I love harbors and I love big ships and if there is one place to really see them up close it is at the International Port of Yokohama, the Osanbashi Pier. Last year I saw the gigantic MS Asuka II (飛鳥II) at port. It is the largest passenger vessel in Japan right now, at 241m. It has a crew of 545 and can take 960 passengers. I usually use this site to track the position of large ships but I already knew that the Asuka II is currently in port at Hakata/Fukuoka on the north coast of the island of Kyushu, in southern Japan, where it arrived about half a day ago.
The ship was launched in 1989 and is currently sailing under Japanese flag (which is unusual in this day and age of “Flag of Convenience” maritime traffic.
Awhile ago I thought I should start the countdown to the 2000th post on this blog, make something special to celebrate it. But then I thought it would be better to wait until the 3650th post, as that would mean the blog would have hit a 10 year anniversary – If all goes to plan. But reality has a way of getting into your way, and in my case reality came in the form of an “upload maximum”. WordPress allows free bloggers like me a maximum of 3.0 GB of storage space, a limit that I hit several months ago. I could buy an upgrade, and I was about to, when I realized that running this blog for free with almost no income at all at considerable cost to myself already, adding a yearly subscription fee to my burden would be insane. So I started deleting older posts, to the tune of one or two per day. My post counter actually started going downwards (since I often had to delete two to four older posts of 2-4 pictures each to make room for a proper 12-16 picture post) and I realized that at this rate I would never hit be able to tell when the 2000th post came. So I’m just going to call this post the 2000th post and be done with it. In fact I think it is more likely the 2100th post but I don’t keep track of it anymore. Fittingly for a fake post I am not adding any photos to this, but there will be one later today.
Happy blogging everyone and my thanks to the WordPress Team for providing me this service for free (I am really not whining about the free account space maximums)!
Just about two years ago I spent some time in Nara Old Town, in Nara Prefecture in Western Japan, Kansai. Walking around in the quite back streets of Nara’s older parts is a perfect way to spend a quiet evening and get some exercise as well. I especially love the different style of roofs in older Japanese towns, and one of my favorite types of buildings are the Sento, or public bath houses. The last two photos are of one bath house I passed in Nara Old Town.
Not all festivals in and around Tokyo are traditional religious or spiritual, there are also quite a few history festivals that give us a chance to enjoy the old clothes, costumes, arms and armor of the times long gone. Several of these festivals take place around the last weekend of October, throughout Japan, not least being the big parade in Nihonbashi tomorrow morning. I saw these mounted samurai warriors at the Kanda Matsuri a few years ago, just as they were exercising their horses at a local elementary school before the main parade. The rather intense rain was forcing us all to keep out heads down though. If you are in Japan today or tomorrow, I recommend looking around to see if there are any history festivals near you!