Page 4 of Doug Gschwind Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Japan » Tokyo September 21st 2014

Japan's Shinkansen (Bullet Train) service. The only way to travel! At least, now that I have experienced it, I would like it to be my only form of public transportation for the remainder of my life, but alas, that won't happen. I can only wish. You wait on the platform for the train to arrive, wait a few minutes for them to clean it, then they let you on. No security lines, no taking off your belt or shoes, no fighting for overhead bin space, you just go on. Oh and yes, no seat belts either. These fast trains begin moving slowly and they decelerate slowly as well. The ride is smooth and quiet, no clickity clack. It is such a pleasant experience. I also found it interesting that the crew, as they departed a given ... read more
Tokyo Station
Aerodynamic
Cleaners

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chuo September 20th 2014

I had been given a tip from a co-worker about Tsukiji and decided it was something I would check out. I am certainly glad I did, I found the wholesale market fascinating with the different kinds of fish that were for sale, and what kinds could be kept alive and how and those that could not. Here you can buy fish as small as Krill (likely freeze dried) and as large as whole fish or chunks of Tuna. The market itself is quite large, about 3 blocks by 3 blocks. It is bounded by Harumi Dori on the North and East sides, Shin-Ohashi Dori on the North and West sides, and the Sumida river on the South side. There are a few things of interest within the confines of the market itself : The wholesale (inner) ... read more
Live Tuna Auction Kiosk/Registry
Cart

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Shinjuku September 20th 2014

A friend of mine noted that this placewas fairly new and when I started to look into what it was about, decided that I had to see this show. When I started reading up on it, it sounded like a show there would only be about ¥ 4000, but when I got there learned that it was actually ¥ 6000. I also learned it was about a 90 minute show, but to be quite honest, found it pretty fun and interesting, even if I couldn't quite piece together the different acts of the show. The Josen Drum and Dance opening act was my clear favorite, and I have included a short video of that part of the show. The way it works is you pay your money, then they take you into a very glitzy holding ... read more
Entryway
Looking back toward entryway showroom

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda September 18th 2014

In these photos, I start on the East side of the Imperial Palace East Gardens on my walk to Yushukan. I found some things to photograph on the way which also included the Yasukuni shrine. I haven't posted any photos from within Yushukan as I took very few.... read more
Keep out of the water

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda September 17th 2014

This was one of those places that was simply under my radar. Had it been on my radar, I would have recognized that to tour the Imperial Palaceitself, you need to express an interest at least two weeks prior and be approved. So, I didn't get that done, but will have to reserve a visit there for my next trip to Japan. I got some idea of its importance by simply seeing the breadth and depth of its Moats and Moat Walls. Its really quite the achievement. Along those lines, I fully expect to be blown away when I finally see the Great Wall of China for myself. In the last three photos, I came back the next day on my walk to the Yushukan museum to specifically feed the Koi that were congregating near the ... read more
Free Admission!

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda September 17th 2014

This park is located very near the Imperial Palace, sitting between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station, walking distance from both. Wish I would have had the time to fully explore it ....... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Akihabara September 17th 2014

In Akihabara, you can find the smallest electronic parts like LEDs to consumer goods made with LEDs to Pachinko parlours and Maid Cafes. For me, staying in Nihonbashi, it was a simple 10 minute walk to the Akihabara area. I found the area to be dominated by video game and Pachinko playing, so much so that I would liken it to Las Vegas for the younger generation. The few stores I stepped inside had coin operated kind of carnival games on the first floor, with the remaining floors above being large screen high definition video games that appeared to be popular. While you can find Pachinko parlors in many places in Japan, my first exposure to them was in Akihabara. It is simply amazing how loud it is inside. If you stand out on the street ... read more
Yodobashi
Inside of Pachinko Parlor

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ryogoku September 16th 2014

This was one of the top three events on my agenda prior to arriving into Japan. When I thought of Sumo Wrestling, the only thing I could think of was a scene from a James Bond movie where he goes and watches one match while meeting someone. Thus, I had little idea of what to expect. It turned out to be a fairly interesting, but long day. There are some five or so Bashos (tournaments) every year and it seems a majority of them are held at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Each Basho runs for two weeks and I believe every wrestler has a match on each day. This particular Basho I attended started on Sunday 14 Sep and ran until Sunday 28 Sep. My accommodations were at the Hotel Nihonbashi Villa, which was about a ... read more
Same Day Ticket Window
Drum Tower
Sumo Wrestlers

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Asakusa September 15th 2014

After scoring myself a Sumo ticket for the next day's wrestling, I spotted the Tokyo Skytree in the distance and decided I would just find it on foot and enjoy some views from 350 meters above the ground. After visiting the skytree, I happened upon a terminal for the Tokyo Cruise down the Sumida river, and jumped on a boat for the ride up/down the river for a bit. As I recall, it was around ¥2000 to ascend to the Tembo deck in the Skytree which stands at 350 meters. For another ¥ 1000, you can ascend another 100 meters to the top deck, which I did not do. Looks like there is some type of amusement ride up there as well. Will have to do that next time. Ha!... read more
Nicely Landscaped Sidewalk
Skytree
Nice Creek Walk

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Asakusa September 15th 2014

I happened to stumble upon this, what I first thought was just an extensive shopping area, but later learned it is the site of the Asakusa Shinto Shrine and Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple Senso-ji. It was an interesting area so I decided to spend a couple of more hours there on the morning of 21 Sep prior to my long awaited first trip on a Shinkansen train down to Kyoto later that day.... read more
One walking mall entrance
Many Merchant Stalls




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