Archive for May, 2005

雪を頂いた富士山 (snowcapped Mount Fuji)

I was away, outside of Japan, for several weeks. It’s very nice to be back. Especially to nice to come into my office (17th floor for the Shinjuku Square Tower building), look out the window, and see the snow-capped peak of Mt. Fuji towering over the western horizon.

It’s a rare day that you can see Mt. Fuji well (or at all, actually) from anywhere in Tokyo. Most days, if you look in the direction where Mt. Fuji should be, you’ll see nothing but haze.

When you can see it, as you can relatively well today, it’s inspiring — the massive scale of it, that shape familiar from so many paintings and woodblock prints and photographs, the snow covering the top just like in the paintings. But real.

Ome.

Greetings. Hope everyone who had Golden Week off, enjoyed it. For those who had to work, I feel your pain. This was the first year I thought, “God, I should have taken Golden Week off.” Next year, I will.

I did manage to make it out to Ome city (pdf) a few times over the past few weekends. The cool thing about Ome are the old movie billboards.

Billboards - 3.jpg

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If you are ever really pressed for somewhere to go, visit Ome. There are some random museums, the Tama river and movie billboards. Outside of that, it is pretty local.

Car Navi – Insanity or Mind Control

For those of you who don’t live in Japan, this week is Golden Week. A week speckled with holidays where most people leave on vacation for the whole week. Usually the city is deserted, but lately more people work. Anyway, I decided to drive into the office today from my home in Chiba. The drive can range from 30 min to 2.5 hours depending on traffic. I usually rely on my car navigation system to navigate the fastest path. Before I left, the traffic web site told me that there was nearly no traffic. I was surprised when the navigation system kept trying to steer my away from the expressway. It was SO insistent that it kept trying to make me take every possible exit off of the freeway. For all practical purposes, it was insane. Except for a bit of traffic getting onto the expressway, I had almost no traffic.

On the way home it did the same thing. Tried to make me drive all the way without getting on the expressway.

The inner-conspiracy-theorist wants to say that the police were controlling my navigation system to stay away from expressways to try to prevent some kind of weird traffic that might occur because of a large number of people deciding to travel… or it was some kind of strange test to conduct when most businesses were shut down. Anyway, it was totally annoying and I was lucky I was driving a familiar route. Did anyone else notice this today?

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