Edojō Ato

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    • Day 2

      Before ride car cat banban

      February 17, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

      Staring at the flashing c:/< prompt on a monochromatic screen attached to what would now appear to be a small microwave, the thought that there had to be an easier way never crossed my mind. It was 87 and the small microwave in question was a cutting edge "portable" computer. The painfully tedious process of getting a game to load up and run properly, seemed neither tedious or painful at the time but rather futuristic and sleek. The fact that the game required 17 separate disks to work just seemed like a fine idea.
      Flash forward 30 some odd years and if by chance I have some issue where I can't triangulate my exact location on the planet while simultaneously listening to music and filming a high definition videos all on my playing card size pocket computer something must be wrong. Some day in the not so distant future even having to pull a device from your pocket to accomplish these tasks will seem inefficient. Flash forward another 30 years and having pockets will even seem to be a bother.
      Today we have pockets and pocket computers and today we have technology that can allow anyone on the planet to communicate in there native language (except for some dialects from Botswana) it is a truly incredible innovation that gets glossed over as normal. By waving our phone over foreign curves and slashes into focus comes familiar letters and numbers. However the side effect that this process unveils is where the true magic lies.
      No matter what ails you if for only a moment a smile and laugh can take it all away. This is where the google translate app truly shines. While I can't confirm that everything we wave our magic wand over is incorrect, I can confirm that it is hilarious. Ingredients on food packaging become bizarre country music lyrics, warning signs turn into quiet optimism. The mystery and questions unanswered lead to more deep pondering. Could riding my bike as a bachelor in the park lead to a box lunch? And why would the park be broadcasting this information?
      Comedy gold is around every corner and the mystery of foreign texts goes deeper than we could ever imagine. Thank you google translate and welcome to Tokyo.
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    • Day 61

      Japanische Toiletten

      October 26, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Für Japaner ist das ein sehr wichtiges Thema.
      Es gibt an jeder Toilette (Western Style) an der Seite eine Art Fernbedienung für die Toilette. Die Funktionen sind zahlreich: angefangen vom beheizten Klodeckel (sehr angenehm) über Toiletten-Spül-Geräusche (wahlweise als Sound oder als echte, minimale Spülung sobald man sich auf den Klodeckel setzt) bis hin zum Duftspray oder Bidet-Spülung. Der Spülkasten wird anschießend bei einigen Modellen direkt durch einen Wasserhahn wieder befüllt. Ein optischer Hingucker.
      Öffentliche Toiletten (meist Japanese Style) sind zum Hinhocken, wobei man die Sitzrichtung unbedingt beachten sollte. Hin und wieder findet sich auch hier ein Krückstockhalter, ein Buzzer zum Hilfe rufen im Notfall oder auch eine Kindersitz-Halterung an der Wand (wohlgemerkt in der Toilettenkabine). Laut Beschilderung soll man das darin sitzende Kind nie aus den Augen lassen...
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    • Day 49

      Beach at

      March 7, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Super crowded beach here, I think half of Ho Chi Minh city was there. Nice warm waves to play in, and they probably weren't warm for the same reason that paddling pools are lol. Ate seafood on the beach, so good!Read more

    • Day 337

      Düstere Geschichte, schöne Orte

      June 28, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Gemeint sind die beiden Städte Hiroshima und Nagasaki, auf die zum Ende des 2. Weltkrieges jeweils eine Atombombe geworfen wurde.
      Generell für beide Orte gilt, dass es heute zwei wirklich schöne, lebhafte und sehr freundliche Orte sind. Hinzu kommt eine wunderschöne Landschaft um die Städte herum, sowie natürlich, wie in ganz Japan, Tempel, Tempel, Tempel...
      Die jeweiligen Besuche an den Gedänkstätten und Museen waren allerdings extrem bedrückend. Wenn man noch einmal so vor Augen geführt bekommt, welche verheerende Folgen diese Explosionen hatten, kann man sich nur fragen wieso es heute noch Machthaber gibt, die es für eine gute Idee halten, damit rum zu spielen.
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    • Day 49

      Mui Ne, PhanThiet

      March 7, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Mui Ne is a nice coastal town of resorts owned by Russians, and overpriced (by Vietnamese standards) seafood. There was one nice swimming beach though, with surfboard rental. I think without surfing I a weekend there would be enough for me. Along the coast road there were some large areas of sand dunes, which was interesting.

      Phan Thiet is a typical Vietnamese coastal city.
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    • Day 4

      Zoo and Tour Start

      October 23, 2017 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

      Over the years, Nat and I have made a habit of visiting local zoos on our travels. We love animals and most of the time it makes for an easy going, fun and uplifting day. Id read mixed reviews about the Tokyo zoo at Ueno so I hadn't designated the location as a priority.

      However, when it turned out that the zoo was a mere 15 minute walk from the hotel and meeting point for our G Adventures tour, I figured I'd seize the opportunity to transform a 'hotel transition day' into something more fun, uplifting and memorable one.

      We negotiated our way from Roppongi to Iriya station (via Hibuya line Metro) easy enough. Arriving at the hotel 3 hours before check in, we opted to just store our bags, and set off for lunch, and zootime.

      Lunch was a random find. We walked past a place called Ton Kotsu Ramen, and with alluring enough pictures (no English) decided to venture inside. Turns out, at this establishment, all orders are taken via vending machine. It was a matter of finding a picture of food you liked, matching its cost and image to a button, inserting cash credit, making your selection, retrieving change and a ticket, and handing the ticket over to your waiter. Our meals were a bowl of soup, and a bowl of noodles and meat that are mixed to form the delicious combination of Ramen!

      With full bellies we wandered through sidestreets and park to find the zoo. A mere 600¥ entry fee gained us admission. Initial impressions of the zoo were quite positive. Most review complaints stemmed from issues with its size and enclosure quality and size. The map showed this was a huge two part zoo, separated by a long bridge and by all accounts animals appeared happy, healthy and comfortable. This zoo had an excellent giant otter exhibit and the best collection of large prey birds and owls I've ever seen, including a showpony Andean Condor! There were some awesome exotic birds, gorillas, bears (brown and polar), lions, seals and more.

      After yesterday's Typhoon Lan, today was a stunningly perfect day for a stroll through park and zoo. Not a cloud in the sky. As we crossed the bridge to the other 'older' side of the zoo we understood peoples negative reviews. Most of these exhibits were very old, and small. They looked 70s style. Giraffe, Hippo and Rhinos lived in far too tiny and desolate cages which closer resembled prison cells than enclosures.

      Tired feet found our way back to the hotel for a meet, greet and dinner with our tour guide Mari and eight of the 10 tourists to join us (two arriving tomorrow) as follows - Nigel (US), Ramesh (Auckland), Mara (London), Tony (West Australia) and Matthais & Sabrina (Switzerland). Nigel, Tony and Ramesh were a fair bit older (50+) and the other three probably around our age. Dinner was a fantastic feast of various Japanese tapas; croquettes, noodles, salad, fried chicken, cook your own meats, beer and even a sushi boat.

      Tomorrow we have a quiet morning before we begin our 4-5 hour journey to Takayama.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Edojō Ato, Edojo Ato, 江戸城跡

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