Tokyobling's Blog

Sayonara Cow and Welcome Tiger!

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on December 31, 2009

Today is the last day of the year of the Cow according to the Chinese Zodiac (which is also observed in Japan) and we are entering the year of the Tiger. At shrines around Japan you can buy blessed arrows to help you find success in the new year. Sometimes these arrows carry plaques with the animal of the year. Here are a couple of pictures from the cow at Yasukuni shrine. I also add a lonely little neighborhood shrine to the mix. Japan really is at its best during the New Years Celebration! I’m spending mine in Kyoto. Happy New Year!

Kawarago Dam – 川原子ダム

Posted in Nature, People by tokyobling on December 29, 2009

It’s about time I posted something about Miyagi Prefecture, it’s been a couple of months since I went there and I still haven’t gone through the pictures I took. While driving around (and getting lost) we came across this little (well, quite large actually) dam and lake, Kawarago Dam up in the township of Shiraishi, far from anywhere and with very few people living for miles and miles. I found it after taking a short walk down the road from the abandoned youth hostel (but no one here wants to see pictures of abandoned buildings do you? It’s Tokyobling not Tokyodespair, right?) and I even climbed down to the water level to check it out. Breathtaking views, as always in Miyagi prefecture. The dam is used to store water for agricultural purposes, and the town of Shiraishi is littered with farms producing the most wonderful sweet soft cheese and ice-cream, apples, vegetables and berries. Well worth a visit if you happen to pass through Miyagi Prefecture.

Marunouchi Christmas Lights

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve. Here’s some nicely non-Christmasy Christmas decorations for you, part of this years huge marketing effort from the Marunouchi area commercial groups. Tokyo is not on a very northernly latitude but still it does get dark very early in the winter so the lights help cheer us. The decoration in Marunouchi is much more luxurious than most areas though, as befits “Japan’s Wall Street”.

Christmas Bicycle Taxis

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 23, 2009

Allow me to talk about bicycle taxis once again. While walking in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district last night I saw these two bicycle eco taxis and their talkative drivers. These taxis started out in Harajuku a few years ago but they’re in Yokohama and Marunouchi now as well. I like the crazy uniforms of the drivers, a santa and a young butler complete with top hat and paper mustache. They seem to be especially busy now during the Christmas season and people flocking to see the light decorations. Stay tuned for more photos from Marunouchi tomorrow!

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