Postcards

This was taken last week in Nagano and we will soon have the fall colors in all their glory down here in Tokyo as well. I think that the fall is far out the best season to visit Japan. It is not as busy as sakura, the weather is mild and you can take the colors whichever way you like, heartbreaking or hope pumping.

Just had an amazing three days in Nagano visiting with my friend her family. We drove around in search of koyo, did some light hikes, visited Kamikochi but more importantly spent a lot of time with her lovely family. 

Flying over Laos – from Vientianne to Luang Namtha. In the indie-travel community, when will we truly understand that what is glorified as “authenticity” is in most cases nothing more than the disguised form of extreme poverty? Does classifying extreme poverty as authenticity ease our conscience in terms of our own privileges? I`m as susceptible to this mistake as any other traveler.

Last week, I visited Shizuoka with a group from school for a project. This was the first time that I saw a nuclear power plant in my life (I guess I got lucky so far and our project concerns a much friendlier topic than a nuclear power plant – local onsen). We looked at it from inside a building coated against radiation so that it could be used as a shelter for area citizens in case of a tragedy. These wind turbines were however visually more appealing than the nuclear power plant. So this is the picture that you get.

One great Tokyo evening. I usually go to Jimbocho every Saturday right after school, it is probably my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. It is home to hundreds of used book stores and also gets quite atmospheric at night with its many machiyas turned into cozy dining venues. This is Aligot serving french food in an entirely Japanese atmosphere, perfect combo.

I probably end up going down to Edo River at least three times a week either by bike or on foot. It reminds me of Auggie Wren`s christmas story by Paul Auster photographing the same place at the same hour every day – photographing the time.

I think one of my preferred walking times in Tokyo is between 6 and 7 pm in this season. Kids rush back home on their bikes, the sun tries hard to set and the lanterns are all lighted up.

I went to Mukojiima-Hyakkaen Gardens yesterday for the full moon viewing but up watching the participants of a tea ceremony in the park. The moon chose not to make an appearance allowing me to focus on other happenings in the park.

Back from Okinawa where I sacrificed a six years old laptop to a heavy rain. Tokashiki Island is one of the most laid-back places that I have ever been to in Japan and not in a cheesy manner built on some vague “embrace the life” motto but on a gentle pace for life coupled with some of the most genuine smiles that I have ever seen in Japan.