Tewo, Kiborio and friends

February 4, 2009

During the exhibition I met many, many people… but not many contacts developed into something more interesting. Tewo and Kiborio where really nice and sweet from the very beginning, later we crossed emails and finally we enjoyed this great meal. They introduced me to Kaz, Endo, Makishima, Masui Kun and Shoko. I’m very grateful for having shared this wonderful meal and fantastic conversation with them. Even we are coming from different cultures and different backgrounds it was a beautiful surprise to see how close we were in our reflections…

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Kiborio made this portrait of me… it was the first time! arigato gozaimas!

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This is a casual picture I took by Shibuya station. It is a traditional Japanese instrument recovered!

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Eating in Kamakura

February 3, 2009

After an intense morning of walking and picturing I decided to have something to eat but while finding the place I would just take pictures of appealing stuff.

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There is a nice story about the following picture. Well, this kanji symbol was part of a longer text on a pole by a train-road crossing. I didn’t have a clue of what it meant, I liked it and so I pictured it… A couple of days later a Japanese friend told me that the symbol meant success! funny surprise although I’m not superstitious. Other japanese friend told me that it meant adult! I do not know what to think…

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Another nice observation! Japan is not socialist at all but still they have many concrete poles that can feed my obsession…

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Are the Japanese trees just different or they cultivate them like this? 

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And of course the most well known monument in Kamakura… 15m high!

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A little god with big balls… what was that for again?

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A funny linguistic contrast. There was a bio/nature products shop named KANAYA, but the meaning of kanaya in Spanish is as rotter in English. 

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As a Japanese friend said, how much of an American colony is Japan?

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This was the restaurant, it’s just a pity that by then I had to eat alone. Fantastic cold soba and amazing fuzzy restroom…

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In the way back to Tokyo I took a picture of what was a rather common sight in the metro: people sleeping quite deeply.

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Temples & Shrines in Kamakura

February 3, 2009

Here is a selection of pictures of beautiful temples & shrines I saw while walking by the streets of Kamakura. I have some really special memories from Kamakura… 

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I got to be a good tourist!

February 3, 2009

In Kamakura I had a new opportunity to be a good tourist and take pictures of temples and shrines. I’m not so fond of taking monument pictures just because they are monuments… however I was determined to do it. These pictures are the kind of pictures I tend to take, they could be in any other Japanese town though.

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Portraying a sweet kogal in the Shinkansen

February 1, 2009

The story is simple as can be. She was sitting behind me, but I hadn’t seen her. I was very concentrated expecting to spot the Mount Fuji in any other moment. Suddenly I just realized this kogal was sitting behind me. I kindly asked her whether I could take some pictures, she didn’t speak a word of english but seemed very pleased. Then I proceed among some written text messages as this was the only way she could understand me.

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I’m not a good tourist!

February 1, 2009

Yes, I have to admit I’m a horrible tourist. I arrived in Kyoto a bit late in the evening, it was cold and rainy… finally I found a place to stay. Next morning I was about to discover the marvels of this historic beautiful city. I really didn’t have a checklist but there was obviously one floating around. In the meantime I had to eat something so after a bit of walking I discover this wonderful restaurant.

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That night I received an email from a Japanese friend who offer to show me personally the way to Kamakura. I have to say that Kamakura is also a historic beautiful city in the neighborhood of Tokyo but not as relevant as Kyoto. Well, I couldn’t resist. I immediately change my plans… The next morning I would take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo. Some of my thinkings: the buildings will be here many years to come, the people not; besides, years after my visit I’ll remember any human relation better than any beautiful building. The following are the pictures I took in the way to Kyoto train station.

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Shinkansen Tokyo — Kyoto

February 1, 2009

Time to take the Shinkansen, also known as bullet-train, and visit Kyoto. This was one of the earliest ideas that appear to me when I started to think about coming to Japan. After a day of recovering the time had came… I have to admit I was a bit lazy about this movement though. I did it anyway and here you can see the related pictures.

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Conclusion #1, the Shinkansen is extremely clean.

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Conclusion #2, the Shinkansen is extremely fast.

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One day to feel the quotidian normality

January 29, 2009

The first full day at Komagome’s place I really needed to do nothing, I was overwhelmed… I stayed at home the whole day, it was cold and rainy so that wasn’t that bad after all. This was the appropriate moment to update this blog and by the afternoon we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with the help of Miu.

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Moving to Alvaro’s & Monica’s place

January 29, 2009

On January 20th our work for the exhibition had ended and we had to check out the hotel, a new adventure was about to begin. This was the day I moved my luggage to Alvaro’s & Monica’s place. The live in a cozy little apartment in the neighborhood of Komagome. Before meeting Alvaro, I spend the morning in Akihabara buying a couple of things and visiting ICC (by the Opera Palace) which is indeed very impressive! Not many pictures I took that journey.

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It is interesting to observe the differences in the metro/train “world” such as the following illustrates.

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Akihabara “Electric souq”

January 23, 2009

Monday 19th was the first day we had completely free. By noon I met Hiroko Myokam who kindly was willing to show me the geekest face of Akihabara which is a special area of Tokyo very popular among the geeks, but also among many new media artists (ain’t they geeks?). In this area there are many big department stores essentially dedicated to the electric and electronic devices ready to be mass consumed. These are some casual pictures I took during my walk with Myokam sen.

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However, apart from the big department stores above mentioned, it is not difficult to find a semi-hidden network of low celling narrow tunnels distributed among different levels of the big buildings that conform a block. Sometimes these tunnels go from underground floors up to a third or even fourth floor. They are very labyrinthian indeed! Well, as you can see, these tunnels are full of little shops where they sell quite low level electronic components.

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Actually, wandering the streets of Akihabara can be very fascinating as it is easy to spot some otaku walking by or maids promoting cosplay restaurants.

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