Some Tokyo-ing with Caro

I haven’t been able to post a lot of updates in the last days, so here’s at least a small one for now. On Thursday and Friday I met with Caroline in Tokyo, who’s a friend from Hamburg and was able to make a short stop in Japan on her way back from another journey. We had a great time exploring some of the city together and enjoyed some nice shopping (100 Yen-shops ftw.!), as well as tasty Japanese food. Thanks for meeting up! And also thanks to Haruka and Yuko for taking the time to go out with us :)

Walking around in Chiyoda, Tokyo

Nothing big today, just a few pictures from a midday walk around the National Diet Library in Tokyo’s Chiyoda area.

A library day in Tokyo

Today was the first day to conduct research in the National Diet Library (after my registration on Saturday), so I went there in the morning to have a first look at what they had to offer to suit my topic. With some quick instructions on how to use their library system (I must have been looking pretty lost, apparently, as the staff member came back twice to ask, whether I needed any help) I started to dig in their catalogue and was quickly able to find some possibly interesting books and articles.

The National Diet Library

Who tries to steal a metal ‘D’?

Problem is, though, that their copy cost is quite high, so I need to filter all of this already in the library, where I can’t use markers and so on – meh. It’s actually cheaper to buy some of the books, than to copy a fair amount of them. Can’t be helped, but it’s definitely going to slow things down a bit. But well, the library is closed tomorrow, so I have a day to work on the stuff that I did still copy. Still pleased with the way things seem to be going :)

National Diet BuildingStudying in a prominent neighbourhood – next door to the National Diet Building.

On the way back home I got my Tokyo evening rush-hour experience in the subway, where everyone was trying not to move between all the squeezing that was going on. Especially when the subway went around a corner, you could see a wave go through the mass of human bodies. Luckily, I had a secure spot in a corner, where noone dared to push (don’t mess with the foreigner!) and was able to observe it all in a relaxed fashion. Though this probably won’t work every evening :D

Early blossomingEarly plum (I think…) blossoms in front of the library. Spring is coming, even though the news are still dominated by the chaos that was caused by the heavy snowfall on the weekend.

Why u so cold, Tokyo?

Well, well, well… this blog has been laying dormant for far too long. Luckily current events warrant a revival: I’m back in Japan for 5 weeks to conduct research for my final thesis and – noone would belive me if I said I wouldn’t do this – to travel some and meet old friends again that I haven’t seen in a long time. My first stop is Tokyo and while I had prepared myself for low temperatures, I was a quite a bit surprised when I arrived at Narita Airport and saw the amount of snow laying around. Minami-Kashiwa in snowApparently, Tokyo had seen its worst snow falls since 40 years last weekend and was just beeing hit by a second heavy snow fall when I arrived. In a few hours trains started to become delayed and even stopped in parts – which shocked my unquestioned belief in the impossibility to fail of the Japanese railway system. Though, they definitely managed a lot better than the Deutsche Bahn would’ve done and I arrived at my host family nearly without delay. So I can’t really complain, to be honest :D Tokyo in snow And today the snow already started to melt away again, so the city is going to be back to normal tomorrow anyway. I used the day to register myself at the National Diet Library and to go for some shopping in Akihabara. It’s as colourful and loud as I had remembered it – wonderful! These are going to be 5 awesome weeks! :D

13th Japan Filmfest Hamburg starts today!

Today marks the beginning of the 13th Japan Filmfest Hamburg with the world premier of Black Dawn, based on the successful Japanese tv-series Gaiji Keisatsu. In the wake of the great 2011 earthquake terrorists are planning an attack on a nuclear reactor and it’s up to this special police force to stop them. The movie will be running in the Metropolis Cinema, which is one of the festival’s 4 venues. All of them are located in convinient distances to one another and considering the weather report for the next days, I’ll definitely bring my bike with me for quick trips from one cinema to the next.

The festival will go on until the 27th and I’m already planning to visit quite a few films in addition to the ones where I’m going to hold the opening speech. So if any of you would like to meet me there, just check my personal timetable below :)

23rd of May:

25th of May:

26th of May:

27th of May:

  • 10.00 Movie breakfast at the Projektor Cinema

I hope to see a lot of you in the movie theaters with me to enjoy the Japanese cinema we’re presenting this year. This year’s selection offers a broad range of different films for everyone, so if you’re interested in Japan or Japanese movies you should definitely find some film to fit your taste. Let’s enjoy the festival! :)