Sunday, August 05, 2007

last day in Tokyo

Last night we had a curry and a drink in Shimoda by the sea. We had booked into an expensive but crap hotel, because there was nowhere else to go, fag burns on the duvet...mmm... then wandered around, and discovered many many traditional drummers (called Taiko) all practising for the festival next week, was great, must have been what the drummers had been doing the night before when I got lost trying to find the launderette.

Found a bar called jahjah that had a dj booth and lots of kids trying out their dj and MC skills, was fun, like dj karaoke.

got up early this morning and returned to the hecticness of Tokyo, shopping and trying to find Emma with out bag of our equipment. Home tomorrow, feels like we`ve been away for months...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Shimoda bichi(beach)

Today we did the classic tourist thing of going to the beach after sorting out a slightly dodgy hotel for tonight and havig breakfast. Rachel had the biggest cheeese on toast we have ever seen. The bread was less of a doorstop more of a door to bank vault
It was overcast but it's still a balmy steamy heat so heading to the beach seemed fitting. Japan has it's fair share of beach posers and surf dudes blaring hip-hop from their suped up toyota's and suburu's as we discovered on arriving at Kisumi beach.

We had a great swim in the pacific which to our pleasant surprise was quit cold. I did a bit of body surfing but the waves weren't up to much.

This evening we stumbled on a ritual tuna cook off in the town centre. Quite something to see 6 men lifting a fish the size of a pig.

Friday, August 03, 2007

the fundamentals including personal hygeine (not for the faint hearted)

As Matt has described we have been to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Mount Fuji is everything expected and more, it looks like two strokes of a japanese paintbrush with a small hat on the top, stroked by clouds. I maybe a cynical old cow but I have had a very zen time. we walked along a ridge on the hills opposite fuji that just rose from nowhere covered in green green trees. below fuji-san is the sea of trees, we were told about this when we made chemical garden (an art installation of thousands of salt crystal trees in front of a video of mount fuji to celebrate the millenium). it is a true to premieval forest growing on a sea of lava from the volcano, feels spooky, the light, you could get very very lost there.

anyway. personal hygeine. me and matt have had fun getting some of the basics these last couple of days. a bath or shower. well trying to understand onsen and communal baths has been fun, time limited and potentially shared with anyone, i went in the mens! here by the sea it is proper onsen (hotspring) how hot??? when it is already sweaty so you are in a pool of water - hot humidity outside, how hot can you be??? included in this I have a fever from a bad cold and cough.

the toilet are fun, they are either ancient hole in the grounds (which I am sure are good for you) or high tech service washes (which are also great, if not slightly too nice) better when you know where the stop button is, once you get cleaned for a while you begin to want to start the whole process again.

and finally, even the tampons are hi-tech, i am too embarrased to ask anyone how to use them, the adaptors are a feat of engineering that goes beyond my simple knowledge, I was stuck in the toilet for half an hour getting through half a pack trying to work out what that was about...

but the sea is beautiful, mountains, city, mountains. and I haven't started on the adventure to wash our clothes, which resulted in me getting sprited away by some guys playing the ancient japanese drums...

Fuji to the coast

It's been sometime since we have been able to add to the blog. We are now in Shimoda a little fishing village 50km from Tokyo. It's very relaxing, a bit like Padstow or Abersoch, Japan style. I am siting in a western style bar listening to funk and sipping on a Kirin in front of the largest Mac screen I ever seen.

We spent 2 nights in Fuji Kawaguchi-ko. The Lake district of Japan. We spent an amazing but sweaty day hiking in the mountains around Fuji-san. We didn't bother with cliumbing Fuji as the main reason for going there is to see Fuji not climb up up miles of volcanic sand. Call me lazy but that's my excuse.

We saw an ancient cave full of Shinto prayer flags and offerings and walked through "the sea of trees" which is an amazing forest around fuji which stretches forever. Japan has some really beautiful country side. Because it is either city or countryside you get the best of both. The cities are huge and dense and the country is endless and empty.

Shimodo is great. We are here for 2 nights then back to Tokyo for shopping and then home. Hopefully get some swimming and beach life (although it's raining at the moment but humid as hell).

I have included the weirdest advert. I have no idea what it means. But it's great.