Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Phuket

I made it to Thailand without any problems. The hotel I have booked in Phuket is small but the staff and other guests are very friendly. The owner is a guy that enjoys his motorcycles and has toured a lot of the world on one and his bar and hotel reflect that. He built the bar 10 years ago and about 2 years ago decided to add on the hotel. So far it seems that the other guests here are mainly Aussies and a lot of them from Perth since it is only a 6 hour plane ride for them to get here. At 6 hours I'd be here at least once a month. The weather is great; 35+ degrees, sunny and if it rains it is early evening and only for about 20 minutes and then it clears right up.

I don't know how often I will be posting now. My trip is going to take a different tone and I don't have any specifics sights that I am planning to visit. I just want to enjoy the sun, the heat, and the beach and relax for the next couple of weeks before heading back to the cold weather.


The beach:











The hotel and bar:








I was given the Harley-Davidson room.




The bar.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thailand

I'm heading to Thailand today. My flight leaves Tokyo at 6:00pm and I get to Bangkok at 11:30pm. I decided not to stay in Bangkok because of the situation with the flooding. I will be spending the night at an airport hotel and then heading to Phuket island on Monday for a week of relaxation on the beach.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Lights. City Lights.

It is getting dark very early here and the sun is completely gone shortly after 5pm. So I decided to go and see if I could find some more areas decorated for Christmas.






This was a light show set to music. I have a video but it is uploading to YouTube very slowly so I will link to it later.









Since I was very close to Mori Tower (a large office tower that has bars, restaurants, stores, a theatre, an art museum, and an observation floor) I decided to go up to the observation deck. I visited Mori Tower during my previous trip but found it difficult to take night photos of the city lights because of reflections in the glass windows. However, since that time they have added an outdoor observation deck. I headed up to find the observation floor had the same problem with reflections in the glass but the outdoor observation deck was perfect. There was no glass surrounding it. In fact it was simply a walkway around the helicopter pad on the roof of the building.








They are building another tower in Tokyo called Tokyo Sky Tree. You can just make it out in the distance. When completed it will stand 643 metres, 90 metres taller than the CN Tower.



More photos can be found in my Flickr photo album.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Edo Tokyo Museum

I visited the Edo Tokyo Museum today. Edo was the name of the village that was eventually picked to be the new capital of Japan and renamed to Tokyo.

The museum had many displays on the growth of Edo/Tokyo over time and the many changes that occurred in the early to mid 19th century.

Many of the displays were dioramas depicting every day life in early Edo.




This is a model of Nihonbashi bridge. Nihonbashi is the kilometre 0 marker for roads in Japan though the wooden bridge was eventually replaced with a stone bridge.




A kabuki theatre stage.

They also had displays showing Tokyo changing with the Great Depression, World War II, and the period after the war. There was even the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.







I believe this is the original copy because during the signing the representative for Canada, Colonel Cosgrave, signed on the wrong line forcing everyone after him to sign below the line they were actually supposed to sign on.



But the most interesting part for me was the ukiyoe (wood block prints) that they had on display.















More photos can be found in my Flickr photo album.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mt. Mitake -- well almost

I tried to visit Mt. Mitake today. Tried but failed. I made it out of Tokyo to the Mitake train station but I just couldn't find the cable car that goes up the mountain. It is located a fair distance away from the train station but after walking for quite some time in what was supposed to be the correct direction I just assumed I was going the wrong way.

No matter. The scenery was beautiful and I managed to find what is probably THE fishing spot at Mitake. A lot of people (and families) out fly fishing or having a picnic along the shore of a river.




I had to walk along the edge of the road with very little room between me and the traffic.











Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nothing says Christmas like penguins in kimonos?

Christmas decorations near Shinjuku station.








Penguins. Kimonos. Christmas. Japan.