For those reading who don't know me, or have forgotten my name, I am Neil Gordon and I intend to keep this blog up to date with my travel activities in Japan - taking place from mid July 2010 till some time in January 2011.
I'm English and am interested in the Japanese culture and language, as well as computers and technology.
The blog name neiltanken is simply my name + 探検 (tanken) - which means expedition.


Summary of recent stuff

I bid farewell to Y-san's family and stayed 2 nights in a capsule hotel near Asakusabashi station.
During which time I met with "team russia" M-san and her boyfriend again.
Or so I thought - while I'd been travelling the two of them had gotten married! Congratulations!
We are Ramen togather, then played the original famikon (Nintendo Entertainment System) together.
It felt kind of nastalgic, but I was a poor child who didn't have his own Nintendo. (lol)
We had dinner at their local Izakaya (Japanese style pub/restaurant).

The followind day before going to Nagoya I looked around Ueno zoo.
Kanei temple's 5 story pagoda (inside teh zoo grounds). Penguins and the Higuma brown bear.

There was still time before my night bus to Nagoya so I went to look at the Tokyo International forum.
I found there was a talk titled "How to enjoy Noh" so I went and listened to it.
The talker was the 11th head of the Fujita school of Noh flute playing, Mr Rokurobyoue Fujita.
He told us various interresting things about Noh.
For example, apparently when Noh flutes are made they aren't tuned, so the same song performed with a differrent flute actually sounds differrent.
Apparently Noh started as a way to thank or petition the gods, but over time developed into an artform.
If I can, I'd like to make the time to see one of Mr Fujita's performances.
Inside Tokyo International Forum

I struggled a little to get sleep in the night bus, then slept another few hours at a net cafe after arriving in Nagoya.
I then met my slightly distant relative K-san at the station.

We went to a place called Inuyama and visited the Momotarou Shrine, then Inuyama castle.
Inuyama castle is one of Japan's few remainng castle's which hasn't burned down and been rebuild at some point.
We were able to climb to the top of the tower and see the outside view unobscured.

Momotarou Shrine
Inuyama castle and the view from the top

After that we went to Meijimura, which is a large park with various historic buildings rebuilt/moved to within it's grounds.

From the next day I checked out Nagoya castle and the Oosu Kannon temple alone.

Noh masks from the Noh theater near Nagoya castle, Nagoya Castle and the elevator believed to have been used by the Shogun when he developed a bad back (joke)
Oosu Kannon Temple

On my last day in Nagoya I ate Breaded Chicken in Miso sauce (a Nagoya specialty) with K-san and her mother.

Next update - in Kyouto!