6th March 2011

Archive

Less lost in translation

The compendium of snapshots Tokyo that I’ve captured on camera is by no means exhaustive. Flying solo compounds this feel. Alarmingly, the packed streets of neon lights and the relentless consumer lifestyle look very similar in the few wards of Tokyo that I’ve visited: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Asakusa, Akihabara, Ueno, Ginza compete for business, where streets begin to look ugly and characterless. These places are very much living paradoxes: free-spending lifestyles and effusive hospitality – even the toilets have heated seats and buttons to aid bottom-washing – provide a strong veneer of civilisation underneath a web of complex social hierarchy governing these behaviours that I don’t quite ever understand. It was...

Hakone-Mt. Fuji Circuit

I bravely tackled the intimidating pressures and congestions of city life by removing myself from Tokyo physically, escaping to the Hakone-Mt-Fuji circuit the day after I landed, buying a Hakone Free Pass (dealt with solely by Odakyu) which allows free transportation within this region. A day trip had to suffice despite the large amount of moving around and travelling. Ueno (Tokyo) – Shinjuku (Tokyo) took 40 minutes. The Odakyu Romance car (just a fast train with a fancy name) took nearly 1.5 hrs, depositing its hapless passengers at Hakone-Yumoto station, from which one’s own creativity kicks in. I chose to take yet another slow ride – yet another 40 minutes...