Saturday, 11 May 2013

Dinner last night

Hiro's parents arrived yesterday morning on the overnight train from Odate.  Hiro's mother, in  an effort to show her appreciation for the fact that they were staying here before they embark on their 50th wedding anniversary holiday, had cooked food and brought it down.  Kogomi (a mountain vegetable) and rolled egg I love.  Simmered horsemeat and scallops cooked with shirotaki (no idea how to translate that - noodle made from some kind of potato)  I am not quite so excited about.

With some rice and mushroom and onion miso soup it made for last night's dinner.  I can "offer it up for the holy souls" when eating elsewhere; it's not so easy to do on home turf...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wakasu Seaside Park (Wakasu Keihin Koen) and the Gate Bridge

From Jonanjima park (blue mark on the left) we biked under the tunnel to an island which doesn't appear to have a name, but  it's is a waste disposal / power generation plant. (and I am 99% sure the site of Umi no Mori... though I wonder how they get their mail at the moment....
(The links below are quite interesting.) From there we went to blue marker on the right, Wakasu Keihin Koen.  It's a relatively new park that allows overnight camping (for a fee) and is at the eastern end of Tokyo Gate Bridge.  The Gate bridge opened a little over a year ago with relatively little fanfare.
I guess as more landfill islands are created, more bridges are going to need to be built... reducing the landfill would seem like a good option, though if there are enough artificial islands in the Bay, Tokyo might be able
develop power creation subsistence... 
\  Information about the power generation
Biking along
This is a newly opened bridge / newly opened bridge approach.
Tokyo Gate Bridge - opened 12 Feb 2012.
Gate Bridge from Wakasu Keihin Koen (seaside park)
You can climb the pylons of the bridge - this is looking south.
Wind farms - TEPCO's not all about spinning of the power generation to the
regions.  I'd like to see them put a nuclear facility here..better still, next to the Diet.
It might force some responsible thinking.
I can sympathise with this sign and its spelling - it took me ages to work
out how to spell Disney in Japanese letters & it still confuses me.
Looking north from the pylon (dirty glass). Central Tokyo's industrial
heartland. - all on reclaimed land.
Windmills looking out to the north west.
The pylon - we didn't walk the whole way across the bridge & back
If the weather had been clearer, I  might have been tempted.
Good luck Tokyo... I don't think Tokyo Governor Inose's
comment implying that Istanbul was unsuitable because
it is in an Islamic country  will have done much for Tokyo's cause.
Tokyo might be better placed to host a geriatric Olympics.
With a rapidly declining population it's not like it needs
a whole lot of new sporting infrastructure.
The Gate Bridge
A boat going under it.
Wakasu Koen sign
We made an obligatory stop at a bike gear shop - one that has moved to the
burbs.   The whole Tokyo Bay area is a curious mix of industry, expensive
condominiums, manicured gardens and park, the occasional convenience stores and mega stores.
It is totally devoid of typical urban culture like shopping strips, small independent businesses,
temples, shrines.
Umi no Mori:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Golden Week 4-1, Jonanjima

We took off to Jonanjima today - a perennial favourite. It's located on Tokyo Bay, just north of Haneda airport.  It was more crowded there today than we've ever seen it... maybe because more Tokyo-ites have cars, maybe the recession means people go to plane spot rather than actually catch planes... Haneda is the worlds 4th busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers, 29th busiest in terms of plane movements.  It has recently opened a third runway.  In terms of numbers of planes per runway, I imagine there are few airports that would be busier.
Hakusan dori... a Golden Week Ghost Town.
The deserted feel to the pseudo parkland of the industrialized reclaimed land that is Jonanjima
was more typical of a Tokyo weekend.
Planes came along this path every 2 mins.
next - the vast majority of planes are ANA or JAL but we also saw flights
come in for China Airlines, South East China, StarFlyer, Cathay, British Airways,
Panorama lo
Panorama looking out towards Haneda
zipping in one after another.
It's a popular spot for picnicers
The only food van in the place.... it surely isn't China...
Paid carpark, but  Japan is very benevolent to motorbikes and it's free parking mostplaces.
There was a queue of at least 10 cars waiting to get in - at least 30 min for car number 10,
probably closer to an hour.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Golden Week 3 Shinjuku Gyoen

This year our GW is very understated: no marathon bike trips to the extreme end of the island, no mad crush on the shinkansen. Just a peaceful break in Tokyo.  Part of the reason for this is that GW is only 4 days, partly it's because I am still not in a rhythm with juggling my work and partly because Hiro's parents will be down on Friday.  The are coming down to go on a boat trip, but would like to see some roses while here.  With that in mind we went to Shinjuku gyoen today to see what the roses there were like...
On the way to the station - not in Shinjuku Gyoen.

A perfect place to lie on the grass and have a picnic.
We looked to avoid the crowds.
Roses are not really out yet, but will probably be so by the weekend.
Add caption
The end of azaleas
The beginning of the roses... it's a pity computers don't do scratch & sniff yet.
Azaleas and roses
The carp have good genetics or good acclimatization to survive in here.
Muddy but still pretty.
No people here, but people don't seem to like sitting on places that aren't grassed.
Experimenting with Panorama mode 
Wisteria and the tea house  
More Panorama
And Again
This is what we were trying to avoid
Magnificent Mexican trees - similar to mangroves - the roots are at right angles to the soil.
Panorama of the trees.