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.

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! :)

One year after 3/11

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which led to the tsunami that took the lives of over 19.000 people and caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. I arrived in Japan about a month after the earthquake and stayed in this fascinating country for this whole year and even in these times I always felt welcome. In the face of all the hospitality that I received this is not much, but I give my deepest condolences to everyone, who lost loved ones due to this disaster, who lost their homes and who lost everything they possessed. Do not give up in living your life and rebuilding what you love. 頑張れ日本!

And to everyone else I can only try to raise some awareness that the problems are far from over and there is much to be done. Despite the Fukushima-centered media coverage around the world, the damage from the tsunami has probably more direct influence on the people from East Japan. If you have the time I can recommend the following two videos. One is a documentary of a Japanese, who’s coming back to his tsunami-struck hometown, while the second one is a trailer for a documentary that also deals with the life after the tsunami and has already received some international reputation.

After the Wave:

http://www.after-the-wave.com/

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom:

http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/

Thank you, Japan!