Random activities in April/May (Photodump?)

Leave a comment

So, there are 2 places let in the Travel Features, but I’m going to take a little break to dump some photos from what my life has been like the last month or so…

So, school started up again, and I’m doing that… And there have also been a slew of birthday parties, outings, and whatever else you can imagine regular people do (though calling myself “regular” in Japan might be a stretch). I have some pictures, so I’ll post them.

Yeah, that’s about all the explanation I have… I guess I’ll jump right in:

A friend of a friend came to visit Japan (right before and during the earthquake), so we went to do some sight seeing… These pictures came of that trip:

It's a temple... Still pretty much done with seeing these for the rest of my life but thought others might want to see it.

A pretty awesome angle I shot of a temple in Asakusa.

...Pagoda?

The infamous Tokyo Sky Tree... Definitely does not look like a tree.

As I've previously said, my fascination with Japanese temples is just about gone...

Saw this primo-looking Civic after leaving the temple area, which happens to be right inside a bustling city.

I am sure the owners were nervous or curious as to why I was taking pictures, but I took another anyway

Oh, and this guy was also there. He was wearing a texan-like cowboy getup. No idea why, but I absolutely had to get a picture to prove he really existed, right then and there.

Yeah, he's wearing a cowboy hat.

Fast Forward to day xx of month… xx? And me and some friends travel to a restaurant in Kichijouji (a suburb of Tokyo), to a sort of anime/otaku themed restaurant… They had pictures and figurines of a ton of anime/manga/live action series everywhere. Evangelion, Dragon ball, Kamen Rider (like power rangers), you name it. At the entrance, they also had a huge display of a ton of figurines:

This restaurant had a really huge figurine selection... Wonder how they fared during the earthquake...

Aaand upon closer inspection:

.....

I sure hope that was the bad guys shelf.

Fast forward to some day of the same month (possibly?) and I am at Hanami (Lit: “Flower Viewing”) with some friends, and I take some shots. I unfortunately didn’t take many pictures, because I saw too many emerging on certain social websites that all looked just about the same, didn’t want to join that crowd too much.

We spent ALOT of time walking around this park. Way past my park walking comfort zone.

The most open space I've ever seen in japan.

They even had a Magic Garden... Japan spares no expense in making it's parks.

Cherry Blossom trees near a bridge... Pretty average picture.. Maybe even below average

Another view of the walking areas of the park, very colorful.

I guess a river used to be here, now it's empty, and I took a picture of that.

This picture made it into my favorites folder, and I still like it quite a bit.

No idea what these flowers are called, but they're pretty pretty.

Aaaand here is the kind of picture I did not want to take, super super average picture of a sakura tree.

A road made of flowers. Definitely not fit for walking on though.

I really could not take enough pictures of the flowers... I doubt that I have seen such a beautiful array of flowers before in my life

Once again, no idea what these are called, but they sure are pretty.

And to finish off the day, took some closeup shots of my backpack.

And if we go back in time to slightly before the earthquake, we have this:

At some point in the middle of everything that happened, I cooked myself what I thought was an outrageously delicious meal.

Back in the time machine, set the destination for last week, and we can visit the time when I went to Kichijouji for a weekend of hang-out walk-around drop-dead fun.

These handlebars are WAY TOO HIGH. Or just right, for an orangutan

Saw some mobile stores (?) that had some vehicles that looked like volkswagens, but were most likely not real volkswagens.

Got a pretty artsy picture in, at a restaurant we visited while we were in Kichijouji

Saw a Porsche, took a picture on instinct...

Went to starbucks, saw some glasses, took some pictures of those glasses.

I can’t say I’m the Starbucks “type”, but I guess I was hanging out with some.

And because I love repetition....

And that’s the end of my super random April/May adventures. Still have a ton of pictures to go through, as usual, for some of the more useful adventures (travel features), but who knows when those will be up.

For now, I’ve got to focus on work, school, and fun, and my hands are full with the last one alone.

Maybe I should start using some sort of closeout line like: “BBMIJ Out”. Nah.

Japanese Christmas = Illuminations + Parties

4 Comments

Japan may not have got the Jesus Christmas, but they definitely got the Coca Cola Christmas (Why Coca Cola? Look up the origins of modern Santa Claus…). As such, Christmas is weirdly, a time for couples, and other random stuff. Most companies in Japan don’t even give Christmas/Christmas Eve as a day off. Rather than get into how completely the point was missed, I think I’ll just describe what I did with my Christmasy-time.

Me and some friends went to see some illuminations (I was against it all the way until we were at the gate, at which point, I continued to be against having come until we left… though it was a little bit of fun. Only a little.). You might remember these as the things that are up on your neighbor’s houses on Christmas, maybe done specifically well on some streets or in some parks. Here, it’s been made into almost a attraction all on it’s own. It’s very couple themed, but I went in a group, so I was fine, I guess.

Illuminations are what you think they are. Lights. Also, there were real photographers there with things like tripods and really expensive cameras and lenses… I’m still a hobbyist, so I did my best, but I don’t think most of these pictures are very good. I also am not too intensely interested in static light shows.

With that sentiment, I’ll start the picture roll…

These lights were not at the illuminations, per say, but they were definitely there on the way to the official illuminations site.

Here's a pyramid that was lit up... Or should I say, illuminated?

Some pyramids we saw, that were there....

Red Pyramid... Pretty much as you see here.

A beautifully lit walkway that we were walking along while we were there watching the other beautifully lit stuff.

It's a fountain. Regular fountain, no chocolate/cheese or anything. Just statues.

Tried to take an artsy picture of one of the decorations we could actually get close to...

Try number 2... Or was it number 1?

A pretty wide view of the illuminated floor portion of the park... There were a lot of lights on the grass...

I don't know where this road leads, but I want to go there.

And of course, there were tons of shops (one from which I brought an ice cream cone), some of them even seling turkey legs that were markedly smaller than those at disney land/world, but still look AWESOME.

Don't know what these things were supposd to be, but I just assumed they were some sort of light wombs...

Some more illuminationscape.

because you haven't gotten a good enough idea of just how many lights were on the floor...

Kind of unrelated, but this a popular restaurant chain in Tokyo... As you can see, the name is Jonathans... I do not know Jonathan, but he has a very nice restaurant.

And to end it all, some more pyramids.

In addition to watching lit pyramids, The University threw us a Christmas function, including a real choir (well… maybe not the choir some might be used to, I won’t say any more than that) — and Alcohol. I have never in my life been to a school function that went ahead and assumed that all people involved were over-age, AND if that wasn’t enough, found that it was OK to drink while celebrating whatever needed to be celebrated.

Japan is indeed a different place from the US. Maybe I just haven’t been to enough university functions, but the trust here is outstanding. Needless to say there might have been some minors that drank. I guess it’s all in good fun, because the event was certainly a lot of fun.

As is customary for any Japanese celebration (or so I have heard and witnessed), there were speeches to start off the night, after the choir sang some songs.

The afore-mentioned alcohol that was there.

We played a huge group game that was about doing things that others could not... One of the groups decided that a human pyramid was a good idea. I took pictures of it.

SUPER UNRELATED, but that is the guy from men in black, and he's a spokesman for a coffee named BOSS. Is that not awesome?

The usual BOSS Logo

As the year comes to an end, I look out my window and snap pictures. Wrote a haiku right after ths one.

Good picture, maybe?

And with that… The year pretty much came to an end. What an awesome year, filled with fabulous people, a great study abroad experience, and all that jazz (there’s many more things I’m grateful for, they just would take a long time to put into words). Japanese Christmas was great (well, minus the lack of actual meaning to the holiday)!