February 20th, 2007
Japan Photos Up

Here they are:

click here.

Instead of doing a long, long, LONG blog, I’ve decided to caption my photos. (You can see the captions, if you click on the photos. Otherwise, it’ll just do a slideshow.) I will give you my thoughts and general views on Tokyo soon. Until then, I hope you like the photos.

UPDATE: These were some of my random thoughts as I sat at the desk, staring out the window in Tokyo.

As I sit here on the thirty-sixth floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel the sun is setting over Tokyo. The bullet train has just rushed by and the city that never sleeps is catching its breath, preparing for its second wind.

Tokyo had never been high on my list of places to visit. But now that I’ve seen her and experienced her people, I can’t imagine what took me so long to get here.

From dimpled waiters with cute smiles to the apple faces of the elderly, whose strength lies hidden beneath the fabrics of the past.

This city surprises you. At first, the speed at which she moves leaves you dizzy and trying to catch your breath. Then slowly she begins to show you her true face. It’s in the passing bicyclist, the palace guard, or the stylish teenager, doing their best to stand out amongst the gray skyline.

Neon paints this Blade Runner world with sloshes of red, blue and pink, but it does not color its people. Like Monets fevered dashes, they stand out on the canvas, striking in their clarity and deeply textured.

What I’ve learned from this vacation more than anything is that people are the same no matter how far away from home you wander. Children laugh and chase each other. The elderly share stories and chuckles. And everyone else is simply trying to get by.

Thank you, Tokyo for showing me another world. A sometimes better world. And thanks also to the Japanese people, who made my visit so pleasant. Domo arigato gozai mashita.

20 comments to “Japan Photos Up”

  1. Wow. Just…wow. What an amazing place! And so beautiful.

  2. Charli, I thought it was very pretty too. I love how they create places of tranquility amongst.

  3. That really stood out, the very orderly and peaceful spots in a very big, bustling metropolis.

  4. Fantastic photos, Jordan. In many of the pics the ‘tranquil’ atmosphere just oozes out.

    Soo…. any story ideas? *g*

  5. Charli, It’s amazing how tranquil this places are in the middle of Tokyo.

  6. Jaq, Thanks! Yes, I had a few ‘really’ odd dreams while I was there. One I may very well turn into a story. It’s sticking with me.

  7. Wowza. Those are great photos. Weirdly, one of my faves is the night shot out your hotel room window, the one with the lanterns inside your room reflecting on the window and looking like jellyfish-shaped UFOs in the sky!! 😀

    Interesting, too, your observations about people trying to stand out in Japan/Japanese culture. There’s a great book–“Speed Tribes” by Karl Taro Greenfeld, who’s half Japanese, half Anglo, and went to live in Japan for a few years. It’s his nonfiction account of teenage culture there; he talks a lot about how they’re an in-between group in Japan, heavily influenced by the West and its flashiness and yet expected by their parents to adhere to the more traditional ways of being quiet, making yourself a part of the crowd, doing nothing to stand out or embarrass yourself or your family. It’s a great book, I highly recommend it. I’ll bet you’d find it especially interesting having actually been there!

    Anyway, I’m glad you guys had such a great trip. (And your bangs are cute in the pics!! Are those new?)

  8. Thanks Catherine! I love the UFO shot. It’s one of my favs too. Gets the creative juices flowing. *g* I’ll definitely check the book out. It’s weird, the teens/early twenty-somethings of Tokyo remind me of my years in the eighties. They love that ‘retro’ eighties look. They’re also really into the whole Goth thing. I thought it was pretty cool. It’s sad when you walk through a place thinking, ‘Oh, I remember those clothes’. Blush. Sigh.

    To answer your question, yes, the bangs are new. I got them cut a couple of months ago. Needed another change. (Like I’ve told everyone time and time again, the picture on the website is OLD. LOL!) Thank you for noticing. (((Hugs)))

  9. I just got a chance to see them all. Oh, my, my…fabulous.

    And muy gawd, Jordan–you look like you’re about 15 years old! 😀

    I think I loved the teahouse best (the one you broke, lol). So serene. And Mt. Fuji with the dragon. Absolutely beautiful. And imagine running into Tommy Lee that way… 😀

  10. Oh, geez, the monster font strikes again–sorry, Jordan!

  11. Jordan, beautiful words. And gorgeous pictures. I’m sharing them with my niece because we are studying Japan for social studies. She loves bonsai so she’ll be impressed with the pics.

  12. Raine, Where do you want me to send the money for the compliment? *ggg* I was going to say that I wish I was fifteen, then I remembered what my 15th year was like and changed my mind. Snort. Glad you liked the pictures. 🙂 You have no idea how embarrassing the Tea House incident was. I was ready to crawl under the building. The woman who performed the tea ceremony was so graceful, then here comes Godzilla trying to tear the house down. Sigh. (Hangs head.) Mt. Fuji was magnificent. Truly breathtaking. We were lucky. Apparently, most of the time it’s not visible.

  13. Raine, Don’t worry about the ‘bold’ font. 🙂

  14. Vivi, I’m glad you liked them. I hope your niece enjoys the pictures. 🙂

  15. Great pics, Jordan. Like others have said the tranquil feeling comes across in the photos. Some of the food looks er…um, interesting. That one thing on someone’s fingers was food? I thought it was some kind of seacreature. LOL!

  16. Patrice, Believe me when I say that the food may have looked weird, but it tasted delicious. :)LOL, on the sea creature. It’s the world’s smallest chocolate cake with a mint sprig. (wg)

  17. looks like a beautiful place, Jordan.

  18. Shiloh, It really was beautiful and strangely peaceful in the chaos.

  19. The world’s smallest chocolate cake, eh? Well, that’s one way to lose weight. LOL!

  20. Patrice, LOL, yes it is. Of course, the bacon and eggs were mango, cream and a berry biscuit. *wg*