Tag Archives: Japan

Tokyo, Day 2: The best laid plans

My second day in Tokyo has been filled with surprises.

alarm-clock-shows-four-o-clock-picture-66338449First, I woke up at 4 a.m. — jet lag — so my day has been much longer than I anticipated.  I got some actual work accomplished, and emailed and IM’ed with some folks who were still at their desks on the other side of the world.

I was very productive…and I should sleep really well tonight.

My business meeting also lasted a lot longer than I thought it would, so I didn’t have time for any sightseeing as originally planned.  But the session went great, the client is happy, and I can devote the rest of my time in Tokyo to play.

Speaking of time, I need to spend quite a bit more checking my wish list and studying the Tokyo subway map.  That puppy is going to require my complete attention if I am going to actually end up in the areas of the city where I want to visit.

As you can see, it is a bit of a challenge.

Tokyo-Subway-Map-6.mediumthumb

I accept!

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Lost in translation

tokyo

Guess where I’m going tomorrow?

PSYCHED!

Matinee

One of the many advantages of a) working from home and b) having HBO is being able to watch Oscar-nominated documentaries during lunch.

Today’s featured selection:  The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms.

tsumani and cherry blossom posterI’ll admit that I had not heard of this film before I saw it listed on HBO OnDemand.  If perchance you haven’t either, I strongly encourage you to invest the short 40 minutes required.

Director Lucy Walker chronicles the tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011.  Survivors share their stories of loss, and work together to rebuild their communities — already making progress a mere month after the storm hit.

And what are the ‘cherry blossoms’ in the title, you ask? I’ll let you watch the film and find out. 

It is a vital part of their history and culture, and one reason a tsunami could never break the Japanese people.

Dear New York City airports,

I will be headed back your way in less than 48 hours. Coming home is always a pleasure. But let’s be honest, my Big Apple airstrips…

Youse guys are fugly.

My current trip through Narita-Tokyo Airport en route to Singapore drove that point home…hard. I only spent two hours in Japan, and the ultramodern, high-tech facility convinced me that JFK and LGA need a major redo.

2013-04-28_09.08.16We can begin with a fun identity for each of you. Look at this little guy; he graces most of the signage at Narita Airport.

What is he?  Who cares? He’s cute… and LaGuardia could use a major dose of cuteness… JFK, too.

There’s nothing cute about either of you now.  No offense.

And speaking of high-tech, check out this gadget in the airport restrooms in Narita.

2013-04-28_09.14.23The facilities in Japan have talents that go far beyond the simple flush. (Come to think of it, everyone was smiling a lot.)

Lastly, you need better food…but I’ve always said that.

Okay, NYC airports, get started.  I’ll be back in two days, and I am expecting great things!

Monster tree

Nothing makes the season bright like a sense of humor.

godzilla tree
Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall, Tokyo Japan

See thru

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Or pick their noses or walk around naked…or watch Swamp People on the History Channel.

No one should watch that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This ‘transparent house’ is located in Tokyo.  Designed by Sou Fujimoto architects, the multi-level structure occupies 914 square feet and features lots of ramps and cool built-ins.

And glass walls.

Now, your first concern might be the lack of privacy.  And sure, there aren’t that many solid walls in the place.  But I think you would get used to the constant exposure.

The Internet has prepared us for that, right?

Personally, I would be more concerned about the light.  Unless the photos are hiding retractable awnings or shades, the sun would be your almost constant companion.

So. Much. Light.

The vampire in me says no.

Three alarm

Do firehouses catch fire?

Ask the volunteer firefighters in nearby Woodbury, New Jersey.

A fire broke out on the second floor of the volunteer department’s headquarters Friday morning.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, and one firefighter is in the hospital with smoke inhalation.

The rest are just red-faced.

It made me wonder, though — how often do firehouses catch fire?  Turns out, more often than you would think.

In 2009, a firehouse in Japan caught on fire when a firefighter left the stove on while cooking dinner on the way out to fight a blaze. Ten trucks from other firehouses had to put out the firehouse fire.

Ouch.

Stateside, a firehouse in Largo, Maryland caught fire when wiring inside the ladder truck burned. Two firehouses in Illinois — one in Elwood and one in Fillmore — caught fire and burned to the ground.

And the firehouse fire in Strattanville, Pennsylvania?   Arson.  A guy lit a pair of underwear on fire and threw them on the firehouse roof as a prank.

He’s hilarious.  How ’bout we put those shorts back on him?