Friday, September 15

On request: Nikko best pics

And as a tribute to my friend who joined me to Nikko for the tour of the Shrines and Temples, I need to post some of the best pictures from that trip. I hope you can also find some fun in the last picture, even though the term "money laundry" would have been more fun. :) I have also understood that most countries have only one embassy per foreign country, so I was quite amazed to see where France decided to place their embassy (Nikko). I guess this is where they stashed away Francois Miterrand and where they intend to place Jacques Chirac at the end of his reign...

Last weekend in Kappabashi

My last Sunday in Tokyo this time was spent in Kappabashi, looking for an "otemai" (wooden water cup) for the Macha (green tea) ritual. I found everything else but an otemai, so I decided to upload some pictures for the guide of others who are interested in visiting Asakusa and Kappabashi, the map is taken from the public road and the stores depict a good knife store as well as a rather new and discounted plate and mug store. I recommend a visit to them both.

Thursday, September 7

Hongkong Sept 4-6

Auditing a vendor can have certain advantages, this time we went to Hongkong and Guangdong in China. Not far from Shenzhen I realised I had been in these parts before; in 2004 I went to a small (for Chinese standards) town called Zhuhai in the same area. Anyway, the weather was hot and terribly humid, the food good, the language impossible but the company great. And getting out of China is almost harder than getting in, believe it or not when you have all the papers in order and still get the wrong VISA from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo who claim the invitation SIGNED by the Chinese government was not correct.

Saturday, September 2

Kegon Falls

... is an almost 100 m vertical drop waterfall near Chuzenji Lake. Beautiful and quite powerful as well.

Three monkeys

In Toshogu Shrine you find these small monkeys depicted on a building structure. Here is also a mausoleum of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Tokugawa Shogun.


Nikko is a small town to the northwest of Tokyo. The town has many temples and is, in parts, listed as a world heritage. The most known locations include Lake Chuzenji, Futarasan shrine, Kegon Falls and Toshogu Shrine.

Sunday, August 27

Ueno Science Museum

Sunday was spent in the Ueno Science Museum where they featured Antartica, apart from the standard exhibition. The standard exhibition consists of the evolution of man (Darwinism, sorry all religious people who think otherwise), how all mammals and animals connects together, how man conquered space and also an interactive exhibition of physics for children, where they can play with the laws of physics and have fun. The drawbacks of the museum are twofold, one is the entrance fee (1300 yen!) and the second is the lack of English explanations. If you have time enough you can rent a considerably cheap audio guide, and then spend the day in the museum, but if you want the rapid version you have to make do with almost zero (maru) explanations. A bit tedious, considering they boost to be Japan's leading Science Museum. The architecture picture is from Ginza, I just had to show it.

Kurakoen Garden

In the scenic park of Koishikawa Kurakoen I spent little more than one hour. It was relaxing to walk around and I stumbled onto a photoshoot with two Kimono/Yukata clad females and a bunch of guys with cameras. The park is really nice and I understand why they chose this place as their backdrop. There was also a cool bridge that was called "full moon bridge", the bridge is a half moon but the reflection in the water makes it a full circle.

Imperial Garden 060826

It was time to see the Imperial Garden. A beautiful lamp post and the Ninomaru Garden are two of my memories. The main lookout post is where the old tower burned down in a great fire (Meireki) in 1657 if I remember correctly. I lost the informative leaflet, unfortunately.

Ryogoku Edo Museum

Taken at the Edo-Tokyo Museum it displays a model of the old Tokyo, when it was still Edo. The interesting part of this museum is that it is a walkaround place where you really feel like you are a part of the history. The look-into booths they have, displaying real homes in the past, both in the 17th century as well as during the WWII (1940s), are really "alive" and gives you good insight into common people's lives in past ages.

Sunday, August 20

Onomichi on Sunday

Yay, what a weather! Checked out the Shukkeien garden in Hiroshima before leaving for Onomichi and its lovely seaside. Mount Senkoiji-san is not so high, ~170m, but you have to climb the bare stone to get to the top, and ropeways are for sissies... :-) Btw, did you know you have to buy an Entrance Ticket (140 yen ~ 10 SEK) if you want to leave a Shinkansen station in between switching trains... Cheap firm, almost like SJ.

Saturday, August 19

Mt Misen w/o ropeway

...renders you somewhat warm. But what a sight! When I got down I realized the tourist agency mentioned the way up was closed (could have fooled me!) due to landslides after the latest typhoon (Thursday). :-) 2.4 km of stairs and steep terrain takes the energy out of an office rat, tonite is time for Okii Okonomiyake Hiroshima-style...

Friday, August 18

On the road again...

Tokyo was too quiet and sunny, so now I am heading to the southeastern Honshu and Hiroshima, where 24 hrs ago a typhoon created 'gale' strength winds.. A bit shaky weather system can be expected... This weekend will be spent in Hiroshima where the US dropped the first A-bomb (Genbaku) on August 6th, 1945. 200,000 casualities reported.

Tuesday, August 15

Architecture in Kamakura

Upper left a business building, upper right a personal home in the forest (look above the yellow house to the left) and to the left a building that seemed a hotel. The name of the last read "Elsa Kamakura". A lot of interesting buildings, too bad it was dawning already when I left the beach.

Sunday, August 13

Hase Arms Shop

If you are looking for any type of knife or other (medieval) weapon (except guns), this is the place for you. Located not far from the Great Buddha of Hase in Daibutsu, I could not stop myself from taking a picture of one of the 3 walls covered in arms of all kinds.

Kamakura's many faces II

Great Buddha of Hase is nothing else but a great (13m) bronze statue of Buddha. It has stood here since 1252, it survived a tidal wave in 1498 that swept away the temple surrounding the statue, and in 1923 the great earthquake shook and ruined the foundations of the buddha, yet the body of the buddha remained intact. Restorations have been made on the face and body (latest 1960), necessary as the statue is standing outside all around the year.

Kamakura's many faces

Kamakura is more than just temples; enjoy the beach, go hiking in the low mountains, check out the bamboo groove, go shopping, etc... :-) Nice old town that used to be capital, but seems so be home to many wealthy Japanese and European both people and firms, who buy land and build interesting buildings in Kamakura. More on this subject to follow...

Saturday, August 12

Evening fantasies

Can be found in Roppongi...

Beach home

Near the center of Tokyo, at Tamachi, I found this beach house amidst skyscrapers and asphalt. Terrible weather today, thunderstorm and heavy rain, typical on a day off...

Wednesday, August 9

Odaiba Actual Picture

Here is the missing photo: Right in the heart of Tokyo you find Odaiba, the green island with the protective past. The fortresses were once used to protect from invaders from the Sea, but are in these days green, lush and pretty.

Monday, August 7

Repost: Odaiba 060726

On most images you find Japanese people, so I decided to show something different. Why not the Statue of Liberty and young Tindra, overlooking Odaiba. :)

Repost: Odaiba 060726

Funny little mistake, the picture is taken on Odaiba but is overlooking Tokyo central part. So what you see on the picture is not a part of Odaiba, really. :)

Saturday, August 5

Shimoda White Beach

A hard day at the beach with basking sun and lukewarm water. Nice snorkling with neon fishes in lava crevices. 3 Swedish friends to make the day go faster. Waaaait a minute, make the day go FASTER...?

Sunday, July 30

Repost: Tsurugaoka Temple in Kamakura

Yet another time the mobile network in Japan deceived me of my "sent" files. This is the main entryway to the Tsurugaoka Temple in Kamakura. Date was July 16th.

Repost: Nagano: Zenkoji Temple 060615

This entry was prepared and ready to send, when the first trouble with the mobile network came about. Here is the picture I wanted to show, the Zenkoji Temple facing south, in town of Nagano.

Akasaka Aston Fredrik

Akasaka is the new, western-style, part of Tokyo. High building, new and fancy companies and a lot of cafes and asphalt is the core of this part of town. It was hard to resist a photo at one of the car dealers.

Friday, July 28

Yasaka Shrine by Night

Yasaka shrine was visited both in daylight and in the night, but the best picture was definetely this one, taken by the K800. The temple really stands out from the surrounding, and as this is still downtown it does not look odd.

Kiyumizudera Temple

After some trouble with roaming the mobile network in Kyoto, here are some picture from Kyoto and the Kiyumizudera temple in the Hills of Kyoto. Featured on The Last Samurai, this temple is beautifully situated and it is built on high poles, engineered in an elaborate way.

Kyoto Wine and Spirits

Why not enjoy both religion and food at the same time? Or maybe this is just a way for church with not so much money to co-exist with other businesses, sharing the building and maybe also some visitors. Found in Kyoto

Friday, July 21

Nijo Castle, Kyoto

Nijo-jo, built 1601 as residence of the first Tokugawa Shogun Ieyasu. Picture show Ninomaru Palace from the Honmaru garden.

Thursday, July 20

Shinagawa backyard

Neighborhood close-by can hide some surprises, luckily the phone is always with you.. :-)

Sunday, July 16

Kusunoki Masashige

Imperial Garden in Tokyo houses this Samurai warrior.

Bamboo forest tea session

... in Kamakura, temple-dense town south of Yokohama. A green tea session was held in the bambooo forest of Hokokuji, and Jomyoji and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Templates were also visited before the stomach decided it was time for lunch. A shirt was also bought before heading back to Tokyo, having walked for most of the day and feeling rather sore in the feet. Beautiful weather in Kamakura, overcast in Tokyo.

Friday, July 14

Ueda backyard

Friday was spent in a town to the north of Tokyo called Ueda. The town is 50 km short of Nagano, and its known for the hot springs with high sulphur content. These springs are quite pleasant to relax in, and the hotel Hanaya had a lovely garden with fishes in the small pond (depicted). A nice dinner followed in the hotel before we headed to downtown Ueda for a beer at some local bars. Saturday was spent in Nagano, host of the 1998 Summer Olympics, visiting the Zenkoji temple yard and seeing some of the 1998 Olympics Arenas.

Sunday, July 9

Ebisu architecture

Cool buildings are always fun, and this was one I found in the Ebisu (Yebisu) area. There are also a 'beer station' close by...


New day, new people at the Shibuya crossing. The traveller might recognize the spot from where the picture is taken, and the iced caffe macchiato just right on a hot and humid day.

Saturday, July 8

Green Tea ceremony...

Ryokucha ochakai is the Japanese name for the ceremony. I could have gotten the spelling wrong, but I wrote it from the way I heard it. The ceremony involves 168 steps, but the version I took part in was shortened to roughly 40 to save time. Beautiful pot, apparently the original ones are fed with charcoal, but this version was electric and that is more likely better for the air in the room.