Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 16 - Yokohama

15th February, 2003 - After a late (and cold) night, we jumped out of bed refreshed and raring to go. Actually - if the truth be told, we struggled out of bed feeling a little exhausted. It was Valentines Day +1. Hmmm... what can you do with that? It's nice to go with some symbols... but Yokohama Marine Tower (we stayed very near here), wasn't quite doing it for me.

This was a product of the 60's, right at the start of Japan's economic rise, and resurrection from WWII. It was a time when there was a need to exert itself both on the world, but more importantly within it's own self image. Thus they built the then "World's Tallest Lighthouse". Did they need to? Almost certainly not. But they could build it. And did.

We went for a walk - and in search for breakfast we came across the good ol' Lawson convenience store. If you spend any time in Japan, you will understand why Lawson is such a big part of living. They have everything you need (just about) for your tourism day. Food. Drink. Catch-up things (if only we'd brought....) and finally anything else that you're likely to need. Me? I needed melon-pan. That's rockmelon flavoured bread-cake - coated with a generous sprinkling of sugar. Unlike in Australia, "sweets" in Japan aren't that sweet - and are all the better for it. From this trip I grew to love Melon Pan. T-Chan doesn't really understand it - but she humours me. You can do almost anything when you're hungry... isn't that right Ronald!

Anyway, if you're looking for other things then you're sure to find them... lion feet? Sure... Why not? Ok... I can't categorically identify these as lion feet... to be honest, I wasn't that keen to investigate further. Let's just say that back in Australia, you'd be unlikely to see this displayed in the front window of a shop... ? : o  .... OK at this point T-chan would like to explain that this IS NOT NORMAL in Japan, and she's pretty grossed out by it.

Then again - you're also unlikely to see such things as double-decker parking spaces either. In fact, whilst Japan has a veneer of Western sensibility about it, it has some very strange and at times crazy ideas. You learn, as a tourist, to go with the flow...

One of the sights that seems to be noteworthy (I'm not entirely sure why) is the Yokohama Bay Bridge... it seems as if it's synonymous with love. Of the breathless, young and romantic style. Hmmmm. Bridge. 460m  span. 600 yen toll. "Romantic". Still there's a lookout where all the young reckless couples go. As we take this photo T-chan wonders where all the magic has evaporated to.... Valentine's Day +1.  ? ; )

..... actually the walk to the lookout is perhaps more romantic than the lookout as such... you pass the old "foreign quarter" where all the evil Western capitalist colonials used to stay (and were buried), and come down a nice scenic hill... The bridge itself is a little... hmmm... minimalist in terms of beauty.

Well we've got more important things to do... we're off to Sankei-en ... actually this is a bit of a hidden jewel in the Yokohama crown... it doens't get as much publicity as it should, but then again... perhaps you need to be in the mood.... luckily we were.

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1 comment:

  1. I love Yokohama and try and visit it every time I'm in the Tokyo area. Yokohama Marine Tower (横浜マリンタワー ) is in the traditional sightseeing district of Yokohama. The tower offers spectacular views over the harbour. In clear conditions you can see Mount Fuji from the 100m high observation deck.

    Japan Australia