April 19, 2009

are you manga?

Sitting at a huge internet-book-comic-manga-cafe in Shibuya, I find some time to post again. And after 10 minutes the girl even understood what I was trying to tell her, that I just only like trying to tell her, that I just only like to use the internet. Thanks for sign language. However they are really friendly here, even if they don`t are really friendly here, even if they don`t have a clue what here, even if they don`t have a clue what you are saying...and vice versa. On my first day, when I didn` t have the hang of the tube system here. The machine kept refusing my day pass and like two seconds later there came up this guy, who actually could speak good english and he went to the station officer with me, to find out the reason for this whole thing. Well, I should have known that I just drew a day pass for the Tokyo Metro Line and not for the other train company. Ahhh. Now I figured it out. And once you got the hang of it, and know which exit to take since there are twenty at least to choose from, it` s quite easy.

The last few days have been packed with activities in and around Tokyo. What I have done so far.... running around like crazy, I think I might hit the 1,000 miles asap. :-)

Yesterday I went to Kamakura, a small city 50 minutes south of Tokyo to see some chinese buddhas, shrines and temples there - supposedly five of the most important temples are located there. I have seen them all. The journey of getting there was quite an adventure as well, I knew that I would need to take the train to get there, but which one, I had no clue. So I looked it up online very quick but by the next day I already forgot the name of the JR Line. So I just went up to the ticket counter and told the guy where I want to go. He looked at me and left his desk. OK. So after ten minutes he came back and he had neatly written down in latin letters -that` s why it took him so long I believe- where I want to go and which station I would have to take the train from, which line etc.! Wasn` t the train from, which line etc.! Wasn` t that nice! After that it was no big deal. The city is really neat, but overloaded with tourists - mostly Asian. This is also what I found out, the only foreigners that I come accross are French and a few Americans, but that was it. Not a lot actually. I thought there` d be more.

The day before I wandered around Shibuya and Harajuku. This is what I always thought Tokyo might look like. Crazy stores selling the most ridiculus shirts, the tiniest miniskirts and the highest high heel you` tiniest miniskirts and the highest high heel you` d imagine. Loud and mega busy all day long. Well, just like out of the blockbuster "lost in translation", I'd say. You all probably picture this huge crossing, when thinking about that city... and the truth is, it`s that crazy for real. Every few minutes a thousand people are crossing this six-street intersecion while above huge billboards are blarring out the newest advertisings.

After Shibuya I went to Harajuku, which I perfered more. Hidden in an alley behind the Omote-sando Street are tiny streets with lots of individual, independent stores and small cafes. Really neat. It feels like a small cafes. A little further up is the famous Yogogi park where the more famous cosplay-zoku meet up. These are the girls dressed up as their favorite manga character or like those Gothic-loitas as they are know. There weren` t a lot of them out there. But they look really sth.!

Right on the border of the Yoyogi park is the magnificient Meiji-Jingu with its gardens. This Shinto shrine is supposedly Japan` s most splendid. No need to say, that it was crowded this afternoon. I had the chance to catch the striking yet subdued wedding proceedings of a couple in full-on, kimono-clad regalia. couple in full-on, kimono-clad regalia. That looked like sth out of a movie set. Most of the wedding guests wore kimonos as well.

That was a wrap up of the last few days of my short stop over in Japan. It has been a great trip so far, but I need to say that I personally favor Hong Kong to Tokyo. I am not really sure why, but I thought that HK is a bit more authentic Asia that I have on my mind. It`s a bit more buzzling and huzzling going on there. Tokyo is an awesome place as well, but if I had to choose one place over the other, I` d say HKis the place to go.

Tomorrow night I will be bound to down under on an overnight flight to Perth, Western Australia. I seriously am really looking forward to talk and being understood again. It` s kinda frustrating sometimes when all you can say is hello, thanks and goodbye. That`s one of the downsides traveling alone in a country you are not speaking the language at all - as well as actually reading it.

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