30 June 2013

My favourite gate in Tokyo

This is my favourite gate in Tokyo. (Remember that I come from South Africa, where ordinary home security consists of security gates, burglar bars, walls with electric fences, movement-activated lights, laser beams, Rottweilers with rabies, panic buttons and armed response.) It looks quite impressive, doesn't it, with solid bars bolted into the wall and a security lock that requires a PIN.

Yes. Well. Here's the full picture:

Lift a knee, step over the low wall and you're in.

Japan, I love you to bits.

PS: I walk past this gate every day. Suffice it to say it's at an institution of higher education.

26 June 2013

Firefighter manhole

I took this photo in Ōme. The city's website says the manhole cover depicts a firefighter from the Edo period.

25 June 2013

Pests, not pets

I spotted this sign at Sensō-ji. It reminds us that pigeons can be pests, it asks us not to feed them, and it cautions us not to touch their faeces. PS: Has anybody ever seen warnings against crows?

21 June 2013

Abunai! Dangerous!

There's an awful lot of abunai (あぶない) in Japan. Everything is abunai, from standing incorrectly on an escalator to holding a hot Starbucks cup. I spotted these posters, warning against real dangers, along the Sumida River. Abunai posters often (always?) contain furigana, the small hiragana above kanji, so that everybody, including children and southern barbarians, can read it. 

Please note that even abunai is cute.

20 June 2013

Help! I'm drowning!

My second Sumida River post is 5000 words and counting. I'm drowning in information. This isn't a post; it's a bloody PhD dissertation! I'll have to rethink and replan. Time out. Meantime, photos of bridge details as a teaser, a trailer and an appetizer.

PS: What do you mean, identify the bridges? Wait. We'll get there in roughly 2021 at my current tempo.

14 June 2013

Cute flowery bike

Photo taken at a shop in Bunkyō-ku

13 June 2013

Japan is getting fatter

When I arrived here eight years ago, this sight was rare.* Nowadays I see it daily. Thank you, McDonalds. (Japanese women are getting thinner; Japanese men are getting fatter. Fact.)

* Perhaps I saw less because I was less mobile. Back then it took me a day to figure out how to get from Ochiai, where I was living, to Tokyo Station.

9 June 2013

Tokyo/Paris friendship monument

Tokyo and Paris have a friendship agreement that is celebrated, amongst others, on Tsukudajima, an island in the Sumida River. One of the monuments in honour of this friendship is Le Amitié Pour Avenir, shown in these photos.

PS: Oops. My first title for this post was "Tokyo/Paris friendship avenue". Duh, Ru, "avenir" doesn't mean "avenue!"

Can you see Sky Tree?

6 June 2013

Muscle men

I think you'll slap me if I publish another photo of Sky Tree, so let's go for muscle men. Or should that be nipple men? The statues are Niō, guardians that stand at the entrance of temples to protect Buddha. I photographed these two in Asakusa.

Pipe plant progress 2

I'm following the progress of this plant. It's coming along nicely!

3 June 2013

Sky Tree on a hazy day

More Sky Tree photos. Not brilliant, since they were taken on a hazy day, but from unusual (for me) locations in a largely industrial area along the upper Sumida River.