Ginza, Aunkai, Ueno park and ueno zoo

December 12, 2008
japan asia

It hasn’t been that eventful for the past few days. Went to Ueno park and Ginza. We also went to an izakaya (Japanese bar), but we were told to go away. I’m assuming that they did not want foreigners but I’m really not sure. Interesting experience. Regardless, I managed to go to an izakaya the next night. More on that later.There are some pics of our visit to the zoo in this entry. It was quite fun, except the giant panda “Ling Ling” passed away in April. The panda was one of Ueno zoo’s biggest attractions, so its unfortunate we didn’t get to see it.I also had my first night of training with the guys at the Aunkai. I didn’t get to do much really, I only managed to do some exercises before my legs were in too much pain. Lots of squatting around and stuff. It was quite an  interesting way of doing things. These guys have a very solid base. The theory seems to focus on stability and structurally sound methods of receiving force rather than using momentum to bat at an object. So what you’d have is a kick, but the difference with the Aunkai style kick is that when it hits something, the momentum of the kicker’s leg is not greatly affected.Good fun in all, but each class will cost 2000 yen! 2000! That’s 40 AUD per class! I felt sick inside when I heard Akuzawa say that -_-. I’ll try and do it anyway, its a big part of what I came  for anyway.

This was quite a deceiving meal. At first it looked just like a pork bun. Steamy floury white bun. But imagine my surprise when I ordered it and the lady took it and plonked it in some soup. Then filled up the cup to the brim with soup. To my surprise the steam bun did not actually have any meat in it, nor was it a steam bun. It was just a block of tofu! 

The Japanese are pretty good at conserving space. Here is a double level carpark. Pneumatics or something push the car up after you park it. The only problem is if there is a car underneath you you’ll have to wait for it to leave first.  There was an even more awesome carpark I saw as well. It was like… a ferris wheel I suppose. Or a multi disc changer. You park your car into a slot and grab your ticket. Your car will be whisked away. When you need your car back you put the ticket in and the machine will bring your car to you!
More engrish! Merry X’Mos everyone!
Ueno Park. There was a  temple in Ueno park in the middle of tokyo for some reason. Nice change from the thousands of people and cars and trains blasting around.
Trees and nice view.
A hut thing. No idea what its for. Nice view.
Nice tree. There are leaves constantly falling. Must be a pain to clean up.
Some other guy.
More temple stuff.
We’re in the park now. A friendly reminder to not shake hands with a bear. Don’t feed the monkeys! They might get… pregnant? A bloated stomach? Fever? Not sure what this sign is telling us.
A female… creature.
A male version. Guess how I know?
Polar bears are cool! But kinda boring to watch. This one just sat there for the whole time.
A bird with its neck bent backwards. Impressive. Emperor penguins. They were a lot biggeer than I thought.
Ueno skyline.
You can not re-come in! Apple store! Weird ball seat things. The entire Apple building has Apple’s annoying user friendly concepts. For instance, the lifts have no buttons! One lift goes up one level at a time and cycles, while the other lift goes down one level at a time and starts again too. Annoying, but cool at the same time. Like all Apple products.

We were in the Sony building for awhile too. These are weird experimental headphone things. The bent wire part goes inside your ears. I’m not sure how this makes it better, but it feels cool.
This is the Rolley! It rolls around and flaps its… flaps. It does it all to some external music. The Sony showroom runs completely on wind power apparently. These signs were on the wall. Sony saves Pingu!

Don’t cry Pingu!

This is on the way back after training at the Aunkai. This was the midnight train. A little full for a sleepy time.
One traffic crossing button for blind people, and one for deaf people. How thoughtful!