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Day 02 (Wednesday, 2016-08-10)
Temperature: 35dC
  • Osaka to Tokyo (Shinkansen) (400km in 3 hrs)
  • DMM Planets
  • Image Notes
    Mini Earthquakes
    During the night the cone was awakedned by tremmors at its base. It appears many small earthquakes are occuring throughout the day but unless one is not at rest and in an observant mood they go unnoticed.
    Shower battle
    The morning shower is a race against time - the time imposed by the shower timer that is. As any faucet in an environmentally friendly society the shower faucet automatically turns off after 30 seconds of operations. This awakens the competitive spirit in any bath participant. Can you rinse your head in 30 seconds? What about your entire body? The shower timer is a formidable adversary that is bound to awaken any sleepy human audacious enough to cross its thershold early in the morning.
    This is the J-Hoppers where the Cone spent the night.
    Early in the morning at 07:00 at Osaka train station a really drunk and peaceful salaryman was trying to scan his ticket unsuccessfully. The cone's best wishes are with him. The salaryman must have possesed supreme commitment to have achieved that high level of intoxication that early in the morning.
    Very quiet and smooth train ride from Osaka to Tokyo. Just look at that speed. Would you look at it? Just look at it.
    Notes on Shinkasen photography
    The next few images were taken while traveling at around 240kph on the Shinkansen train. Taking any sort of pictures at these speeds becomes slightly more intense.

    First of all the subject of the photos is only in frame for a couple of seconds. The only exception is if the subject is a mountain (like Fuji) in which case it's in frame for maybe a minute. Second while the subject is in frame - depending on the exposure other objects will pass through the frame polluting the picture. A challenge is to take any picture while the Shinkansen is crossing a bridge. For ultimate speed photography street cred take an image of another Shinkansen passing in the opposite direction.
    The Japanese landscape is a sea of farm land (mostly rice fields) dotted with industrials zone islands and small towns.
    A new development in this landscape - since the time the Blue Microbe journeyed here - is the construction of small and large solar panel arrays. These seem to be both private (on people's houses, in factories yards) and public (next to schools and even cemeteries).
    Another solar panel island.
    And yet another one. There are a few wind farms but not as many as solar farms.
    The slant of the post in this image can be determined from the speed of the train, the distance from the train to the post and the scanning speed of the pixels on the camera.

    That is to say we were moving so fast the camera could not scan the frame in time to take a decent picture.

    Distant objects look vertical as their angular speed was slower (#paralax).
    No wonder the Japanese athletes are winning gold in the swimming events at the Olympics. Look at these facilities. It's a dolphin's dream (if the dolphin was the one from "Johnny Mnemonic").
    A baseball game is in progress ... though there don't seem to be many spectators. Or for that matter bleachers for the spectators. It probably is televized in VR #thefuture.
    A christian temple (aka church) next to the train lines.
    A Shinkasen going the other way. This one was easy to photograph as both the Shinkasen the cone was on and this other one were moving slowly.
    Far into the distance, above the clouds, you can see the peak of Mt. Fuji. Cone d'Oranj is #blessed.
    Once in Tokyo it took the cone a while to get a lock on the Oak Hostle. So by the time the checkin was done the afternoon was mostly over. A hasty plan was set to look for a Samsung Gear VR 360 camera at the closest Yodobashi store and then visit the DMM Planets exhibit - suggested by Chris and Michael.

    On the Yamanote line the Cone went. Sashiburi (which means welcome back) Yamanote line. No 360 camera was purchased as it was too expensive ($200 more than Amazon.co.jp prices).
    On the way to Odaiba - the new business district in Tokyo. This is the Rainbow bridge - which supposedly looks like this if you can see color. The cone is color blind it can only see orange. So it doesn't matter. The bridge spans Tokyo bay, is 798m long and was built between 1987 and 1993.
    A festive atmosphere greeted the cone in Odaiba. To see farther the cone climbed on the head of its entourage.
    And on the head of the other member of the entourage.
    A One Piece exhibit - find the cone.
    And where is Cone d'Oranj now?
    The dude is on Cone d'Oranj retainer - so yeah don't mess with the Cone.
    A concert was wrapping up just as the Cone reached the scene. Unfortuantely the Cone was delayed with finding the hostle so it couldn't attend this event.
    The next series of images is from the DMM Planets exhibit. It is difficult to capture the novel sensory realm that the creators of this exhibit unlocked. Once VR catches on it will be wonderful to access the same states in VR at "a touch of button".
    As the exhibit makes use of mirrors in the floor that need to be kept very clean all participants are required to wash and clean their feet. This is a two step process. First everyone takes off their shoes (and socks - which someone forgot to do). Then everyone walks through an ankle deep puddle of cleansing water and drys off with a towel.
    Then comes some sort of walk/crawl through a very soft foamy mattress - this is probably meant to clean the lower and medial leg. Then follows a cushy carpet. At this point one is 5 minutes through the exhibit and all this time the lights are kept dimmed to allow for ones night vision to get up to speed. Then you enter the first exhibit.
    The floor, celling and most walls are mirror surfaces. It is difficult to see a path through the vines of LEDs.
    DMM Planets star matrix

    After some wandering in a corner of the room the Cone finds a "viewing alcove" - where it decides to enjoy the show.
    DMM Planets water

    Once the Cone had enough of the star matrix (and it figured out how to exit the LED maze) it entered a corridor that took it down a hallway filled with water. As it advanced the water got progressively deeper it ends up just below knee deep - but one didn't know this before hand.

    Then after a sharp corner the Cone enters the second exhibit.

    Some kids end up submerged in the water as they chase the fish - pretty hectic at times.
    DMM Planets flowers

    After the Cone dries off from the second exhibit it goes down yet another corridor and enters the dome where the flowers are projected. The floor is again a mirror - on which most participants lied flat on their back.
    The DMM Planets being over the cone decides to take a break next to this rocket looking statue.
    It then taunts this robot (perhaps a Gundam?) which couldn't respond as it had to pose for the crowd.
    And tickles this guy's nostril. This time the cone got some ticklish response.
    It is getting dark quickly so Cone d'Oranj decides to take a few snapshots outside - before it gets too late. This one is looking towards Tokyo.
    And another picture - same direction from closer to the water's edge.

    Diagram from Wikipedia's Sunrise equation article.
    At this lower latitude the summer sun sets earlier than in Vancouver. In this case by 19:00 it is already dark. Here is a setting sun by latitude graph. Vancouver is at 49d latitude - 15.5 hours daylight in August. While Tokyo is at 35d latitude - 13.5 hours daylight in August.
    Salary men going back home at around 19:30. On the train a third of them played Pokemon Go. A third played other phone games and a third browsed the interwebs.
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