Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back to TO from TO

Well I am back in Tokyo from Toronto. I didn't mention my trip home before because I was flying home to surprise my sister Jen for her 40th birthday.
I had an amazing time in Toronto and at my cottage. I got to see so many people and my huge family all made it out to the cottage to celebrate Jen's and Autumn's birthdays.
Meredith was here alone in Tokyo but she survived. She went on trips to Kyoto and to Nikko and had a fabulous time.

It was the most amazing feeling to be home and to feel at home, to feel like I belong.
Now I am back in Tokyo and I feel kind of numb. I am not really upset to be back, I am not happy either. If I didn't love the city or my job it would probably be harder to be back. It doesn't feel weird to be back either.

I am keeping on keeping on.

Meredith and I have some fun things planned for the rest of her time here so I am really excited about that.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Today Meredith and I went to see the Sumo tournament. I was only able to stay for a few hours before I had to return to work but Meredith stayed right until the end and apparently it got very intense with the final big fighters. Sumo is always exciting to see and I am so happy to have been able to have gone to two sumo tournaments, especially since there are only three a year.

After my second school and when Meredith was finished with the tournament, we met up in Shinjuku and went to the government buildings which offer a free panoramic view of Tokyo from their 45th floor viewing floor. Then we had a quick bit to eat and headed home.
Once again Meredith collapsed from exhaustion. She is a champion sleeper. Sometimes I think I get as much sleep on the trains as I do in my bed.

Sumo pictures will be uploaded tomorrow. Too many pictures already uploaded tonight.


Yoyogi Park

Sometimes here in Tokyo I find myself asking myself profound and strange questions, questions that I never would have imagined I would ever have to ask myself. Questions like: "is that man walking his bunny?"
"Yes", I tell myself, "yes, that man is walking his bunny."
There are strange things done in the midday sun...
Click on the picture to enlarge and see that I am not crazy, the man is walking his bunny.
See post "The Weekend" for a description of Yoyogi park to go along with the pictures.

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine Info: located in Tokyo, Japan near Harajuku Station is the Shinto shrine dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji died in 1912 and Empress Shoken in 1914. After the demise of the Emperor and Empress, this shrine was constructed to venerate them. Their souls were enshrined on November 1, 1920. The original building was destroyed during World War II. The present shrine was completed in October, 1958.

The shrine grounds consist of two areas:

  • Naien, or the inner precinct/garden, centered on the shrine buildings, which include a treasure museum that houses articles of the Emperor and Empress enshrined here. The treasure museum is built in the Azekurazukuri style.
  • Gaien, or the outer precinct/garden, which includes the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery that houses a collection of 80 large murals illustrative of the events in the lives of the Emperor and his consort. It also includes a variety of sports facilities, including the National Stadium, and is seen as the center of Japanese sports. It also includes the Meiji Memorial Hall, which was originally used for governmental meetings, including discussions surrounding the drafting of the Meiji Constitution in the late 19th century. Today it is used for Shinto weddings.

These areas are covered by an evergreen forest of 120,000 trees of 365 different species, which were donated by people from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established. This 700,000 square-meter forest (about 175 acres) is visited by many people both as a spiritual home of the people and as a recreation and relaxation area in the center of Tokyo.

The shrine was built in a garden area where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken sometimes visited. The shrine was built in the Nagarezukuri style and is made up primarily of Japanese cypress from Kiso, which is considered the best lumber produced in Japan. (Wikipedia)

There were several Traditional Japanese weddings going on when Meredith and I were there on Sunday.

Harajuku Station/Entrance to Meji Shrine

Harajuku girls (and boy) and some comic characters hanging out just outside the the entrance of to the Meji Shrine in Harajuku. This is an interesting and always entertaining part of Japan's subculture. The last pic is of a human statue, he was really good, but it was a really hot day and he couldn't have been comfortable. Booth are displays of performance art I think.

Ikebukuro and Sunshine City Pictures

Here you have pictures of the Sega Arcade in Ikebukuro where Meredith and I go to the crazy photo booths.
Then there is the walking teddy bear outside the Sega arcade, then a pick where Meredith asked me to point to something but I don't know what I am pointing at. I think she is trying to take a picture of someone behind me and only pretending to take one of me. Then there are pictures of us at a Mexican restaurant in Sunshine City ( a big mall) and a fountain with a light show.