Sunday, 27 December 2009

Japan trip 5th day, Nov 16th Part 1 - Yamagata

From Tokyo we departed to Yamagata by Shinkansen. Yamagata is the capital city of Yamagata Prefecture in Japan. Yamagata City is served by the Yamagata Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo, which detaches from the Tohoku Shinkansen at Fukushima City. The express train takes just under three hours, and the one-way cost is about 10,000 yen.

The Shinkansen also known as the bullet train is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the 210 km/h (130 mph) Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the now 2,459 km (1,528 mi) long network has expanded to link most major cities on the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph). Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 581 km/h (361 mph) for maglev trainsets in 2003.


This is our hotel; simple, clean and nice. Recommended definitely.

Morning city/landscape views

To be continued Part 1 - Matsushima Bay

Friday, 25 December 2009

Japan trip 4th day, Nov 15th Part 2 - Yokohama

Before we went to Yokohama, we stopped @ Shibuya Junction as it's the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing. "The Lost in Translation" movie was taken at this area.

And now here we are in Yokohama. With a population of over three million people is Yokohama Japan's second largest city. Yokohama is located less than half an hour south of Tokyo by train, and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.Yokohama Ferris wheel icon.

and within an hour ... it's DARK !!!

Some views from wheel

Some night shoots


Merry Christmas by Snoopy

To be continued on day 5th ...

Monday, 21 December 2009

Japan trip 4th day, Nov 15th Part 1 - Meiji-Jingu

[History: Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. When Emperor Meiji died in 1912 and Empress Shōken in 1914, the Japanese people wished to pay their respects to the two influential Japanese figures. It was for this reason that Meiji Shrine was constructed and their souls enshrined on November 1, 1920.]

We met these 2 youngsters before we reached Meiji-Jingu. They dressed in Harajuku style. [Harajuku style is a Japanese fashion adopted by the teenagers and young adults in the area and its side streets which have many boutiques, trendy stores and used clothes shops.]

Welcome to Meiji-Jingu ...

Coincidentally there was Children's shrine day, children were dressed up in Japanese traditional kimono.

[History: Children's shrine day is a ceremonial visit paid by parents and children to their tutelary shrines to offer gratitude for the healthy growth of the children. Celebrations are carried out on November 15th for boys who reach the age of 3 or 5, or for girls who turn 3 or 7 years old. The custom is for the children to dress in their best clothes, and to carry Chitose-ame which are long thin candy sticks colored in red and white, believed to bring good luck.]


Some chrysanthemum flowers

Wedding ceremony

[History: Ema are small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan'i, meaning "wish", written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor, over time this was trasferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.]


Of course don't forget about the food :)
Some infrared pictures.

To be continued on Part 2 ... Yokohama