Saturday, April 30, 2005

Midori no Hi (Green Day) ((Arbor Day))

Yesterday was Green Day or Arbor Day if you like. And there fore a National Holiday. Estuko and I duly celebrated it by heading to Shinjuku Park, which we have always been too late for in the past. We got there and to our surprise it was free (usually about $3 to visit). Fairly big crowd there but the park is so big that it wasn’t too bad.

It was a very warm day especially in contrast to the recent days. I am not sure but I think it was in the high 20s or so. I felt as though i was suffer from heat exhaustion although it could have been the excessive picnic lunch weighing down my eye-lids.

I thought that it would be appropriate to get a picture of me hugging a tree but the photo turned out to be a rather Michael Jackson-esque depiction of me molesting a tree. in the couple of hours walking around the park I managed to get a bit of sunburn.

Shinjuku Park

There is always time to stop and smell the flowers.

There always time to stop and....ummm....well......?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Train Crash

There was a bad train crash today, near Osaka. It is about 400km west of Tokyo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Enjoying the fruits

I say.....there is a hole under this table

The expert takes over

Chef Extraordinaire

Monday, April 11, 2005

Safe and Sound

Big quake jolts Tokyo 11 April 2005
TOKYO: A strong earthquake measuring magnitude 6.1 jolted Tokyo on this morning, but no tsunami warning was issued, it was reported.
There were no immediate reports of serious damage but two runways at Narita International Airport near Tokyo were closed for checks.
The quake was centred about 60km below the earth's surface in northeast Chiba, outside of Tokyo.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Night Hanami - Ueno Park

Dinner is Served

Night Hanami -Ueno Park

Near my house

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Dome

Yesterday (Friday 8 April) Etsuko and I went to the Tokyo Dome to watch some baseball coutesty of Raouls complementary tickets. A real experience! The organized singing for the teams was amazing.

The teams were the Yomiuri Giants and the Dragons. The giants being from Tokyo and the Dragons from Nagoya. The Dragons were last years series winners. A very big match.

I had to queue for about two hours to get the seats but the seat were pretty good for the 4th floor of the stadium. It was a good game but the Giants won to Etsukos dismay.

The Outside

The Inside

The Beer Girls

The Action

The Crowd

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sakura and Hanami

I had my training for my new job today but because of a bit of a stuff up we all got the afternoon off!

I spent the afternoon walking around the Palace and looking at all the spring. People are out in full force looking at the pretty flowers. I was right there with them! It was a beautiful spring day today…as the photos reveal.

Photoshop edited Picture of Sakura I took today.

Tokyo afternoon

The blue plastic area is for people to sit on under the cherry trees. You can see the boxes which are designed as tables each complete with a flash light. Two lucky company employees are keeping guard of the area so that when 5pm rolls round their colleagues can come down and get boozed in this luxurious position!!

Awww...pretty Sakura!!

Sakura with nude male statues behind it....easy Grandma!!

Ever seen a hummingbird fly backwards? How about a....ummm....

Sakuradamon (I think it translates to the Cherry Blossom Gate)

Next to the Palace Hotel


Tried to go to Shinjuku Koen (Park) today but Etsuko was too slow in getting ready and we arrived 30 mins before it shut. Always next time. Took a few pics though. My new photography theme is reflections...could you guess?

Reflecting on Shinjuku

Etsuko near Shinjuku Park

Saturday, April 02, 2005


The Sakura season has hit Japan. This is a very strange time of year. Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom. There is a ritual called ‘Hanami’ which literally is ‘flower gazing’. This involves the students who are on holiday and dedicated others going to a park and putting a blue plastic tarpaulin (or some cardboard) on the concrete then loading themselves up with beer and food and making like Brett at my birthday.

E-chan and I decided to take advantage of the lovely spring weather and peruse the beginning of the Hanami season. We began our day at Yokohama’s Chinatown. This is quite well known and was totally packed with spring holidaymakers. Etsuko said that it was just like Taiwan, so it is kinda like China I suppose, not that the Taiwanese would agree I would imagine!

We then walked along the harbour to Yokohama station and decided to check out the flowers at Ueno Park (that’s the park with all the homeless). The Sakura are only just beginning to come out and next week I will brave the huge crowds to do some Hanami of my own with a group of other internationals led by my friend Noriko.

I also discovered a vending machine that wouldn’t last 5 seconds in NZ!!

A pretty flower among pretty flowers

Yokohama's famous Chinatown

Yokohama's waterfront. Tall building on the left has the worlds fastest lift.

A litre of beer from a vending machine...nice!