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Say cheese!

19 Jun


Japanese tourists and cameras go together like a bad cliche.  And they don’t just take their cameras when they go abroad.  Internal tourism in Japan is huge, and one of my abiding memories of our pre-children trip to Japan, is the countless Japanese tourists: groups of school children, retired people, families and young people, all enjoying Japan’s natural beauty and manmade attractions. 

And, like the cliche, everywhere they went they recorded it on film (this was during the pre-digital era, I’m very old).  At key points of natural beauty, there were specially positioned, tiered benches for convenient arranging of group photos.  If by any chance you had forgotten your own camera, you could buy one from the handy vending machine on the top of the mountain.  If, on the day you visited, the mountain was shrouded in mist, you could use the special photo booth which superimposed your picture on a background of the view on a sunny day.  You could even have this printed as stickers.

When it comes to photos, the Japanese have all their bases covered.  Whatever it takes, you have to get your picture.  And don’t forget to hold up two fingers in a V sign and shout ‘peace’.


This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more travel pictures, click here.

Manga Girl

1 May


On Sunday afternoons, Japanese teenagers dress up as their favourite manga characters and congregate in the Harajuku area of Tokyo.  Not being a manga fan, I have no idea who they were supposed to be, but it was all taken very seriously.  Other characters included red haired punks and blood splattered doctors and nurses.  I love Japan, and can’t wait to go back.  It intrigues me.

This post is for The Gallery at Sticky Fingers.

Love sushi?

10 Apr

Tsukiji Market

If you do, Tsukiji Market in Tokyo market is one of life’s great experiences.

They sell every kind of fish it is possible to eat, but the market is most famous for it’s tuna.  You have to get up before the crack of dawn to see the tuna auction and I am not a morning person.  But there was still plenty to see when we arrived at six thirty am.

The guy at the back of the picture is cutting up the tuna, and the guys on the right are negotiating a price for the beautiful fillets, probably for a restaurant.

We rounded off our trip with breakfast at a little sushi bar on the edge of the market, and I had the freshest sushi I have ever tasted.  My husband wimped out and just had a coffee!


This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.  For more pictures, click here.

How does she walk in those?

3 Apr

Tokyo shoes

One of my abiding memories of Japan will be how amazing the teenagers looked.  Many hours must have been spent planning their sometimes spectacular outfits, with attention to detail being paramount.  I was particularly tickled to find ‘sock glue’ on sale, to make sure that your artfully wrinkled knee socks didn’t slip down too far.  When we got back to London everyone suddenly looked very drab.

I am taking part in Photo Friday at Delicious Baby as an excuse to dig out some old photos.  For more photos from other people, click here.

In Search of Sylvanians

25 Mar

Norwood Mouse Family (UK) by magw21

If you’ve never heard of Sylvanian Families, let me enlighten you.  They are small fuzzy animals, dressed in Edwardian clothes, inhabiting an idyllic, rural European setting of gypsy caravans, canal barges and ice cream carts.  All with teeny tiny accessories.  Imagine the casts members of Fantasyland in Disneyworld as six centimetre tall rabbits, and you will have a fair idea.

My daughter has spent many happy hours playing with these creatures.  I must confess that I quite like them too.

Along with another favourite, Hello Kitty, the Sylvanian Familes originate in Japan (of course!).  So imagine the excitement when Eve and I were looking for Sylvanians on the internet, and discovered that in Japan, there is a Sylvanian Families theme park.   Unfortunately the website is in Japanese, so it’s not a lot of help to me.  I also think that full size Sylvanians, as these seem to be, might be rather terrifying.  However, it has been added to the ‘places we might go and see’ list.

A more relalistic Sylvanian destination is one of the themed restaurants in Japan or Bangkok.  I’m not sure in what way they are themed, other than having European food (pizza) and selling a selection of toys, but I’m definitely curious.

Whether we visit theme parks or not, I do know that Eve is already saving her pocket money for the Japan leg of the trip.  You can never have too many tiny teacups.


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