Japanese demonstrations

In Japan, demonstrations are not something very usual; during my first years in Japan I almost didn’t see any. However, as of lately, the Japanese economy is getting worse and worse, there are more and more Japanese people without a job; there’s also problems with the pensions, with China about the Senkaku islands, etc. and Japanese people is starting to get worried and they are going out to the streets to protest and show their discontent.

I am still amazed by how well organized Japanese demonstrations are and how strict the police control over them is (sometimes there are more policemen than demonstrators). Take a look at the pictures and notice how the demonstrators march in lines of three or four along the side of the streets (trying not to interrupt the traffic nor the pedestrians on the sidewalk).

Another curious thing that has grabbed my attention lately is that there are demonstrations in where demonstrators are protesting over different things! Some of them are still protesting against the war in Iraq and two rows behind some others are protesting over how precarious Japanese pensions are.

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Manifestaciones en Japón - Demonstrations in Japan

Japanese Demonstrations

Japanese Demonstrations

Japanese Demonstrations

Japanese Demonstrations

Japanese Demonstrations

Japanese Demonstrations

2

New solar-powered Coca-Cola vending machines with LED lights

There are nearly 6 million drinks vending machines in Japan; more or less one vending machine per every 20 people. Coca-Cola, which currently owns almost 1 million vending machines in Japan, has recently announced that they are going to replace all of them with a new ecological model that will be powered by solar panels and will be lit by low consumption LED lights. They will also be equipped with a payment system that uses electronic money and is compatible with almost all the smartcards used in Japan.

Coca cola vending machine

Coca cola vending machine

Source: Cocacola.co.jp

Other posts about vending machines in Japan:

2

Genki Sudo music videos

Genki Sudo is a former Japanese K1 fighter that after retiring became a singer, dancer and actor in Japanese dramas. His music videos are quite cool, here you have 3 of them, the last one recorded in New York city.


New York

5

210,000 yen green tea bottle

You can’t see them very frequently, but as you can find very expensive wines, it seems like you can also find very expensive green tea bottles. This 750ml bottle of green tea, from the brand MASA, costs 210,000 yen (1,900 euro/2,500 dollar). If any of you wants to try it out and see how it is, you can find here the contact e-mail :)

Expensive green tea bottle

Green tea bottle

Green tea bottle

3

Ginkgos Avenue – Icho Namiki

“Icho Namiki” (銀杏並木) avenue is the main way to enter the Meiji Jingu Gaien gardens (not to be confused with the Meiji Jingu temple). “Icho” means Ginkgo and “Namiki” means “tree line”.

The yellow of the ginkgo leaves is fascinating during this time. It is one of the most visited places at the end of October and beginning of November. Don’t miss the chance to visit it if you are around during that time in Tokyo. The start of the avenue can be seen just outside “Aoyama 1-chome” station (Ginza or Hanzomon line).

The other day, my friend Xavier Verdaguer, came to visit Japan, and asked me: Why does it smell so bad when you are near the ginkgos? It turns out that the ginkgo fruits, called ginnan, fall on the street, are smashed by pedestrians and smell quite bad. The funny thing is that when they are grilled they smell very good and are delicious.

Gingko

Gingko avenue

Gingko avenue

Gingko

1

Enoshima

One year ago I sent a postcard with an ukiyo-e from Hiroshige to Xavier Verdaguer. In that postcard I wished him the best for his birthday and proposed him to go to the island of Enoshima some time in the future.

Enoshima pictures by Xavi

Hiroshige Ukiyo-e

In less than a year Xavier came to Japan and we visited Enoshima together, one of my favorite places not far from Tokyo. Moreover, we had the great luck to be able to see Mount Fuji from the island, more or less as it is represented by Hiroshige in his ukiyo-e paintings. I have been many times in Enoshima but it is the first time I have been able to see mount Fuji from the island. I made the proposal, but most likely Xavier brought the good fortune.

Enoshima pictures by Xavi

Enoshima pictures by Xavi

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

Enoshima

江ノ島夕焼け

If you want to try your luck as well and see if you can see mount Fuji from Enoshima, the easiest way to get there from Tokyo is by using the Odakyu line from Shinjuku station in the center of Tokyo; in a little bit more than an hour you will be there.

0

Asu No Shinwa by Taro Okamoto – 明日の神話

Taro Okamoto is one of the most important Japanese artists of the 20th century. Most of his works can be enjoyed in Japanese museums and also in open spaces, like for example The Tower of the Sun, built in Osaka as the symbol of Expo ’70. The Myth of Tomorrow (Asu no shinwa – 明日の神話) is one of his most important works; it represents the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. It is a big painting, measuring 30 meters long, but for some strange reason it got lost for more than 25 years. Eventually someone found it in a warehouse and it has finally been exposed in Shibuya station since the end of 2008.

You can see it at Shibuya station in the hallway that goes from the JR lines area to the Inokashira lines area:

Asu No Shinwa by Taro Okamoto

Taro Okamoto

1