Monday, June 24, 2013

ऐतिहासिक दस्तावेज: जपानी पत्रं - २

ऐतिहासिक दस्तावेज: जपानी पत्रं - १

Dear P,
    Day before yesterday, we went to Akihabara electronic city. You and A would love to see that place. All types of electronic goods duty free - from components to home equipments - everything. The range is just amazing. I found the electronic multimeter there, but it was not as compact as you said - it was the size of a scientific calculator. It can fit into a pocket, but not exactly the size of a calculator as
you wanted. Should I buy it? We bought a simple camera there. After Akihabara, we went to the imperial palace. You cannot go inside the palace, but the lawns, moat and the fountains are very beautiful. What is remarkable is, any tourist can simply walk to this place ... there is no security checking or the air of pompousness as you would find in say Mughal Gardens in Delhi.  
    Yesterday we went to Yokohoma - the landmark tower. It is a 70 storeyed building built in 1993. There is an observatory on the 69th floor. The elevator takes you to this observatory in less than a minute - we couldn't believe that we have reached the 69th floor. The view from this observatory is breathtaking. It is on the seaside. We could see the docks and an amusement park on one side. On the other side, mount Fuji can be seen. Then we went to the amusement park - there is a giant Cosmic clock there - a giant wheel. It turns very slowly, but you get a beautiful view of the surroundings. We also had a ride in a "vanishing coaster". Since it is on the seaside, it was very windy there. This is one of the scariest roller coasters here I think.
    So for two days M and I have been traveling on our own - and not getting lost even once! V was supposed to meet us yesterday, but she didn't turn up. But she had given instructions in detail, and we managed by ourselves.
        The other places we are very keen on visiting are Mt Fuji, Tokyo tower and Disneyland. 

- Gouri


Dear All,
    Yesterday we got a comp off. We had gone to Kawasaki and Shinjuku. Finally I bought an automatic non SLR camera - with 35 - 150 zoom. Then we went to Shinjuku - to Tokyo hands. Form Kawasaki, you have to go to Shinagawa and from there to Shinjuku. You can buy ticket up to Shinjuku at Kawasaki itself. The ticket fare information was all in Japanese, and we bought a wrong ticket. After reaching Shinjuku, we were not able to pass through the exit doors. We had to get the fare adjusted and then exit. There is no concept of fine here - it is assumed that you forgot to buy a ticket, or there was some mistake. When will we have so much trust in our public dealings?
    Shinjuku is a beautiful place. Just outside the station, there is a huge square with wooden flooring - "Times square" of Tokyo. There is a huge departmental store here. Next to the store, there is "Tokyo Hands". Next to Tokyo Hands is the bookshop we had visited earlier - Kinokoniya. Beyond Kinokoniya, there is the NTT - DoCoMo building - a replica of the empire state building. I checked for an English translation of Oshin at Kinokoniya, but couldn't find it. I had asked about it to S. She said there is a book in Japanese, but she was not sure whether an English translation would be available. She said the serial is available on video, but it will be a large set - the serial is quite lengthy. She also suggested a Japanese animation film about the story of a brother and sister during the second world war.
    Tokyo Hands is a place where anyone will find something to his interest. Art material, bathroom settings, fashion, puzzles... everything under one roof. It is impossible to see all this in one day.
    This Friday, there is a party - our project's party. So most probably we will get to test some Japanese delicacies on that day.

Dear All,
    day before yesterday we had the project party. It was also supposed to be a welcome party for M and me. We thought it would be in a restaurant. It was in a traditional sake house! That place cannot be called a bar. The atmosphere there was very different. You have to remove your shoes before entering here - as in any traditional Japanese home. There were low chairs - on which most of us were sitting cross legged. The party started with a toast of beer. M sat in the smoking part of our small room, and I went to the non - smoking part. S was not there, so we didn't have any interpreter. Everyone around me was trying his best to speak in English. They requested me to speak only one sentence at a time so they could understand.:) There was a lot of variety in food and drinks. I tried everything except beef. So first we had crab. after that, there was a dish of beef – very much like sizzler. I ate all the potatoes and onions in it. :) Very tasty. I also tried fish, and like it. Here everyone drinks - many of them drink everyday. The alcohol percentage in the Japanese beer is very low, and they drink it like water. I also had grape sawa and some other kind of sweet sawa, and of course, sake. Besides this, I tasted every drink that was ordered on the non - smoking table! On this table, we were six of us - Mr Yamada - president of the customer company, Mr Sunaga - the head man in testing, Mr Ueda who is working with us in our module, Mr Hayashi and one more. Most of these people seem so serious in the office - very polite but formal - here they talking very freely. Surprisingly for me, they did not mind sharing all this with their boss - Mr Yamada - which is unthinkable at our place. In our company, if people really want to enjoy, they will call no one from the management to the party.I liked this atmosphere and team spirit very much. No outsider could make out who is the boss and who are the employees. We had a great time.
    On Saturday, we went to Odaiba - this is reclamation land, joined to Tokyo by the beautiful rainbow bridge. It was the day of the Hanabi fireworks in Tokyo bay, so all the local trains were as crowded as any of our fast Bombay locals in the evening. And the artificial beach in Odaiba - Decks beach was not less crowded than Chowpati. There is a replica of the statue of liberty in Odaiba. Japan is a prosperous nation, quite advanced in technology and fine arts. Still I feel there is so much of imitation - or an attempt to prove oneself - I found it strange. Why should Tokyo have Tokyo tower " taller and lighter than the Eiffel" or a statue of liberty just like the French one? Perhaps I was expecting something more original from Japan. The fireworks in Tokyo bay were very beautiful. That is the largest firework display in Japan. We saw it from quite some distance from Odaiba - still, the fireworks in Asakusa that we had seen earlier were nothing compared to this display. The rainbow bridge looks very beautiful in the night. And we could also see the Tokyo tower behind it. While returning from Odaiba, there was so much crowd - and we had to wait in a Queue to the station for more than half an hour. Everyone was in the queue ... no one keeping watch and no one jumping the queue. By the time we reached there, we were completely exhausted.  We got in the train, and then realized, that this train was going in the opposite direction. M got down, and before I could get out, the doors were closed. So I had a free ride to Daiba - the next station, and back. :)
    We were planning to go to Mt Fuji yesterday. But we got very tired on Saturday, and it was late. For Mt Fuji, you must start early in the morning - at this time of the year, Fuji is open and you can climb up to the top - its a 6 hrs plus climb to reach the top - "more than Sinhagad" as told by V. So we decided that we will go on some Saturday. Instead, we decided to go to Ueno. There are lots of museums and a zoo in Ueno. By the time we reached there, everything was closed. The area is very beautiful. So we strolled there for some time. We could hear some drums in a distance, and went in that direction to see what was going on. It was a Buddhist shrine, and Hanabi (summer festival - the fireworks were also part of Hanabi. Hanabi is celebrated all over August in Japan.) festivities were going on there. There was a group of 8 - 10 men and women - young as well as old - who were playing wooden drums in the courtyard of the shrine. We enjoyed this display very much. After the drums, there were 2 jugglers who displayed their balancing skills. One of these was a Frenchman who was speaking Japanese. So instead of the zoo, we saw something totally unexpected and very beautiful.
    Day after tomorrow, the team from Pune will arrive here. They will be staying at a different place. We will be shifting to a larger apartment in our present building on 15th. At present, M is finding it very difficult - he has to sleep without AC and fan, and it is very hot and humid. Mr Yamada told us taht this is unusually hot even for a Tokyo summer.
- Gouri  

No comments: