I’m Not Here and Yet I’m Still Posting

Look gang, some posts together in a reasonably timely manner, however did this happen.

Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. Blogger now has a feature that lets you date stamp a post so it won’t appear until the relevant desired date, this, combined with my complete lack of anything to do at work recently, means I’ve been able to build up a kind of buffer of posts. Sorry for the gap in posting but heading into August and September we should be back on track again.

In fact due to the magic of technology this post is going up as I am actually in Tokyo! Control yourselves people, I know you’re excited but you can’t possibly be more excited than I. After all, I’m the one off there.

I intend to travel in style, yes that’s right, not the proletarian delights of the shinkansen for me, oh no, I shall be traveling by the night bus; a 7 hour overnight journey in cramped environs. Fortunately I have with me all the entertainment I could possibly need in the form of “Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2”. A computer game that is in part responsible for the lack of posting last month. Damn catchy games.

In Tokyo I’ll be hitting up such sights as the Tokyo Tower, Asakusa Shrine, The National Museum, Tsukiji Fish Market and Hea-jinja and exploring such diverse districts as Shibuya, Akihabara, Ginza, Odaiba and even a jaunt to Yokohama.

So expect many, many photos and stuff from Tokyo in the coming weeks.

Until then here is some random filler.

This is an enormous whale hanging inside a building in Umeda. Underneath it is a baby whale. Its true purpose is mysterious and possibly sinister.

I could really go for some pudding right now.

And following up from last week’s Tenjin no Matsuri we have more pictures of fireworks.

These were let off in Kobe for, really no apparent reason, other than it being summer and really do you need any more excuse than that to light up the sky.

I have seen more spectacular fireworks in Osaka (not at the Tenjin matsuri but rather at a dedicated fireworks event) but these come a very close second. I watched them with friends from Port Island, an artificial island in Kobe Harbour which overlooks Harborland. The combination of the bright lights of Kobe, the spectacularly lit up Port Tower and Ferris wheel in Harborland and the fireworks was especially lovely.

Finally here is some weird stuff I found in my local combini.

Japan loves seasonal food and no food better embodies this than the kit-kat. Summer is upon us and so the summer kit-kat flavour has arrived and this year it is.

Watermelon and Salt.

As weird as Watermelon chocolate sounds in the first place (not weird in a bad way just a hard to imagine way) it is the addition of salt that really pushes this into the truly bizarre.

As for the taste test? Well it’s nice actually; in fact it’s one of my favourite Japanese specialty flavours. The salt is actually quite a nice touch cutting the sweetness of the rest of it which is much, much sweeter than a regular kit-kat for some reason. The watermelon flavour is subtle but nice. I don’t really associate chocolate with summer so I doubt I shall be stocking up on this but this is a really, really nice kit-kat.

At the same combini I also spotted this, the coffee history of Kobe. This is another thing you find a lot of in Japan. Non-local products marketed as if they are local. There is no coffee grown in Kobe and as far as I know no real link to coffee in the city’s history. Although it was one of the first ports that was allowed to train with the outside world so I’m sure most coffee in Japan did pass through Kobe at some point. This product joins Kobe wine, Kobe cheesecake and Kobe pudding as an odd kind of but not quite foreign product that people who visit Kobe can give to relatives.

It is not bad coffee.

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