pictures i owe you from the marathon

30 08 2008
Pictures from my trip to Tokyo for the 2008 Tokyo Marathon.  Did I write about how I ran that?  Well, I did.

pictures i owe you from winter

30 08 2008

I’m trying to rectify my lack of posting by posting copious amounts of pictures.

Here’s the first in a series of many.

random, old newspaper clippings

13 04 2008

I lied. These aren’t random at all.

Front page of the Hidaka Shimbun

I managed to make the front page of the local (3 page) paper.

Can you read it?

Hidaka shimbun. This time I got sub-prefectural coverage.

Page 28 of the prefectural newspaper

Page 28 of the Hokkaido newspaper. Who knew running a marathon was such a big deal?

the last night

7 01 2008

Just as an FYI, I didn’t have much to say about Osaka. It seemed a little different than the other Japanese cities I’ve visited—it’s dirtier, and the people are a little more in your face, but still nice, I guess. I don’t think Zach and I were there long enough to get a good feel for it. The pictures say enough-ish.

There are also a couple of pictures of Himeji Castle, another UNESCO World Heritage site (three in two days!) near Osaka. It’s big and castle-y. And a couple from the Ghibli museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. Ghibli produced Hayao Miyazaki masterpieces such as Princess Mononoke, Sprited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Moving on. If you want to talk about fitting endings to our excursions around Japan, I don’t think there could be one better than tonight. After another day of shinkansen-ing around the Kanto and Kansai regions, we ended in Tokyo eating bad ramen and doing last minute capsule-hotel reservations. We saw a kabuki performance, had another dinner (remember that post I made about eating all the time?) and drank at the most surreal bar I’ve ever visited (Mysterious Bar in Shinjiku). Girls in weird, neon, futuristic lingerie in a black-lit room serve multi-straw drinks with flashing ice cubes where each straw produces a different color liquid.

Now, I’m laying in my capsule that is about one foot too short for my lanky ass, going to bed at the end of a long, long journey through the country. My feet might literally kick someone walking by my pod.
Read on there are pictures!

the real phoenix

5 01 2008

Even after reading up on Hiroshima, I still expected it to be a shadow of a city. And the prevalence of JET stories of terrifying interviews with questions like, “What would you do if a student blamed you, as an American, for the atomic bombing in Hiroshima?” had also made me worry that the citizens are still angry and hostile towards Americans. It’s not like that at all. The city thrives, and while there probably are some survivors, or relatives thereof, who are still angry, in general the city chooses to present itself to the world as a symbol for peace and regrowth.
Read on, there are pictures too!

i am not japanese

3 01 2008

I’m writing this just after Zach and I have visited practically every major shrine in Kyoto and major neighborhood in Tokyo.

I had thought the cultural explosion of Kyoto would be the thing that would most affect me—probably from Lost in Translation, yet again. I almost regret watching the movie so recently before traveling; it’s done horrors for my usual policy of not having expectations. Anyway, the most poignant thing about Kyoto wasn’t the culture of this cultural hub of Japan (I forget more English every day), but the tourist-y-ness. It bothered me that the strongest emotion produced by going to all of these shrines and parks was irritation that there were four visitors for every resident (an actual statistic). Then again, when I lived in Philly how often did I see the Liberty Bell or Constitution Center?
Read on, there are pictures too!

something about kyoto and tokyo

31 12 2007

You can read to no end about all the places I visited during winter vacation. Go on google or wikitravel or just about any other website and you’re bound to stumble upon account after account of what each temple, shrine and festival is like. If you’re looking for that information, not to be rude, go somewhere else.

I started to write about all these places, and even about my impressions of them, but it was really boring, to be honest. Boring to write, boring to read, boring to think about. I’m not a talented enough writer to truly capture even the most fascinating places Zach and I visited. My pictures can only go so far. So. If you really want to know details about a place, your best bet is to read other people’s works, or even better, visit them yourself. If you want to know about the thoughts they inspired in me, this is your cup of tea. Or maybe a pot of tea. I’m wordy.
Read on, there are pictures too!