Friday, 28 September 2018

General Nogi House And Shrine

A little bit of history is tucked within the trendy Minato City neighborhood of Tokyo. A famous general from the early 20th century, Nogi, lived there with his family until their death by suicide in 1912. The general and his wife killed themselves to amend the shame of his losing an important battle.

The understated house, more than 130 years old. You can only tour the inside a couple of times a year. Otherwise, stroll the elevated walkway that lets you peep through the second-story windows. So Japanese.

The house is situated in a lovely garden and the stable still exists.

Next to the house is a shrine, dedicated to the General.

Prayer tiles. A wedding photoshoot was taking place during our visit.

Seems to be a thing.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Scary Signs In Tokyo's Metro

You can feel a little like you've entered the movie, The Truman Show, when you start reading all the warning signs in the Tokyo metro. Remember all those anti-travel signs in the movie, to keep poor Truman from ever leaving the area? If you totally believe some of the signs in the Tokyo metro, you'll never get on a train.

People with cell phones are definitely going to push you onto the tracks and then you will die.

Cartoon drunks are everywhere. What's rushing onto a train like? Like running off a cliff, of course.

Even sweating aliens should not go after a dropped cell phone.

Strong colors, incomprehensible message. Best guess, passing in narrow places along the platform is a no-no. Definitely do not cross these guys!

Setting a new low (high?) bar on warnings. Make sure you are escalator certified.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Finding A Little Serenity In Big Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the world's biggest metropolises and you would think it's all hustle, bustle and no place for relaxation and contemplation. Not so. It is Japan, after all.

Your hotel may just have a quiet garden, water feature and rock. Here's the New Otani.

Maybe your neighborhood has a hidden treasure, a place to go for some quiet thinking. In the Akasaka area, there's this park, the "Grove of Life."

No matter where you may be, giant koi can always calm the nerves.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Digging The New Digital Art Museum In Tokyo

Otherwise known as the MORI Building Digital Art Museum: EPSON teamLab Borderless. Obviously, apologies to Dr Strangelove.

No matter the name, the place is new and it definitely is cool. What's a digital art museum? Simple answer: a big, dark warehouse covered mostly in dark carpet so digital images can be projected on the walls. Then add some lanterns, balloons, some netting. How about ramps? OK, maybe not a simple answer. Just go.

Lots of rooms with digital projections, dragging you into a netherworld. We're there!

Made to be photographed. Or experienced in 3D.

Here's a room full of lamps that change color based on some sort of algorithm. Sure.

Some of the more creative elements - more "art" in the digital art definition - were found within moving projections. Get your exotic flower animal fix.

An impressive wave room inspired by famed Japanese woodcut genius Hokusai.

Flower explosion. Really hanging out, getting a little close to a scene in the hippie 1960's movie, The Trip.

Trippy Sarah.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Beauty Of Point Reyes National Seashore

North of San Francisco is Point Reyes, a park to remind you how stunning land next to the mighty Pacific Ocean can be. Time to take a hike.

Looking North, up the Point.

The landscape tilts toward the other-worldly.

Fellow hiker and a sister.

The place was bursting with blooms, so thick that walking became fruitless. And then there were elk. Yup.

Time for a swim.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Hanging In Dillon Beach, California

It's a beautiful morning, time to get up, cruise the town, head down to the beach and see what's up in Dillon.

The beach beckons.

In the distance across the strait, Point Reyes. Dillon Beach is homey, mobile homey.

Walkin' the dogs. Yes, dogs, look closer.

Some flora, getting a little wild and more fauna, dead.

So ready to surf.

Friday, 14 September 2018

More Details Of Kota Bharu

Back by popular demand, more details! Or cleaning out the SD card. Or both.

Fake flowers on the floor.

Sky decorations. Bright  colors at the lunch joint.

Renovating or falling apart.

More royal and politician portraits. On the right, the bright sign of regime change, Mahathir Bin Mohamad's portrait. The fourth and longest-serving prime minister of Malaysia was elected as seventh prime minister (this time representing the opposition) last May in a historic regime change. 

If you can't get to the cave, the cave can come to you. Installation at the Kelantan State Museum.