As they were both major blockbusters I won't summarize them here. The transformation Tom Cruise goes through in "Samurai," from an arrogant Westerner coming to understand Japan and its mindset is fascinating. "Samurai," was shot in Sho-sha-zan Engyo-ji Temple in Himeji-city, Chion-in temple in Kyoto, and the general Kyoto area.
Bill Murray is arrogant as well but befuddled by his life and culture shock. "Lost" catches the decadence and sadness of a wealthy foreigner trying to find his way. I like the scene where he is on set for a commercial and the Japanese director speaks for several minutes. Murray says, "What was all that?" The translator says something like, "More focus." Murray stayed at The Park Hyatt Tokyo http://twurl.nl/0jikh3 which has great views of Tokyo and beautiful rooms. I am saving up to buy a drink at this exquisite hotel bar.
Your Japanese Travel Guide,
Picture of the Day
Banks in Japan are a world unto themselves and a general mystery to Westerners. The only bank with ATMs you will recognize are from Citigroup. Using your foreign ATM card at any other banks ATM will not work. In fact if you have a Japanese debit card you can only use it at your own bank. In convenience stores you will find a variety of ATMs. Some of these may allow you to use your credit card. My recommendation is that you get the yen you need for your travels at the airport. Just don't carry all your money together in one place. Japan has a low crime rate but even here there are pickpockets.
International cell phones work in much of Europe, the United States, England, etc. Most of these phones don't work on the Japanese network. You should call your cell provider to make sure of this. You can buy a temporary phone and purchase minutes if you want to. (I hear a jail broken i-Phone works great with a different SIM card but you didn't hear that from me.)
I would still recommend that you bring your cell phone. Camera phones are great for taking pictures of station stops so that you can find them later. Many phones allow you to take notes and that is great for writing down transit information and how to find places.
Your Japanese Guide
I lived for almost two years in Nagoya, Japan. Recently, I moved to Tokyo and live in Shinjuku. All of my contract information is the same except of course my physical address.
Many stores sell smaller umbrellas like the woman above is using to block the sun. People also ride their bicycles holding an umbrella. Is this at all safe? It's not especially when people text on their phones too. Foreigners are just as apt to do this as the Japanese.
I've been relaxed today as I set up stuff in my new pad here in Tokyo and listen to the rain. When I want to take pictures the rain makes me angry but relaxing at home it is wonderful. Tomorrow I will venture out again to find the grocery, a good 100 yen stores and other important things. Tonight I am going to enjoy some more writing and then watch the latest Bond film online again.
Peace & Love,
My life seems to change by the moment these days. As I was trying to drag myself to the travel agency without much luck I got a new job offer. This offer was too good to turn down so I said yes. Thus, I will be moving to Tokyo and working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) again at one public junior high school. I am very excited about living in Tokyo again and being able to stay in Japan.
Soon I must pack up the computer so this will be my last post from Nagoya.
Peace and Love,
Labels: Personal Note
Hachiko the living dog was born in 1932 and belonged to a professor named Eisaburo Uyeno. They were great friends and Hachiko always followed him to the train in the morning and waited for him there at night.
In 1952 Professor Uyeno went to work with Hachiko as usual but got sick and died before he could return to his faithful friend. Hachiko continued to return to the station each and every day for the next ten years until he died. Many people noticed how he returned every day and he became a hero in Japan.
The popular Japanese artist Ando Teru created this sculpture in 1948. It was destroyed in the war and re-built after.