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nostromos bLog






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08(01), 07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)
08(01)
10(01)

Fri, 01 Aug 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, resumee (0 comments)
stuff i bought in japan. some of the items are presents. here is, what it is in detail: [01] "domo-kun", from the shop at the "NHK broadcasting center". [02] "jiji", the little black cat from "kiki's delivery service", bought at the "studio ghibli museum". [03] "totoro", from the movie "my neighbor totoro", bought at the "studio ghibli museum". [04] washrag bought in the "ikebukuro" ward in the "tokyu hands" mall, in the "nekobukuro" shop on the 9th floor. [05] two "lucky cats" bought in a shop at the airport. [06] "lucky cat" i bought at the "imado jinja shrine". [07] "ta-chan", another character from the NHK studios, bought at the NHK shop. [08] "moomin" pin, bought at the "moomin bakery & cafe" at the "tokyo dome" site. [09] another "jiji" merchandising item, bought at the "studio ghibli" museum. [10] cat "ema", bought at the cat shrine shop. [11] "doraemon" fan included with a manga by "corocoro" tv. [12] "chi's sweet home" manga, part 4, including a cloth bag. [13] "chi's sweet home" sticker book, including 671 stickers of "chi". [14] cat food i bought in the "cats living" shop in the "odaiba" ward. [15] a book full of dog pictures with a fisheye lens. [16] another "ghibli" merchandising item. a "jiji" mug, bought at a "ghibli" shop at the "shidome sio site". [17] a mug from a "lawson" store. [18] "welcome cat" bought at "electric street" in "akihabara" while searching for a cosplay restaurant with Gullevek. [19] "nekomimi-gashapon", number one. [20] "nekomimi-gashapon", number two. [21] "chibi totoro" plush toy, bought at the "ghibli" store at "shidome sio site". [22] unknown toy i found at the "shidome sio site". random facts for my tokyo trip: 2173 pics taken.

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Thu, 31 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 13 (0 comments)
last day for me in the land of hello kitty, shrines, temples and nekomimi-maids. i wish i would have booked three weeks. but my feet hurt, i have blisters on my toes and heels, my left lower leg hurts with every step i do, my shoes are pretty worn out, and i'm just very tired, and every muscle of my body is tensed up. so two weeks of sightseeing are a bit exhausting. nonetheless it was worth it. i forgot to add some comments on yesterday's bLog-entry. what i had for lunch (day 12, picture [99]) yesterday was eight pieces of sushi, and four pieces of maki for 530YEN (that's about 3.15EUR), some "hello kitty" cookies for 200YEN (that's about 1.20EUR), chocolate for 89YEN (52cent), and a can of "kirin chuhi" for 201YEN, which is a mix of "syochu" (alcohol distilled from either sweet potato, or rice) and lemon. today's program started with a visit to the "tsukiji wholesale market"[001-034] where one can find vegetables and all kind of sea-food and fish. in fact this is the biggest fish market in the world (at least my guide says so). in the hall where they sell fish there were several animals i had never seen before in my life. a walk just from one side to the other side of the hall took me about 15mins. so the area is really really huge. inside they chop off heads and tails, disembowel fish, and cut it into handy pieces, which they sell afterwards. unfortunately i only like sweet things in the morning, so i did not buy or eat any fresh fish. the area is pretty busy and quite dangerous for incautious tourists, since there are driving all kind of vehicles to transport the fish from one place to the other. so there was a constant movement throughout the entire inside and outside of the halls. i went on and was searching for the nearest underground station, when i accidentally found the "hama-rikyu"[036-083] gardens. notice the ticket-number as shown in picture[037]. "hama-rikyu" was a very beautiful garden with loads of ponds, bridges, trees and a tea house[061-073] where they perform a tea ceremony. i went inside the house and got cold tea (with foam on top of it) and a little cake. additionally i was handed out a paper that describes in detail all the steps to be taken to perform the ceremony correctly (in english!). i really tried my best, and i hope i did perform not that bad. the tea was excellent, and has a unique taste - definitely recommendable. on my way to my next stop i passed by several skyscrapers[086-098], and i was fascinated by the reflections and geometries, so there are a few experimental pictures included. again another attraction i found by accident kept me from getting on the underground train. this time there was some activity in the "shidome sio site"[099-119]. i especially liked the "monkey-boy"[105-106] since he really enjoyed what he was doing. in a toy shop i found another "studio ghibli"[112-118] corner as almost every toy store has. japanese love "hello kitty" and "studio ghibli" stuff. and so do i, so i went in and took some pictures. i bought some white chocolate again. this time a "dars" bar for 98YEN (about 60cent). and then, finally, i made it to my planned destination, namely the "tokyo tower"[125-155], a copy of the eiffel tower, but 33 metres taller. i enjoyed the view over tokyo and another "hello kitty" souvenir shop inside the tower. then i met with Kaze_ again, since i asked him if he wants to join me to the shrine i did not find yesterday. he said yes, so we went there together. so i finally made it to the "imado jinja shrine"[166-179], dedicated to the "maneki neko", better known as the "lucky cat", "welcoming cat", or "fortune cat". Kaze_ and i love cats, and there were many cats (though not living ones). i bought two cat-emas[178] wrote my wishes on one of them, and hung it next to the other emas. the other one i took with me as a souvenir. i'm glad i went there, and this time to the right shrine. afterwards Kaze_ and i had some japanese sweets, called "anmitsu"[182], that's fruits, small cubes of agar jelly, "azuki beans" (the black things), "azuki beans paste" (the brown thing), and black syrup. and came by the three metres high lantern again, as seen in picture[042] on day 08. this time i took a photo from the bottom of the lantern[181]. then we went to a restaurant where i got sake[183] and "shogayaki"[181] ("shoga" is ginger, "yaki" is to fry) with pork. as usual very delicious! i really will miss the variety of japanese food. later we went to a bookstore where i bought some cat manga. random fact about tokyo: during my tokyo trip there was not a single accident on the street. i think this is due to the fact that the people are simply polite and friendly in every aspect of their live, and this also includes road traffic. i already mentioned in an earlier facts-section that pedestrians and cyclists share the pavement but there was not a single scolding. thanks for reading my bLog. tokyo, i will miss you...

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Wed, 30 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 12 (0 comments)
today was bit frustrating. for the first time during my visit in japan i was searching for a specific shrine. this shrine is not listed in my pocket-guide, so i was searching for it on the internet. since tokyo is the town "where the streets have no name" (and this is meant literally!), i wrote down the "address" i got from an internet-site, which is "1-5-22, imado, taito-ku, tokyo, 111-0024". this means i've been searching for "imado" in the "taito" ward, area 1 in this ward, block 5, house number 22. i thought that would be easy, but instead i got this: "A" is where i have been to, "B" is where i wanted to go. so i've wasted almost three hours to get there, find the wrong place, and return to my other stops i've planned to visit today. i missed the shrine though i've asked all together three people that all gave me the same directions. tokyo is a bit strange from time to time. but since i found out where to go now ("B"!), i will waste another three hours tomorrow on my last day here in tokyo to get there - i _really_ want to go there! but (hopefully) more about this location tomorrow. but on my way to the wrong spot i took at least some pictures[03-07]. this is by the way the same area that was partially closed due to the sumida river fireworks (see day 08, picture [35]). my next stop was the "ginza"[08-30] ward, the noble part of tokyo. not really my style, but a nice impression though. according to my pocket-guide there should be a huge "sanrio" shop (you know, the "hello kitty"-stuff producers), but i did not find it. so i think my guide is a little bit out-dated, or i failed again at finding specific stuff here in tokyo. again pretty frustrating. as there were no other shops that interested me, i took the next train to "shibuya"[31-97]. my pocket-guide suggest to start the "shibuya" tour at the "hachiko"[34-35] monument. "hachiko" was the dog of a professor at the tokyo university who was waiting for his master's return at the station every day. when the professor died, the dog still came to the station until he also died - which was seven years later. that's the story according to my guide... next sight is the busiest pedestrian crossing[37-43] in the world (again, according to my guide). notice that all traffic lights for pedestrians switch to green at the same time. then i followed the crowd to various shopping streets in the area, with more or less well known shop-brands[45-54]. i soon got near the "NHK broadcasting center"[56-73], a television company for tokyo, well known for "domo-kun"[73]. once more everything was in japanese, except the "no photographs", and "exit" signs. nonetheless, it was a nice visit to "NHK studiopark". aimed at children, it described the way a tv show is produced. but that's ok for me, i had fun too. nice feature: they had a 3D-television that really worked without extra glasses or other additional devices - quite impressive. then, by accident, i found a shrine[84-85]. but not what i got used to find when visiting a shrine, because this one was a "modern" one. totally surrounded by concrete, steel, and glass, this was the strangest shrine i've seen so far. random fact about tokyo: for several days i'm running around with stamps in my bag, but only found two shops where postcards are sold. since the postcards i've seen so far were very boring, i always wanted to wait to find some better ones. well, tomorrow is my last day, and i'm having troubles to find some postcards at all.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 11 (0 comments)
surprise, surprise - only one shrine today! today was almost entirely dedicated to the gardens in the center of tokyo. first park was the "kitanomaru park"[002-062]. inside this park is the "nippon budokan"[006-030], an arena for all kind of martial arts tournaments, or concerts. it turned out there was a "kendo" tournament for kids today. outside the huge arena were all kind of teams doing warm up or keeping on the practice. "kendo" seems to be a quite loud sport, as the kids were screaming very loud all the time. i decided to enter the arena and watch the tournament for a while. loads of people inside (mostly parents and relatives of some kid participating in the tournament, i guess) stared at me. i soon realized i was, most probably, the only non-asian person in the arena. nonetheless i enjoyed the tournament. next stop was the disputed "yasukuni"[035-056] shrine, with all kind of war relics like kamikaze-bombers, huge canons and the like. too much strange stuff offered around the shrine, so i went on. when entering (or leaving) the shrine one has to pass by the "tayasumon gate"[031]. i also passed by the "science museum"[062], but did not enter (too time consuming). instead i headed for the "east gardens of imperial palace"[063-115]. right next to the east gardens is the "kokyogaien"[116-134], a huge open area with neatly cut grass, bushes and trees - very british (at least that was my impression). i also saw the shift changeover there of the imperial guards[125-131]. then it was time for some sweets again. this time i was more cautious (due to the "dango" disaster, see picture [072] of day 10) and bought something that looked familiar to me. so i got this "marugotobanana"[135]. biscuit filled with cream and a real banana inside. very very tasty! i wish i had some coffee with it. but instead of coffee i had "godzilla"[137-138] as companion. then i drove home. meal for today: a la cart menu[145], since the menu card had pictures, so i could just point on it, as the staff did not talk english. the waitress then also gave me a second menu card with three pictures of unknown meal on it. one looked like salad so i thought i do the save choice. once the meal was served i ate some salad and it tasted strange. so i had a closer look at what i was eating. i took a picture of my "salad"[146]. yes, that's tiny little fishes in my salad. so here's what i had ordered, from left to right: "katsudon" ("tonkatsu", that's deep-fried pork cutlets, in a bowl), "daikon" (the "salad" in the background), and "miso shiro" (the soup). the meal was very tasty, except for the "daikon" which was interesting, but not something i would order again. nonetheless i ate it all. yammi. random facts about tokyo: women like high-heels, but (almost) all of them can't walk with them. for most women it does not look elegant, but rather clumsy. additionally women tend to turn their toes towards each other, so it looks like they are having knock-knees, though their feet are just perfectly normal when they stand still.

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Mon, 28 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 10 (0 comments)
day 10 was, once more a rather relaxing day. first of all the daily doses of shrining! starting with "yushima seido"[002-022], and the next one just a few metres further down the street "yushima tenjin"[025-044] shrine. once more a picture of the "kuro neko"[045-046] ("black cat") parcel service. i love that logo - meow. next stop was a visit to the "kyu iwasaki tei" garden. a garden that belonged to the "mitsubishi" founder "iwasaki yataro". in the garden is his house that has a western-style part and a traditional part. at the entrance i had to put off my shoes, so i was walking barefoot on red carpet, that was laid out all over the corridors. inside no photography. on my way to my next stop i saw a man standing near a bush, staring at it. so i stared there too, and saw a chirping little bird[056-058]. it seemed it has fallen out of the nest. another person came there to look at the bird, and then the three of us started to search for the nest in the nearby trees. but no luck. so the man took the bird, and said (with typical japanese accent) "police station", and nodded heavily. i thought... hm... ok, why not. policemen seem to be contacted for really everything here in tokyo, it seems. so the man walked away with the little bird in his hands. the thought of him at the police-station with the little bird actually made me smile. after another few minutes walking i came to the "tokyo todai"[064-080] ("tokyo university") that is the elitist university in tokyo, but the buildings are rundown and shabby. at a convenience store i bought some japanese sweets[071-072] and an unknown drink (printing on the tetrapack was all just japanese). the drink was delicious, i think it was some kind of yoghurt-drink or so, but the sweets were way too sweet. i ate one skewer, and i started to feel sick - too bad. i decided not to eat the rest. i felt sick for several hours then. but, at least i tried something new on the food sector... "kanda myojin"[091-105] shrine was next to get my full daily doses. it was on my way to "tokyo dome"[110-149], another fun fair in tokyo. attraction here is definitely the roller coaster that is built around a building here. i also noticed a "moomin bakery & cafe"[120-128], and went inside for a coffee. i found loads of moomin stuff and big stuffed moomin creatures sitting right at some tables. like all merchandising stuff (like studio ghibli or moomins) everything was pretty expensive (compared to similar products). yet i liked it and enjoyed my coffee, surrounded by moomin creatures. then i went home to take a shower and get to "akihabara" again to meet Gullevek, who lives in tokyo for over three years now. i asked him if he would like to join me going to a cosplay restaurant, preferably a maid-restaurant where the girls wear cat-ears (yeah, right, again "nekomimi"-stuff - i like it!). several girls offered flyers for various cosplay restaurants on the street, but the services changed from cooking to massages (facial, foot, back, or hand). one offered massage and chocolate. hm... ok, why not. but this is not what i wanted. we finally got a flyer from a cute maid with cat-ears (unfortunately she didn't like to be photographed). it turned out to be the cafe i already took a photo of its flyer on day 04, picture [94], which i thought was an advertisement for another cat-cafe. unfortunately inside the cafe no photos were allowed. not even pictures of the meal i had. i had rice with beef and japanese curry sauce. very spicy, very delicious. Gullevek ate some sort of pancake with rice filling. it is served with ketchup, and the nekomimi-maid came with the plate, drew a cute cat face on it, and finally placed the plate on the table. but again, no pictures allowed. i think if i would live in tokyo i would visit this kind of restaurant pretty often. very very cute nekomimi-maids are something i will definitely be missing at home. poor, poor me. random facts about tokyo (as told by Gullevek): i already had noticed there are no dustbins around throughout tokyo. he told me there once were dustbins, but due to terrorist threats they were all removed from one day to another. instead there were signs saying one should take their garbage to their home. due to stalking incidences many cosplay cafes forbid taking pictures of the waitresses.

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Sun, 27 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 09 (0 comments)
day 09 is a sunday, and sunday means "yoyogi park"-time! or, in other words: seeing japanese youth culture live-performing all around in the park. to me, this means a relaxing sunday with a rather high WTF???-factor, but not much to do than just staring, listening, taking pictures, and strolling around. but to get to "yoyogi park" i had to walk down "takeshita dori"[001-011], a street full of fashion shops for more alternative styles like punks, gothic lolitas, hip hop dancers, etc. (btw, pictures from day 04, [001-042] were taken right next to today's locations). so the first ones i met outside the park were all kind of gothic-lolitas, and other people in interesting outfits[013-050]. i think there's not much to say about it, just get an impression by the pictures yourself. in the park a gaggle of rockabillies[051-076] was dancing and having fun (with typical haircuts). look at the timestamps of the pictures, as later there will be some more pictures of the group. they were dancing all the time! also notice the shoes[058]. when i came by later there were all kind of parts from their shoes laying around. heavy dancing! next i saw several bands[078-105] with all kind of music genres and with more, or less skills. a band i really liked was "vale"[087-090]. so i sat down and listened to their music for quite a while. it turned out they only had three songs to perform, but they did that in an excellent way. they gave away free CDs, so i took one and donated some money. besides loud music there were also all kind of "performances", like this guy with nunchakus[107-109], who was really impressing. unfortunately only a few pictures turned out to be in focus. a group of japanese hippies[110] (though their clothes were really moderated) was also there, like other groups, of which i could not find out what they were actually doing. maybe some tailoring, or acting, or both? who knows. then some cosplay (short for "costume play") and other fancy dressing[121-131] again, with a real cute maid[118-119]. kawaiiii! some skateboarders[120] were there too and a police officer stopping at them to talk with them. but it looked more like a friendly talk and no giving orders or the like. the police officer drove on and the skaters went on doing their tricks. back to the rockabillies again[132-133] - same people, doing the same dance for (at least) two hours. and finally another band[134-140] with cute costumes and loads of fans as it seemed. afterwards i decided to listen to some more "vale"[141-142] music and returned to their location. in the meantime it started to rain (though it was more a light drizzle), but this didn't cool down the air a bit. on the contrary, the sultriness grew. by 17:00 (and due to the ongoing rain) most of the performers had already packed and left their open-air stages. so i also headed for the train station, and found a beautiful japanese garden[150-156] on the way. since i got a little hungry i tried this "soyjoy"[158] bar, but the soya joy was non existent actually. it tasted ok, but the consistency of the bar was a bit strange. when i got off the train there was a beautiful sunset with an dark red sky. unfortunately i didn't make it to the tenth floor of my hotel in time, so there are no good pictures of the sunset. too bad. since today i wanted to have maki[165], there's no new food report. maybe i'll try something yet unknown tomorrow, let's see. ah, and today i bought another "nekomimi"-girl "gashapon" - this is another cat girl (with cat-ears = "nekomimi") in a capsule ("gashapon"). this time i got the black one - yippieh! (see picture[097], on day 04). i also discovered that power napping is a great thing, since it can take quite a long time to get to some station and that's a good opportunity while sitting on the train to relax a bit. random facts about tokyo: most taxis have doors that open automatically, so the passenger can get on more easily. loads of people have some kind of washrag they use to wipe away the sweat. i bought one too in the cat store i visited on day 07 (see picture [006]), of course with a cat on it - pretty convenient, as it's hot all the time and there are lavatories all over tokyo where one can wash it from time to time.

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Sat, 26 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 08 (0 comments)
today (day 08), was the big day. today was the "sumida river festival" with a huge firework, starting from 19:10 to 20:30. it is in the "asakusa" ward, which i have chosen for this day's trip. it turned out this was a mistake (sort of), since this festival seems to be a rather huge one, so many streets were closed, many sights were unreachable (or at least no police wo/man could tell me how to get there. but this was also due to the lack of english knowledge). on my way there of course i found some shrines and temples like "edoroku jizo"[001-002], or "myoki-zuka mound"[003-006]. notice the stone ball[006] in the mouth. i could move it, but not remove it, so it must have been created while engraving the rest of the head. pretty cool. after a long walk i arrived at the "sumida" river site. what i found was really huge masses of people and loads of police wo/men. most of the people camped at various sites to get a good view on the firework. but they started to sit there already at 12:00 - the hottest time of the day. the sports center's grounds were covered with plastic tarps[007]. this applied to several streets that got covered this way too. some more shrines i found were "imado"[008-015] shrine and "matsuchiyama shoden"[016-033] with a wonderful garden included. and then i arrived at "nakamise dori"[036-039], a street with all kind of souvenir shops. it ends at the very large area with the "dembo"[040-049,065-080] temple, and the nearby "asakusa-jinja"[075-076] shrine which is located right in the same place as the "dembo" temple. besides the "nakamise dori" there are other streets with the same kind of shops[055-064,107-113]. and there was a performance by (i think it was) a radio station with these cool actors and one actress[081-106]. was fun to watch, but i have no idea what the story was all about. on my way back i came by the same place again right in front of the "kaminari-mon torii"[042,053,114], a gate with a red lantern that is weights 100kg and is three metres high. notice how much more people gathered there. this got even worse when i went to the tokyo metro station to drive to the hotel. i had to fight my way through masses of people all heading for the main exit, while only a view (like me) wanted to get on the train. once all people got off the train, it was empty. totally empty. at the hotel i ate my bento-box[115] that i bought at a "bento to go" restaurant right across the street. i chose the salmon bento box. it was delicious though i could not identify the stuff in the lower middle part of the box. the salmon looks less delicate on this picture than it did in reality. another piece of yammiyammi! no dessert today, but i had a "kakigori"[051], that's crushed ice with syrup at the "dembo" temple. i think mine was "hawaii" - at least i think that's what the lady told me when i asked her about the blue liquid's flavour. it was very sweet, very cold, and very delicious. random facts about tokyo: pedestrians and cyclists share the pavement if the street is very busy. though the pavements are rather narrow, both groups get along very well. no insults so far or rude behaviour. i found my hotel on maps.google.com. there's "hello kitty" everywhere - really everywhere[011,014]. young people (of both sexes) like to wear traditional clothes. japanese have strange toilets[111].

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Fri, 25 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 07 (0 comments)
half of my stay here is done, and still so much to see. i hope i see at least the most important things i planned for this trip. for today, day 07, there's not much written info here on the bLog, but loads of pictures, since i wanted to have a relaxing day in shops (they all have air-condition). thus i went to "ikebukuro", as my guide says there are loads of shops and malls. after getting of the JR train at "ikebukuro" station i was walking around in malls for about twenty minutes when i entered another "tokyu hands" store. on the ninth floor i found another "cats alive" store and a huge cat store called "nekobukuro"[004-007], having all kind of cat-related stuff. they even had a living cat in the shop[007]. in the next street i saw this "cat cafe"[008] sign. a coffee is always a good idea, so i thought ok, let's find out what a "cat cafe"[009-045] is. it turned out to be the same as comic/manga cafes in tokyo (though i still have to visit one). you pay for each hour you stay at the bar/cafe and then can drink as much as you want and enjoy the cats/comics/etc. it's similar to the "cats alive" store where one would pay for playing with cats. 1000YEN for the first hour (that's about 6EUR). at first i thought one hour is way too long and i will be leaving after 30mins again, but this is somehow addictive. drinking coffee, surrounded by cute cats and girls in school uniforms having fun with the kitten. really cute - all of them. though every additional hour would have been cheaper (300YEN, that's about 1.75EUR) i left the cafe. a few streets away i found a huge manga store[052] (ten floors full of manga stuff) together with several other shops[053-054] in a row. next stop was "sunshine city" with the "sunshine international aquarium"[066-201], which is located on the tenth floor in the "world import mart" building and also includes a little zoo with all kind of small animals. "sunshine city" itself is made up of several skyscrapers. another one of them is the "sunshine60" building, which houses the "sunshine observatory"[203-216], including a "naruto" exhibition (there's a new film that will be in cinemas on second of august, therefore one can see "naruto" stuff everywhere). on my way home[217-220] it seems i hit rush-hour at the train station[221]. so i bought something to drink, waited until the rush was over, and drove home. today's dinner: a collection of various fried things in a box[222]. from left to right, top to bottom: fried fish (tasted exactly like "kaept'n iglos fischstaebchen", rice, then something undefinable, but tasted like strudel. the risolle in front tasted like a spicy vegetable burger, and finally a meatball in the lower right corner. this all was served warm (at the hotel there's a public microwave oven). it tasted very very good. on the left a dessert i tried out. i think it was soya pudding with vanilla flavour and whipped cream and hazelnut cream topping. also very yummi! so all in all really an relaxing day with loads of cats. random facts about tokyo: today i saw drunk japanese people for the first time here in tokyo. as it's friday i guess many start to prepare for weekend. there's a towing service for bikes that are parked where they shouldn't be. japanese love cute characters - they are everywhere and almost used by every company, no matter what they sell or produce (this includes parcel-, telephon-, tv-, and transportation-companies and loads of other companies i do not know what their business is (since i can't read the texts next to the logos).

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Thu, 24 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 06 (0 comments)
i found out what i had eaten the day before (see here): the sweets in the background is "karinto", the stuff in the bento box is "maki", "onigiri", and the thing at the back on the right is "inarizushi" ("inari", the fox-god likes "inarizushi"!), sushi with "ikura-don", and "tamagoyaki". day 06 started at "ueno park"[092-178], a huge park with all kind of statues, temples, shrines, attractions, etc. first thing i visited was the "shinubazu pond"[006-010], a pond full of lotus flowers. in other parts of the pond there are loads of fish, turtles, ducks, and one can hire a boat. in the middle of the pond is the "benten island"[016-023] with the "bentendo temple" on it. near the pond there's also the very small "kyu-iawasaki temple" [013-014]. but i headed back to ueno park again to find the "saigo takamori" statue[027]. saigo takamori was a very famous samurai. next to it are the "shogi-tai tombstones"[029], but i forgot why they were put there. another sight nearby is the "kiyomizu-kannon temple"[030-033], and the "toki-wasureji-no-to" statue[034], which is dedicated to thousands of citizens of tokyo that died in an fire bombing in world war II. then i got lost in at least four or five temples/shrines[036-053] that are very close to each other. therefore i can not name them. to get rid of the temporary temple/shrine overload i decided to visit the "ueno zoo"[054-144], which has about 2800 specimen on an area of 14 hectares. besides all the cute animals, there's also a five storied pagoda[136-138]. then i met this little cutie[148-150] that was heading straight towards me once she heard the sound of my camera. the cat then allowed me to pet it for quite a while, but since it was very hot, i wanted to go on. i hope the cat enjoyed it as much as i did - meow. so, it was time for another shrine again! this time the "kaneiji temple"[151-173] with a beautiful cemetery included. bad thing: i really enjoy visiting the temples/shrines as i really like all this traditional japanese stuff. and the most beautiful buildings in tokyo are shrines and temples. so be warned there will be tons of other pictures of shrines during the days left. random facts for tokyo: sorry, none for today. what i've eaten today[179]: "onigiri" (the triangle wrapped in edible seaweed at the back with a "tarako" filling, which is fisheggs), "sekihan" (red beans rice), "maki", and "inarizushi" again. again very tasty, but i'm glad i was told after i have eaten the "onigiri" that it had fishegg inside.

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Wed, 23 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 05 (0 comments)
today, day 05, i got up late and went to McDonald's for my breakfast at about 10:30. then i headed for the "daijen-ji temple" in the "meguro" ward. while going there i found another little shrine, called "shimo meguro"[002]. actually i noticed there are loads of shrines and temples spread all over tokyo as it seems, no matter if it's an area full of skyscrapers or parks. as far as i have seen there's often a cemetery included. what you see on the picture is all of "shimo meguro" shrine. shrines and temples also often differ in size. "joenji-temple"[003-031] is much bigger and more popular. it has a strange arrangement of sculptures and some metal dragons too. it is popular for the 519 statues of enlightened followers of buddha, and each statue is unique. after taking the pictures i sat down on a bench in the shadow when suddenly a crow[022-031] was landing right next to me. i have never been that close to these animals before. pretty impressive birds. i guess this one was hungry, but unfortunately i had nothing to feed it. so the bird sat there for quite a while but then flew to other people in the shrine area. left alone by the bird i decided to move on to "meguro gajoen"[032-050], a big hotel and multipurpose community place that is very popular for weddings, that also has a japanese garden included. like all the other gardens i have seen so far it was a wonderful, quiet place within the loud city. on my way to my next stop i came by this love hotel[051,054]. love hotels can be rent on an hourly basis and are visited by couples, as usually the walls in japanese houses are very thin, so everyone can hear what's going on in the neighbours' room. they seem to be quite popular as i have already seen a lot of them, but not one that looks like a castle like this one on the picture. another temple on my way to my next stop, namely "meguro fudo temple"[056-064]. finally i arrived at the "tennonzan gohyaku rakanji tempel", but unfortunately taking pictures was not allowed. inside one can see 305 (of 500) arhat statues. arhat's were followers of buddha, but this time they were made of wood and not of stone as in the "joenji temple". i was totally alone in the entire temple area, which was great, especially when i was alone with 300 wooden statues. i forgot to mention that yesterday i was buying tickets for the "studio ghibli museum". tickets for this museum can exclusively be bought only at "lawson" convenience stores. but only a few seem to have a "loppi" machine. that's the vending machine where on can get the ticket. so i was lucky and found a lawson store, and (even more important) had Kaze_ with me. as it turned out, to buy a ticket is a really hard job, even for the employees at lawson, and especially if a non-japanese wants to buy a ticket. because you have to choose date and time when you want to arrive at the museum and you have to give your name to the lawson employee as it will be printed on the ticket too. so this guy said to Kaze_ he needs my name, i tell Kaze_ my name and then... well. how to type it on a japanese-only touchscreen-keyboard? after a while the guy typed something into this ticket vending machine. it took us almost ten minutes to finally get my "studio ghibli museum" ticket! i was really looking forward to visiting this museum since i had booked my flight and had found the museum's site on the internet. another strange thing about the museum: for non-japanese people there are shops you can buy it in europe, namely in the UK, france, and italy. there's an exhibition about ghibli art in another museum too, and guess what: tickets can be exclusively bought at lawson stores. but anyway, it was really worth all the effort (and pretty high entrance price of 6EUR compared to other museums in tokyo). inside the "studio ghibli" museum one can see quite a lot of great and interesting stuff. unfortunately taking pictures inside the museum was not allowed. the museum describes how a cartoon film is created step by step, and shows, for each step, original material from various "studio ghibli" films. additionally there's a cinema included that shows a 15 minute ghibli film i did not know yet. a kid's area with the huge cat bus the kids can climb is there too. outside[068-085] one can see the various creatures that appear in ghibli movies. the interior decoration is lovingly decorated and has many details that are worth to be explored. i really enjoyed this museum! for dinner i bought a bento-box[092] (i guess it was one) with all kind of japanese food in it. though for some pieces of the box i did not know what it was, nor what it's called, everything tasted delicious! additionally i bought japanese sweets and orange juice. the sweets taste strange, but ok. total costs: 4EUR. right now, while writing this bLog-entry there was another earthquake. this time the hotel was shaking even harder than it was on my first day. it also lasted longer and the mirror on the wall in my hotel room was constantly banging against the wall. quite impressive. minutes later: they even show it on almost all tv channels i have in the hotel. seems like this was even for japanese people a very strong one. the northern region gets rated "6.8" (that's were the center of the earthquake was), tokyo "4.0". seems like they refer to the richter scale. random facts for tokyo: the masks people wear are to protect others if the person wearing the mask is ill. women have their bags opened while riding in crowded trains, therefore i assume there are no pickpockets. additionally there are no beggars on the street, only a few homeless people who prefer to sleep on park benches.

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Tue, 22 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 04 (0 comments)
on day 04 i met Kaze_, a tokyo citizen i met on IRC years ago. we planned to visit several traditional sights like gardens, shrines, and temples. so we wanted to meet at 09:00 in the morning, and i left the hotel right in time so i could have the usual breakfast at McDonald's and then drive for about 45mins to "meiji-jingumae" metro station. but to get there i need a ticket. so i thought i go to the ticket sales point as everyday to get my "tokyo furii kippu" (tokyo round tour ticket, valid on all toei buses/subways/streetcars, tokyo metro lines, and JR trains). but the ticket counter opens at 09:00 so i had a problem. i picked a guy in a suit and briefcase, like there are so many in the morning, and asked him for help. lucky me, he spoke at least a very little english. so he typed some buttons at the nearby ticket vending machine but could not find the type of ticket i wanted to have. he managed to get some assistant by a JR ("Japan Railway Company") employee, but this one was not able to press his way through on the buttons to my desired ticket. so he opened the ticket counter and sold it to me directly, without the machine. this procedure took me about 20 mins (and the poor guy in the suit too!). so i was late at the meeting point, but Kaze_ was still there. lucky me again! we decided to go to "yoyogi park" first, then to "hanazono-jinja temple", "TMG" ("tokyo metropolitan government"), to "joenji temple", and finally to the shinjuko ward. and so we started our tour at "yoyogi park"[001-042] at the "meiji jingu shrine"[001-035]. afterwards we were walking through the park and saw a martial arts club, where they were doing archery. but it looked more like meditation than just shooting arrows[038-039]. if picture [043] confuses you the same way it did confuse me, here's the explanation i got from Kaze_ why it's cubic metres instead of square metres: this no parking sign is for an area where there's an subsurface cistern with water for the fire brigade to extinguish fire. and thus it's cubic metres. the daily cat can be found at [044-045]. this cat was obviously waiting for the door to be opened since it totally ignored us and kept staring at the glass-door. on the door it said "open from 12:00 to 23:00", and right after i had taken this picture (at 12:38) the shop-owner returned and opened the shop and the door, and the cat ran inside. i'm sure the poor cat was waiting for 38 mins that someone opens the door. Kaze_ was hungry. and though i am still not hungry due to the high temperature during the day and my tiredness in the evening, we decided to go for lunch. the menu was in japanese only, but this time i had a perfect translator. so i ordered "hiyashi gomadare udon"[049]. sounds great and means cold udon - those are the thick noodles - with sauce and sesame. it was delicious but way too much for me. it cost 700YEN (that's about 4.15EUR). next stop was "hanazono-jinja shrine"[050-058], a shrine surrounded by sky scrapers, yet a beautiful place to take a short rest from the noise and bustle outside. at a shrine one can usually pray and make a wish to one (of many) god. to do so, one washes hands and mouth, steps up to the shrine, throws a coin into the shrine, bows two times, prays and tells the god the wishes, and finally claps twice (or rings a bell, if available) to wake up the god and get his/her attention. afterwards bowing, and you're done. i joined Kaze_ and told some (to me unknown) god my wish. let's see if my clapping really woke him up... we went on to the "TMG"[059-070] which has two observatories, one on the south- and one on the north-side. each one is accessible by an elevator. we visited both observatories. to get to our next stop, we had to go two the "shinjuku ward"[071-076] (which is one of 23 wards in tokyo, comparable to the 23 districts in vienna). when we arrived at "joenji temple"[077-079] a caucasian priest welcomed us and asked us to not put pictures of the temple aniline since they received some terrorist threats lately. therefore i put only the pictures of the temple from the outside on-line (i guess terrorists will get no more information from my pics if they drive by the temple). the priest told us he's from america, his parents were danish, and he's a priest in japan. remark: ok, maybe he made this all up and gave me a combination of countries that is uniquely told to each visitor, so that he can google if someone has put some pictures on-line and finally match the hits with the according visitor. if so, be assured: no, i did not put any pictures from the inside of the temple on-line. after another walk through "shinjuku ward"[080-082] we arrived "tokyu hands"[083], another huge shopping mall. we wanted to see the pets section, but there was only stuff for dogs - too bad. Kaze_ had to leave, but i stayed a little longer in the mall. afterwards i took the JR train to "akihabara" station and wanted to change to a metro line train. but the metro line station was a different station, since JR and tokyo metro line are two different companies. on my way to finding the other station i entered "electric street"[089-097], a street full of electronic stores. i also found a comic shop named "comic toranoana"[093] in which i spent about half an hour looking at various comics. and finally in a "yodobashi" store i found a vendor machine as shown HERE, which contained those toys as shown in [097]. what i got is shown in [098] - cool, a cute cat-girl! maybe i buy another one of this series if i find such a machine again. on my way back from JR station "minami-senju" to the hotel i was shopping in a supermarket and bought a box with 12 maki pieces for about 1.76EUR. yammi, they were delicious! another funny thing happened at this store: i wanted to get some soya sauce for my maki and grabbed a bottle that looked like soya sauce to me. of course everything on the bottle was in japanese. so i asked a young woman if this is soya sauce. as she said "soya" i'm sure she knew what i was looking for. but then she read the ingredients list. still she was unsure so she asked an old man standing next to us. he also read the ingredients list and finally nodded at her. so i asked myself 'do japanese not know their own written language?'. daily random tokyo facts: there are no dustbins in the city - for empty plastic bottles there's a collection unit at every vending machine that sells plastic bottles. yet, the city is extremely clean, people avoid throwing garbage on the street. furthermore they don't hesitate to keep it clean, as a group of japanese people were cleaning the floor of the train after one of them had spilled some liquids. earthquakes are really common here (see http://www.tenki.jp/qua/index.html for current information or a history of earthquakes for the last seven days). people don't make phone calls on the train. people are really helpful (remember the guy wasting 20mins to help me with my ticket?). "temple" is for buddhism, "shrine" is for shintoism.

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Mon, 21 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 03 (0 comments)
day 03 started just like day 02, at McDonald's. choco-croissant and a hot coffee made a perfect start for my day. and this time i really went to odaiba, a large artificial island, connected to the rest of tokyo via the rainbow bridge. to get there one can either take a ferry or the "yurikamome" train[002]. this train is a driver less system, fully automated, including closing the doors and stopping at the next stop. i got off at the southwestern part of the island. right when i got into the park i saw another cat[006], but it had no tail. poor cat. around the park is the "telecom center"[007], the "aomi frontier building"[008], and the "aist tokyo waterfront building"[010]. "fuji television"[013] has two skyscrapers there too, this one is called "fuji television wangan studios". the other one, "fuji television"[015], is the landmark of this island. one can get a nice view of the surrounding area from this sphere in the building. at the west part of the island is the "museum of maritime science"[020] which i did not visit, just as the "museum of emerging science and innovation"[011], although they had a presentation of "asimo", the robot. unfortunately only twice a day, and i missed both of them - too bad i missed that. instead i took a walk along the harbour[021-028], and smelled some genuine sea odour. on my way back i crossed some unidentified park that was pretty expensive (around 6EUR) but no english information at all. the thing is, only a few japanese really speak english. in a shop always at least one, but the level differs from beginner to fluent speaker. most of the time i mumble something like "hmhmh mhmmmh mhhm english?" - and that's the keyword. then they do a gesture of "wait a minute please, i'll get my colleague". i bow, wait, and ask the english speaking employee. this works quite well most of the time. but not here, for this park. no folders, no english speaking personnel. well, later that evening i would find out, just as another fact that was linked to this park that might have been very very important as i planned this trip to odaiba. and if i had known earlier, i think i would have postponed the trip. but let's get on... odaiba turns out to be a huge amusement park. there's sega's "joypolis"[035] (i did not enter since this would have been really time consuming, though it looked like great fun from the outside). various impressions from the area can be seen from [031] to [057]. yes, there was a woman with a little monkey wearing a dress. cute creatures - both of them. next thing i stumbled across was "MEGA WEB", a toyota showroom that fills an entire hall. inside there are all kind of cars one can sit in for testing purpose, get on a car that navigates automatically (you can see the special streets the cars drive on at [059]). some visionary stuff[062,073-077] is shown too. and then came the first big "WTF???". i entered a hall called "tokyo leisure land"[078-104]. inside were all kinds of arcade games like "street fighter II", but also games like "guitar freak V5" (for europeans better known as "guitar hero") and variations of it like "drum mania V5", and traditional japanese drums, like i saw on day 02 at the traditional japanese dance contest. inside it was loud and full of people - young and old. best of the strangest things i've seen in there: this guy[092] was brilliant at this game, another variation of "guitar hero" but with buttons instead of a guitar. i had troubles following the dots (you can see them on the left side of the screen), but this guy was punching the buttons like hell. and it always said "good" or "great". i wonder how long he had been practicing this (and how much money he spent on this). another creepy thing was those people doing bets on virtual horse-races[088]. those things shown in [089] i already got used to, though here there were really loads of them. another funny thing was right at the entrance. there were several small basins filled with fishes and one could put their feet in there. i guess those fishes eat parts of the outer skin layer. quite common in health resorts, but in a gaming hall? and finally i found an "alien arcade"[102-104] machine, but the player had the role of a marine, so i refused to play. i continued my walk through the area and found a sony store with a "sony exploraScience" floor. it was a small museum and mostly like a mixture of the "ars electronica center" in linz and the "technical museum" in vienna. so loads of technical and electronic gimmicks to try out and explore. loads of kids where there having great fun. another attraction was the "planetarium", using sony's "star projector", a projector that is actually built up of several projector-units, but they are synchronised so they act as one projector. nice demonstration in a room with a spherical ceiling. no photographs allowed in the entire museum. after leaving the sony store i encountered the next "WTF???". a shop called "cats alive"[114-117]. inside the shop you find all kind of stuff that is related to cats. unfortunately i was not allowed to take pictures. nice collection of various cat-items. the real disturbing thing about this shop was a separate part where one can pet cats, taking pictures of/with them, and play with them, with no time limitation, and it cost about 10EUR. at first i was really baffled, but then it made purrfect sense. in tokyo flats are small, people don't have much space at home. so a cat would have a poor live. additionally many landlords don't allow cats in flats. so maybe this is a really great thing for both sides: the tenants who can't have a cat and the cats who get a little distraction. oh, and for couples it's cheaper. i planned to go to odaiba on monday as i thought it's a working day and not too many people will be there. but odaiba was crowded all over. what i didn't know at that time, today was a public holiday in japan. so as i mentioned before, if i had known that beforehand, i would have definitely not gone to odaiba. but, just as i wanted to drive back to the hotel it turned out it was a good decision, since i saw a really beautiful sunset[119-139]. and finally another cliche that turned out to be true: japanese bow. all the time. i found myself starting to excessively bow too. and (almost) falling asleep on the metro/train. seems like i adjust to japanese style pretty fast. additionally the heat is getting less weakening every day. i started to decrease the air conditioning in the room by two degrees every day. so maybe one day it will be bearable. let's see...

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Sun, 20 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 02 (0 comments)
yesterday was a little catastrophe. as written in my bLog i planned to go to odaiba. but no sleep for 24 hours and the hot, humid climate kept me from this trip. i was walking for about ten minutes, and then gave up and returned to my hotel. the lady at the reception was a little confused, since i asked here how to get there and a few minutes later i returned again. i explained to her and she was smiling - hehe, stupid tourists. so, instead i went to bed, tried to sleep, got up at 20:00 again, stayed awake a few more hours, and finally went to bed again. next morning i felt much better. but, before i went to bed, i took two photos out of the ninth floor of the hotel. see them here. i will refer to the pictures taken on day 02 via "[X]", where "X" is the number of the picture. unfortunately the timestamps of the JPEG pictures are messed up. i forgot to adjust the time on my camera. when i'm back from this holiday i will fix it. well, first quest on day 2: get a breakfast in tokyo. i was hoping good old McDonald's[003] had nearly the same products as it has in austria. well, i have no idea if it has since i could not read the signs. but the pictures of the various burgers looked familiar to me. lucky me, McDonald's has coffee and some bakery-stuff, like a chocolate-croissant. this was my breakfast, it was good. i changed my plans, and instead of going to odaiba i went to roppongi. in the night it's an amusement district and during the day it's a big shopping area. but on my way to the metro i found a little temple, called "ekoine temple"[004-009]. 45 mins later i arrived at roppongi hills[013-102], visiting "mori tower", with a height of 270m. inside the tower is "sky view"[018-037], the "sky deck"[038-050] on the roof top of the tower, and the "sky aquarium"[054-067]. a guard told me that i was not allowed to take photos inside "sky aquarium". well, but i took a few ones. next to "mori tower" is "mori park"[077-088], and next to the tower and the park is "tv asahi"[089-100], which was celebrating it's 50th anniversary (at least i think so, according to the few english words that were written in the building), with loads of interactive games for visitors on the ground floor. all flashy, all colourful, all manga style. after a one and a half hour long walk i arrived at "aoyama cemetery"[104-123], where i met the first two cats in tokyo - they were resting on gravestones. another 20 mins by foot later i arrived at "nogi jinja"[125-136] shrine. a japanese at the entrance, who could talk a little english, told me there was a wedding[127-128] going on, and four more would be starting this day later on. 30 mins later i arrived at "tokyo midtown"[137-144], another huge shopping mall. i visited the "fujifilm square museum"[140], showing all kind of photographs and a history of fuji, including analogue photography, video and the chemistry branch of fuji. the entrance was free, but no photography inside the museum. it took me another 15 mins by foot to get to the next shrine, called "hikawa jinja shrine"[147-180]. a really beautiful shrine. those temples, shrines, and gardens are a pretty hard contrast to the "outside" world. within the area it is so quiet and beautiful. but i must add, that tokyo is actually not a "loud" city (at least not on the weekend). at "hikawa ninja shrine" i spotted another cat[179-180], of course again resting on a stone (don't know what it is for actually). on my way back to the metro station i saw this... i think it was a contest(?) of traditional japanese dancing[181-187]. it was nice to watch, especially the drumming girls[181]. last station of this day trip was "arisugawanomiya memorial park"[188-217]. this is what a traditional japanese garden should look like (at least as far as i know them from tv). again this park is a contrast to the surrounding area. though this time it was really loud in the park, since there were so many crickets. it really gets dark early here in japan. at about 20:00 there's not much sunlight left, and taking pictures was getting harder, as with all the trees it was even darker. enjoy the pictures - but in real life this was so much better. ah, right, and my fourth cat of the day[188] - meow. afterwards i went home, and had a long shower. i'm tired now and will go to bed. i think i will go to odaiba tomorrow. but before, a little update on stereotypes: americans can be found at "starbucks". even old people (60++) read manga. some taxi drivers have suits and gloves. many people have gloves and masks, and i'm still unsure if this is to protect themselves or the others. japanese are really friendly - the guard at "sky aquarium" was really really friendly and from his acting i thought he was the one doing something wrong. i apologized since i really did not know it was not allowed (though later i saw the little sign at the entrance to the aquarium).

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Sat, 19 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 01 (0 comments)
it has been a very long day for me. i left linz hoersching at 11:35 and arrived at the hotel at 05:00. this makes 12:00 local time. i got my first impression of japan at the departure hall for my flight vienna to narita. there were only asian people (besides five or six non-asian ones) most probably all japanese. another funny thing: one of them was reading "lost in translation", nice coincidence. then we all got on board. narrow seats, my legs are too long, but at least i had a seat next to the window. usually i consider flights as lost time, since i usually don't do any useful things (besides reading newspaper). i thought this would apply to this eleven hour flight too, but i was wrong. i did things that i already wanted to do several times, but never took the time to do them. so, the first thing was watching "chronicles of spiderwick", the second one was watching "10,000 B.C.", and the third one was watching "i am legend". though i fell asleep when watching this will smith movie. but two hours later i got woken up for breakfast, and guess what i could continue to do? right, they loop the films, so i (almost) finished "i am legend". i think i'm still missing the last five to ten minutes, but landing instead was ok too. oh, one more funny thing: from linz to vienna i crossed hagenberg. nice view from the airplane. but up to now i did not take a single photo. handling all the luggage, being really tired and most probably a little jet lagged kept me from getting out my cam. so, i was at the airport, got some money from the ATM (very important, since i did not pay for the hotel yet). and made my way through the airport to keisei line going to nippori, changing to joban line, and going to minami-senju. that's where my hotel is. on my way to the train-station a japanese woman asked me where i want to go. i told her to minami-senju and she asked the local conductor, and then, the three of us went to an elevator bringing me to my platform. on the train i read my printed out map, but this attracted another japanese man, asking me where i want to go. i told him minami-senju and he explained to me when to get off the train, etc. ok, i'm obviously a tourist (non-asian, big bags), and these people were so friendly - this definitely is a WTF? for a european. well, besides that loads of stereotypes have proven to be true: japanese tend to sleep a lot, even when they're standing in the train/metro. japanese type on their mobile-phones all the time, even when they're standing in the train/metro. japanese are friendly. japanese teens have school-uniforms. i witnessed my first earthquake here in tokyo. i was looking at the various floors of the hotel when suddenly, i was on floor 10 the ground was shaking. i looked out of the window, but the people on the streets did not seem to notice it. i was told tokyo inhabitants do not call this little shaking an earthquake. hmmmm... ok. i already saw a few shrines and gardens when looking out of the train-window, but no cats so far. i guess it's way too hot for them. my hotel-room has a air-conditioning too, yippieh. ah, yeah, and a wireless network. the room itself is very small ("3-tatami-mat") but sufficient for my needs. the toilets have a "western style" part and a "traditional style" part. i think i prefer the western style... it's now almost 13:00 local time (06:00 CEST) and i'll try to get to odaiba. this time i take my camera with me. but first, i'll take a shower.

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