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F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon

 
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon Reply with quote

44. F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13135.html

This is part 4 of my 5-part report, on my 2012 trip to the Far East:
Daejeon in Korea, and Tsukuba in Japan. The other three parts can
be found at the following URLs:

41. F.East'12-1: Inching towards Incheon
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13067.html

42. F.East'12-2: S(e)oulful Korea-graphy
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13085.html

43. F.East'12-3: The Morning Calm, The Rising Sun!
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13108.html

44.1 Nippon: The Land of the Rising Sun/Son?

The Rising Sun, not the rising son (of the soil), if one can even
remotely connect me with the above honour.
My first morning in Japan went like clockwork.
I woke up with the clock, but unfortunately, turned off the alarm
and went off to sleep once again.
Like clockwork.
This is my regular routine, after all.
I rushed towards the Kenkyugauken station, to take the Tsukuba
Express train to the next stop, Tsukuba. The picture below shows
the impressive Kenkyugakuen station from the outside, albeit
clicked a few days later.



The next picture shows a train on the opposite platform.



The next one shows the train coming in on the platform I was
standing on. The reader may note the solid metal guard railings on
both sides.



The reader may remember that the bus stop is just adjacent to the
Tsukuba Express train stop. From the train station, I waited at
the bus counter, to buy a ticket for the Narita Airport NATT bus
service. We were told that these tickets sold out very quickly,
and that it would be advisable to purchase a ticket at least
three days in advance. This was the traditional approach to the
Tsukuba Science City, and the Tsukuba Express train had come much
later. Soon, I had a ticket in my hand, and my pocket was lighter
by JPY 2540. If I had to make this trip by train, there would be
three separate train segments, and I would have my usual retinue
of three bags following me wherever I went. Moreover, I would
also have a friend, and some senior colleagues on the same flight
back, who would certainly not patronise my sense of adventure. I
would have to take the Tsukuba Express from Tsukuba to Akihabara,
and a train on the Yamanote line from Akihabara to the Tokyo
station (or a Joban Express bus from the Tsukuba Centre to the
Yaesu South exit of the Tokyo station), followed by a Narita
Express train from Tokyo to Narita.

I rushed towards the conference venue, which was marked by many a
volunteer standing with direction placards in the cold weather
outside. A helicopter went overhead on a few days of the
conference, but on the first day, I was rather amused to see a
man on a powered parachute sailing overhead.



I noticed a small miniature road roller there as well: Bonsai?



I am sure that is quite a bad comment, more so after my `Bonsai'
sandwich experience on the UA 890 flight from ICN to NRT, where
my christening of the sandwich was based on its relative
dimensions, which made its way down my oesophagus without raising
even a ripple along the way. Bonsai?
I recounted an incident with a friend who often confused words
that sounded phonetically close. He had confused `Bonsai' with
`Banzai', the Japanese war cry of World War 2. I was in a
not-so-decent mood, and rubbed it in.
``Sure,'' I said, ``do not forget the Grand Canon at Colorado,
or the Nikon river that flows some few hundred kilometres to its
north-east.''

The first day at the conference went without incident. I was
waiting for a senor colleague who was coming in directly from New
Delhi, and a very good friend. The latter is a strict vegetarian,
let us call him Mr. Green, for reference. Those who know him
would find this to be a bad pun with regard to his name, I guess
I was never a very decent person, anyway. Mr. Green however, is,
and is an almost opposite of what I am. I was to know this much
later, that they had gone for a rapid Tokyo tour with their
luggage in hand, while I was waiting for them at the conference
venue, with some inclement weather outside. I immersed myself in
the surroundings, but thankfully, did not get under the weather,
even though I got completely drenched that night.
Rain seems to be following me wherever I go.
Or rather, wherever I go without an umbrella.
I had paid a visit to a huge grocery store named Torrissen, which
lightened the Japanese currency load I had with me.

44.2 Output and Input. Output, first. The Shower Toilet!

We were both to stay at the Toyoko Inn, a nice chain of hotels
in Japan and South Korea, too. The room was quite small, but
functional. There is no luggage stowage space - luggage can be
kept under the bed. There is a bed and a small table space, with
a small mini-refrigerator. There is an attached small bathroom with
the interesting shower toilet I was looking forward to experience
in Korea and Japan. But first, I must mention the note on the
laminated sheet, which served as the manual for the cable
television service available in the room. Please check out the
image, below. The people patronising the broadcasting company are
rather forgiving in nature.



Please note the part highlighted in a red rectangle, and shown in
detail in the inset, on the bottom right. It reads,
`To watch BS broadcasting, press xxx button'
Patrons do not seem to mind BS programmes at all!

Talking BS, or bull-sh*t, if you please, let me now focus on the
non-bovine kind. The shower toilet.
The reader familiar with what I write knows some of my obsessions
with toilet humour. However, here is a technical description of
something technologically advanced, and something so comfortable,
that it almost beats the purpose for which it has been designed.
The first image shows the shower toilet in all its pristine glory.



On the surface, this looks like an ordinary Western style WC, but
a close look at the panel on the right of the seat (for someone
seated on the throne), reveals its myriad details. This is on the
left in this picture. The next image was taken from the same
vantage point, but with a greater zoom.



Here, I sincerely apologise for the lack of clarity in the above
picture. In the limited lighting, and limited space,
I was just unable to focus my camera on the job at hand.
It is a different matter that given the extreme potty comfort, I
wondered if patrons of the shower toilet were able to concentrate
on the job at hand too, before matters went er...out of hand, and
perhaps, down the drain as well.

One can control just about every aspect of the ritual, perhaps
except for the most important one, the bowel movements themselves.
The comfort on the bowl, is a different matter altogether.
There are facilities to wash almost every nook and corner of
the lower part of one's torso, and dry it as well.
Yes, one can choose the relative temperature of the three most
important states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.
What was that, again?
Solid: the toilet seat. This itself could be warmed.
Liquid: the temperature of the water, for the washing.
Gas: the temperature of the air blown in, for drying wet areas.
These controls are visible at the top left of the picture.
The amount of water coming out of the nozzle could be controlled.
The relative position of the nozzle could also be controlled.
There were three prominent pre-set functions, which I understood
from the relatively graphic symbols. Please direct your attention
to the panel on the lower left of the screen. The top button with
the green flowing symbol turns the air supply on and off. The
next one is exclusively for the convenience of lady patrons. The
next one is for patrons of both genders, for a posteriori
clean-ups. The last button is an emergency stop, lest un-modelled
activities take place, to prevent accidents.
I was in a naughty mood. What if one got up while in the act of
washing one's bottoms. Oh, that was easily done - as I contorted
my huge frame into lifting my posterior from the seat and keeping
a close watch on the nozzle that had appeared from the back. Much
to my delight, I noticed the water supply stop very quickly. and
the nozzle retracted into the safety of the back of the contraption.
There are other pre-set options as well, such as for children.

I thank my stars that I do not understand the Japanese script, else
I would have completely gone insane (and constipated, too!) at
trying to figure out what the other controls were there for.
Yes, as the inquisitive reader may have already checked out,
there are still other preset functions, and other controls I have
not written about.

44.3 Input. Weed. Sea-Weed, Nori

Mr. Green is a strict vegetarian, as I have mentioned, above.
I volunteered to serve as his food guide, warning him of items
which could have some non-vegetarian content. Throughout this
trip, I was the adventurous type. I had heard a lot about the
Japanese seaweed preparation, Nori. This is available in
extremely thin and dry sheets, which would do a VLSI designer
proud. I noticed people around me consuming this with extreme
relish. They took a heart-shaped rice-cake, wrapped some Nori
around it, and had it with soup. While Mr. Green is a food-lover
like me, his adventures are restricted to the vegetarian kind.
Mr. Green was understandably apprehensive, as he had heard that
the Japanese were piscitarian in nature, given the bountiful seas
all around the country. The soups generally had fish stock in
them. My olfactory senses warned Mr. Green against err...
getting into a soup. He was also suspicious about the
heart-shaped rice cakes. Some were made out of plain sticky rice.
Some had shred of beet-root in them. Some had carrot shreds. Some
had small shrimp shreds. Some had fried onion shreds. I pointed
them out to him. What if the serving tongs had been used to both
the vegetarian and non-vegetarian rice-cakes? I told Mr. Green
that it could be worse, since he could not see the details of how
they had come to the serving table, in the first place. He then
asked a question which stumped me completely. What if the sticky
rice cakes were all made in the same mould? Not all people are
built in the same mould, I know - and given that I was a
vegetarian for about a decade, I felt for him. The Far East isn't
exactly the most comfortable place on earth for a strict
vegetarian. Mr. Green tried a few vegetarian rice cakes,
nevertheless. Nori by the way, is also used in the soups
themselves. Traditionally, Japanese did not eat much meat, but
today, meat items are quite common in the country. Unfortunately,
my memory fails me when I try to recount some of the dishes I consumed.
I was adventurous, and tried many types of food.

44.4 Hey...Making Hay, while the Sun Shone. Tokyo Open Bus Tour!

Back to the conference. This was the second day at the
conference. Just after the morning session had concluded, the
senior colleague rung up asking what my plans were, for lunch.
In what may surprise the reader, I answered that I didn't have
any. The weather was nice, and I would like to may hay while the
sun shone. Mr. Green is very precise with regard to directions,
and has an amazing memory. He and the senior colleague had come
from Delhi on the same flight, had decided to make a tour of the
city. They had taken the Narita express train to the very
impressive Tokyo Station, and had exited from the Marunoichi
South Gate, gone past the Hato bus line, and taken an open bus
tour. Unfortunately for them, it was extremely cold, and
raining. He was able to recount most of the sights on the
hour-long trip, which left them poorer by 1750 Yen each.
Was there no tour that covered the whole city, perhaps?
Some tours where one could hop on and hop off, at important
sights? I was at my inquisitive best.
There were some long tours, which would cost upwards of 5000 Yen,
he said, and much wold depend on the bus timings, too. They had
come in around mid-day, but got tickets only for a bus after 2 pm.
I was luckier.
As I rushed out with Mr. Green's directions in my head, I boarded
the Tsukuba Express. This particular train was a rapid service to
Tsukuba, which would take about 45 minutes on this fast train. I
noticed some acquaintances also take the same train.
It turned out that they were not aware of the rapid, semi-rapid
and local/commuter train services, the differences between them
being the time taken, which depended on the number of stops. This
ranged from a few in the first case, to all stops, in the latter.
They had to get down at the first stop after their intended
destination, while I continued onward to Akihabara.

The reader may have heard of Akihabara as the `Electric' district
of Tokyo, one which was famous for electronic goods, and gaming.
The latter of course, is a passion with the Japanese, as one
knows. After getting down at Akihabara station, I exited it and
headed towards an entrances just beside it, to catch a train on
the circular Yamanote line to the Tokyo station, with one station
(Kanda) coming in between.
On the way, I saw a double decker Japanese train.



I followed Mr. Green's precise directions to the dot, and soon
found myself outside a Hato Bus ticket counter. I had reached at
02:40 pm, and the next open-top bus was at 03:00 pm. I was
supposed to queue up at 02:50 pm. This was a full bus. While the
tour guide spoke in Japanese, for those who did not understand
Japanese, there was an audio guide which was handed out. This
would not give a running commentary, but would point out the main
sights at sites around the city on the tour, based on GPS
information. I was to figure out that GPS is not that accurate,
even in big cities in developed countries. A Japanese lady was seated
next to me, and prodded me with some descriptions in Japanese.
This at least told me the name of the place, and in conjunction
with some information from the audio guide, I was able to
correlate matters a bit.
I was on tour number A194, bus no. 31, on seat 10A.



Here is a picture of the audio guide, which I would leave my mark
(read, ear wax) on. Ugh...before things get too gross, let me go on.



We were supposed to keep our seat belts on, and not get up.
Please make no mistake, the technical details of the tours below
were picked up straight from the tourist brochure that came with
the bus trip. The three tours being offered were:
1. `Best View Drive: Tokyo Sky Tree'
From the Tokyo station, the bus went to the Shutoko Expressway
(Takaracho-Ueno), Asakusa, Kaminarimon Gate, Sumida river
(Kototoi bridge), the Tokyo Sky Tree, and the Asakusa-bashi
wholesale district, before heading to the starting point.
The next bus was scheduled for 3pm.
This was my obvious choice, given that I had planned for this
trip in just around 10 minutes with Mr. Green's directions, and
did not have a clue as to what I could do in the vicinity of the
Tokyo station. For academic reasons, the other tours were:
2. `Panoramic Tokyo Drive'
The important points on this tour were Hibiya Park, Kasumigaseki,
National Diet Building, Tokyo Tower, Rainbow bridge, Odaiba,
Tsukiji and Ginza.
The next bus was scheduled for 4pm.
From my point of view, I had heard about two places on the list
namely, the Imperial Palace's Hibiya Park, and The Tokyo Tower.
As the reader knows, the Japanese Parliament is called the `Diet'.
In the Queen's Language, this is a term that is simply
distasteful for a glutton like me.
3. `Tokyo Skyscrapers'
The important points on this route were the Shinjuku skyscrapers,
the Tokyo Metropolitan Government office, Yoyogi Park, Omotesando,
Aoyama, the State Guest House (Geihinkan) and Yotsuya-mitsuke.
The next bus was scheduled for 4pm.

The journey started with the bus taking a right turn under a
bridge, which was just high enough for the bus to pass under.
Yes, 3.8 metres.



We then drove past a district named after a Dutch man who was an
official interpreter, in the Shogun era. Pleased with his
services, the Shogun offered him land in this region, which he
bought. Many large corporations have their offices in this
district. The next point on the agenda was Ueno, which houses a
popular zoo. The Shutoko Expressway is an interesting part of
Tokyo, a road winding its way through the heart of the city where
one can travel at high speeds, yet go up and down different parts
like a roller-coaster. We went past the Asakusa area, which
houses the famous Sensoji temple, with the Kaminarimon gate
visible from the road the bus took. The sign under the flyover -
the one to the right, says, `Asakusa'.



Here is an interesting skyscraper, as seen on my right.



An interesting building visible on the right of the Sky Tree (I
I will have better pictures of the Sky Tree later, in this part
of the report itself). These are the headquarters of the famous
Japanese Beer, the Asahi Dry. The building has a golden facade,
with the top in silver, representing a mug of the golden beer
which Japan is known for.



Here is a miscellaneous interesting building on the right of the
street.



From there, we saw some traditional boats on the Sumida river,
which is also close to a district where Sumo wrestlers can still
be apparently seen on streets. I did not sight anyone, that day.
Neither did any wrestler sight `Sumo', either. `Sumo' has been my
unofficial nickname from the days I was a sickly-thin person.
This was a pun both on my name, as well as a reference to my
girth, or the lack of it. Since then, I have single-mindedly
devoted myself to the quest of matching my nickname, and my
current waist/waste measurements would make me closer to those of
a Sumo wrestler.

The Tokyo Sky Tree is one of Tokyo's newest attractions, and has
a waiting time of nearly three hours to get a ticket to go to the
top, which offers a panoramic view of the city and its environs.
On top of the sky tree is a communications antenna. Here is a
picture of the SkyTree from the open top bus.



I liked the enthusiasm of my Japanese co-passengers, cheering
each sight, clapping, and singing with the tour guide. The trip
came to an end in an hour, the designated time.
I thanked the tour guide with an `Arigato' and a bow, and headed back to
the conference site.



The Tokyo station is as impressive on the inside, as it is on the outside!



What is not so impressive for a Microsoft Windows user, would be the
Windows error shown for the entire station to see, on the large
screen, on the bottom of the picture.

On board the train from Tokyo station to Akihabara via Kanda, I
sighted the famous Japanese Bullet train, the `Shinkasen'.
I made it just in time as the 04:22 pm local commuter train was
leaving the Akihabara station, and the 04:30 pm rapid train made
its appearance. There is a WiFi service offered no this train,
which I tried to connect to, in vain. This re-directed me to a
website (which possibly had payment information, which would not
be of any importance to me, as I would not take a paid service if
I could avoid it!). It had got dark by around 5pm, and the train
had quite a few passengers standing. By virtue (vice?) of my
boarding the train from its start point, I got a seat, and
started to key in this part of the trip report.
That was Monday, 12 November, 2012.

Earlier in the day, the conference venue had a nice flower
arrangement session. I was to see its effects much later. The
following pictures would give the reader an idea of how much the
Japanese have developed the art of arranging flowers, into a fine
art. They call it `Ikebana,' literally meaning something like
`living flowers'.











A day passed. I was busy with the conference proceedings. Not
literally though, what I mean by the above-mentioned statement is
that most of my time went in attending the conference.

44.5 The Sensational Sensoji, The Renkoji Rankle

Again a poor runny pun.
The next day for some travelling and sightseeing was Wednesday,
14 November, 2012. The senior colleague, Mr. Green and another
friend set out for exploring the Sensoji temple, close to the
Asakusa stop on the Tsukuba Express. Mr. Green's meticulous
planning had warned us that the Asakusa stop on the Tsukuba
Express stop was some distance away from the Asakusa stop on the
Tokyo local train line. We exited the Tsukuba Express stop.



I also had in mind a possible visit to the Renkoji temple, where
an urn is supposed to house the ashes of the great Indian freedom
fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It would be some adventure
to go there, a place which is not well-documented. I found some
interesting posts on the Internet about the address, Renkoji,
Suginami-Ku, Wada 3 Choome 30-20. Directions to this small
temple were to take the Marunouchi line towards Ogikabo, get down
at the Higashi Kouenji stop, take Exit 1, come on the street past
a cycle stand, and a small garden, and turn left. Dr. Kamath's
detailed article gives many pictures of the place, and mentions
that the temple is some 100 m from the corner, on the right side.
However, there is a lot of controversy on whether the Renkoji urn
actually has the ashes of the great leader, and it would be at
least a 45 minute journey from Asakusa, transferring across two
lines of the Tokyo Metro. Our time was a bit limited before it
would get dark, and we finally decided against it.

We went around the Sensoji area.
It was interesting to see young able-bodied men operating
hand-drawn cycle-rickshaws in the area, from this square, to the
Sensoji temple area. The old Moron joke of the 1970s came to
mind. The Moron returning from a trip of South East Asia, remarked
that he had seen horse carriages drawn by horses, who looked
exactly like men. The relation of the Moron to Equus asinus was
possibly more apparent than to Equus callabus.



The path to Sensoji itself, is a nice experience. The lanes are
narrow but clean. Here is a small structure on the way.



The Temple of the Racoon Dog falls to the left. Legend has it
that racoon dogs were creating nuisance around the area, so a
temple was constructed there, for their appeasement. Here
are three photos of the site.







The entrance to the Sensoji structures is via the Kaminarimon gate,
with the traditional lanterns hung from the top.



The impressive 5-step pagoda was to the left, it was against the source
of light, but still I decided to take a picture. The gates to the
structure were not open to the public, at that time.



Here is a picture of the main altar inside the Sensoji temple.



The ceiling of the Sensoji temple has some interesting murals.



The doors are simple, but strikingly interesting.



There was a metal donation box with an interesting inscription.
It said, ``Not Garbage Box.''
My picture of the same turned out to be so,
and hence had to be consigned to the Trash folder of my computer.

The outside has some characteristic ritualistic objects.



There is a stone statue of the Buddha in the park.



The park had some very nice sights.
Small temple-like structures:



A gurgling brook flowing through the park:



Two more small temple-like structures:



...and a stone inscription in a script that should be familiar to us
Indians. This looks very close to modern-day Tibetan script.



From there, we went back to the Tsukuba Express stop, to go to
the Akihabara Electric district, to have a look at the district
famous for its electronics shops.
Here is an impressive shop facade in the region. The reader may
note the bubble transparent escalators in the shop beside the Sega one.



Mr. Green and I reached back to our hotel, and tired as we were,
jumped headlong into our packing. We had to get up very early the
next morning.
I will cover the rest of the trip in the final Part of this
report, ``45. F.East'12-5: Sayonara!''
---
Links to my 44 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the most interesting read, sumantra. Livened up a boring sunday evening very well.

I have heard about the Japanese loo which you have described. The Japs, like Indians and Middle Easterners, need water to wash their backsides. It is truly amazing how they have set up the technology for that. Most public loos in India still use the lota or the bisleri bottle, although the convenient hand shower, now common in homes, is making an appearance increasingly. But even so, it leaves a puddle around the loo and on the rim after the job is done. Most Disgusting, IMHO.

Personally I think that the paper is the best option, if one knows how to use it properly.

I have a question. Does the surrounding area remain dry after the wash in Japanese loos, or does the spray leave drops on the rim?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Sir!
The_Goat wrote:
Personally I think that the paper is the best option, if one knows how to use it properly.
Since we are at it, let me add my tuppence. Personally, I prefer water, since paper is a bit too dry for my liking (read, posterior).
The_Goat wrote:
I have a question. Does the surrounding area remain dry after the wash in Japanese loos, or does the spray leave drops on the rim?
For the one in Toyoko Inn I experimented with, it was quite accurate in its aim, and the sensors were nice, and prompt. I do not know about other models, but I guess the seat warmer may help the evaporation process, in case of any accidental unintended sprays.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great report and pics... I absolutely love Japan!

And for the record: toilet paper for me. Never used water and never will.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Jason!
jasepl wrote:
And for the record: toilet paper for me. Never used water and never will.
Coming to it, I have a take on this topic in the next part of this trip, too Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rickshaw in Japan ? So whats wrong in having rickshaw in front of my house in Kolkata? Very Happy Very Happy
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Rickshaw in Japan ? So whats wrong in having rickshaw in front of my house in Kolkata? Very Happy Very Happy
Personally, I do not like the idea of hand-drawn rickshaws, ever since I first saw them in Calcutta in the 1970s. Cycle rickshaws are becoming more common in Calcutta - so say some of my friends based there. Of course, you would know better.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Nice Interesting report !
Was fun to read
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Was fun to read
Thanks, Ameya - I am glad you liked it!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan seems like an incredible place, from what I see and read about it everywhere.

Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to P5.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Looking forward to P5.
Thanks a lot, Varun!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you guys had a blast in Japan - managing to do much more than just the conference Smile. Good for you!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Sounds like you guys had a blast in Japan - managing to do much more than just the conference
Yes, Nimish - I really hope my appraisal committee does not take an active interest in my trip reports Wink
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Japanese loo, the "Toto," now comes in different models. A friend has one that will wash your ass, then perfume it with one of two scented waters, then air dry it with warm air.

Maybe AI needs to install these on all their long-haul aircraft.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaysit wrote:
The Japanese loo, the "Toto," ...maybe AI needs to install these on all their long-haul aircraft.
Your suggestion needs to be implemented in toto Wink
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaysit wrote:


Maybe AI needs to install these on all their long-haul aircraft.


The Bisleri Bottle brigade will reduce the fancy loo to something that resembles the sarvajanik sauchalaya at Mughalsarai Junction in no time. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra,
This one may be the best TR you wrote till date on an international journey in my opinion.

Being a TR on Japan, you rightly highlighted the tech/precision (be it loo, bullet train or ikebana) aspect that we know Japan for. Also for a change, we got visual treat from you! Good mixture of humour and narration as always!

No mention of Sushi...how come?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Pal!
PAL@YWG wrote:
No mention of Sushi...how come?
Oops - yes, I did try out a couple of them, including vegetarian sushi (some modern experiments!), but I've never been a big fan of the original raw fish-based one. My biggest miss was...Sake. There was a big vat at the conference Banquet, the warm liquid did nto appeal to me. It was only later that I discovered that it was Sake. I liked the Asahi Dry, however Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon Reply with quote

Lovely end to a fantastic TR! (and wonderful you added more pictures hehehee)

BS broadcasting .... same thing everywhere huh Wink

Awesome description of the 'shower toilet!' .... I laughed for a good 5 minutes. Add another 5 minutes of laughing at the pictures of the buttons Laughing My parents were just in Japan they also mentioned all the toilet seats were heated.

Japan is definitely on my radar .... hopefully soon.
Did you visit the fish/tuna market auction?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: F.East'12-4: Arigato, Nippon Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
Japan is definitely on my radar .... hopefully soon.
Did you visit the fish/tuna market auction?
Thank you, Sir - for the in-depth read, and your comments! No, I did not visit the `fishy' parts. I am not too much of a fish fan, and did not find much time to roam about Tokyo.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again a great toilet report ooops I was just joking.

Loved the complete description of the Japanese tolilets. That is why I love to transit via narita so that I can give my bum a clean wipe.

Personally I think from a hygine perspective tissue paper can never do a clean job. There will be faceal residue in your undergarments which will eventually get mixed with the laundry in the washer. Besides using water is more environment friendly than tissue paper.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
That is why I love to transit via narita so that I can give my bum a clean wipe.
Ha ha, thank you - yes, I am all with you on your point of view. I like water also for its soothing action, as opposed to the friction of a piece of paper, however soft and downy it may be.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A vivid description of a vivid country (with vivid toilets Razz ): Japan!
An absolutely 7* accomplishment this one sir, amazing!
I loved the description of the food, toilet, bus tours, and the attractions in Japan.
Obviously, an interesting toilet there, the Japanese are rapidly finding solutions to everything!
I think most of the places in Asia are a challenge for Vegetarians, even down here in SL. It certainly is a challenge to get over these!

Regards
Jishnu
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Jishnu - I am really glad that you are going through all reports in such level of detail - all at one go! Check out Part 5, too.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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