Well, I’m moving into the second week of being back in the States and re-Patriotization(sp?) continues unabated. The only snag came a couple of days after getting back when I was brutally blindsided by some American super-sickness that my body has apparently forgotten how to combat, so unfortunately I spent most of last week in bed, hurrah. I’m finally better now though and getting out little by little, hopefully moreso now that I have a valid driver’s license again. I’m slowly rediscovering what dicks Americans are. Jesus, the guy at DMV seemed downright offended that I was abroad and let my license expire. Golly, sorry ’bout that, guy, didn’t mean to have a life outside DMV. Yeesh.
Anyway, as promised, I intend to catch up on what was happening Japan-side the last few weeks before I left. As I mentioned, while in Tokyo I took over 400 photos and have finally prepped them for online consumption. It’s officially the biggest photo-post I’ve ever done on the site at 65 pics. I’ve developed a definite bond with Tokyo during the time I was in Japan, I don’t know that I can describe it exactly. I guess that’s what the pcitures are for.
Enjoy and I’ll be back when internet availability permits.
My friend, Patrick, lives in a nice area near Shinjuku called Sasazuka. Suprisingly quiet for being in the middle of Tokyo.
...just as I left it.
Tightly packed concrete yumminess. On the roof of the building next to the Levi's sign was a cool little cafe/restaurant...
A weathered shop in Ginza.
Pat's place could probably use a bit of a tidying tho. 😛
...where I hadthis ridiculously tasty avacado-burger on the patio.
...the awesome sunset over the skyline...
...as well as photographers photographing...
The boardwalk at Daiba in the bay was packed with people chillin...
A couple days after rolling into town, I headed to my personal Mecca, the Studio Ghibli museum, Mitaka no Mori, shrine to the works of Hayao Miyzaki (and his collegues). It was more than worth the trip and highly reccomended to even casual fans of his work who happen to find themselves in Tokyo.
Unfortunately, they don’t allow photography inside the building so I only have a few exterior shots. 🙁
...complete with working water pump for the city-kids to try!
The Mitaka area is quite pleasant. This house was on the road from the station to the museum. From what I could tell it wasn't a business or anything, just a reallyunique home. Faaaaar out.
I have no idea what this classic car is that I also saw on the way there, but damn if it ain't cool!
The ground-level patio is pretty neato...
Finally, I made it!
This sign in front of the park didn't do too much to reassure me of... anything, really.
Behold, the Laputa control stone!!
And the coup de gras, the lifesize Laputa robot replica... which that little girl was
not supposed to climb but since it was a shift-change or something, no employees were there to chide her for it.
Pretty far out manhole covers in the outside patio.
And now the rest!
My favorite building in Tokyo, I think this one is the national gov't building.
Tomokazu has trouble following directions.
Mmmmmm, delicious sprawl from the free observatory (attention tourists!!) atop the twin Metropolitan Towers in Shinjuku.
I saw this signboard at a JR station in Ochya no Mizu and it reminded me to see
Spiderman 2... and then I did... and then it rocked... and I was happy.
Roppongi Hills is pretty cool, especially at night.
Rainy day in the backstreets.
Random house with the afore mentioned halo/bleed effect in full... well, effect.
Random escalator showing off the neatness of how my camera likes to halo the crap out of light, given half a chance.
Caught a cool open-air concert at Roppongi HIlls. My favorite band of the night was Dorlis, which seemed to fuze some Japansese traditional music sensibilites with a kind of jazz-pop thing. Highly recommended!!
A cool-ass car parked in a Ginza alleyway. Didn't they convert one of these and use them as the taxis in
Back to the Future 2?
This mommy-cone was teaching baby-cone how to cross the street safely... I guess.
A homeless guy under a bridge in Shinjuku was selling used umbrellas for ¥100.
This garbage can in Shinjuku could
probably use an emptying.
Ahhhh, Photostitch makes multi-shot panoramas so very easy to construct. (Little distortion in some of the buildings, but what are ya gonna do?)
My old friend from MSU, Yuusuke says that he doesn't like the city much, but he sure looks right at home in Kabuki-cho.
A primarily wooden restaurant with a pretty interesting design.
Okay, last one for now.
I only have three pics of it here, but I took a lot. It just fascinated me for some reason! I couldn't stop snapping!
A speakervan for what I'm pretty sure is an ultra-conservative political party.
This random dude just kinda walked into the shot I was taking and made it more interesting that it probably would have been otherwise.
Shinjuku intersection at night.
I had a really yummy okonomiyaki at a place where you cook em yourself. The place was tiny and with all these hot-plates going it was boiling in there! Not enough to ruin the yumminess of the meal though. 😀
The girls we went to karaoke with were pretty shocked when Patrick had the gall to
stand on the seat...
...but Pat himself was having a bit too much fun to be bothered with such trifles.
Beware, excessive drinking can lead to mimicry of bad karaoke video art. :O
Lovers and friends admiring the view from the My Lord department building.
Some elementary school kids walking home in Akihabara.
I finally made it to a Tokyo site o' interest I've been trying to find for ages, Dream Island. Sounds cozy, as long as you don't mind that Dream Island is an island in the bay comprised complety of garbage and then paved over to be developed as land!! :O
The domes were huge!! Very cool place to stop by should you find yourself in the area.
On this dreary island however, there was a totally badass tropical greenhouse.
The stately Docomo building.
And thus ends my last visit to Tokyo for a while. I'm not sure when I'll be back again, but it can't be too soon.
Dammit I love that town!
A shop/home at a quiet intersection.
Pedestrian bridge from JR Shinjuku Station.
Some more pics from Ocha no Mizu. There was a winding canal over which a raised highway was built.
The community is so well organized that there's even clearly defined walkways between the 'houses' and they apparently even get mail!! Remind me, if I ever behome homeless to do it in Tokyo.
While in the observatoryI noticed a strange patch of blue in the park below, so I figured I'd go down to investigate.
A guy sitting in his dwelling. The complexity and craftsmanship of most of these homes was really impressive! No settling for a newspaper on a bench for these guys. I felt a real admiration for the standards they keep for themsevles despite their unfortunate circumstances.
Turns out, it's a veritable
village of makeshift houses built by the homeless community, and I guess the default waterproof-tarp color is blue. This particular house even had a generator and indoor lighting!! Wow!
These dudes were all hangin out trying to beat the heat by playing some Mah Jong in the shade...
While their laundry dried just a few feet away. Strategically placed right next to the Do Not Enter sign, I might add. :