Japan

Konichiwa!

I just came back from a five day working trip to Japan. I haven’t been there since 1983 and I must say this trip was a real eye opener. Instead of doing all the tourist things. I met a lot of people and found out how they live in Japan. Taking the subway and taxis was quite an experience with thr language barrier but somehow I got through all of that. I was able to squeeze what little Japanese I knew into the conversation and somehow it helped.

There were a lot of places we went to that I didn’t go before. The Tsukiji Fish Market is amazing. Tuna can go as high as ¥7000 a kilogram. That’s more than $60.00! I saw live Fugu for the first time. The Philippine Tiger prawns were also being sold there. Every imaginable type of aquatic creature was on sale there. Who cares about salmon, everything here was fresh. The sweetest tuna I’ve ever tasted.

We weren’t able to go up to Mt. Fuji due to the snow. We went around the mountain in Hakone and rode the cable car down to Lake Ashi. It was quite cold. I’ve posted pictures on my iWeb site so drop by there and have a look see. Maybe I should rename this blog entry to “Procrastinating in the Cold”. The entire area is volcanic. The region is filled with numerous hot spring inns and sulphur springs as well. At first I thought there was garbage, then I realized the vast amounts of sulphur gas emissions due to the volcanic nature of the ground we walked on. The winds blew hard as I was almost thrown off the observation deck. We went up to the Buddhist peace shrine and it made me wonder if every temple had to be this high. I carried all my gear to the top of the temple and took pictures of my achievement.

We returned to the city by bus and I got some hot tea from a nearby vending machine by the shinkansen station. We got off Shibuya station where we were picked up by minibus and brought back to the hotel. I had a quick ramen dinner across the hotel where you had to order by vending machine and give the ticket to the server in the restaurant. The ramen wasn’t that great. I’ve had better. We then went to Roponggi Hills and shot some video. We passed by the Hyatt Hotel where the movie “Lost in Translation” was shot though I’m not too sure if the Jazz Bar really exists inside.

We had a guided tour of the Sony Center in Ginza and we saw some of their new consumer products. The staff at Sony were suprised on how much I knew about their products. I joked that they should hire me for their overseas sales. We couldn’t shoot their playstation line but the consumer products were cool enough.

We walked down at Ginza where I was finally able to get to the Apple Store and got myself an iTunes Music Card.

I’ll post more as I get more pictures from the rest of the team.

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