Last sigth of the Yamanote line where one can always see tourists frozen
in place with a thousand yard stare. They are probably thinking "Where
am I?" "Where am I going?" "Am I ever going to find my way there?"
The Japanese railway system even though huge is extremely easy to
navigate. Unlike the bus system.
Google Maps is not yet very good at giving directions using Japanese
street topology. The Cone feels as if it's involved in a strange dance
turning left, turning right, turning left. So instead it is using the
Open Street Maps for Android tocnavigate - which in its opionion is
superior when no internet connection is available.
Construction site on the outskirt of Tokyo. With that many cranes this
building should be done in no time.
One extraordinary aspect of Japan is the lack of building developments.
In Canada, China and Easter Europe highrises, homes, malls and all
types of buildings are going up like there is no tomorrow. In Japan -
this was one of the very few (less than a handful) real estate
construction sites the Cone noticed in its travels.
Once in Kyoto the Cone passed through a road pavement construction
site - in front of the Kyoto Train Station. The cute warning lights
were glad to accomodate the Cone.
In most of the cities the Cone has visited in Japan the yellow marking
slabs were present on all major roads. They are called
and they seem to be part of a national program designed to offer
guidance for visually impaired people. They were invented by Seiichi
Miyake from Japan in 1965. The incidence of visually impaired in
Japan's population at 1.3% (
Canada at around 1.5% (
CNIB) is very similar though the Cone has never noticed a visually
impaired person in Japan - while it noticed quite a few in Canada.
First item on the list for the Cone was to identify a shopping center
where it could base its purchasing operations. As luck would have it
the Aeon Mall is within 3 minute walk of the Cone's accomodation. On
the 4th floor of the mall there's an arcade where the Cone will gauge
the level of proficency Japanese youngsters have for DDR and other
Here we have a young rythm game specialist caught in the act. His moves
are efficient and even though the surrounding area is loud and he
cannot hear the music well the rythm flows through his body.
The mall has a good selection of sweets stores. The Cone found a safe
place in one of them.
The Cone noticed at the grocery store an efficient way to load the
produce. The store clerk checks you out and they put the purchases in
a shopping basket. The customer than takes the shopping basket to a
bagging area where they proceed to bag the products. This way the
payment process is minimally impaired by the bagging process.
The Cone arrives at its accomodations in Kyoto - a 5 tatami room very
close to the center of the city. This is the first time the Cone
experiences a room with new tatami. The tatami smells a little like
hay mixed with tea.
The Cone considers it appropriate to enjoy a traditional Fuji apple
while in Japan.