leedy: (Closeup)
Yes, I am back! And very sleepy. So sleepy, in fact, that it just took several tries for me to type "sleepy". Have some photos of Japan, why don't you?

Suica loves Pasmo )

Onna stick! )

Inari shrine )

Leaves and temples are pretty )

Winter wonderland )

Super! )

Tokyo cityscape )

More photos here.

Other notable things:
  • The aforementioned ladies in kimonos drinking tankards of beer and eating sausages in a beer hall. I'd gone over thinking that kimonos were something that people maybe wore for special occasions, but I saw lots of women (usually of a certain age) just wearing them for everyday. Very elegant they looked too.
  • Arriving at the big crossroads at Shibuya (busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, fact fans) and suddenly hearing something that sounded an awful lot like "Rez" swell up just as the lights turned green and a huge wave of humanity moved as one and broke over the crossing. Brilliant. (and it turned out it was "Rez" - one of the big screens behind me was advertising an Underworld gig.)
  • The meals. Dear god, the food. From yakitori chicken to fancy kaiseiki meals to super-light tempura to sushi eaten for breakfast at the Tokyo fish market, I think it was the best eating holiday I've ever had. Nyom.
  • Finding lots of just weird fun places to hang out, like Kyoto's oldest reggae bar, or the titchy bar in Golden Gai where we had a big chat about music with the barman (language difficulties magically overcome by the twin powers of booze and gesturing).
  • The sheer kindness and generosity of so many people that we met - the older gent in Nara who bought us lunch because we helped him practice his English, the random man who just ran up to us in the street in Kyoto and gave us buns, the hotel landlady who gave us little carved wooden dolls as presents when we left her hotel, the numerous people who stopped when we looked lost (which, given Tokyo's insane addressing system, was quite frequent) and pointed us in the right direction... really, marvellous hospitality and helpfulness.

Anyway, it was a wonderful, wonderful trip, and I would totally recommend it as a holiday place to go.

November 2016

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