Japan '99


Fed up with all the Japanese tourists photographing every corner of the planet, Johnny decided to go over and give them a taste of their own medicine. ( Comments by Johnny )

Click on the thumbnails pic. to see a larger version.

Gallery Description
This is the only surviving stucture in Hiroshima from the A Bomb. Nasty stuff that atomic weaponry.
A Bamboo forest in one of Japans gardens - bit Indiana Jones like
Super heated Mud pools bubling up from the ground. Supposedly full of minerals and very theraputic... All caused by somebody being a bit stingy with the earths crust in that particular place
Hiroshima - childrens memorial for peace - hence all the wee sailor outfitted kiddies - thats their school uniform
Paper cranes made by the kids in honour of a wee girl who died from Lukemia caused by the fall out from the A bomb. From her hospital bed she made thousands of these things believing that it would prevent her from dying. They tie them together on long strings and into bunches.
Locals digging for clams on the beach of Mia jima Island - the central island of Japan in background
A view of Mount Fuji just after I had attempted to climb the bastard and got altitude sickness. You have to climb the thing at night cause dawn is the only time that the mist lifts and you can see the view. Climbed all night and had to turn around about an hour before dawn - damn it. Lay on the ground for hours recovering before I made it all the way back down. I just arrived back in the town at its base for a Japanese Onsen ( bath ) and a 14 hr kip.
Cool view of the Hirpshima peace park and A Bomb museum. That place has some freaky exhibits - like actually bits of people that fell of with the radiation. Tattered clothes of people who were made into cinders etc. It's all real though thats the scary part. They also have displays on how many nuclear armaments are currently held around the world. Thats even scarier.
Itsukushima bridge - when the tide's in it looks like the buildings are floating on the water
Another view
Floating Tori gate - if you go through the gate its like making a prayer and it supposedly brings you good luck. This ones a bit more difficult to get to than most - only get to it when the tides out.
The former imperial owned palace on the island - kind of a summer beach house for the emporor dude. Propably just a shack they built so he could change his shoes in it.
Walkway to the palace... they could have built it on land but this was supposedly more secure.
Another view of Tori gate
The gardens of the Sliver Palace ( there are a lot of palaces - they've had a lot of Emporers over the centuries ). It shows the weird manicured rock gardens - they love that stuff. Someone has the prestigious full time job of looking after them.
Intricate religious water font thing. These are usually located inside the grounds of a temple before the main shrine. The custom is that you wash your arms and drink from the font before stepping up to ring the bell bow and make and offering of a few coins.
A 'friendly' deer doing his best to try and eat my map and guide to the island.
Bastard
Tokyo has literally thousands of these wee shrines tucked away in corners. The laterns have prayers written on them so that the prayers of the people who donated them will been seen by budda even at night.
Outside of Tokyo even in the major cities like Kyoto 'white people' are still a novelty to most people. These guys stopped us and asked if they could get their photos taken with us.... we just too damn cool.
Karaoki is a massive over there - but its different - you do it in a private room with 6 -8 mates and pay for the room by the hour. Drinks are free during that time - hence my slaughtered expression. Rie is helping me sing 'Help I need somebody' embarrassingly enough.
This is pure downtown Tokyo - area called Shinjuku - did you ever see Blade Runner ?
Kyoto used to be the capital - this is the current Imperial Palace - doesn't look impressive but this is only the front gate. You have to book a week in advance to see round the gaff after passing an interview with the imperial staff - so I didn't even try to get in being the scum that I am.
Lake Chuzenjui
Pads of the lilly variety. They grow them in indoor pools in greenhouses first. Some of them are 8 feet in diameter. Thats a big Mo Fo lilly pad.
Sensoji temple in Tokyo. Your starting to get it now - anything ending in ji is a temple. This is a really commercial city center temple. The wee huts at the side sell all kinds of prayer papers, candles, flicky drum things and everything else you can think of. The bronze budda in the temple itself is MASSIVE. Check the size of just the lantern at the front door.
Me and my cousin Mika in front of the Silver Palace. Apparently all the walls of the structure used to be completely covered in silver but then in harder times the Emperor at the time nicked all the silver off of it to pay for a war he was having against somebody.
Ken is about the only black guy in Japan. He owns a Kenyian resturant in Kyoto. Sound bloke - and he make stunnin plantain ( fried bananas ). One of the few times I could afford to splash out on something that wasn't feckin noodles or cold rice. Japan is about the most expensive places in the world with current exchange rates - eating was WELL expensive
Mika and the 2 loopers we picked up on the street in Kyoto
Property prices are criminal in Japan even by Japan standards so you are looking at the entirety of our friend Rie's apartment - there is a bed to the left and thats it - and you think the rooms in the halls are small!. Mika managed somehow to kip on that bit of floor for a week. This was taken on her last day in Japan.
Mika givin the fingers to everyone one who 'eva dis-ed her'. No not really. Mika is from San Francisco and anyone who's been to america will understand that it means, funnily enough, the peace sign over there. We've just been on an indoor snowboarding slope. They have a big refrigerated barn and spray frozen water and a synthetic gel all round the place and let eejits fly down it on snowboards at the height of summer. Class.
Mika's put on a bit of weight
Nijo Castle - I told you there were loads of them - this featured a freaky bodiless commentry in english ( at times ) eminating from the bushes
Nijo Castle gardens - they take gardening very seriously - its an artform in Japan. Each rock in the waterfall has been placed there by hand. Something like the couple of Carlsberg cans poking out of the grass at the front of your student house.
A crazy bridge in a public(but you still have to pay) garden in Okayama city
Another view
This castle is well cool - Its actually taller than it looks cause it back on to a steep drop to a river. This thing was originally built in about 1200. Well old.
One of Budda's many minions tuckin in to some scran - he must be the diety of oranges
More kids work at the peace monument. Covered in plastic to make them last a bit longer. Every so often someone has to come round to clear away some of the masses of this stuff
It's... amusing sign time!! Everyone there understands some english but they have no problem with just throwing together a few english words pulled out of the air and putting it on a T-shirt or on a sign

That's I have up at the mo. Go there and get some yourself if you want some more. Its a well cool place to go - totally recommened - just bring wads of cash. -Johnny