Results tagged “Computers” from UK and Japan 2010

Had a bit if a sleep-in this morning. Or at least we attempted to, not very successfully :/ Had trouble with temperature - too hot with the doona, too cold without it.

Wandered out the door a bit after 10am, and went up to Denny's for breakfast. As is a 27-year tradition, I had bacon, sausage and eggs :)


I took a photo of this stand of electronics last time we came to Japan.
At least one thing on there is still the same! 

Bacon, sausage and eggs at Denny's!
Bacon, sausage and eggs at Denny's! 

So then we went into Akihabara electronics town to do an audio walking tour of the place. It would have been really good except for the heat (have I mentioned the epic heatwave they're having?). Got to see lots of things that are hidden away in alcoves and up lifts that we never would have thought to look at otherwise. Highlights were the shops that had model kits of ships and planes, Super Potato (if we'd found that place last time with Nat we never would have gotten her out of there!!) and some of the retro toy collections.

Octopus Game & Watch picture
Octopus Game & Watch picture 

Game & Watches!!!
Game & Watches!!! 

Soups in a can
Soups in a can 

Jawa Sandcrawler RC model
Jawa Sandcrawler RC model 

We were hot and thirsty at the end of the tour so went back to Cafe Moco for a light lunch and drinks.

These electronics mosaics were all over the place and had all different pictures
These electronics mosaics were all over the place and had all different pictures 

Then Stu went back to the hotel while I went across to Yodobashi Camera to have a wander and ask about my camera. But they didn't understand my problem so abandoned hope and also headed back to the hotel.

Yodobashi Camera
Yodobashi Camera 

Sega Gigo
Sega Gigo 

Spent a decent chunk of time organising my photos on Stu's laptop (we got the cable we needed to make it work). Twitpicced some, still have a few more to do.

Around 6pm we headed out again, this time to Ikebukuro. Had a little bit if a wander around the place and had sushi train for dinner.  It was getting a bit late, so there wasn't a lot of choice unfortunately.

Canal in Akihabara
Canal in Akihabara 

Akihabara buildings by night
Akihabara buildings by night 

Big Apple building by night
Big Apple building by night 

Akihabara buildings by night
Akihabara buildings by night 

Akihabara buildings by night
Akihabara buildings by night 

Cosplay store
Cosplay store 

Akihabara buildings by night
Akihabara buildings by night 

Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro 

Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro 

Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro 

Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro 

Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro 

Then hopped on another train to Shinjuku. We were hoping to find the eye. Took a couple of headings in the wrong directions and a pit stop for coffee/cake, but we finally found it.

The Eye! at Shinjuku station
The Eye! at Shinjuku station 

The Eye!
The Eye! 

There's a lot of train lines at Shinjuku station
There's a lot of train lines at Shinjuku station 

Finally we went to Sibuya to have a look at the scramble intersection and the lights and Hachiko.


Dogs at Shibuya
Dogs at Shibuya 

Buildings in Shibuya
Buildings in Shibuya 

Hachiko at Shibuya station
Hachiko at Shibuya station 

Scramble crossing in Shibuya
Scramble crossing in Shibuya 

Starbucks
Starbucks 

Bubbles in a roving advert truck
Bubbles in a roving advert truck 

Scramble crossing in Shibuya
Scramble crossing in Shibuya 

Scramble crossing in Shibuya
Scramble crossing in Shibuya 

Geotagging - Day 5
Geotagging - Day 5

Photos on the Canon: 185
Photos on the Sony: 80
Videos on the Sony: 3
Photos on the Olympus: 2
Photos on the Video: 6
Videos on the Video: 35
Steps walked: 13626
Yen Spent: 8891
Woke a bit before 8am. Only remember waking up once in the middle of the night so think I slept fairly well.

Got ready and went down for breakfast. This hotel does awesome breakfasts. They even had takoyaki!! Win!! (that's octopus balls for the uninitiated - an Osaka specialty.  Stu first introduced them to me the day I stayed home sick in this hotel last time.  And burnt my mouth on them last night when the locals brought us some to share with them heh).

Takoyaki for breakfast!
Takoyaki for breakfast! 

Small carparks, Japan style
Small carparks, Japan style, near Shin-Osaka station 

Came back upstairs to have a look at the Kyoto map I had done last time. Decided we'd head for the monkeys first and Kiyomizu-dera temple near Gion. And the tower.

So we caught the 10:13 hikari to Kyoto. Just about melted into a puddle waiting though. Have I mentioned how bad the heat is here? The train trip is so short (~15min) that I hadn't finished cooling off before we arrived.

Interior of Kyoto Station
Interior of Kyoto Station 

Astroboy!
Astroboy! 

Kimba!
Kimba! 

Decided we'd go up the tower first. It was actually pretty cool, and it was a lovely clear day for it. Could see all the way to Osaka in the distance. There were too many bits of the tower in the way to do a decent panorama - at least on the top level - the lower level was better - and no people in the way there either heh. Nowhere really to sit though (I've mentioned before the lack of seatage is one major gripe I have with this country).

Kyoto Tower
Kyoto Tower 

Kyoto Tower
Kyoto Tower 

View north-west from Kyoto Tower
View north-west from Kyoto Tower 

View west from Kyoto Tower
View west from Kyoto Tower 

View towards Osaka from Kyoto Tower
View towards Osaka from Kyoto Tower - you can see Osaka in the distance! 

Taxis outside Kyoto Station
Taxis outside Kyoto Station 

Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station 

So headed back down and back across to the station to find a map (I like having them on paper, and I'd stoopidly left the one I got last year at home. Went to the tourist information office (which had moved) and got some maps and the exact location of the Iwatayama monkey park.

Waited about fifteen minutes for a train, which thankfully was air conditioned.

Old steam train near Arashiyama station
Old steam train near Arashiyama station 

Wandered slowly down from the station to Togetsukyo Bridge. Then across it and wandered east along the Oi River. That was actually relatively pleasant as it was shady and there was a bit of a breeze.

Ōi River at Arashiyama
Ōi River at Arashiyama 

Togetsukyō Bridge
Togetsukyō Bridge 

Walk along the river at the base of Iwatayama
Walk along the river at the base of Iwatayama 

Canoeing on the river
Canoeing on the river 

Ōi River
Ōi River 

Canoes by the river
Canoes by the river 

Spent a little while there and had to decide whether or not to climb up to see the monkeys. Because, you know, EPIC HEAT!! In the end we decided we would make the climb. And it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was all in the shade in the forest, and definitely cooler than outside the forest. And when you get to the top they direct you to a "rest room" where they hand out refresher towels! Very cool :)

Walking up Iwatayama
Walking up Iwatayama 

So anyway, inside the building you can buy nuts to feed the monkeys and they sit around the outside with their arms stretched in through the fencing expecting a handout. Some of them took the nuts very gently, others a bit rougher heh.

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park
Monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park 

After we cooled down a bit we went outside to look at the view. They also did a feeding and all the monkeys came from all over to feed.

Cooling off in the pool
Cooling off in the pool 

Looking across to Kyoto
Looking across to Kyoto 

Looking across to Kyoto
Looking across to Kyoto 

Baby monkey
Baby monkey 

Feeding time!
Feeding time! 

Feeding time!
Feeding time! 

Was a very cool place, glad we decided to go. Nat would definitely have gone nuts with photos there hehe :)

So headed back down. It was nearly 3pm by this point and we'd pretty much had enough. So found an airconditioned restaurant on the main road and had some nice food and a couple of very big Sapporo beers (633mL- yipe!).

We decided we didn't have the energy to go to Kiyomizu-dera so just did a bit of a wander up to the bamboo grove. It was very still air though which was a bit unpleasant. I was feeling utterly miserable by this point. I really don't like heat :(

Sagano bamboo forest
Sagano bamboo forest 

Train at a level crossing in the middle of the bamboo grove
Train at a level crossing in the middle of the bamboo grove 

So we hopped in a train back into Kyoto and a hikari back to Osaka and into a cold shower.

Three drivers?
It amused us that there were not one, not two, but three JR staff in the Kyoto trains 

Had some snacks for dinner. Then was quite distressed to find that Stu's laptop has an iec cable which we don't have a dongle for. So only a couple of hours of battery left on it, which is most annoying since I wanted to do some photo stuff on it.

Early night tonight!

Oh, I also fixed the comments on this blog.. so please leave a comment if you're reading :)


Geotagging - Day 2
Geotagging - Day 2 

Geotagging - Day 2
Geotagging - Day 2

Photos on the Canon: 323
Photos on the Sony: 115
Videos on the Sony: 2
Photos on the Olympus: 5
Photos on the Video: 1
Videos on the Video: 44
Steps walked: 16610
Yen Spent: 7400
Attempting typing up a blog entry on my phone. If it drives me too nuts I'll switch to the laptop.

So day 1 started at 4pm Friday when we needed to leave home. We actually managed to organise a lift this time which was so much nicer than a cab!  Uneventful trip to the airport. Checked in but all the planes were running half an hour late due to single track, er, runway working at Sydney airport. So our 17:35 flight was rescheduled for 18:10 and left the gate at 18:24.

In the meantime we went into the Qantas club and had some champagne so that made the time pass quickly :)

It was dark so got to see the lights of Canberra which were very pretty. And a Federal Highway that was bejewelled  with the lights of dozens of cars leaving Canberra :) Had an interesting approach to Sydney airport - flew up from the south-west, across the top of the north-south runways (parallel to the east-west one) then did a 270 degree turn to the right to come in from the south. Felt like a game of Flight Control or something ;)

Our baggage had been checked through so we just had to hop on the Qantas shuttle (aka free Tarmac tour) bus over to the international terminal. Very squee getting up close to lots of planes :):)

So had a couple of hours to kill in Sydney. Think I spent them mostly just reading news feeds.

Sydney from Sydney Airport Qantas Lounge
Sydney from Sydney Airport Qantas Lounge 

So then piled onto our 747. Pretty much the whole back section of the plane was filled with (older) school kids returning home to Japan.  


Back of our plane
Back of our plane

Took off to the north and sitting on the right side of the plane so nice view of Sydney.

Had our dinner then attempted to sleep. Was moderately successful. It was a mostly full moon which made the whole wing glow. It was actually quite beautiful but impossible to document. At one point we had some decent turbulence while passing through clouds. At another point I looked out and saw Orion on his side. There were some very pretty clouds around sunset.

Breakfast came a bit after 5am for Stu - he wasn't awake yet tho heh. Ours arrived a little later.  Food on the plane was ok - the more processed stuff (chicken at dinner and eggs/sausage for breakfast) were nice but the fresh vegetables sides were very overcooked :(

Sausage and eggs on the plane
Sausage and eggs on the plane 

Sunrise clouds
Sunrise clouds 

Flying into Narita
Flying into Narita 

Flying into Narita
Flying into Narita - golf courses rule! 

Flying into Narita
Flying into Narita - can you see my shadow? :) 

Our plane
Our plane 

Arrival at Narita at 7:10am (Sydney time - 6:10am local time).  Heat!!! Waited quite a while for bags to come through but then immigration and customs were a breeze.

Went and got our JR passes validated then caught the 7:33am NEX into Tokyo. Realised at this point that we were hungry but didn't actually have any cash! Oops. Did I mention the heat? So at Tokyo we got some money out before getting some drinks and snacks and jumping on the Shinkansen to Osaka.

Tokyo Sky Tree
Tokyo Sky Tree under construction
Photo by Stu 

Info boards at Tokyo station
Info boards at Tokyo station 

Hikari 507 to Osaka
Hikari 507 to Osaka 

Shiny in hiding
Shiny would have been behind those clouds on the left 

Japan countryside
Japan countryside 

Statue of Liberty Hotel near Kyoto
Statue of Liberty on top of a hotel north of Kyoto - couldn't actually
geo-locate this! 

Tō-ji temple at Kyoto
Tō-ji temple at Kyoto - next time I go to Kyoto I'm going to visit this
one up close! 

Shall I remind you about the heat? It was pretty much unbearable in Osaka. Regretting my decision not to bring shorts (but then would have needed other shoes too).

Wandered down to the hotel but it was still too early to check in, so dumped our bags and went out to find some lunch. Decided to go into a ramen bar near the hotel. The menu was only in Japanese and while I would have been able to pick something off the pictures, Stu could actually understand enough of the menu and the waitress to figure out some more detail. I was very impressed :) And as an added bonus the place was air-conditioned and they had a big jug of ice water. Afterwards we got some ice creams and went for a bit of a wander. Did I mention the heat?

Super tasty ramen in Osaka
Super tasty ramen in Osaka 

Ramen bar in Osaka
The ramen bar in Osaka that we got some super tasty ramen in 

Ice cream!
Ice cream! 

No bicycle parking
The sign says no bicycle parking - so there's a bicycle parked! 

Got back to the hotel and checked in where the first order of business was a cold shower. Unpacked a bit and got online then did this much of this blog post.

Stu collapsed for several hours while I did things like sort out my photos and read news feeds.  Twitpicced some of my photos but got a bit stuck with photos from my big camera.  They're around five mb each, which is painfully slow to upload over the hotel link as well Twitpic has a five mb limit.  The Eee PC doesn't have anything capable of resizing them (paint will open them but it complains it doesn't have the memory when I try to resize them :( ). Might have to do em on Stu's lappy or something.

Eventually Stu got up and we decided to wander into Osaka.  Last time we were here we took the JR lines around to the Namba area, but getting back late at night took an hour and a half because it was three trains.  So thought, screw that this time, we'll take the local subway.  One train and 270 yen each each way and there in about fifteen minutes. 

Subway to Nanba
Subway to Nanba 

Got out of the station and of course we had no idea where we were :)
Decided (like last time) to pick a direction and walk in it.  And by total fluke happened across the Glico man that we were hoping to find (Stu didn't come with us last time). 

Covered walkway in Nanba
Covered walkway in Nanba 

Asahi Super Dry
Asahi Super Dry 

The Glico Man!
The Glico Man! 

Stu in Osaka
Stu in Osaka 

Canal in Nanba, Osaka
Canal in Nanba, Osaka 

Okonomikayi!
Okonomikayi! Actually I didn't even know what this was until some
time later thanks to Lisa

Stu looking at lights in Nanba
Stu looking at lights in Nanba 

Old Ferris Wheel in Nanba
Old Ferris Wheel in Nanba 

Then we went for a wander down by the canal with the thought of going to find dinner.  As we were walking by some dude stopped us and asked us where we from.  This group of people had been on a drinks and food stand for some charity event, so talked us into getting some beers.  They deep fried some chicken for us as well and asked us to sit and join them.  The dude had been to Australia before - he kept going on and on about smoking in Nimbin ;) One of the girls had lived for a year in Australia working at Nando's at Bondi.  And there was another really cute girl who was 32 but looked about 22 :)  So Stu got to practise his Japanese, and they understood enough English for it to be a very fun evening.  Stu might have drank quite a bit :):)  But a good release for him :)

Girls in Nanba
Girls in Nanba. The one on the left is now a Facebook friend of Stu's.
The one on the right worked in Sydney for a year. 

Us looking very hot and a little drunk
Us looking very hot and a little drunk 

So eventually wandered back to the hotel for another cold shower and bed.


Geotagging - Day 1
Geotagging - Day 1

Photos on the Canon: 140
Videos on the Canon: 2
Photos on the Sony: 183
Videos on the Sony: 5
Photos on the iPhone: 21
Photos on the Blackberry: 2
Photos on the Video: 10
Videos on the Video: 18
Steps walked: ? Friday + 8582 Saturday
Yen Spent: 7049