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03-13-2009, 07:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aniki View Post
Now that's rude if I do say so myself.
Not at all. I am doing them a favor by not forcing them to disappoint me.
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03-13-2009, 08:24 AM

You know, this topic is utterly fascinating to me - not because of the pictures (I have to admit I`ve barely looked at any of them...) but because it shows me what is of interest to someone not really familiar with Japan.

I`ve lived here so long that everything is incredibly normal and boring, and most of the things that seem to be of major interest to Polar are things I probably would never have guessed.


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03-13-2009, 10:05 AM

Thanks for the kind words Nyororin.

I really could care less about nice views or statues or other stuff. It's the infrastructure of a city that fascinates me. It could be something as trival as a manhole cover or a sign. The key is that's it's functional not static art per say. I really love the functional stuff. The little things that combined make a city work

This isn't just limited to Japan, it's the same when I'm in Manhattan, photos of the Statue of Liberty please I'd be happier shooting subway cars, bridges vehicles etc.. it's what I look at, the stuff like yourself or someone else would normally over look or rather it's just so common you tune it out

I guess I get from my dad as he is loving the shots of trival things like traffic signal boxes etc...

Last time in I was in Manahattan I was shooting houses like the orignal brownstone where the Marx bros grew up, Japser Johns/Gypsy Rose Lee/ Spike Lee's place etc...

I's hard to express although I will say I have NEVER taken so many pictures in a day before, in Manahattan I average 20, Japan is going on 60 - 70 a day. I think it's because so many things here are automated/unique not to mention the stores and buildings are colourful vs a minimalist look. Would I take pictures of pay phones in North America, heck no.

For the curious the photos are shot using a Sony DSC-H50 it's one of those ultra zoom models. 99.9% are shot in "easy mode". I'm sure they could be better (if I bothered to learn) but dang these are pretty good so why bother. I'm not trying to be artistic or dramatic rather to document what I see so someone else could follow.

I have one idiot on another forum asking "Where's all the people ?" "The reccesion must be really bad" I try to explain to him how many freaking people do you see up and about in your area at 7:00am ???

He seems to thing Tokyo is teaming with masses and throngs of people. Here in Shinjuku it seems to start around 9:00am but it's no Times Square.

I try to explain there are subways and not to mention people have school and work to go to and it's been cool and damn windy over the last couple of days and who would walk in that ?

See I love walking and walking and walking, sure I could get there faster using the bus or train but dang you'd miss stuff.

One thing that I have noticed is how quiet it is, to the point that when I go into a game store or arcade the noise is insanely loud compared to the streets here vs the ones back home.

I'm sure if someone came to my hometown of Toronto they would take pictures of stuff I never thought of before.

I'm having a lot of fun and my limited Japanese isn't a barrier, well most of the time you feel like a mute but you can still share a smile with a stranger depending on the situation here. You work around it. I'm still respectfull and I think most people pick up on that. That Station Master at subway was awesome.

I'm going to miss this place but I'll be coming back.
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03-13-2009, 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar View Post
Thanks for the kind words Nyororin.

I really could care less about nice views or statues or other stuff. It's the infrastructure of a city that fascinates me. It could be something as trival as a manhole cover or a sign. The key is that's it's functional not static art per say. I really love the functional stuff. The little things that combined make a city work

This isn't just limited to Japan, it's the same when I'm in Manhattan, photos of the Statue of Liberty please I'd be happier shooting subway cars, bridges vehicles etc.. it's what I look at, the stuff like yourself or someone else would normally over look or rather it's just so common you tune it out
I don`t think it`s so much that I tune things out - I take quite a lot of photos myself, a huge number of them of mundane things. It`s just different mundane things, if you get what I mean. Interesting pattern of rust running down from a steel staircase, yes - Rotting corner of a building - yes, sign for hotel, no. Even when it comes to sights that aren`t exactly tourist attractions, the things you look at and find of interest when it`s your city/country are different than when it`s something pretty much totally new to you.

Which is part of the reason I`m finding the subjects of your photos interesting. Not because "Wow, those are normal boring things!" but because they`re things I wouldn`t think of taking a picture of in contrast to things I would.

When in other locations, I get a kick out of taking pics of things that are different from what I am used to seeing, no matter what the thing may be... So I`m guessing our photo habits are similar. It`s just easy to forget exactly what is "different" in Japan when you`ve lived here for so long.

Quote:
I have one idiot on another forum asking "Where's all the people ?" "The reccesion must be really bad" I try to explain to him how many freaking people do you see up and about in your area at 7:00am ???

He seems to thing Tokyo is teaming with masses and throngs of people. Here in Shinjuku it seems to start around 9:00am but it's no Times Square.
The media has to answer for that one - it seems the absolute favorite shot of Japan is the mass of people crossing at the huge scramble in Shibuya... So Tokyo gets the image of being so packed with people that you can barely walk anywhere.

Oh, and by the way - glad to see you`re enjoying your trip. You`re making me wonder what you`d take pictures of around my place so I can try to take a few myself to show to relatives when I visit them this summer.


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Last edited by Nyororin : 03-13-2009 at 02:45 PM.
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03-13-2009, 07:16 PM

Yeah I think we're on the same page in terms of photos.

That same twit also suggested dressing up like Link and how that would be a funny youtube. I told him how about you dress up in a klan uniform and hang out in Harlem, what a moron.
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03-16-2009, 12:34 PM

Good Morning

Well after spending Sat sick as a dog and realizing my Contact C's were doing nothing it was time to grab some cold medicine. Not as easy as it sounds but I found some and WOW does it work. Also had to pick up a pack of these.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10.../IMG000004.jpg

Sunday comes along and I'm feeling much better so I hook up with a friend of a friend and we go wandering around Shinjuku to some places I haven't got to yet.

Cool it's LED flagman

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00498.jpg

We head up to the observation tower of the gov't building (that one with all the dishes) to try and see Mt Fuji. Alas it's clear enough but not windy enough to clear the smog. The smog is from China not Japan

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00499.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00500.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00501.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00502.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00503.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00504.jpg

Looks like a stadium over there

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00505.jpg

Apparently each tower is exactly half the size of the Empire State building so if you put one on top of the other ...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00506.jpg

Walking along I see this

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00507.jpg

This will mean nothing to people who aren't familiar with Yonge and Eglington area of Toronto. Got a snicker out of me though.

Now here's where it gets a little nuts. Take a look at this.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00508.jpg

Yeah I know a line up in front of Krispy Kreme big deal

BUT this is NOT the line to just buy donuts, this is just the line to have a coffee and a donut on the second floor!

We hit a few department stores.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00511.jpg

I could go ether way on these and I know which ever side I choose the world will go the opposite so I'll leave it up to you.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00512.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00513.jpg

Yep they ain't cheap

A cool sign post

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00519.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00520.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00521.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00522.jpg

Down another side street

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00523.jpg

Bet your wondering what this is

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00524.jpg

Well we have some clues see those six pointed icons,

that's the fire dept, the police have five points. Also

the top left character denotes water. You guessed it's a

fire hydrant. They keep them underground.

We tried in vain perusing the menu and the plastic food

outside but there was no venison being served here

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00525.jpg
It was time to call it a day so it was back to the hotel.



Monday morning

I'm seriously addicted to green tea now it's pretty much all I'm drinking I haven't had a beer in days and I think my liver is loving me for it.

It's a bright sunny morning and I figure lets kill two birds with one trip and hit Shibuya and Roppongi.

Now Shibuya is just south of Meiji Jingu so we're going to take the same route as before but not detour to the shrine. After stepping outside it's warm, like T-Shirt WARM ! I stuff my jacket into my backpack.

Those train tracks, you usually have to wait for at least four subways, two each way until the gates open and you can cross

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00526.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00527.jpg

You know what they say about certain things if it ain't broke ...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00529.jpg

They've probably been using this style of rake for a long , long time

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00530.jpg
Ooh look at those

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00531.jpg

and these

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00532.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00533.jpg

Wait a minute, WINE ? That's a new one, usually it's sake (ok yeah it's rice wine but still)

With that we're outta Meiji Jingu and heading into Shibuya.

No clue what this is but it's big

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00534.jpg

Must be a hall of some sort.

Over on the left by the subway tracks a trio of mini cranes

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00535.jpg

On the right a FIRE STATION !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00536.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00537.jpg

I don't see a pole anywhere.

Into Shibuya

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00538.jpg

Probably one of if not the last Tower Records out there

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00539.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00540.jpg

AAAHHHH

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00541.jpg

Britney and the Disney store side by side, I already brushed my teeth this morning, come along, quickly now, don't make eye contact.

Getting deeper

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00542.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00543.jpg

Shibuya is THE place for teenagers in Japan

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00544.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00545.jpg

Lots and lots of places to shop

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00546.jpg

Now get ready, here's the view from the right

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00547.jpg

Here's the busiest scramble crosswalk in the world. It's only roughly around 11:00am. This is what you see in all the news programs when they try to make Japan look like it's swarming with people 24/7. It's not but this point usually is.

Cute little shuttle bus for the area

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00549.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00550.jpg

Coming up to Shibuya Bus terminal

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00551.jpg

Seems I'm not the only one who thinks it's warm out.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00552.jpg

Across from the bus terminal TONS of music stores

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00553.jpg

If it's a vintage guitar your after you will find it here.

A look to the right

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00554.jpg

A look back at the bust terminal, if you play video games this might nag at your memory.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00555.jpg

Here's where literally it all goes south. We make a right NOT a left like we should but ssshhhh we don't know that

yet and there are cool pics to come

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00556.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00557.jpg

Looks like the super structure to a boat

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00558.jpg

Cool truck with a flashing light

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00559.jpg

A lot of vehicles have this sticker, maybe it's an alarm thing ?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00560.jpg

We realize we screwed up and head back the way we should be going.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00561.jpg

No it's not laughing at us.

Nifty !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00562.jpg

Freeway

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00563.jpg

This beast is twice as tall as the average rigs we've seen.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00564.jpg

I don't want to know, I just don't

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00565.jpg

JET SET RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00566.jpg

Easier to recognize then the bus terminal which was also a level in the game. Yes it was the Shibuya Bus Terminal in both games.

Police station

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00567.jpg

Even boring road work stuff looks cool, look at all the

cool gear they have, do we have that no.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00568.jpg

Well at least we know where Sansui is

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00569.jpg

Bike outside a bike shop

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00570.jpg

Hmm we should be getting there soon but my Time Out guide isn't helping, ah well no matter

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00571.jpg

Kick ass gas stations, no pumps on the ground, means more cars can get in.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00572.jpg

Cool plaque right next to it

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00573.jpg

More side streets

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00574.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00575.jpg

Last edited by Polar : 03-16-2009 at 12:49 PM.
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03-16-2009, 12:41 PM

Police bus and ...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00576.jpg

DAMN ! It's the Mother of all SWAT vans, man that is COOL . No cylon light though.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00577.jpg

Over to the right of that mean SWAT bus a vacant lot

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00578.jpg

A lambo dealership, yep that's me in the reflection.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00579.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00580.jpg

Cram school, at least they're honest about it

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00581.jpg

Worst name for restaurant ever and is that some kind of flying rabbit !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00582.jpg

Here's where things are seeming "wrong" We really should be there by now.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00583.jpg

Hey that looks neat

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00584.jpg

And check out what's on the side of that ... TURTLES sunning themselves. That's AWESOME !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00585.jpg

Ssshhh they may be ninja turtles

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00586.jpg

Nice angles

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00587.jpg

This staircase is now my favourite looks like it's collapsing.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00588.jpg

Yep we are definitely not where we should be not only have we gone too far south we also are no where near east enough, all the maps are saying we're in someplace called Minato-Ku. Oh well lets keep heading east and see what happens.

This should bring back memories if you owned a Dreamcast

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00589.jpg

Stacked

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00590.jpg

Best construction sign EVER !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00591.jpg

Well it's not St.Elmo's Fire but...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00593.jpg

Check out the hill, here's looking up

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00594.jpg

and here's looking down

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00595.jpg

It may not look steep but trust me it is.

We've made it to Roppongi

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00596.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00597.jpg

Adorable Japanese school girls, but two bags and backpack !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00599.jpg

Here's what a ticket machine for the subway looks like

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00600.jpg

Here you see the map, those three digit numbers tell you much it will cost to go there from here in yen

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00601.jpg

We're cutting through the subway station to get to the right exit so we can start our walking tour in the Time Out guide (famous last words)

This looks so much like a dream I had last year it kinda freaks me out.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00602.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00603.jpg

The 21_21 Design Sight Museum, this a modern design museum (Japan's first) built on military land by Tandao Ando

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00605.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00606.jpg

This a view from behind the museum

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00607.jpg

This is Tokyo Midtown the new complex, it's the exit we used to come out.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00608.jpg

Now it's off to the National Arts Centre Tokyo.

That's not it

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00609.jpg

That's not it either although TOTO is the toilet King of Japan and they do a fair number of shows and have a great bookstore !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00610.jpg

Look very, very closely at this picture this is the point of no return. I ignored this and shouldn't have I was already too far north and this could have saved me hours of walking but...

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00611.jpg

Oooh something shiny

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00612.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00613.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00614.jpg

Going too far

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00615.jpg

Hey that roof has owls

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00616.jpg

At this point I'm ready to this $#%$%# guide into a million pieces, I'm following your blasted directions and getting nowhere, I go up and down the street 3-4 times.

Could that be it .. nope.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00617.jpg

At this point it's 3:30pm I've been walking since 10:30am and I'm getting sore in both ways. Fine screw you guide, I'm going to the top of the street and take a right. I still haven't done that yet.

I see something, it looks like could be gallery AHA !

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00618.jpg

WTF ! The Canadian Embassy ! But that's in f*cking Ginza not Roponggi AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !

I head back and take the left this time. Lots of apartments and this smug little thing watching me and laughing

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00619.jpg

Then it hits me I needed to take a left UNDER the street I'm on.

Well at least we can get across this way

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00620.jpg

Well THERE it is

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00622.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00623.jpg

At this point I pack it in, we can finish this tomorrow or the day after.

I head back to the subway

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00624.jpg

Right at that end of that side street look what it is. Our starting point.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00625.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00626.jpg

Note to Time Out Guides, PUT A FLIPPING MAP with your walking tours vs a left here and a right there !!! because some of the buildings in the walking tour ARE NOT listed on the regular map that's in the guide so you can't cross reference. Thank god I was doing this solo. I think if I had someone else with me they would have bailed a long time ago. Should have brought the Lonely Planet Guide with me too, won't make that mistake again.

Inside the building on the way to the subway

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00627.jpg

Roppongi Station on the Oedo Line

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00628.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00629.jpg

Home at last back to Shinjuku station. The punch line ?

Subway ride took less then 10 mins. Now I knew it was that close but I figured I'd walk in and ride it out.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10...8/DSC00630.jpg

Despite all that, look at all the stuff we got to see we wouldn't have normally seen.

Anyhoo we're not done here yet and wil be coming back but we're taking the subway BOTH ways next time.

Last edited by Polar : 03-16-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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