From the Ground Up

Tokyo, Japan


Unrinal Video Game

So at one point I thought Fire Yuko was going to be the wildest thing ever to appear on Travelingmanjoe. Today a bathroom break in Akihabara changed that after according to the game, hurricane level forces were unleashed.

The game, made by Sega and called "The North Wind and Her" works by you directing your pee flow to the red dot inside the blue circle inside the urinal. The more directly you hit the dot and the longer you pee affect whether or not you level up. In the game leveling up is marked by an increase of wind in the game. I am not sure how far the game goes, but did go to some effort to really need to go to the bathroom before shooting this video in an attempt to get as far as possible in the game. 
If you choose to watch the video, just accept the fact that I was peeing while shooting it and you might want to mute the video for the first 5 seconds. 

So what happens after you unleash such a pee pee force in one contained place? The toilet thanks for you keeping the place clean and asks you to come back again; that's literally what is says below.
 Akihabara, Japan, Where Else Could This Have Happened?

The Slow Eye

Looking at the world, let alone Tokyo can a times be an act of visual cryptography.  Take the picture below for example. Its an old bridge (this point in the river has been a crossing point for almost 300 years, though the bridge is not that old). Then there are train tracks, new buildings and of course tree's.
A nice junction of old and new makes such a nice picture. However when I took the time to look closer, I realized this point is where three separate train lines cross over one another. The JR Red, Yellow, and Orange lines all cross in the picture in front of you. 

So I wondered, do all three trains ever cross one another at the same time? For nearly an hour I stood on this bridge drinking canned Hi-Balls, attracting the attention of the police, and generally loitering just to see if the three trains did indeed cross one another all at the same time. 

When they did, for the first time in my life I wished I'd had a better camera. The light was so so and my hand-held only could do so much. However if you look, all three trains are there.  

Then there was the train ride home. The picture below just looks like several bored Japanese people on the train, right? Well turns out there was more to it. The twenty minutes I spent on the train showed me that three of the four people in this picture were related to one another.

Once the women in the yellow left, it became apparent that the man was the son of the older women in the middle and the daughter-in-law was the woman on the right.

Look at the body language even in this picture. The daughter-in-law despises the mother in law. How can you tell? Look at the way her body and face are pointing. She wants nothing to do with the mother-in-law. While she cannot run away from this situation, she can first use the women in yellow as a buffer and then her body and eyes to turn and look away.

Look at the son-in-law. He knows his wife hates this situation, he is trying to look at her without looking too obvious to his mother.  However the mother-in-law see's it all. Her eyes tell the viewer she knows the silent dance going on around her. Stranger still, she is in control of the entire situation whether she knows it or not.

Who knows why she hates the daughter-in-law, yes I said hate, but she has the power to turn the entire situation around. And that is the scary thing about power. At any moment she could realize what she is doing here and put aside whatever she harbors against the daughter-in-law and the situation would heal itself.

We create our own little universes within ourselves, family, and friends. We can choose to bring negative or positive emotions to these relationships. It is true that events in our lives will color and shape the lens through which we see this world. But the strangest thing about this reality is that no matter what happened in the past, you can still take over and focus that lens and color
Another way to put it is from the words I saw on a t-shirt today: "Bad dreams come from here". From where you ask, from you I say, however that is the same place good dreams spring from as well.


Shinagawa @ Night

Tokyo. We all know Tokyo. What does a licenses plate read on a vehicle in Tokyo? The Kanji on the top says Tokyo東京, right? No it doesn't. It says Shinagawa品川. The literal translation of which means the place where the rivers meet.  

Shinagawa, Japan


Osaki @ Night

Funny so see a propaganda poster of the Japanese Prime Minster on the same wall as an advertisement for a part-time hostess job paying $50 an hour. The poster itself says nothing about working at a hostess bar. Rather it says, part-time jobs paying $50 an hour. Its taken me nearly 6 years to finally be able to read into and understand the context of an ad like this, because you not only need to be able to read the characters, you also need to understand what a hostess bar is. What is a hostess bar? This should explain it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_and_hostess_clubs

Osaki, Japan



Shinjuku Gyoen

200 Yen has never gone further. Although it was overcast Shinjuku Park, the Central Park of Tokyo, did not disappoint. First the green house was great. 
There were also acres and acres of open park that varied in design from east to west. 

Even better there were people worshiping trees and if you read my previous post, you would know that this is the same park where the man wearing women's underwear on his head was spotted.

Shinkuku, Japan 

Hyla japonica

Caught this Japanese Tree Frog outside of a friends apartment today. 
Suzumenomiya, Japan


Enoshima @ Night

Enoshima is one of the closest beaches to Toyko. During the summer rows of bars set up on the beach. While the beach is no tropical splendor, its a great escape from Tokyo. 

Enoshima, Japan


Into the Ocean We Go

Overcast skies, strong waves, and jagged rocks greeted me at my favorite dive spot close to Tokyo. Even on a good day you have to know just where to enter here. Today the changing tides and waves meant that the ocean level at the entry points was jumping up and down six feet at a time. Going in today was just going to end in pain.  
But that's the beautiful thing about the ocean, even in its shallow tide pools there is so much life. The following pictures were taken in a foot to two feet of water.
Having lived so long in Okinawa, I enjoy diving in cooler waters. Here there is much less coral, but there are so many more sea plants
When you do find coral, its as delicate as hair.
When you finally relax a bit and steady yourself against the waves, a the tiny world beings to open up around you.
Soon you realize that this collection of shells and sand is actually an animal who is using this debris to camouflage itself.
Finally the bigger fish appear, blending in with their surroundings and always keeping a watchful eye on you.

Enoshima, Japan



Long Hair Dotson's are one of the most popular dogs in Japan. During my time here I have seen them in clothes and pushed around in special dog strollers. However up until the other day, I had yet to see one out in public wearing a hat.

Then just when you think you have seen it all, you are sitting in Shinjuku Goken and this happens:
What's going on? Well... The man in the middle is wearing a pair of women's panties over his face and "injecting" himself with a syringe. While that was going on, the man on the right was standing still wearing a large Mt. Fuju hat.   


Tokyo Creatures @ Night

 Japanese Common Toad - Bufo japonicus
  Japanese Common Toad - Bufo japonicus
 Can you see the fish?
Chinese Pond Turtle - Mauremys Reevesii
 Chinese Pond Turtle - Mauremys Reevesii

Shinagawa, Japan


A Room With a View

If you have ever lived within the walls of a metropolis or anything that looks upon something you are indifferent to or dislike, you will know the importance and beauty of a good view. Ever since leaving Tokyo I have imagine myself living in a place that looks out upon the majestic intensity of a metropolis.

Yes, it is just the sun setting upon a heat stroked man made desert. However it is also the infinite realization of a million business plans and ideas. Money walks, drives, and towers above these streets in a fashion seen nearly nowhere else in the world. 

I love Tokyo, because it makes places like New York look like a crumbling museum. This place is indeed a desert; a very harsh one at that. For the unacclimated visitor, it with either awe, disgust, or reject you with a violent intensity. 

Yet this is why you should visit. For some of us might enjoy tumbling around in space someday or have an intergalactic "encounter", for most this place will be the closest analogy in their lifetime to walking on the moon. 
     Shinagawa, Japan


Panorama III

 Shinagawa Station
Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival

Kanagawa, Japan

Summer has Come

Stop, don't just wonder, see whats behind the door. 
Look from different angles and perspectives. 
Set seemingly unreachable goals.
Opportunities will come from the strangest places.
When setbacks will bring you to your knees, remember your goals.
Kanagawa-ken, Japan