Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category
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Orange Show Houston Art Car Parade
Today was much colder than yesterday but we wandered off to Ueno Park. Ueno park is surrounded by museums, a zoo and Tokyo University. At the far end is the Ameya yokocho bazaar.
The cousin had to return to base so it was just us today. We entered the subway and instead of people randomly waiting there were double lines queued for each train door. After every one who could possibly fit got on, the porter crammed a few more people onto the train. 9 am appears to be morning rush hour.
The husband left my side for just a moment in the park and just like back home I had a gentleman talking to me when he returned. ( some things transcend cultures ). We talked for about an hour. Interestingly they tossed out their gov’t 6 months ago and brought in a new group to make changes. No changes have been made so they’re tossing the bums back out. ( Just like home )
The bazaar was the most fun of all. Much like Haymarket Square in Boston there was lots of fresh food and vendors calling out to you to purchase their wares. But along with the fresh food were several clothing, jewelry and golf shops.
The husband took today’s photos, I’m traveling light today.
Long day today, we started out with the Edo Museum, then hit the Ginza shopping area and wound up the day in the notorious Roppongi night club district.
This morning I threw out my back, too many days with out my waterbed. So far aspirin and yoga are keeping it under control but I dread the flight home. Did you know you can’t buy aspirin or any medicine in groceries or any store, only pharmacies where a pharmacist hands out your meds, no over the counter stuff here.
The Edo Museum starts with the beginnings of Edo and walks you up through time to present Day Tokyo. It was a great way to learn about the city. They had a traveling Ghengas Kahn exhibit visiting which was excellent as well.
The weather was very warm so we wandered over to the upscale shopping district. It’s one street by about 10 blocks long, Apple, Sony, Dept stores, jewelery stores, handbag stores and restaurants are there.
We visited the largest dept store, 2 floors underground, 5 floors up. The bottom floor had some of everything but all no-name brands. The first underground floor was all food, several pastry areas, bread and dinners to go. The street level had cosmetics and handbags. Second floor and third floors were womens clothing. Lots of wonderful skirts, long, in neutral colors and proper sizes for ladies.
The underwear was a surprise – all of it was foundation garments. The bras and underpants were serious heavy duty wear and girdles appear to be a common undergarment. The only saving grace was they wear stockings instead of panty hose.
Next came mens clothing with the usual suits and coats. But there were also racks of suit fabric so you can custom order your suit. The top floor was household items. The mens underwear all looked like the stuff middle aged men on ten speed bikes wear in the US, long heavy spandex to hold in your gut.
Dinner was easier tonight, we tried a Chinese restaurant. Here in the restaurants you don’t get napkins. Fancy restaurants give you warm, wet towels, low end restaurants give you nothing or very small, thin paper napkins.
Before I came here I thought only US Tech geeks ate sushi with chopsticks. But sushi shops are everywhere, and chopsticks are the main eating utensil.
Today I noticed that jewelery is sparse, very few people wear any. I think I saw a dozen wedding bands total, all on men and almost no jewelery on the women.
The Roppongi district has a notorious reputation but didn’t seem that bad, it is mostly restaurants and night clubs. There’s a large Jamaican population working the clubs. The Jamaican men hawk the clubs when you walk by and try to convince you to come to their club. There were a few ‘men’s bars’ but not many and no worse looking than you see anywhere else.
Notice on the photos the banner signs running up the buildings, retail and restaurants are on the first 5-7 floors of each building. The banners tell you what is on the floors above the street level shops.
I’ve begun tacking ‘hai’ on the end of all my sentences, which is what the locals do when they get what we are pantomiming.
Fire trucks not only have sirens, but speakers. The speaker keeps repeating ‘please move out of the way for the fire truck’. Seems the locals need more than a siren to pull over.
Taito-ku shopping area is about 20 blocks by about 10 blocks. It’s one of the original parts of the city and full of traditional wares for sale.
Many of the people in the crowd, especially older people were in traditional clothing.
We stumbled upon a popular temple. Outside was a large pit burning incense. People would go up to the caldron wave smoke onto themselves, then go into the temple to toss some coins into an offering bin and say a prayer.
The museums were closed today but the weather was nice so we wandered. The first part of the day brought us to an older residential neighborhood, Ishiwara.