JAPAN 2018

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Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Japan 2018 Travelogue - Ruud Leeuw

 

TOKYO

We enjoyed an excellent hotel for an acceptable price in the quiet Hanzomon part of Tokyo
Hotel Monterey, Hanzoman, Tokyo
Hotel Monterey, Hanzoman, Tokyo
We had no need this time (as we had in Kyoto at first) for the complimentary use of a smartphone. The water bottles
were replenished each day and were much appreciated (still warm mid-October). I had been warned that hotel beds had
hard matrasses and found this to be true in each hotel we stayed in, but I was very pleased by their comfort.
I regretted to note that all four hotels we stayed in had no western tv (news) channels, only Japanese channels.
The breakfast buffet here was expensive too so we had breakfast at Starbucks, located on a 5 minute walk.
The hotel had subway entrance/exit right across the street, so travel across town was simple.

Food in Japan: curry
There were few restaurants near our hotel, more a residential area. But we had a simple diner next to the hotel
offering an excellent curry (popular in Japan, it seems), right, and an Indian restaurant further down the road (left).


 

Tokyo has many different 'faces', some are hectic and frantic while other parts of the city have an almost rural calm.
This is because 'Tokyo'  consists of special wards (tokubetsu-ku), 23 municipalities that together make up the core and the most populous part of Tokyo.
Together they occupy the land that was originally Tokyo City before it was abolished in 1943 to become part of the newly created Tokyo Metropolis.
I'll adress and illustrate some of  the different characters. Read on!

In Japanese, they are commonly known as the 23 wards (nijūsan-ku). Confusingly, all wards refer to themselves as a city in English, but the Japanese designation of special ward (tokubetsu ku) remains unchanged.
Moreover, in everyday English, Tokyo as a whole is also referred to as a city.
Thus, the closest English equivalents for the special wards would be the London boroughs or New York City boroughs, and this can help to understand their structures and functions.
However, Greater London and New York City only consist of boroughs (plus the City of London), whereas Tokyo contains 62 municipalities of which only 23 are special wards...
en.wikipedia.org:_Special_wards_of_Tokyo

Tokyo wards (map)

 

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo
JCII CAMERA MUSEUM

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo (2018)

With the cooperation of Japanese camera manufacturers, the Japan (Nippon) Camera and optical instruments Inspection and testing Institute (JCII) was founded in 1954.
It was formed to inspect all cameras exported from Japan in order to maintain quality standards.
In addition to this inspection function, JCII started in 1969 to designate some cameras as 'Historical Japanese Cameras' and began efforts to preserve these important items.
'Testing Institute' meanwhile has changed their name to 'Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII)'.
Several thousand cameras are housed at the museum. They even had an Exakta (manufactured in East Germany), my first SLR camera!
JCII has also preserved important information pertaining to the cameras.
Photography was not allowed.
www.jcii-cameramuseum.jp/

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo (2018)
My 2nd SLR camera was an Olympus OM-1 (top, 2nd from left), followed later by the OM-2 (center, left) and OM-4Ti.

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo (2018)
This enlarger also brings back memories, good memories.

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo (2018)

JCII Camera Museum, Tokyo (2018)
Now this is fun!

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Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine

The Imperial Shrine of Yasukuni, informally known as the Yasukuni Shrine (Yasukuni Jinja), is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda.
It was founded by Emperor Meiji in June 1869 and commemorates those who died in service of Japan from the Boshin War of 1868–1869 to the First Indochina War of 1946–1954.[
The shrine lists the names, origins, birthdates, and places of death of 2.466.532 men, women and children, including various pet animals.
There is some controversy surrounding this shrine. 
Due to the enshrinement of individuals found to be war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and an approach to the war museum considered by some to be nationalist, China, South Korea and North Korea have called the Yasukuni Shrine a microcosm of a revisionist and unapologetic approach to Japanese crimes of World War II.
en.wikipedia.org:_Yasukuni_Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine
I visited this shrine for a Zero WW2 fighter plane supposedly on display here, but did not find it. Several spots and structures were fenced off, probably for restoration purposes. Maybe this Zero was removed for the same purpose.
I did see a peculiar tree.. And of course no statue big enough for a bird to sit on top and shit on the imposing character.

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We crossed the road, into a park.
Kitanomaru National Garden

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Out on the street there is plenty to be amazed about.
Tokyo, Japan (2018)
Amazing to see the wooden traditional houses among the modern (but rather bland) architecture.

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BOOK DISTRICT

Tokyo, book district

Tokyo, bookdistrict (2018)

Kanda-Jinbōchō, commonly known as Jinbōchō or Jimbocho ('God-protected Town'), is a district of Chiyoda, also known as Tokyo's center of used-book stores and publishing houses.
It is also a popular antique and curio shopping area.
The center of Jinbōchō is at the crossing of Yasukuni-dōri and Hakusan-dōri, above Jimbōchō Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line, Toei Mita Line and Toei Shinjuku Line.
The area is within walking distance of a number of major universities, including Nihon, Senshu, Meiji, Hosei and Juntendo.
Jinbōchō is officially known (in addresses, etc.) as Kanda-Jinbōchō and is part of the former ward of Kanda.

A book reviewer of the website photobookstore.co.uk, Robert Dunn, visited this area soon after my visit. I'll make a note here of his findings as I hope to return here (one can't avoid the feeling of having missed much when one
is forced to return home)-
www.photobookstore.co.uk/blog/... tokyo-photobook-trip-part-1-by-robert-dunn + part 2.


Tokyo, bookdistrict (2018)
I can't really make out what these were...

theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/a-book-lovers-guide-to-tokyos-jimbocho-district

Tokyo, bookdistrict (2018)
I spotted a very nice Billy Collins (poetry) book, in English, for only 300 JPY (less than 3 euro)!

Tokyo, bookdistrict (2018)
Sanseido’s flagship bookstore proudly stands in Jimbocho and is a landmark of the area. One can find English books on
the 5th floor. The store is open 10 AM to 8 PM daily. Adress: Sanseido 1-1 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

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Tokyo, 2018
McDonald's is not my favourite food but at least they offer seating, which cannot be said for so many Japanese
eating places. We had a pretty good lunch and our feet had a good rest.

Tokyo, 2018
A constant bombardment on the retina...

Tokyo, 2018
The only boot polisher I came across this trip. Probably a vanishing occupation even here in Japan,
an antiquated society in certain aspects. Japanese office-workers tend to dress quite formally and identical,
polished shoes probably are a definite requirement. But I think they have vanished completely in my country, decades ago.

Tokyo, 2018
No words needed, I'd say..

Tokyo, 2018
Nearby, a completely different streetscene. On the left one sees 'Big Echo', the biggest karaoke shop chain in Japan (according to their website). "At BIG ECHO, all age customers can enjoy singing in the individual room with wonderful
décor and comfortable atmosphere. We have a lot of famous animation songs, with many languages such as English,
Chinese and Korean." Popular with the Asians, but it holds not attraction for me.

 


 


Island Gallery
Island Gallery

Island Gallery, Tokyo
The Island Gallery in Kyobashi, near Tokyo Central Station, was mentioned as a place to have photos on display.
It was small, photography was not allowed and they had no books for sale (they had a 2019 calender for sale).
Plus the staff did not speak English.

Island Gallery, Tokyo
They do have an interesting website, http://islandgallery.jp/, but only in Japanese. Pity.
A disappointing visit, although some of the photos on display (and no doubt for sale) were excellent.
My quest for a photobook of a Japanese photographer would continue..
We also looked for the 'Zeit Gallery' but Google Maps misdirected me and we gave up on it.
Visiting photo exhibitions this trip did not work out so well.


 

Tokyo, 2018
'Street Kart Tour'

Tokyo, 2018
Caught napping

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Yaesu Book Center
Yaesu Book Center is located near Tokyo station, or a short walk down Sotobori Avenue from Ginza Station.
It is a huge 8 floors affair with the foreign language books situated on the 8th floor.
en.japantravel.com/tokyo/yaesu-book-centre-and-maruzen/

Yaesu Book Center

Yaesu Book Center


Tokyo, 2018
BIC Camera is a huge warehouse for cameras and other electronics, plus households appliances and other stuff (I did
not explore). Prices were the same as at home, so no bargain hunting here for me.

Tokyo, 2018
The subway system is impressive and extensive. In spite of the travelator (automated escalator) be prepared to walk substantial distances for your departure track or one of the many exits to street level.

Not so loud..
"When talking on trains, please be mindful not to disturb the people around you.
Or voices may be loader than we realize, so let's all be careful whe we talk."


 

SHINJUKU

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
Although outside, smoking is only allowed in a designated area!

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
The only remarkable architecture I saw during this entire trip.

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)

Shinjuku is a special ward in Tokyo.
It is a major commercial and administrative centre, housing the northern half of the busiest railway station in the world (Shinjuku Station) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration centre for the government of Tokyo.
Shinjuku Station sees an estimated 3.64 million passengers pass through each day!

The current city of Shinjuku grew out of several separate towns and villages, which have retained some distinctions despite growing together as part of the Tokyo metropolis.
A few distinctive neighborhoods are-
Kabukichō: Tokyo's best-known red-light district, renowned for its variety of bars, restaurants, and sex-related establishments.
Golden Gai: An area of tiny shanty-style bars and clubs. Musicians, artists, journalists, actors and directors gather here, and the ramshackle walls of the bars are literally plastered with film posters.
Shinjuku Ni-chōme: Tokyo's best-known gay district.
Nishi-Shinjuku: The area west of Shinjuku Station, historically known as Yodobashi, is home to Tokyo's largest concentration of skyscrapers.
Ōkubo: The area surrounding Okubo Station, Shin-Okubo Station and Higashi-Shinjuku Station is best known as Tokyo's historic ethnic Korean neighborhood after World War II.

More details on en.wikipedia.org:_Shinjuku

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
I noticed 3 persons sleeping with a police officer approaching. However he shook them, they remained unresponsive.
Weird.

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Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
Don Quijote is a popular discount chain store that has over 160 locations throughout Japan, plus 3 stores in Hawaii and
2 in Singapore (branded as Don Don Donki). It carries a wide range of products, from basic groceries to electronics
to clothing. Upon our visit products for Halloween were dominant. Been there, done that, bought a t-shirt!

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)

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Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
Kabukicho Sakura-dori Street
Kabukicho is the red-light district of Tokyo, where you can 'buy' girls on an iPad, watch robots perform or spend the
night in a love hotel.. One will find bars, restaurants and pachinko parlors as well as touts and hustlers.
Except I was completely unaware of this 'red light district' while passing through! Probably because
it was around noon, in the middle of the day..? Or maybe I am a tad naïve..

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
Remarkable shop front and what would 'shit' signify here..?


Hello Kitty..

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
It appeared to me that many of the Japanes cyclists do not know how to properly adjust & maintain their bicycles!
Often I saw them crouched like this and many a tyre was almost flat.
But at least she cycles on the road, not on the footpath.

Shinyuku, Tokyo (2018)
Protest in front of the Uniqlo store
Uniqlo is a clothing store, claiming "... clothes are simple and essential yet universal, so people can freely combine
them with their own unique styles, in any way they choose, every day of the year." They have stores in Europe too.


 

KOREANTOWN

Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)

Shin-Okubo is Tokyo's 'Korean Town'.
It is known for its street food, karaoke, markets, restaurants and bars that show off the South Korean vibe and way of life. And indeed we had no trouble finding a place for a nice sit-down lunch.
But, my overall impression was also less positive: homeless people living on the street, garbage lining the backstreets. Not that I mind, it provided an edge. I also noted some fine graffiti: street art!
A nice change from the almost anti septic look of Japan's city streets.
en.japantravel.com/tokyo/tokyo-s-korea-town-shin-okubo-top-10-things-to-do/
jpninfo.com/

 

Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)

Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)
The girls waiting here: anything to do with K-pop?!

A nice place for lunch
Koreantown
Café de Riche

Koreantown

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Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)
By accident we came across a small alley lined with bars, in Shin-Okubo I think, heading back to main Shinjuku area.
This is the socalled Shinjuku Golden Gai area, which has over 270 tiny drinking dens, crammed into 7 ramshackle streets. www.timeout.com/tokyo/bars-and-pubs/shinjuku-golden-gai

Golden Gai, Shinjuku

Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)
Probably nicer at night time. A bit early for us to start on the booze.

Koreantown, Tokyo (2018)

Golden Gai, Shinjuku

Shinjuku, Tokyo

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Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

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Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
Typical manga-style advertisements

Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
Street festival in progress
Street festival Shinjuku

Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

Pachinko parlors are widespread in Japan.
Pachinko is a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device.
As of 2015, Japan's pachinko market generates more gambling revenue than that of Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore combined!
I did not investigate, noting the deafening racket inside..
en.wikipedia.org:_Pachinko

Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
Adult entertainment, in the immediate area of the Shinjuku Toho Cinema, on Kabukicho Ichibangai.
Tokyo, adult entertainment @Shinjuku
"Welcome, Foreigner"

 


 
\

ENJOYING A FILM AT TOHO CINEMA


Toho Cinema, Shinjuku
In case you are wondering, we watched The Equalizer 2, a moderately satisfying action movie starring Denzel Washington.
There were a limited number of films in English.
Google Translate app on my phone was of relative use: reading film titles provided complete nonsense.


One could order complete meals here in the cinema.

Tokyo, Japan
Often I was surprised by a (young) couple on an obvious date, dressed for it, with one wearing an unattractive mask..


SHINJUKU AFTER SUNSET

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

I had expected to find street wear to be more extravagant in Tokyo, but it was more or less the same as back home. I noticed that I would need to visit the Harajuku district to score the gothic fashion and other extravagant street wear.
Alas, I was unable to include that center of Japanese youth culture and fashion in an efficient manner in our Tokyo priorities.
en.wikipedia.org:_Harajuku
www.gojapango.com/tokyo/harajuku_girls

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography
When we found dining opportunities it often presented itself in such uncomfortable setting. This is eating, not dining.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography
Yasukuni Dori and its glorious neon advertisements.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography
The remarkable Kabukicho Gate at the entrance of Kabukicho Ichibangai is the entrance to an entertainment and
red- light district in Shinjuku. Kabukicho is the location of many host and hostess clubs, love hotels, shops,
restaurants and nightclubs.

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography
Shinjuku definitely is the place to visit after sunset!

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

Shinjuku (Tokyo) after sunset - Ruud Leeuw photography

 


 

We went to Akihabara Station.
Akihabara is a common name for the area around Akihabara Station, in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo.

Japan (2018)


#ubidaycosplay
Tokyo 2018, cosplay
I stumbled here on my first 'cosplay'!
Cosplay is a combination of the words 'costume' and 'play'. It is a performance art in which participants called
cosplayers wear self-made costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.
Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture. Fun!

#ubicosplay Tokyo


The term "cosplay" was coined in Japan in 1984.

Tokyo 2018, cosplay
The term 'cosplay' is a Japanese portmanteau of the English terms costume and play.The term was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi of Studio Hard after he attended the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Los Angeles
and saw costumed fans, which he later wrote about in an article for the Japanese magazine, 'My Anime'.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay

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Yodobashi-Akiba , Tokyo
Yodobashi-Akiba.
At least 6 traffic wardens regulate cars going in and out the parking garage! Only in Japan...

Yodobashi-Akiba , Tokyo

 


 

ASAKUSHABASHI


Kanda River, @Asakushabashi

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Kaminarimon Street
Kannon Doori, Kaminarimon Street

Kaminarimon Street

The pulled rickshaws created a popular form of transportation and a source of employment for male laborers, within Asian cities in the 19th century.
Their appearance was related to newly acquired knowledge of ball-bearing systems. Their popularity declined as cars, trains and other forms of transportation became widely available, but see new use in the tourist trade.
en.wikipedia.org:_Rickshaw

Kaminarimon Street
It seems one can take a guided tour on a rickshaw (jinrikisha, literally "man powered vehicle"). That would be
a 30 minute tour which for two persons would costs around 9000 yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.
I am not sure if one can barter..?
www.japan-guide.com

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NAKAMISE MARKET

Nakamise Market, Tokyo - Photography by Ruud Leeuw

The Nakamise market is a pedestrian road which leads right up to the façade of the venerable Sensoji Temple. On both sides of this road line the market stalls, in traditional architecture, complete with lanterns and red gleaming paint.
There are around 90 shops & stalls on the street and they sell snacks and souvenirs to the throngs of domestic and international tourists who visit the area.
There has been a tourist market here since the 17th century. Many of the shops have been run by the same family for many generations.
www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/nakamise-dori

Nakamise Market

Nakamise Market, Tokyo - Photography by Ruud Leeuw
This area is also a good place to see people wear Yukata and Kimono dress; the difference is explained below.

'Yukata and kimono are traditional Japanese clothing. Most of the people just know the names yukata and kimono, but hardly know the actual difference between the two.
The basic difference that can be seen between yukata and kimono, is in their fabric. Well, yukata comes in cotton fabric and a kimono dress comes in silk fabric.
Another difference that can be seen, is that yukata is worn during the summer season. They are also worn as bathrobes in places such as hot springs. Literally meaning, bathing clothes, yukata has been derived from ‘Yu’, which means bath, and ‘katabira’, which means under clothing.
Literally meaning, a ‘thing to wear’, kimono has been derived from ‘Ki’, which means ‘wear’, and ‘mono’, which means ‘thing’.

Unlike yuakata clothing, kimono clothing has at least two collars. Of the two collars, one sits close to the neck, and the other one is placed a bit lower, so that the two collars are seen distinctively.
While using kimono, socks will have to be worn. It means that unique shoes, like zori or geta, will have to be worn with kimono clothing. Although, this is not mandatory while wearing a yukata dress.
Both men and women normally wear kimono. On the other hand, yukata is worn more by women than men.
In terms of cost, the kimono is more expensive than yukata.
Moreover, one can see that the Kimono designs are very unique, and one will not come across two kimonos of the same type.'
difference-between-yukata-and-kimono

Nakamise Market, Tokyo - Photography by Ruud Leeuw

Nakamise Market, Tokyo - Photography by Ruud Leeuw

Kimono or Yukata

Asakuso, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography


Publicity for the nearby Owl café (near Sensoji Temple). On Shinnakamise Dori (2F), Asakusa.
owlnomori.net

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SENSO-JI TEMPLE

Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo (2018)

Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo (2018)

Sensoji Temple is Tokyo's oldest and most visited (Buddhist) temple.
It was founded in 628 when Tokyo was nothing more than a small fishing village. Amongst its claims to fame, it's the most popular spot for school trips in Tokyo. Practically every school kid who goes to school anywhere near Tokyo ends up visiting Sensoji at least once in their school career.
Sensoji sponsors the Sanja Matsuri, Tokyo's biggest and wildest festival (May 18-20), attracting around 2 million people. 
www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/sensoji-temple-tokyo

Sensiji Temple

Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo (2018)

Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo (2018)

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Tokyo (2018) - Photography by Ruud Leeuw
From Asakusa we went to the Ginza district
Ginza district, plice on patrol

Tokyo (2018) - Photography by Ruud Leeuw
On Harumi Dori we found this Kabukiza Theatre and managed to buy a ticket for a single act (30 minutes).
Google Maps provided a different adress: Ginza 4-12-15, Chuo-ku.
Alas, our tickets, a few remaining, was standing room only. And strictly, STRICTLY no photography!!! www.kabukiweb.net/theatres/kabukiza/information/

Tokyo (2018) - Photography by Ruud Leeuw

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama, though I noticed very little dancing.
Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. Unfortunately we were in the far outer ring and had difficulty distinguishing detail in the facial
make up and expression. Bring a small binocular!
Kabuki is sometimes translated as 'the art of singing and dancing'. I noticed very little singing.
What is spoken seems sentences in slow motion.
Speech nor motion made any sense to me and I was glad to leave the theatre, for the hurting feet, for the strictness of no photography (stewards kept patrolling) and for lack of understanding.
en.wikipedia.org:_Kabuki

Asakuso, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
I did find somewhere some illustrations of Kabuki play, it will have to do.
Golden Gai, Shinjuku

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Ginza, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

Ginza, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
I am not a great Starbucks aficionado, but here in Japan I was verypleased with its presence; mainly for being able
to sit down as well as welcoming coffee break. The (portable) wifi we carried in our rucksack.

Ginza, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography
A revisit to the (Yeasu Book Center); it showed markings of its 40th anniversary, a good sign.
There were automated stairs to the 4th floor, from there we had to take the elevator (to the 8F for Foreign Books).

Ginza, Tokyo (2018) - Ruud Leeuw photography

Tokyo Central Station

Tokyo Station (Tōkyō-eki) is a railway station in the Chiyoda City.
The original station is located in Chiyoda's Marunouchi business district, near the Imperial Palace grounds.
The newer Eastern extension is not far from the Ginza commercial district. The station is divided into Marunouchi and Yaesu sides in its directional signage.
But not before this luxurious passage took us by surprise!
The main station façade on the western side of the station is brick-built, surviving from the time when the station opened in 1914 and this hall probably stems from those days.
The whole complex, above ground (rail and Shinkansen) and underground (metro) is linked by an extensive system of underground passageways which merge with surrounding commercial buildings and shopping centres. Fortunately for my tired feet we did not loose our way.
We took the Hanzomon Line (subway) back to our hotel.
en.wikipedia.org::Tokyo_Station

The exterior of Tokyo Station, photo take on our day of departure:
Tokyo Train Station

 

KAMAKURA

Kamakura - the Big Buddha
I actually find this sort of photo more satisfying than the actual subject of visit, although that has to be recorded too.

Kamakura (Kamakura-shi) is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan.
As a coastal city with a high number of seasonal festivals, as well as ancient Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples, Kamakura is a popular tourist destination within Japan.
en.wikipedia.org:_Kamakura

Kamakura - the Big Buddha
An impressive guard (left) and (right) the statue of Amida Buddha at Kōtoku-in.

Kamakura - the Big Buddha
It was quite a challenge to photograph the Big Buddha without too many people.

Taiizan Kotokuin Shojosenji (Kōtoku-in) is a Jōdo-shū Buddhist temple in the city of Kamakura.
The temple is renowned for its 'Great Buddha' (Daibutsu), a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which is one of the most famous icons of Japan.
It probably dates from 1252, in the Kamakura period, according to temple records. It was preceded by a giant wooden Buddha, which was completed in 1243 after ten years of continuous labor.
At one time, this statue was gilded! There are still traces of gold leaf near the statue's ears.
en.wikipedia.org:_Kotoku-in 


Serene..

Kamakura - the Big Buddha

Kamakura - the Big Buddha

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KOSOKUJI TEMPLE

Kosoku-ji Temple, Kamakura

Kosoku-ji Temple, Kamakura
The attractive garden is peaceful, but has a drawback...

Kosokuji Temple ('light gauging temple'), in Kamakura, is just a few minutes' walk north of Hasedera Temple and a slightly longer distance south of Kotokuin and the Kamakura Daibutsu.
This was the only temple we visited in Kamakura besides the Big Buddha, one grows weary of all these temples.
Kosokuji is associated with the 13th century priest Nichiren, the fierce asserter of the Lotus Sutra against all other forms of Buddhism during the Kamakura shogunate period of Japanese history.
.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/kosokuji

Kosoku-ji Temple, Kamakura
For some reason this temple was a haven for spiders!
The webs were removed at the height of the average Japanese, but a taller westerner had (at least) to bow the head!

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By local bus back to the train station
Kamakura
The idea is to take a ticket while boarding and while approach the stop the display will show the price.
Payment is cash only in the exact amount. Some busses offer a change machine providing coins.
The driver does not handle money. Japan is still very much a cash country.

Kamakura
We only walked the local 'High Street' in search of some food. I am afraid we soon tired of Kamakura.

On the train, back to Tokyo

Glad to 'score' another photo of someone reading a book in public. For my collection.
Soon after departing Kamakura we saw this huge icon: the Ōfuna Kannon Temple. Impressive!

Ōfuna Kannon Temple (Ōfuna Kannonji) is a Buddhist temple.
The outstanding feature of the temple is a 25 metres (82 ft), 1900-ton reinforced concrete statue of the bodhisattva Kannon. [en.wikipedia.org:_Ofuna_Kannon]
 
Construction of the Temple began in 1929 by the Sōtō school of Zen. The outline of the statue was complete by 1934 but work was suspended at the outbreak of the Pacific War (a.k.a. the Asia–Pacific War, the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia).
The Ofuna Kannon Society continued construction work in 1954 and the Temple was finally completed in 1960. The statue construction is that of sections of poured concrete and was performed entirely by hand.
en.wikipedia.org:_Pacific_War

The art of reading in public
The Art of Reading.
I know of three (famous) photographers who have published books on reading in public:
André Kertész ('On Reading'), Steve McCurry ('On Reading') and Lawrence Schwartzwald ('The Art of Reading')
And myself, Ruud Leeuw : 'On Reading' (Amazon.com)


 



I never travelled on so many trains in my life!

Tokyo (2018)
From Kamakura we traveled again on the Yokosuka Line and changed to the Yamanote Circle Line for Shibuya Station.

SHIBUYA

Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw

Shibuya (Shibuya-ku); literally "Astringent Valley") is a special ward in Tokyo. It  is a major commercial and business center and it houses the two busiest railway stations in the world: Shinjuku Station (southern half) and Shibuya Station.
From Shibuya station we had a look down on the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. But there was a light rain and while chaotic (I crossed it twice) it wasn't so crowded as can be seen on some YouTube video footage.

Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw

Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw

Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw
This area is also known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people and as a major nightlife area. And again, we had the greatest difficulty in finding a decent Japanese restaurant! We saw a TGI Friday and several other western franchises but a satisfying sit down restaurant took some walking and searching, even using the apps on the phone.

Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw
Standing room won't do for me..

Fortunately we did find a nice restaurant to conclude our last day in Japan with a fine Japanese meal
Japanese meal
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Japanese meal

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Shibuya, Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw
Outside Shibuya Station

Shibuya Station, Tokyo

Tokyo (2018) - Photography by RuudLeeuw
Bye, bye Japan, it has been interesting!

 


 

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Created: 25-Oct-2018
Updated: 18-Nov-2018