Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Still Know What You Didn't Blog About This Summer

Alternate title:
Summer 2006: A Photographic Retrospective To Make You Laugh and Cry

I did a bunch of things this summer that didn't get covered in Chorus, Isolate, Confirm. Naturally, with those previously un-blogged events go some previously un-blogged photos. There are quite a lot of pictures I meant to post but never did because I was too busy writing important stuff like that world-shaking article where I blew the lid off Chronicle of Dungeon Maker. So here's a look back at the last few months, distilled down to five of the best photos I took during that time.

August 7, 2006

In August it was so hot, I became a cooking pot. Cooking soup, of course. Why not?

Maurice Sendak. Chicken Soup With Rice. Had you no childhood?

My mate and I (see, he's Australian, so I call him "mate," see?) hiked to the tops of Mt. Mitake and Mt. Otake, located near Ome City in Tokyo. It was a most excellent adventure, ending with some good Korean food and beers in Shin-Okubo and resulting in much leg pain the next day.

I took a lot of nice shots on the hike, but decided to show off this waterfall shot above all else. There were a number of spots like this on the way to the peak.

August 10, 2006

It wouldn't be summer in Tokyo if I didn't experience the agoraphobic thrill of attending a fireworks display. Watching fireworks in Tokyo invariably entails riding a capacity train to a capacity station, not to mention jostling through streets that are also packed to capacity. The upside to all this is that about 50% of that capacity crowd is made up of cute girls dolled up in their nicest summer kimono. Girlfriend and I donned our festival clothes (she looks nice in hers...I look like an Edo Period sleepwalker in mine) and witnessed the hanabi on the Tama River in Seiseki-Sakuragaoka.

August 31, 2006

At the end of August, Girlfriend and I flew to the American midwest for a short visit. We made stops in Oshkosh, WI (my hometown, and shut up already about the overalls) and the lovely Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN.

Downtown Minneapolis was my home for two years before I moved overseas and I still have a soft spot for its signature skyline. Here are the IDS Building and Wells Fargo Tower in Minneapolis, as seen from the historic Foshay Tower's open-air observation deck. I used to work for the owner of Foshay Tower but was disappointed to hear, upon visiting Foshay on this trip, that the entire building was under purchase agreement and in the process of kicking out all its tenants in preparation for a conversion to a high-class hotel. Memo to self: Steal a whole bunch of towels from that hotel.

October 15, 2006

Okay, so now we're kind of leaving the realm of "summer pictures," but whatever. I'm a blogger. I can do what I want.

The two pictures below are from a visit to Tokyo Tower, which stands majestically...defiantly...very, very bigly...over the office buildings of Minato Ward. This was my second visit to the Tower, and my first time to pay the money to go all the way to the top (it's cheaper just to go half-way, and just about as scenic).

The gaudy, colorful letters you see on the Tower's mid-level observation deck are part of an attempt to promote Tokyo as the host of the 2016 Olympic Games. Tokyo and Fukuoka fought bitterly for the title of Japan's nominee city, and it's my estimation that Fukuoka lost the nomination because they failed to slap colorful letters on one of their landmarks. That, or maybe somebody pointed out how badly American commentators would butcher the pronunciation of "Fukuoka."

The bottommost picture shows the Tower's view of the Ginza district, which is more fun to look at than to actually visit.

No comments: