Nivi's Adventures

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tokyo again

Well arriving back in Tokyo from Kyoto on the night bus meant I arrived at some creazy early hour, which sucked for the obvious reason (lack of sleep!) but at the same time, it meant that it was a great opportunity to get to the inner fish market.

Man that was a looooong knife this dude was using to chop the fish

Hmmm tuna anyone?

I don't know what type of fish these are, but they look like sucker fish - scary!

These fish were so silver and shiny they looked like they'd been wrapped in tin foil!

Cuttlefish complete with ink!


The hustle and bustle of the markets. I didn't actually make it to the proper auction, but still saw lots of people picking up stuff for smaller restaurants etc

These things are well scary, the guys drive them FAST considering how many people are around and how little clearance they have between aisles

I still thought it was kinda weird how many people were on bicycles considering I was in Tokyo!

The first Imperial Palace of Japan was actually in Kyoto, but it moved to Tokyo in 1868.

The moat surrounding the palace

A Bansho - A guardhouse where 100 samurai guardsmen would, funnily enough, guard the Imperial Palace.

Part of the grounds, along with evidence of the labour intensive trip I was on about earlier. All the people you can see were just cleaning up the gardens, raking up leaves etc etc...

A big & funky but somewhat random wall.

TSE is the second largest stock exchange market in the world by monetary volume, second only to the New York Stock Exchange, and seeing as though you can't get into Wall St, TSE it was! It currently lists 2,271 domestic companies and 31 foreign companies, with a total market capitalization of over 4 trillion USD!!!

The Market Centre

Interestingly enough, on the day I was there, an English company called JapanInvest was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Lots of press and spectating suits and a couple of bashes on a bell hung in the glass enclosure.

Hello Kitty, Stock Broker

The facade - is there a law somewhere that says all Stock Exchange buildings have to be drab and ugly?

My bed at the hostel, very funky traditional Japanese styles!

And this was delightfully Japanese - at Narita Airport, you can use trolleys on the escaltors!

Which meant that I had to try it out - wicked! Go the Japanese!

So all in all a wonderful week in Japan, different to anything I'd experienced before! However I must say that after 9months of almost exclusive travelling, I was definitely happy to be heading back home to my beautiful NZ! :D

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Most of the travellers I spoke to whilst in Tokyo seemed adamant that I should visit Kyoto, and as I'd already spent a couple of days in Tokyo, I figured I might as well check it out. So, I hopped on a night bus and found myself in Kyoto the next morning, in time to witness a beautiful (but cold!) sunrise. I spent a couple of days soaking up the sights of Kyoto - there were lots of temples to see, but I found myself getting a bit 'templed out' so spent time wandering instead...

Sunrise at Kyoto Station

A tiny shrine on the roadside

The entrance to Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). How absolutely gorgeous is this?!?

Kinkakuji was built as a residence for a shogun, but was converted to a zen temple after his death in 1408

Part of the surrounding gardens

The red carpet of fallen Japanese maple leaves

A fiery red japanese maple in the carpark of Ryoanji Temple

The lake in the grounds of Ryoanji Temple (Temple of the peaceful dragon)

Another pretty maple

The famous zen garden at the temple. The garden consists of raked gravel and fifteen boulders, which are placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle other than from above, only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.

DIY Zen anyone?

Funky moss

Look at the pretty colours! (I took sooo many photos of the trees - I couldn't help myself... I'll try not to post much more of them.)

Buddha in the bushes

Some women in kimono

Katina & I at Higashi Honganji. Katina was a lovely Aussie girl I met in Tokyo and caught up with again in Kyoto :)

Beware the dragon!

More of Higashi Honganji temple


Kyoto Gyoen National Garden - part of which is Kyoto Imperial Palace

Shodaibunoma - waiting rooms for dignitaries visiting the palace. They had 3 different rooms, according to the rank of the visitors

The Prince's bedroom

The Royal gardens

Kogosho - a ceremonial hall

Another room, but this time with coloured screens!

Funky sign for all you pill poppers out there!

I totally didn't expect to come across an Indian restaurant at all, let alone a South Indian tamil restaurant, complete with a poster of a Rajani movie!

Narrow roads eh?

With pretty tight parking spots too...

Katina and I stumbled across this random temple on our travel through Gion, whilst on the hunt for Giesha

Kyoto Tower with the bus part of Kyoto station in the foreground

The giant Christmas tree in the station

Looking down into Kyoto station. It's amazingly huge - at least 4 flights of escalators to get to street level from the metro!

A walkway in the station - the station was full of really cool architecture

And before I hopped on the bus back to Tokyo, I had a green tea ice cream to refresh me :)