Monday, 14 February 2011

Hayabusa - the new series shinkansen

New posters are appearing for the new E5 series Hayabusa Shinakansen.  This is the first - the  shinkansen lined up from old series to new in the foreground.  The background images are a progression of Japanese modernity from Fuji, to Tokyo Tower, Roppongi Hills and the getting closer to being finished Sky tree. The cranes busily at work seem to be aptly located in the 60s...... They are bit of a puzzle really as the hey day of Japanese construction was fifty years ago... they are reminiscent of Shanghai  which is  a sensitive point since the Chinese maglev is now faster than the Japanese shinkansen... (admittedly China has greater distances to get to high speeds).  It is hoped that the Hayabusa return the mantle of  'fastest train in the world' to Japan.... 

The Hayabusa close up. Hayabusa means peregrine falcon & was also the name of the unmanned Japanese space craft that collected space rock.   It's going to run from Tokyo to Shin Aomori (Aomori prefecture), starting 5 March.

The next picture is of a Japanese woman in kimono serving on the Hayabusa... I don't have a picture of it yet. To be posted later .

Sunday, 6 February 2011


No missing that this is a gyoza restaurant... in Ikebukuro near the North Gate.
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Saturday, 5 February 2011


Occassionally I get requests for quizes from a nephew with an avid interest in Japan.
Name the picture. They are paper cuttings done by a local junior high school. The fine motor skills required are exceptional...

Left-right 1-7

Left to right 8-22.


Giving thanks for taxation

The local government has been running a  good citizen taxation poster competition among the local primary schools.   They have some of the winning entries posted up in a tunnel walkway under the local train tracks.  They are cute and imbued with civic awareness.  There are a couple of themes to the posters:  awareness and appreciation the services that come as a result of tax- schools, hospital, rubbish collection etc; that tax is for the benefit of society; and that it's important to use it well.  I'm all for appreciating public services, but if I were a talented artist I might have drawn my own poster to stick there imploring the local government to stop printing local bulletins, delivered every fortnight (occasionally with coloured photos)  that goes straight to the recycle without being read....