The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Some photos taken in Tokyo

The weather seemed to have changed overnight. Literally. Last Monday was a hot and humid ~35degC, but from Tuesday onwards, we have been enjoying a nice warm-ish weather of around 27degC. I guess this is what they mean when they say Japan experiences distinct seasons.

It's strange but Rob and I agree that it doesn't really feel like we're living in a totally foreign country/culture. I guess I might have expected more and perhaps the worst after hearing stories from others about living abroad in Japan. We've been here for only a few weeks, so perhaps our opinions will change later on. Perhaps culture shock may hit us later.

Anyway, as promised, here are some random photos I have taken while in Tokyo. Will post more later.

1. Japan is the land of vending machines, offering mainly beverages (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and cigarettes. They are everywhere, even in a rural town like mine (there's a couple on my street, and more in the town centre). This photo of 12 vending machines was taken somewhere in Shinjuku (Tokyo). It seemed like there were vending machines on every street we turned into.

2. This is the toilet at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. Uh, yes, the buttons and dials instructs the toilet bowl to squirt water. This is common even in public toilets of fancy department stores. Many female toilets also have buttons or sensors on the wall for sound effect of water stream if you're shy about others hearing you do your business.

3. A shot of Shinjuku train station (one of them) which is apparently the busiest and most commuted train station in the whole of Japan. This photo was taken at 10pm at night on a Monday (yes, it was still very busy). Buying tickets and catching the train was quite a harrowing experience for us gaijins. I think it took Rob and myself about 1 hour to buy tickets. And then we had to figure where to catch the train. Shinjuku station is huge and I think all the train lines converge here.

4. We took the train to visit Tsukiji Markets really early in the morning, and my goodness it was really busy. The wet markets are huge! Bigger than even Victoria markets. And so much seafood! All the weird and wonderful things like sea urchin, huge fishes, and lots that I have never ever seen before. In the first shot, you can see 3 traffic regulators, and this is in the market area itself. So much traffic just for transporting the goods to the market. The second shot is of a section in the vendor area of the market itself.

5. As mentioned before, fruits are super expensive. This is proof - a 10,000 yen melon and this converts to approximately AU$120. Of course, this will most likely be bought as a gift.

6. Akihabara (Electric Town) - full of girls in maids' costumes.

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