During my last trip to Tokyo I was outwitted by the streets and thwarted by the clock and thus did not have time to check out the Godzilla statue near Hibiya Park. I rectified that this time:
Rectified?!?! Damn near…waitaminut, that joke won’t work at all. Oh well, look kids, GOJIRA!!!!!
Here is a picture, again completely unprocessed, from my first full day in Japan. Mt. Fuji, or Fuji-san, emerging above a cloud bank:
While I have been working on a day by day account of my time here in Japan, I have not managed to squeeze in enough writing time to finish the first day so please to being satiated with this picture:
I took this yesterday while at Senso-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo.
(Please note I have not had time to do any post processing or cleanup on this image.)
..the James has come back to Japan.
After what feels like the travel day from Hell I am settled at my hotel, the Grand Prince Asakasa for those of you who are wondering, and about to head to bed. Before that I thought I would share this:
The view from my hotel window.
After getting settled, showered and changing clothes I decided to acquaint myself with the neighborhood. I can’t remember where I read it, and am too lazy to consult the Google machine, but whoever said the best way to get to know a city is to get lost in a city is absolutely right. I LOVE going for walks in strange cities, particularly at night when the streets are alive with people leaving work or going on dates. I like to wander aimlessly through the streets and just get a sense of the crowds.
Tonight I did that for a bit before I stopped at a convenience store and picked up dinner:
Yummy! Now it is time for bed so I can take advantage of the not shitty weather tomorrow. I plan on hitting Hakone for the day.
I thought I might kick things off by sharing the photo I used to create the current header image for the Opiate:
Erected in 1988, this statue of the Maitreya Buddha stands 13.6 meters tall and is located at the Goseong Unification Observatory in South Korea. The Goseong Unification Observatory is on the east coast of Korea, the sea in the background of the photo is referred to as the East Sea by Korea and the Sea of Japan by pretty much everyone else, and is as far north as you can travel on the Korean peninsula without crossing into the DMZ or North Korean territory.
Marker A indicates the position of the Goseong Unification Observatory
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I took this picture while I was in Korea for my brother’s wedding in April of 2006. After his wedding we took a trip with his wife, her parents and brother to the east coast of Korea where we visited Sokcho, Hwajinpo, Seoraksan National Park (also here) and, of course, the Goseong Unification Observatory before returning to Seoul.
The day I took this photo was rather overcast which seemed to fit the mood of the observatory. On the observation deck people spoke quietly and even the children were subdued as they peered across the DMZ and in to North Korea which, at the time, was only months away from detonating their first nuclear weapon. I have to admit that I thought the statue of the Buddha was just a somewhat crass propaganda move particularly since there is a statue of the Virgin Mary and a tower topped with a cross nearby however now that I have read a bit about the Maitreya Buddha I can’t help but think that this statue is a display of hope for the future.