace Tower behind the garden.
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More of the Tower behind the garden.
Sakai 66

This building reminds me of something out of the Flinstones.
Sakai 41

On my early and long wanderings I thought there was a kofun through these bars, luckily I eventually found the right one!
Sakai 20

Another place I thought was a kofun but was really a waterworks.
Sakai 14

How to get around in Sakai?
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Another signpost for walking around Sakai…if only they were easy to see.
Sakai 17

A sign post I thought was indicating the tour map around Sakai but, no, completely wrong way.
Sakai 9

Another marker for the fun “Where’s Wally” game of how to find your way in Sakai.
Sakai 15

Mini map of the some of the Sakai area.
Sakai 8

Information board showing the scope of the kofun.
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Distances around the largest kofun in Japan.
Sakai 24

The Nintoku-ryo kofun.
Sakai 29

Nintoku-ryo kofun.
Sakai 26

And last a bit of random, Duh, a thin house.
Sakai 1

Japan Photolog – Osaka

June 19, 2007 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Japan, Osaka, Travel | Leave a comment
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Selection of photos from Osaka, more on Flickr.

Iconic Osaka.
Osaka 10

Palace and skyline to the mountains from the City Museum (hence the reflection).
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After the castle I wandered (too far) and it started to rain but I saw this and it’s completely random but taking a photo helped in my journey.

Osaka 32

Inner city Osaka.
Osaka 37

On the weekend (and often in the week) bands (within metres of each other) play all over the place especially near the overpass.
Osaka 34

Buy something with your live music?
Osaka 39

Homeless person near one of the live bands.
Osaka 36

Another tourist shot!
Osaka 24

Japan Photolog – Ueno

June 19, 2007 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Japan, Tokyo, Ueno | Leave a comment
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Some of my photos from Ueno. More can be found at Flickr.  

Night in Ueno.
Ueno (6)

Maze of streets, food shops and pachinko parlours.
Ueno (1)

Lake in the middle of Ueno park.
Ueno Park 4

Towards a shrine in Ueno Park.
Ueno Park 10

Founder of Japan’s Red Cross.
Ueno Park 7

Cats are everywhere, I’m not sure whether it’s natural or if they’re fed by the homeless.
Ueno Park 6

Tokyo National Museum, bleh!
Ueno Park 20

Cemetary North of Ueno.
Ueno 8

These graves have a modern and austere compared to the more traditional styles.
Ueno 7

I like the broom leaning up against the grave.
Ueno 9

It’s a little difficult to see but on the other side of this road are a few small statues. I wonder if they are ancient shrines or a Japanese variant on the cross on the road when a person has died in an accident.
Ueno 13

10.5 Last day in Japan and off to London

June 19, 2007 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Japan, London, Tokyo, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Checked out of the hotel without difficulty – well other than the mad rush to get to the airport in time. Rather than go through the hassle of changing a few trains and too many commuters jostling me with my luggage I decided to take the Airport Skyliner. I almost missed it when the ticket vendor gave me the wrong type but a mad rush back up the stairs and back down to the platform again had me sorted out. The train trip was uneventful and arrived at the terminal without difficulty. There was already a line for the check in counter but that was easy and now the waiting for boarding.

Food, wandering, sitting and more food helped to fill the time.

My BA flight was ok, the service and food was fine but the lack of variety in the entertainment (same content cycled through every few hours) and the alternating squalling child on the right aisle and noisy Germans on the left with me in the centre did limit my sleeping. Granted I rarely sleep well in chairs. Which makes the lack of good media all the more pressing.

Arrival in London! Passed through immigration with my British passport and felt a thrill of “Oh wow so I’m really British now” and naturally, having checked my bags in early in Japan meant they came out onto the carousel late. Next to the trains where the efficiency and attempted assistance to foreigners so readily found in Japan was replaced by….London.

I asked three different staff how to validate my pass and all gave me different directions and gruff exteriors. I’m sure they’re all cheer on the interior though.

Eventually got to St James and my hotel Vandon House. Decent enough for a single room with shared facilities and located in a central location. It is well situated and after checking in I walked to Buckingham Palace to look out over my new home and thinking everything looked quite twee.

Post mini sightseeing trip went back to the hotel and fell into bed for some quality sleep. 

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