Let’s not even think about the colds we have, first of all. My sister has been here for 11 days, and we’re now on the 12th full day with only today, Wednesday, and Thursday to go for sightseeing. She goes back to Canada on Friday. The time has flown so quickly.
We’ve seen a lot, but it could’ve been better. We could’ve been healthy. She’ll remember Japan as the country she visited twice and caught a cold both times.
Today is a big day. Off to Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Tomorrow is Tokyo Station area, Imperial Gardens, and Tokyo International Forum. We may have time for something else, so we’ll see. On Thursday, it’s Marine Tower, Chinatown, and the Yamate area. We may see Hikawa-maru and Sankeien. She’s already been to Chinatown, but it was very brief. This time, probably having lunch there.
And that’s it. Then she goes home on Friday. We’ll see her and my mom in five and a half months when we move to Canada, though.
Well, time for three days of great sightseeing! And plenty of videos.
My sister and I have both caught colds, and we’ve been on the go every day this week. Since it’s raining today, we decided to just stay home and relax for the day, as we still have another week of running around and sightseeing to do. I recorded a brief video about this.
So, I will get to the videos. They just take time to do, since each one contains many individual videos, and I don’t really have that much time every day to do them. They’ll come soon, though.
Today’s our first real big sightseeing day, and what happens? I wake up with a barely there voice. I find it hard to talk, and I have a sore throat. I won’t let that stop me, though.
Today is Enoshima. It’s a big day, because we tried going to Enoshima three times last year, and something always came up to stop us. But we will go today, explore the island, then see the aquarium. I’ll be making a couple videos, but I may not be talking much on them.
Here’s an Enoshima picture just to show you what it looks like.
So, today is our first real day of sightseeing. Yesterday, we went to Costco. Nothing exciting to see there. Just shopping for two weeks’ worth of food. Last night, we did all of our planning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everything into the two weeks. And tomorrow is raining, and we needed to do something family friendly that’s indoors, so no sightseeing.
Today, our plan is to go to Yokohama, around the Minatomirai area. We’ll be going to World Festa Yokohama 2015, where we’ll enjoy food, culture, and music from around the world. Then on to Cosmo World, where we might go on the Cosmo Clock (it’s really up to my sister). Then we get to go shopping a bit and see the Yokohama Museum of Art. And that will be it.
Get ready for a lot of posts about Japan over the next couple of weeks. My sister arrives here tomorrow, and we’ll be visiting a lot of places around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, and Fujisawa.
Usually, I’d take a lot of photos, but I think I’m going to focus on video this time. I find that when I take video, I’m better able to make something worth looking at, while the photos tend to get lost on my hard drive. I will take some photos, though.
I may be taking around two or three videos every day, but with limited time, I don’t think I’ll be posting all of them every night. They take time to edit. They’ll be done over the days following my sister’s visit here, and I think it may take as long as a month. But that’s good, because you’ll have a steady supply of new videos for quite some time.
So, who’s interested in the upcoming videos? In case you missed them, here are the three videos I’ve already taken.
Enjoy the videos, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to see the new ones posted as I make them.
Any comments or questions? Please leave them in the comments below.
Whenever I’ve been somewhere so many times it feels routing, I start going into automatic mode. I don’t seem to pay attention to my surroundings. When I go to new places, not only do I notice everything around me, I also feel the atmosphere of the place.
Thinking back to when I was a kid, I think I was always sensitive to the atmosphere of the places I was in. I got a certain mood from every place. I always remember camping at the Wapiti River, going to the playground near my house, and playing at recess in elementary school. Later, after we moved to a new town, I always enjoyed the atmosphere of the undeveloped area behind our house. There was a forested area that I often walked through.
As I grew older, I found that I wasn’t feeling the atmosphere as much. But it wasn’t sudden, it was gradual. Or maybe as an adult, I’ve been distracted by inner thoughts, and just didn’t give my full attention to my surroundings. That’s probably more likely.
What I noticed earlier this week is that I was actually feeling the atmosphere of the place I was in. I was just going out to buy a drink during my lunch break, and as I walked past a temple, I slowed down and just looked around. I started noticing the details of the temple and the high-rise apartment building next to it. It was at that moment that it hit me. I could feel the atmosphere of the place. Not only that, it made me think about how it felt when I was a newcomer in Japan. Everywhere had an atmosphere. That’s one reason I started walking around neighbourhoods near train stations. I wanted to experience the atmosphere of different places. It fascinated me.
But lately, I haven’t really gone anywhere new. And then I decided what I would do with my YouTube channel, and I think I found a way to recapture that feeling. I started thinking about the places I could go, make videos, and share the atmosphere of the place with others. I want to give people a simple view of the place. Little talking, just observe what’s around. I decided to call this series A Taste of Japan. Maybe through this, I can regain that feeling of newness that I used to have. I hope I can. And I hope you’ll enjoy watching the videos, too.
I’m back! It was a great week with my sister, but it was far too short. The time went by so quickly, I can’t believe it’s already finished. We did so much, but we needed more time to do everything we wanted.
I felt a kind of rejuvenation with her visit. We went to so many places I’ve been before, but also a few new experiences. On our first day, we visited Kamakura, and while we only visited three of the five places we’d planned, it was a great day. The second day was a slightly rainy day in Yokohama with most objectives completed. The third day was a complete change from our original plan because of the rain, but we had a good time. We went to Odawara to see Odawara Castle, and we also ate sashimi. We’d planned to go to Enoshima Aquarium, but my daughter had a different idea: diarrhea. We went straight home. Monday was our first day in Tokyo, and we visited the beautiful Koishikawa Kourakuen, the busy and fascinating Asakusa and Sensoji Temple, and then Tokyo Tower around sunset. My sister got to experience the packed subways during rush hour, too. On our fifth day, we went back to Tokyo and saw Ueno Zoo. My sister got to see the panda, which was on her bucket list. On our final full day, it rained heavily, but we got to visit a couple great museums in Tokyo. First was the Edo-Tokyo Museum, one of my favourites. The other was the Tokyo National Museum, which was so big, we only had time to see a quarter of it. I really want to go back to see the rest.
I took nearly 500 pictures, but my sister took more than 1500. This is just a quick sample.
I’ve gotten a lot out of her visit. One is a renewed appreciation for Japan’s culture and history. It’s also inspired me to work hard on developing new cultures for the far distant future of Ariadne and my fantasy projects. I also got a new computer. I still have to set everything up, but I can now write in Word, which will be incredibly useful. It’s about the same size as my Toshiba, but lighter. I’m going to be taking this computer places to work on my writing.
I’m going to apologise in advance now. Be prepared for a flood of blog posts over the next couple days. I only have the rest of today and tomorrow off before going back to work. I have a lot to write about, including three book reviews. Keep checking back!
The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.