Shinjuku Student Izakaya Tonight

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Above some of pictures of today’s nomikai in one of the « Student » izakaya in Shinjuku. Thanks to Sylvain and Ken kun for the organization. It was nice. As expected, everybody was drunk enough to take the train at 10h30…. Pictures include Guillaume, Hisashi, Hitomi, Yumi, Sylvain, Ken, Aki, Sawako, …
OK, pictures are taken with my Clie (Eddie, I think this justifies my « Powered by Clie » banner, no?), so the quality of the pictures is quite poor. It’s quite handy though, as I would probably not have brought my D30.

UNESCO Sites in Japan

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Back from Shirakawa-Go, I have been looking on the web at Unesco sites I haven’t visited yet in Japan.
Looking at the list below from the Unesco website,
I realised that I have not seen much yet…

Next will be this Ryukyu Island near Ishigaki, I guess…

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area (1993 )
Himeji-jo (1993)
Yakushima (1993)
Shirakami-Sanchi (1993)
Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) (1994)
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama (1995)
Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) (1996)
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine (1996)
Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara (1998)
Shrines and Temples of Nikko (1999)
Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (2000)

Earthquake again…

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 19:42 JST
TOKYO: A powerful earthquake rocked northeastern Japan on Monday, causing blackouts and forcing authorities to temporarily shut down highways, railways and even Tokyo’s main airport, more than 400 kilometers away. Eight people were reported injured.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered 64 kms below the sea floor off the coast of northeastern Miyagi prefecture, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

Source: Read more at Japan Today

Shirakawa Go Bike Trip

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09:30: We started our trip from Azabu-Juban (as usual, in front of Pierre’s flat) after a quick coffee. Obsiously, we are not following the japanese way of touring, waking up at 6am. After joining Sylvain around Shinjuku, the first challenge was to find the Chuo Expressway entrance. Anybody has an idea if there is a real entrance to the Chuo?? After looking around for 30 min, asking the police, we could not find any. We guessed the only way to reach it is through the Shuto, and it’s another trick to have the drivers to pay the 700 Yens to enter the Shuto.

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Takayama is at around 300 kms from Tokyo, we had quite a long time to re-think our lifes on the way. By the way, I could reach for the first time 180km/h for the record. Pierre was testing his brand new Fazer 1000 on a long trip, and I guess Sylvain customized his engine to release that much power with his old CB400. So finally, after a few stops and the horrible route 158 full a tourist bus, we reached Takayama for another 100 kms to arrive to Shirakawa-Go. It was not the first time for me to visit this authentic village (Takayama & Shirakawa-Go during winter). We enjoyed a lot the kanja ryokan where we stayed for one night.

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Next day was a little bit of sightseeing. As you can see on the pictures, weather was quite nice. Shirakawa-Go is a popular place for photographers, we were part of them. Have a look at the gallery of pictures below. Far from being professional of course….. Sightseeing is nice but, now is time for some pro-biking through the montain roads. We joined Iku chan (Miss VMAX) and Satomi chan, for part of our way back to Matsumoto, through the highly recommeded Route 87. Have a look at the view we got sometime from the top of the montains, kind of lost. At that time, I realised how nice it is to escape from Tokyo from time to time. The way back from Matsumoto was not that fun with the usual Traffic Jam entering Tokyo (17kms without any reasons…). The first touring expedition of this year was fun. Looking forward to leave again for the countryside…



Over 800 kms

We are just back from Shirakawa-Go. I’m so tired, I can’t hardly type anything on my keyboard. The region of Takayama is great for biking and not so crowded. I would say it was pro-biking this time, and will dream of montain curves this night. I’ll post the pictures later on, probably tomorrow. ‘night.