Wednesday, December 07, 2005

3 Months is a Short/Long/Indeterminate Time

The last week has gone past quickly, despite being jam packed. On the weekend, there was the chichibu night festival, which I am still digesting. Since then has been a revisit to Temple 32, a trip into Tokyo to see Kabuki, a last spin on the Love Bike, and my last two shakuhachi lessons with Kakizakai-sensei. The last one was squeezed in at 9am this morning, before being dropped at the station to catch a train to catch a train to catch a plane.

So, now I am sitting in an internet cafe in the airport, waiting for my flight. Somehow, by smiling a lot, I managed to get 27kg of baggage checked in, and then, with even more smiling, about 20kg of hand luggage. Thanks to three very lovely China Airlines check in staff, who seemed to like me a lot, and so pretended that they didnt try and pick up my hand luggage. VERY very lucky.

So goes the journey home. So far, excellent. I plan to avoid watching silly movies on a teeny screen too close to my eyes, and instead play games on a teeny screen - I bought Nick a Playstation Portable and some games which it is my duty to test to make sure it works before giving it to him. I also have my laptop, and will begin the task of organising and weeding my photographs, of which there are many. Show and Tell when I am back and settled.

I will continue to update this blog with the many stories that I havent yet got around to telling - the rest of my big trip, and the chichibu festival in paticular will take a couple of entries each to tell.

So 3 months in Japan should provide me with enough stories and pictures to cover the time from now until the next 3 months in Japan, hopefully next year...

its been a h00t!


Saturday, December 03, 2005


Very quick entry, before I go to bed. Tomorrow morning, I get to pull one of these, thanks to some very wonderful friends!

in the meantime, heres a link to a short movie I made today. Its 15 Meg, so dont download it if you dont have broadband.

Friday, December 02, 2005


means "just now"

I followed the sound of Taiko drums back from the coin-laundry, to discover them wheeling one of the festival floats out of its house!

I must have looked serious while jumping around taking photos, becase they gave me what appears to be the equivalent of a press pass - giving me permission to get right up close to the float, and in the action to take pics...

To turn them, they put a huge jack underneath, and magic feet appear from the float, and turn the jack handle till the float is almost off the ground, then all the folks pulling the ropes pull it around till it is pointing where they want it to go. Everyone is coordinated by the taiko drums - different rythms mean different manoevers.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bump of Chicken

I'm a stranger in a strange land, for sure.

Hee hee. Laughed a *lot* when I saw this. Still laughing, in fact. :)

I wonder what other people's tourist photos look like. Not like mine, I suspect.

this was the result of walking between Shibuya and Harajuku.

but I can take normal pictures too...

Note the Duck Storage shop on the right in Harajuku. Tokyo is very animal friendly. You can buy your duck at Ducky Duck in Shibuya, and store it at Store My Ducks in Harajuku. And don't forget your chicken bumps...

apologies for any weird formatting - it seems that both the latest release of Firefox, and Opera have problems with, and ive banished IE from my system. Perhaps a little prematurely, it appears.