lørdag, juli 28, 2007

Kamikaze cookies

The gift culture is huge in Japan, sometimes with absurd results like these boxes of cookies commemorating the kamikaze museum at Chiran. When the salaryman takes his vaction or even a business trip, it is expected to bring gifts for his colleagues and most importantly, the boss. So every small place of touristic interest will have a gift shop attached. Or like this one, at the Kagoshima train station for the discerning business traveller who didn't have time to actually see the sights themselves.

tirsdag, juli 24, 2007

I fought the law

Wanted posters are fairly common in Japan, even this one found in the ferry terminal on the remote island of Yakushima. There is no escaping the law, though coming to a small island where everyone knows eachother would be fairly stupid in any case. I like the iconic style of the photos on the top poster, almost Warholian. Doesn't hurt that the female criminal is hot in a sort of a dangerous way either.

And this is the typical Tokyo lawman. No, in reality more of an imperial guardsman in parade uniform on the one day of the year that the emperor addresses the people.

fredag, juli 13, 2007

PR Robot

One of the most prevalent cliches about Japan is the robotmania. In fact robots are fairly rare, though there are some fanatics out there. This roboty contraption patrolled around outside a Shibuya shopping mall, sirens blaring and shouting something in Japanese.

torsdag, juli 05, 2007

In touch with the elements

Onsen, the refreshing Japanese hot spring baths. This is from the remote overgrown island of Yakushima, one third of the way to Okinawa. The island is mostly known for the gnarled 5000+ years old trees, but these onsen right close to sea are just fantastic. Note the divider between male and female sections.

This one is special in that it can only be used at low tide, at this moment it was about the be flooded by the sea, naturally salinising and dropping temperature drastically. There was no one around, lucky for me since my knowledge of the all-important onsen etiquette is somewhat lacking. Like the struggling English-speaker at the hotel said: "Please to relax yourself sir!"

onsdag, juli 04, 2007

Scandinavian invasion

Plenty of Scandinavian influence in Tokyo. Sweden brings culture and design to the party.

While Norway, as befits an economy based on natural resources, brings fish, as seen on this truck in the world's largest fish market at Tsukiji.

tirsdag, juli 03, 2007

Big city, small world

Last December I went to see the very British garage punk outfit The Horrors, which were extremely fascinating live, though maybe too much playing at poseurs for some, but hey!

Funnily enough, at a bar last weekend a guy comes up asking if he "didn't see me at the Horrors concert". After a few seconds I remembered him as the same person who in December asked if I was a in a band... all of which goes to show two things; it is easy to affect a rock star image in Japan, and that you run into people again in this vast metropolis!

mandag, juli 02, 2007

Accident at the crossing

Today I witnessed an unsual sight at the audio-visual excess that is Shibuya Crossing. Some manner of accident had caused a VW van (must have been one of very few units in the country) to start burning, police cars lined up to block the crossing with fire trucks on hand as the firemen worked to put out the fire.

But more interesting were the hundreds of people milling around, in an orderly fasion of course. Absolutely everbody were taking photos/movies of the happening, never have I seen so many mobile phones and cameras held aloft. I would have taken a picture of the people taking pictures, but sadly I was all out of battery juice... sucks.