Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2011/03/01-09 Harajuku, Aoyama, Enoshima, Kamakura, Yokohama, Mizonokuchi

My fifth visit to Japan included not only a tour of familiar sights, but also a day trip to Enoshima, Kamakura and Yokohama.
Since Tokyo is so many time zones from home, I arrive a few days and go sightseeing to beat jet lag.  On my fifth visit to Japan, I was the first of our meeting to arrive, with the group gradually gaining mass.  I checked into the usual hotel, in an high rise tower overlooking the tracks by Tamachi station.

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On a mission from DY, my first destination was Harajuku.  I went looking for crafting supplies at the Daiso (100 yen) store.

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The products aren’t made in Japan, but the variety is wider than in other branches internationally.

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A few blocks further east, the Design Festa Gallery changes its installations rapidly, with emerging artists showing their work for nominal costs.

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The variety of work includes paintings, photographs and sculpture by mostly Japanese artists.

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While most rooms are barely large enough for an overnight stay — Design Festa also offers artists accommodations from late evening to early morning, when the gallery is closed — this week featured a wall where artists could claim an 80 x 80 cm display space. Continue reading2011/03/01-09 Harajuku, Aoyama, Enoshima, Kamakura, Yokohama, Mizonokuchi

2010/02/27-03/07 Tokyo

Another eight days in Tokyo, for work plus sightseeing, also serving as a tour guide for Roy.
I’ve been in Tokyo for over a week every year since 2007, so I know the city sights well.  This 2010 trip saw me serving as a tour guide for Roy (who came on the same plane as me from Toronto), as well the many of the other visiting researchers.  On the first night, Sunday, the group convened at the usual hotel near Tamachi station.  We randomly chose a pub, where we puzzled through a Japanese menu and ended up ordering a hotpot from a waiter who spoke no English.

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Early Monday morning, we took the train over to the Tsukiji market.  Coming by a different route than before, we encountered a temple where businessmen were making offerings.

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In mid-morning, some of the tuna were still in recognizable forms, with fishmongers rapidly creating portions with saws and knives.

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On this visit, I discovered the reason that some tuna are called yellowfin.  These had a yellow fin smaller than a thumbnail.

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From Tsukiji, we walked through the Ginza, and up towards Yurakucho.  We stopped by a pachinko parlour where the machines were as loud in the morning as they are in the evening. Continue reading2010/02/27-03/07 Tokyo

2008/03/07 Tokyo Opera City, NTT ICC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku

Jennifer, Marja, Gary and I spent out last evening in Tokyo touring the Shinjuku area.
With all of our official duties for the week done (and the symposium continuing in Japanese), Jennifer, Marja, Gary and I went for a leisurely sightseeing trip through Shinjuku. As we changed trains at Shinjuku station, I noticed a farmers market operating in an underground space.

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A short ride on the Keio New Line saved us some walking to Tokyo Opera City. Gary and I looked over the plaza from the mezzanine level while Jennifer and Marja fought jet leg with some caffeine.

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We played with the toys at the NTT InterCommunications Center.

DI_20080307_NCC_ITT_display.jpg Continue reading2008/03/07 Tokyo Opera City, NTT ICC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku

2007/07/31 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku at night

We went to the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, and then walked through Shinjuku.
The view from observatories at the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is recommended around sunset … and it’s free. This building is towards the west side of Tokyo, so looking out that window shows a few skyscrapers in the foreground, with shorter buildings fading into the horizon.

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Looking north and east at dusk, the distance from the Shinjuku district to the harbour was too great to see any water.

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Continue reading2007/07/31 Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku at night

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