Wow….our first year in Japan has gone in the blink of an eye!
I’m not going to lie. So far, it’s been an incredible move for us both. We’ve seen many weird and wonderful places, met lots of awesome people, visited a plethora of temples and shrines (we’ve seen enough of these to last a lifetime!), played an unhealthy amount of ten pin bowling, eaten the most amazing food, and had easy access to the rest of Asia during holidays. We’ve even seen meerkats in a pram (actually, all sorts of animals in a pram – most recently, an owl outside Starbucks!). It’s so different out here, in every possible way. What an experience!
We’ve been out and about recently, in Tokyo, around Yokohama and down south in Hiroshima and Miyajima. Here are a few snaps:
The giant Shinjuku Godzilla.
Donkey Kong in Shinjuku, advertising the new Pixels film (Is that REALLY a film?!)
Kawasaki Frontale’s new multi-billion (Yen, obviously!) stand. We went there recently for a J-League fixture against the mighty Montedio Yamagata.
Both teams battled it out for a dire 0-0 draw. Thankfully, we didn’t have to pay to get in. Whilst outside looking confused at how to buy 2 tickets, a very decent local approached us and told us his friends weren’t coming and we could have his spare tickets for free. Top, top man!
The Pikachu trail in Yokohama. Not a patch on the Gromit or Shaun the Sheep trails of Bristol!
Yokohama Tower on the left, Japan’s second tallest building. Apparently it has a viewing deck – I have only just discovered this. YES!! I love tall viewing observatories!
The beautiful Nippon Maru, permanently docked in Yokohama harbour.
Back local now in Komazawa Olympic Park, just 5 minutes from our house. In the summer there’s always athletic events going on and you can just wander in for free. The standard is very high and the events are run with military precision. We’ve seen it in tennis recently (Nishikori, #4 tennis player in the world) and in football (Honda – AC Milan, Kagawa – Dortmund). It’s just a matter of time, surely, until Japan starts producing top athletes too. The facilities are top drawer and so is the attitude. With the 2020 Olympics approaching, I can see Japan competing on many different fronts…
Errrr……KAWAII!!! If I could write that any bigger, I would! It was a baking hot day. The bike rider had stopped to fetch some water for these beautifully groomed pooches!! They lapped it all up.
Water lilies at Ueno Park.
Quite a contrast to our previous visit in May. I think they’d grown by about 5 foot during the hot and humid Japanese summer.
Mr & Mrs Bicuity (snr) during our pedalo race.
Asakusa – the street leading up to Sensō-ji Buddhist temple.
From there we got the boat down to Odaiba, underneath the Rainbow Bridge. At this time of year you can witness many fish jumping out the water around dusk.
It’s behind you!!
Not to be confused with NYC. Odaiba is an awesome place to watch sunset, especially in winter or early spring when the sun goes down behind Fuji.
A couple of hours later…
Still in Odaiba, the giant Gundam robot attraction. We arrived dead on 7.30pm, just as a show was starting that we didn’t even know about.
On our way back to the tube station we passed this happy family in Starbucks. Man, wife, dog and…..owl! Even the dog looked confused!
We took the shinkansen down to Hiroshima for a short getaway. It’s 70 years since the A-bomb went off. This is the most iconic structure left standing and well worth a trip.
People paying their respects at the memorial, with the dome in the distance. Don’t be fooled by the brollies – it was unbelievably hot.
The following day we took a trip to Miyajima island. Maz and I visited it last year also. It’s a beautiful place with a mountain and millions of deer wandering freely, trying to sneakily steal your food.
I work closely with the GCSE and A-level art students at work. I can safely say, this is art of the highest order!
Told you the deer were keen for food. This deer was practically mounting the poor woman in order to steal her meat skewer.
She gave in, meaning one happy deer. A kind soul removed the skewer and the deer gobbled up all the meaty goodness in one foul swoop.
Atop the mountain, this was the view that greeted us as we waited for the second cable car. A ride through the clouds. It was spectacular and a real contrast to our last visit.
Maz under a brolly at the top of Mount Misen. This time it was raining. There was nothing but clouds below us. It was quite eerie.
Last day in Hiroshima and a visit to the castle.
Here it is, a beautifully remade version. The A-bomb had left this place totally flattened.
Self timer selfie.
We’re going on a school trip this week into the mountains of Hakuba. I will post some more snaps next weekend…