A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Phalanx

More Pictures

Again, as promised... Here they are!

IMG_0618_1_.pjpeg

IMG_0664.jpg

IMG_0568.jpg

IMG_0635.jpg

IMG_0653.jpg

IMG_0689.jpg

IMG_0729.jpg

IMG_1135.jpg

IMG_0740.jpg

IMG_0860.jpg

Posted by Phalanx 00:13 Comments (0)

Update on Tokyo

The city of Godzilla

-17 °C

Ok well its been a while since our last update. We last left you at the Iga Ueno ninjas which is in the Kansai region (near Kyoto and Osaka)

Well following that day we caught the Shinkasen (super fast bullet train) straight to Tokyo travelling at speeds of about 300kph!!

Tokyo has been a stark contrast compared to Kyoto. Where Kyoto was rich in old history, beautiful temples, and beautiful scenery - Tokyo is futuristic, neon coloured, sky scraper, madness.

Arriving to Tokyo station on the first day we were completely lost in the train system. We got too excited and caught the first train that appeared in front of us and it took us south towards Yokohoma. After we figured out the system a little better we ended up at our accomodation in Asakusa (also known as Old Tokyo).

Our first day we checked out our district and found a really nice market that runs down a street for about 500 meters and at the end of the street is a big temple. That night we cruised over to Shibuya and checked out the famous Shibuya crossing. It was pretty amazing. The sky was filled with skyscrapers and neon lights and plasma screen advertisements everywhere. After we had a coffee there at Starbucks which looks over the crossing we headed over to the Shinjuku district to check out the Tokyo night life. We found a nice Irish pub where we drowned in about half a dozen beers and then stumbled our way back to bed.

Our second day was a bit more exciting when a typhoon decided to rain down on Tokyo. Never-the-less we continued exploring. We went first to Akihabara (electric town) and checked out the crazy apartment stores, where about ten thousand different type of mobile phones, toasters, computers, and games were for sale. That night Brad and I decided we wanted KFC and we were going to catch a train to find it. Josh tagged along reluctently and then the most craziest thing happened.

Of the hundreds of trains that run through the subway in Tokyo each night we jumped on the one that was carrying a foreigners Halloween party enterourage. It was seriously insane. Our train carriage had about 100 people in it wearing the most outlandish costumes you have ever seen and drinking copious ammounts of alcohol. There were yellow power rangers, big green frog suits, dragonball z characters, men wearing thongs with bow ties, Guy Fawkes masks, Pokemon.... yeah it was pretty epic. Dont worry we took a lot of photos so youre not missing out.

Our third day fell on a Sunday. The Harajuku district on a Sunday is famous for the Cosplay that goes on there. For those unaware Cosplay is the act of dressing up as a famous character, icon, or fashion and playing or acting in that role. We found the place which just sits on a walk way bridge just behind the train station. It was pretty surprising what we found there. Lots of teenage girls, were sitting around in groups eating cake. They were dressed up in some pretty crazy costumes and posing for the cameras. Most of them were wearing Anime style goth type clothing. And in the middle of all the craziness was this guy who was singing U2 songs at the top of his voice with a backing track.

That night we went to do our laundry. While we waited for the washing machines we decided to find a diner or cafe to wait in. We stumbled into the nearest place and found it occupied by only 3 elderly Japanese locals. We sat down regardless and ordered a round of beers.... 1 hour later we were singing karaoke and having a merry time with the locals and calling out 'Kampai!' (Cheers!) everytime another round was ordered.

Today we woke early to head over to the Tsujuki Fish markets. The place was chaos. There was just action happening everywhere. People rushing around on electric carts, ice being tossed everywhere, giant tuna the size of a man, and plenty of tentacles. After the fish markets we jumped on the monorail and headed over to the Odabai district which is famous for hosting some pretty awesome buildings, a man mad beach, rainbow bridge, museums, and Pallette town. We went to the science museum which was pretty awesome because of the robot demonstrations. I got some cool footage to show you of some of the robots that were on display.

Well thats all folks.... Tomorrow we will be going to Disneyland so keep checking our blog for more updates.

Sayanora!

Posted by Phalanx 02:35 Comments (1)

Sayonara Folks

We're leaving in 3 days!

overcast 25 °C

Well believe it or not people but 3 days from now we will be in Japan. In 2 days Brad, and myself (Darren) will be traveling to the Brisbane airport and meet up with Josh in Sydney. We're going to overnight at Josh's house and then we'll be catching the one way air express to Osaka Japan! :)

Hopefully we've all packed our bags and suitcases and haven't forgotten anything. Already we've exchanged 1,000 Dollars into Yen which works out roughly to be about 100,000 Yen. This should last us the first week before we have to visit a bank.

Well when we land we're going to head straight to our accommodation in Kyoto which is just a short train ride away from Osaka.

So keep checking the blog folks because we're going to take lots of photos and when we get a chance we'll post them up for all to see.

Posted by Phalanx 03:05 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (1)

Japan - The weird and wonderful

semi-overcast 18 °C

Well here's my first entry. I figured I should contribute something to this awesome piece of wonderful blogness. There are now 63 days to go.

Here are a few peculiar and amazing things I have stumbled upon that will certainly leave us feeling like we're in another world. These are some of the things we can hope to expect in Japan.

Vending Machines
The Japanese have vending machines for everything. Even the used panties of schoolgirls (Josh).

In Japan, with a high population density, limited space, a preference for shopping on foot or by bicycle, and low rates of vandalism and petty crime, there seems to be no limit to what is sold by vending machines. While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks, snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines selling items such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, pornography and sexual lubricants, and potted plants. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every 23 people.

dscn1942z.jpg

Cosplay
Cosplay is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu, and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, "cosplay" has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume.

In Japan, "cosplay" as a hobby is usually an end unto itself. Like-minded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests.

The Harajuku district in Tokyo seems to be the most popular location for cosplayers in Japan. Below is a good example of a cosplayer. Here we have Vincent Valentine from the video game Final Fantasy 7.

cosplay11.jpg

Toilets
There are many toilets in Japan that have computers built into them. A button for a squirt of water up your bum (no homo), a button to heat the seat, a button which starts gurgling, swooshing, nature noises to disguise the sound of your urine hitting the basin.

37636680_3247fdeb6b.jpg

Capsule Hotels
A capsule hotel is a hotel system of extremely dense occupancy. Guest space is reduced in size to a modular plastic or fibreglass block roughly 2 m by 1 m by 1.25 m, providing room to sleep and little more, although facilities usually include a television and other electronic entertainment. These capsules are then grouped and stacked, two units high. Luggage is usually stored in a locker away from the capsule. Privacy is maintained by a curtain at the open end of the capsule but noise pollution can be high.

wow strong cosy
CapsuleHotel.jpg

Love Hotels
Love hotels usually offer a room rate for a "rest", as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a "rest" varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10pm. They are often used by young couples, since many young Japanese people live with their parents. They are also commonly used for prostitution (Josh).

The Metro Train
All I can say is...

Groping is also common on trains. I'm looking at you Josh.

Karaoke
Karaoke is a usual form of entertainment of the business people in Japan. After a hard day's work which is can sometimes be unusually long, they would drop into a bar; have a drink and enjoying humming to popular tunes with the help of a karaoke machine. Karaoke was invented approximately 20 years ago and has gradually been a part of the Japanese society. It is not just a temporary boom but a regular form of entertainment both within and outside Japan.

If I'm feeling up to it (AKA drunk) I might bust out a Rick Astley song or Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday.

Oxygen Bars
The oxygen bar is a trend that started in the late 1990s in Japan. O2 bars can now be found in many venues such as nightclubs, salons, spas, healthclubs, resorts, tanning salons, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, airports, ski chalets, yoga studios, chiropractors, and casinos.

"Airheads" will normally pay 100Y per minute to inhale an increased percentage of oxygen compared to the normal atmospheric content of 21% oxygen. This oxygen is produced from the ambient air by an industrial (non-medical) oxygen concentrator and "inhaled" through a nasal cannula (AKA nose hose) for a period of 5 to 10 hours - or even longer.

Posted by Phalanx 01:31 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]