Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yokohama and Tokyo by day

Same(ish) view of the city as last night....... but this morning.
I'm on the 63rd floor of this hotel and my only hesitation in recommending the view is the fact that its sitting bang on one of the biggest fault lines on the planet.
Before I go any further I want to pay tribute to the magnificence that is the Japanese toilet.Blogger is messing with the picture upload, but you get the idea from the shot below.
Butt on warm seat.
Warm water spray.
Drying puff of air.
All clear, now go start your day.
Another odd aspect of Japan is its still a nation of smokers and the tobacco companies aren't shy in direct marketing.
I spent a ton of time on trains and subways today and I was struck by a couple of things :
Japanese people have perfected the art of the "cat nap". On any given journey at least a third of the people were sleeping, some even as they were standing.
Awesome talent.
The second common sight was that every person, almost without exception, had a cell phone in their hand, but none of them were talking.
Texting, listening to music, emailing, watching TV....yes but no chatter. Regardless of whether we were above or below ground I always had full bars on my phone.
It seems Tokyo subways are not for the faint of heart. Barriers have been erected along the platforms to prevent suicides or "impulse murders".
Somehow that seems very Un-Japanese.
Another stereotype bites the dust.
Its so bad on the crowded cars during rush hour that there are now "women only" cars at peak times.This post hasn't been my most elegant prose but I'm tired and need to get up early .
Good night.


Anonymous said...

Morning. I spy the Yokohama Landmark Tower. Alarming prescience?


Anonymous said...

I think some how you must feel a little more comfortable in Tokyo !! with smoking not so shuned ,i wont lecture about C.O.P.D cos each to there own :) penny x

Anonymous said...

Possibly of interest. From the BBC:

Nearly 3,000 scripts from Alistair Cooke's Letter From America broadcasts are to be made available to the public in an electronic archive.

The scripts from the long-running BBC radio series will be published by the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

Cooke's literary executor Colin Webb is a former student of the university.

Letter From America was broadcast every week from March 1946 until Cooke's retirement in March 2004. He died just a few weeks after his final programme.

In his Letters, Cooke chronicled every aspect of American life including the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and the assassination of JFK.

The series was the longest-running in history to be presented by a single person.

The searchable archive will be open to academics at the university as well as visiting members of the public.

Its announcement on Thursday comes on the centenary of Cooke's birth.

His scripts are currently held by the BBC and Boston University in Massachusetts.