Picking up the keys…

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Today is my second birthday! Since I celebrated my first birthday a day early in Japan, now I get to celebrate my birthday in my home country’s time zone!

Birthday celebrations will have to wait, though. First I have to pick up the keys to my Tokyo apartment, where I’ll be staying for the next 30 days. The rental company, Sakura House, is located in Shinjuku so I start my apartment rental adventure with a subway ride from Monzen Nakachou to Shinjuku!

Looking at the Tokyo subway map, it seems the Oeda line is the most direct way to Shinjuku and the Oeda line station is conveniently located just down the street from the hotel where I’m currently staying.…

A Little Night Photography…

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10:00pm JST

Andrew comes up with an interesting idea, let’s walk across the Eitaibashi Bridge and take photos of Tokyo Sky Tree at night over the Sumidagawa. Well, not only did we photograph Sky Tree, but we also photographed the Eitaibashi Bridge itself and Tsukushima which is also clearly visible on the horizon. This impromptu photo shoot was also a great opportunity to test video modes and compare camera settings and underscores just how easy it is to walk to Tokyo proper.

11:00pm JST

All that waterfront photography and walking makes me hungry so I have some late night beef bowl and miso at Matsuya!…

Tokyo Sky Tree!

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Today is my birthday (yay!) so I’m looking forward to a special present I’m giving myself while in Japan, touring the newly built Tokyo Sky Tree!

11:00am JST

Headed out to 7-Eleven for a breakfast of onigiri and bottled tea which I leisurely consume in the nearby park. Breakfast at 7-Eleven might sound appalling but this is Japan, and onigiri and tea make an excellent breakfast.

12:30pm JST

I pick up a subway map and plot my way to Sky Tree… hey this is easy, I just take the Oeda line to Kisume-Shirakawa, connect to the Honzemon line and ride three stops to Oshiage Station and Sky Tree.…

On the prowl in old Edo

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5:30pm JST

Time to prowl the old neighborhood in search of dinner. In the case of Monzen Nakachou, we’re talking Edo period old. The first change I notice is the new lawn ornament looming brightly over the Mifune Bashi Bridge: Tokyo Sky Tree towering in the distance and looking magnificent all lit up at night! I’ll bet they rack up quite the electric bill.

Little has changed in Monzen Nakachou in the past five years, although there are now two Lawson’s on Eitai-dori and one of them has actual groceries. There’s a Yoshinori on the corner across from the Star Dust and I had beef curry and rice with egg there tonight.…

On to Tokyo!

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Normally this blog is about “First TIme” things, but today we’re going to start with “Last Day” things in Kyoto. Has it really been a full week in Japan? It seems like I just arrived!

9:45am JST

Although I am up early to watch the sunrise against a crystal clear sky, I have only now finished packing my clothes, video and photo gear for transport.

“Three pieces of luggage, camera bag, leather jacket”

10:00am JST

Before I check out of the hotel, I’m headed down to “Naka-u” for my last meal in Kyoto… and who cares about a reprieve from the governor when you’re chowing down on the best udon soup ever created!…

Ponto-chou

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6:49pm JST

Getting a quick bite to eat at the udon restaurant down the street before heading out to Osaka for a night of … well who knows what. I have a simple, inexpensive bowl of udon but good lord is that udon good!

7:15pm JST

I arrive at Kyoto Station with time to kill, so I graze in the book store, and hey, they have Doraemon volumes 2 through 42!

7:30pm JST

I begin to stare at my cell phone, pretending to be popular and busy, as opposed to frightened and confused in a big city train station.

8:00pm JST

Eric arrives and we decide to head down to Ponto-chou, another of Kyoto’s geisha towns, for sushi and sake.…

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