Welcome to my second vacation
Due to lack of stable internet
connection I was actually only able to document the first 2 days in
Tokyo while on site. The rest was added after coming home, and I found
out that it is really a good idea to keep a diary while on vacation,
because when you first do it after coming home, stuff tends to fade
away. Below is what remained.
There are about 3 days per page, to reduce
loading times, and the days can also be directly
accessed fromt the menu on the right.
Starting here with the first days.
November 9: Tokyo
After one of the worst ever SAS flights, which I think we would rather
prefer to forget everything about.
will certainly look for alternatives to SAS in the future, rather than
travel again with a bunch of inconsiderate, arrogant, self-centered,
middle-aged and drunk group of men, and SAS personnel that refuses to
do anything about it, but instead continues to serve alcohol to them.
And we are not talking about the 2 guys in the front of this picture.
A much nicer picture taken out of the window.
The 2 above pictures are courtesy of Helle.
Enough about the flight.
on arrival in Narita we were more or less totally bushed. Though we had
a good timing for the limited express from Narita to Tokyo Central.
After an interesting walk across the Central station not during rush
hour, but there were quite a lot of people, and the subsequent walk to
the Hotel Gimmond. Following a quick move by Helle and Anders to
another room, as the first room had been inhabited just previously by a
heavy smoker, otherwise we had the same rooms as last time. Which means
I have the same room and they have moved to a different and a bit more
noisy floor. Some people have all the luck.
After a couple of
hours rest (not all that much sleep), we proceeded late in the
afternoon to Akihabara, where Anders began the shopping spree. As we
were wearing down we only managed 2 shops, the Yodabashi and the
largest Sofmap. Going back home I decided to skip a restaurant visit
and go directly for the local 7-11.
other 2 gave up fairly quickly after realizing that it was after 8 in
the evening on a friday, and the chances of finding a restaurant with
room might require some search. So they ended up like this.Though it is
my rice triangle (with seaweed and chili on the table in the back, that
was all I could get down with my stomach trouble.
All in all an eventless arrival in Tokyo. Tomorrow we will (probably)
have a go at Ikebukuro, Harajuku and Shibuya.
Raw and unsorted photos from this day are available here
November 10: Tokyo - Ikebukuro
Woke up at 3 o'clock in the middle of the night, starving. Ate 4
sandwiches, one of them was a potato sandwich, hm. I get to watch a lot
of late night Japanese television again this time:-) I found out how
much I had missed the toilet. Nice to have a warm breeze cleaning up
the private spots:-)
Saturday morning: Rain, rain and even more rain.
we went to Ikebukuro. Arrived early before the 2 big shopping centers
opened, so we walked on to Sunshine City, and after a few missteps we
had a look at the Planetarium (nice, could have fallen asleep during
some parts as it was quite relaxing), the aquarium with some nice
pictures of an ecstatic female diver swimming with a big large snake
(Yes I know what it is, but this sounds better - and actually not my
Unfortunately most pictures are only so-so from the aquarium as the
settings were not so ideal for taking photos.
to the observatory (via the fastest elevator in the world) and although
hazy, it was still raining, still quite worth the look.
A view of Ikebukuro station with Tobu and Seibu shopping centers on
each side of the station.
now it was getting very crowded everywhere. A quick visit to BIC Camera
(electronics shop) and after that the 2 shopping centers were skipped.
short stop in Shibuya on the Yamanote circle line home bound, but I
really just wanted a bath to clean of the sweath from the humidity, so
no CDs or DVDs were bought. I have bought nothing!
Raw and unsorted photos from this day are available here
November 11: Tokyo - Ueno, Akihabara
Sunday morning: Prospect is rain.
With the prospect of rain we
chose some indoor sight-seeings, and the closest were the museums at
Ueno park. The umbrella I bought the day before, to remain somewhat dry
from the downpour at Sunshine City, came in handy shortly after we left
Ueno station walking towards the National Science Museum.
though we were there quite early it was already filling up with people.
As luck will have it there was a special robotics exhibition at the
moment, so we bought a combination ticket for both the museum and the
exhibition, that turned out to be very wise as the robotics exhibition
was the most interesting.
The 'lady' (her design left no doubt
about her 'gender') below was the first that greeted us at the
exhibition. I have no clue if 'she' was able to anything at all or was
just there for show.
was an ongoing show as we entered with some small biped robots (they
seemed to be controlled remotely, so not self-contained), where they
would act as goalie and some young boys from the audience got the
chance to kick a goal. The robots were able to quite nicely throw
themselves sideways and block the ball.
is after the show and notice the guy at the table just to left of the
guy in the reddish shirt. He is repairing one of the robots from the
show. The red tank like one to the left was going to perform next but
as they started to doing some repairs on one of the middle wheels, we
decided not to wait for that and walked on to the ASIMO show.
ASIMO robot doing a show, although it was predefined what it (somehow I
see this one as a male althought his walk is distinctly female - like
walking in high-heels, at least the way many young Japanese women walk
in high heels) should do, it was still quite interesting to watch how
sure 'he' looked walking and running about, putting down stuff and
picking up stuff. I am beginning to think that there is limited
practical use for this within a decade or so.
the exhibition we had a bit of a walk around until we found the
technology part of the museum. It was a bit disappointing for a museum
called a national musuem as this section was rather small. Only
airplane on display was a Mitsubishi Zero from World War II. We skipped
the rest of the museum as there was a lack of interest and the museum
was getting really filled up. It was a sunday after all.
Walking out of the museum we ran into this full-sized mockup of a sperm
then continued into the park, skipping, sniff, the art museum and an
Edward Munch exhibition there. Well, it was probably as full as the
science museum, so it would have been no fun.
through the park towards the station we encountered a number of
colourfull tents stringed together. Inside was a market with quite a
number of interesting stuff like pottery and porcelain. Did not buy
anything as I did not have high hope for its survivability back to
Denmark on a plane.
the market I ended up alone doing my usual fiddling with the camera and
looking around for motives, when an elderly Japanese gentlemen asked me
if I was a tourist, in very good english by the way. So we ended having
a nice chat about why Japanese are a bit shy around foreigners, why it
helps to know a few Japanese words to break the ice, and what the
differences are between Scandinavia and Japan.
our way home around Nihonbashi I noticed this small house (compared to
the ones around it) or rather the weatherhen on top of it. Because I
dont think the odds are good for that to actually show the wind
We split up and Helle and I went shopping in the
local supermarket PORoROCA to stock up on some supplies (drinks, candy,
chocolate and youghurt-like stuff). So we ended up early at the hotel
and we all went out in the evening for Akihabara, where we decided (but
did not buy) on the Fujifilm F50fd camera instead of the Canon Ixy 2000
as replacement/supplement for the Canon Ixy 1000 we bought last time in
March. The only thing I got was Dualshock 3 rumble controller for my
On our way home we found out that it seems, at least in our
neighbourhood, the restaurants are closed on a Sunday. So we tried to
the local McDonalds, where I made the bad choice of not buying a
Teriayki burger but instead going for the standard Big Mac, bad choice.
some time coming back to the hotel in the evening with telephone calls
to get my mobil phone account reopened, as it had been closed by
Telmore - due to their fault, although they of course tried to blame it
on everybody and the kitchen sink. The bad part was, that they had not
even SMS (which they do normally) that there had been a problem, but
had just sent an email and immediately afterwards closed the account.
Really usefull when you are halfway around the world with limited
access to email.
Unsorted photos from this day are available here