Click on the pictures...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gotta keep those energy levels up

One thing you notice quickly about Tokyo is the lack of trash cans. Trash cans are incredibly hard to find, so most people just carry their trash with them till they find one. Apparently these folks were less than willing to do that.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat

I Encountered these guys about an hour ago. Halloween isn't a very big in Japan yet, but it seems to be picking up steam. Japanese retailer Tokyou Hands has a rather large Halloween display, and more and more people seem to be talking about it. After Halloween conquers Japan we'll need to start working on St. Patrick's day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

13,540 persons per km²

A couple weeks ago I posted a picture of the crossing outside Shibuya station. That evening I only had my phone on me. The other night I was back in Shibuya but this time I had my camera. I took a couple of videos and pictures. The pictures are in temporal order as I cross from east to west and then turn south.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Moment Frozen in Time

Saw this dude in Shibuya last night. It was pretty cool, I was impressed how he stood so still for so long. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maid spotting!

About the best shot I could get. They're not big fans of having their pictures taken, so I had to grab the shot as surreptitiously as possible.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Not my video but I wanted to share.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This is Andrew and Soyhan. Andrew is from Australia and Soyhan is from Turkey. They are co-workers. After work tonight we went to a nearby Izakaya. An Izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment that is sort of a cross between a bar and a tapas restaurant. Also, you generally have to take your shoes off when you enter and eating without shoes is a wonderful wonderful thing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The group closest to the food table...

Really busy 24 hours here, actually a busy 36, so this is late. This is the amazing group F, my group at my job's Halloween party. We came in second place, a solid all around showing in the games. The first place team had three native English speakers though, cheaters. And yes, I do need a haircut.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I couldn't fit on the train.

The Marunouchi line was a bit too crowded for me to fit on Tuesday around 6:30. The next train was only 2 minutes behind though, and was much more pleasant to be on.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Ever since I moved into my apartment there has been construction going on nearby. Sometimes they have to close down one lane of the road. Today this was the case and there were eight crossing guards on dutry, or as I want to call them, "traffic flow coordinators". I couldn't help but think that this was overkill. You can only see 6 in the top picture, one is around the corner and the other is on the far side of the bridge. The gentleman under the yellow arrow was even so kind as to gesture me across the street... after I had already begun to cross. Which, I must admit, sort of irks my American sensibilities (it apparently also irks Finnish sensibilities).

Something that I try to keep in mind is that every country is different, and each has it's own unique approach to things. After all, this sort of points to something Japan does much better than the United States, service. No doubt there are quality salesmen and service providers who will bend over backwards for you in the states, but Japanese service tends to run circles around American service. In this particular case though eight seems a bit much.

The picture below is the same site from the other side of the bridge.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Busiest Train Station in the World

These pictures were taken outside the Central East exit of the JR section of Shinjuku station. Shinjuku station is the busiest rail station in the world with over 3 million passengers a day moving through it. In addition to the JR lines, Shinjuku hosts several train lines and the Tokyo Metro. I live near Shinjuku station and pass through it just about every single day. The station is huge and I, like many others, got lost in it my first week in Tokyo.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I'm trying to figure out exactly what business they are in.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I spoke too soon

So I posted my previous post right before I walked out the door to work. The last thing I said was "In Japan, the trains run on time." Well, that was a stupid thing to say because the Fukutoshin line (the one in the picture) was all kinds of messed up yesterday. The trains were running behind schedule and when the express train finally arrived it just sat there on the tracks with red lights turned on. I ended up going back a station and taking the Yamanote line to work, just barely getting there on time.

Yesterday was a bad day for me and trains as a whole. I also ended up missing the last train and couldn't make it home. I had a lovely night on a couch last night. I was fading fast by then end of work today. (Also, why am I still up now?) At any rate, I wasn't around today, therefore, this post is late.

This picture was taken in a pretty good, but reasonably priced Thai restaurant in Ginza. They went all out on the drinks. The lass (yes, I just used "lass") in the photo is Tugce (pronouced tu-che), who is here from Turkey studying at a language school.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Incoming Arrival

This is the Fukutoshin line headed towards Ikebukuro. It's the train I take to work. Only not that train, that's the local. I took the express that came in right behind it. In Japan, the trains run on time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Finns are coming!

This is Jenni, she works with me at Gaba. She's in Japan at a language school and works at a restaurant as well. After work we decided to grab dinner at the Italian Tomato. That's not dessert though, that's dinner.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tight spaces

This small side street run next to Nakano Broadway (a large shipping center in Nakano) down towards Nakano Station. On the right you can see Seiyu, Wal-Mart's Japanese subsidiary. As you can imagine, riding a bike in Tokyo can be quite an adventure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's conjugate-able!

I spotted a strange verb in my Japanese/English dictionary.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meanwhile in Ikebukuro...

Strange things were afoot in Ikebukuro the other day.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The weather today was absolutely amazing. The sky was so clear and you could see so far. I saw Mt. Fuju for the first time today. Sadly, by the time I got my camera out, the clouds were blocking the view of the mountain. These pictures were all taken on the 21st floor of the building I work in. The first two are looking south towards Shinjuku (I live a little west of Shinjuku). The second two are looking North/North West towards Saitama Prefecture. Just keep in mind that Tokyo still sprawls a good distance south of Shinjuku, and far to the east.


Ginza is a part of Tokyo with a lot of nice shops. Many of the shops are foreign and most are really expensive. Last night Uniqlo was in the middle of changing one of their ads.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


This is the famous crossing in Shibuya as seen from the JR station. It's a pretty busy place.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Just in case you were wondering what it looked like in Japanese. On a side note, 780 yen for a DVD is a really good deal.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


This is a picture of the 7-eleven store across the street from my building. One thing Japan has down are convenience stores, they really are super convenient. They're everywhere, and all are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But don't mistake them for a convenience store like you know in the US. They have a large and delicious variety of food, you can do your banking, pay your health insurance and many utility bills, and even pay for orders from Amazon Japan.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


This is my bike, 自転車 (jitensha), which literally reads "self revolve vehicle". It's not a great bike, but it has one very important feature, a basket. The bike helps me get around my neighborhood faster and is a boon to grocery shopping. Riding a bike in Tokyo can be adventuresome too, trying to avoid the many pedestrians while keeping your eyes open for cars. This bike is actually a little too small for me even with the seat at max height. I guess you get what you pay for, but at least it came with a basket.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I love that the Japanese word for fireworks is 花火 (hanabi), which literally reads "flower fire". I was lucky enough to be invited by Kaoru to her daughter's building to watch one of the bigger summer fireworks shows from one of the better vantage points in the city. If only it weren't for that one building...

Tokyo Tower

Not the greatest picture ever, but I like it nonetheless. I left the flash on by accident so it caught my reflection off the glass.

And Now for Something Slightly Different

Seeing as how I have repeatedly failed to actually blog, I've decided to try taking this blog in a different direction. I am turning this into a photo blog. Let's see if I can actually get around to updating this in a fashion that could be remotely called regular.