Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ushi-Oni Monster

This monster head stands 6 meters tall when put on parade in Uwajima. See link below for more information.

Warei Taisai Festival & Uwajima Ushi-Oni Matsuri

Early Morning Walk in Matsuyama

Too early for the restaurant to open, foraging out for a decent cup of coffee.

Mister Donut is not open, why not try the vending machine?

"The Black" - a tin of cold black coffee. Quite good.

Hokuto Restaurant - Korean Style Dinner

Can't forget dessert!

Welcome to Matsuyama!

The Tokyo Dai-ichi Hotel in Matsuyama, it is getting to be very popular.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bizzare Japanese TV Commercial

Japanese TV has some of the most elegant and bizarre commercials around. This one was for a hair replacement service. It was essentially nylon thread patched onto a persons head. The model is showing how versatile this can be. It was pretty weird.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Japanese Baggage Handling

Typical to Japanese baggage handling is to wrap up some baggage in plastic to keep it clean.

Mount Fuji

The plane flew close to the summit of Mount Fuji, close enough to see inside and observe the steam still rising out of this active volcano. An impressive site from any point of view.

Haneda Airport

Japanese Public Phone (Domestic Calls Only)

Having a bad day? Try JAL Smile Support!

Shuttle Bus to Haneda Airport

In order to complete our trip, we needed to take the shuttle bus to Haneda Airport.

Japanese Toll Booths

Narita Airport

Delayed in Narita

After stopping over in Sendai Airport for 5 hours it was back to Narita. Needless to say everyone missed their connecting flight. So, the poor onions were left to be shuffled off to the local hotel for some short shut-eye before attempting to complete their ventures the next day.

Lobby of the ultra-luxurious Airport Rest Hotel.

Welcome to Japan, Christmas style

Airport Rest House looks worse than it actually is. The rooms are clean and small but over all it was not bad.

No frills vending machine

Evening entertainment

Room with a view!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Side-tracked in Sendai

After making the trans-pacific flight to Japan, our plane was side-tracked to Sendai airport for minor repairs and refueling. Needless to say that the pilot is a good PR person. He thanked us for our patience and kept us informed that the repair crew was coming as soon as they can from Nagasaki airport. To keep the passengers amused while waiting, the crew put on "Mami-mia," the musical. The movie is so bad that it is amusing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Japanese Markets, Outdoors, Indoors

Typical outdoor display of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale. In the past this is how most, if not all, produce was sold in Japan. Quite common to see on the streets.

Typical Japanese Supermarket. Food is fresh, well presented and the store is spotlessly clean.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yusu Monument, Uwajima Bay

Overlooking Uwajima bay is a monument built to give thanks to the bounty given to the residents of the area who farm the bay for pearls. The monument is symbolic of a pair of hands holding a black pearl as an offering to the sky and bay in gratitude. Uwajima bay is an impressive body of water and is well cared for by those who make their living from it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Matsuyama, Past and Present

Inside Matsuyama Castle's garden is a display which illustrates Matsuyama's past and present in photographs. It is fascinating to see how the past measures against the present.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Manhole Cover, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

"Let's create the clean Matsuyama City!" Littering is publicly frowned upon by the Japanese. The Japanese have a place for everything and everything has its place, even trash. The raised yellow strips of concrete are guides for the blind. The straight sections guide the disabled on the pavement while the dotted section indicates an intersection.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hyota, Best Ramen Shop in Matsuyama

It can be said that this is a Ramen shop, but they call their Ramen "Chuka-soba," which means "Chinese Noodles" in translation. Their noodles are the best in Matsuyama.

Hyota Link (Japanese)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Butsudan (Home Shrine)

In Japanese homes they have Buddhist Shrines that are prayed at daily. It is usually situated in a place of significance in the home. The shrines range in sizes. The name Butsudan means "Buddha's house." It is not uncommon to have both Shinto shrines along side the Butsudan as they both exist along side each other in the many Temples and Shrines in Japan.