Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Day 150, 30 May 2017: Cruisin'...

Day 150: ...filmin'...that sort of day

Yes, the semester is more or less cruising along, and so was the port. I've not been on a cruise. I've no particular opposition to the idea but let's just say it is not high on the list of things I might do in the near or distant future. 

But I have noticed some smaller cruisers/sleekish ferries pass through the port regularly. I'm guessing, from the advertising I see around the place, that these are the vessels that cruise around the coast of Japan, to and from the various islands. 

And I did, for a moment, think that perhaps that mightn't be a bad idea. Three or four days, taking a look around from a different perspective. 

It was a bit of a day for the imagination as down below, in the 'wedding village', it looked like something was being filmed.

Preparing for departure

Cruisin' 1

Film set 1

Cruisin' 2

Film set 2

I gather the filming included a famous person or two, judging by the crowd of onlookers along the bridge.

Cruising, filming, imagining...just another day by the Bay. 

[Camera Lumix TZ-85, 3.48pm, 4.56pm, 7.07pm; 30 May 2017]

Monday, 29 May 2017

Day 149, 29 May 2017: Another day, another campus...

Day 149: ...but I do like Mondays, for now

Monday. A day for class preparation, research writing, grant submissions, reading, publications...and taking your whiteboard for a I looked out the window today. Quite possible a colleague taking some equipment over to one of the other buildings but something that stood out today. 

Good steering

Across the port

In the late afternoon, it was off to another university for another public seminar, just like last week. It seems I can go for ages without there being public seminars to attend and then they come in a rush. At least it provides some different scenery, this time in and around Yotsuya. 

Sunset from the Jochi campus

Platform below

The bridge (showing its age with the Japanese written right to left, old-school)

The trains

The clouds

The seminar was about 19th and early 20th century Japanese migration and coffee production. Interesting given it has some crossover with my work on 19th century Japanese migration to Australia. It did mean missing out on the gym today, but there is always tomorrow.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.39pm, 3.15pm, 6.40pm-6.45pm; 29 May 2017]

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Day 148, 28 May 2017: A stroll in the Ginza...

Day 148: ...with a purpose

Sunday. Beach day. Or it should be. But some days, you just feel as though you ought to stop and recharge. Today was that day. Besides photography, music is my go-to relaxation gig. That, and theatre, and movies, and reading and...gee, can't wait until retirement when work stops getting in the way. But I digress. 

I have a plan to rebuild my instrument collection over the next little while, starting with the bass clarinet. I'd like to return to the saxophone too, alto and or tenor. I plan to take up the Japanese drums again, somewhere along the way. 

Thanks to one of the large synthesiser music specialists, I can have many of these and about 40 other instruments all in one little electronic package. And my trip to the Ginza today was to sus out this new 'instrument'. 

Meanwhile, on the streets of the Ginza, where the streets are closed on Sundays to allow pedestrian traffic, the shopfronts make for interesting pics. 

A little translucence by the bus stop 

Ito-ya: the best stationery shop

Every person and their dog



Department store

Fruit shop

We're not sure about this one

Outside the music shop...

So now I have this 'instrument', I'll have to practice a little bit, actually quite a lot, but it looks certainly adequate enough to keep my hand in until the proper instruments come along...

[Camera : iPhone6s, 2.33pm, Lumix TZ-85, 3.47pm-3.55pm; 28 May 2017]  

Day 147, 27 May 2017: Preparations for the week ahead...

Day 147: ...and another paper

If it is Saturday it must be time to go to...the office, or the library, or similar. Because is Saturday...I'm not sure whether that is necessarily a good or bad thing but with an extra guest lecture to do this week and a short presentation to make in a couple of weeks time, there is little else to do really. 

The day part one, started with a trip to my favourite place in Tokyo, the National Library (yes, I know) to copy contents pages of two books on Australia and Japan that I will be using for one of the presentations. After a long complicated process involving not breaking copyright laws (it is fine to copy an entire article from a journal, you can't copy more than 10 percent of a chapter in a book however) I finally got the four pages required (and lunched at my favourite timeless library cafe which was open today) and headed to the office...

The hydrangeas are emerging

along with the morning glories

Azaleas near the library

trying to stand out

One of my favourite escalators, at Nagatacho station, Yurakucho line

Afternoon sun
The things you see on the port sometimes

Just a hint of wheel 

I'm always surprised, not surprised at the number of people at work on the weekends. We really ought to, collectively, do something about that. 

[Camera : iPhone6S 11.34am, 1.59pm-2.05pm, 2.50pm, 5.19pm, Lumix TZ-85, 3.55pm; 27 May 2017]

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Day 146, 26 May 2017: A full menu of teaching...

Day 146: ...the day passes before your eyes

...which, if you think about it, is a little tricky for someone professing to post a pic or three each day. But Fridays are like that. The teaching starts early and goes on until late afternoon, by which time it is  time to head to the gym. Yes, the gym on a Friday. I am working hard at this. 

Today started quite wet, somewhat unexpected and somewhat forecast to rain all day. That makes the commute a little unpleasant with everyone trying to avoid stabbing each other with damp umbrellas on the subway. 

At least once I'm on campus, I really don't have to go out again as such. All the classes are in the same building as my office. 

So today, in between classes it was just a quick glance outside...

Cloudy, but no rain

Just busy

Wheel close


...but at least it had stopped raining. And indeed, it didn't rain again for the rest of the day. That was something worth noticing. 

And today's steps reached just over 13,000 and 9km. This gym thing is working and I'm not bored yet.

[Camera: Lumix TZ-85, 4.09pm-4.10pm; 26 May 2017]

Day 145, 25 May 2017: Just working away...

Day 145: ...the long and the short, the tall and the small

One of the more interesting things about sitting on the port (almost, well, from a very high chair at least), is the never-ending range of craft that catch your eye. And yet, just like work within the walls of a uni, there is an order, a regularity, a timetable of sorts. 

Today was one of those days, especially with 'big blue' making its usual way into the port. It will be here a for few days, then out again, then back.

Ships to scale

Looking out into the distance, window decoration 


And late in the afternoon, there was an unusual fog-mist settling over the far reaches of the port under the bridge. I really couldn't quite make it out. 

Where the water merges with the clouds, or something

So just like uni, despite the timetabled regularity, there's always something to catch you by surprise. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.41pm-3.43pm, 4.07pm-4.08pm; 25 May 2017] 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Day 144, 24 May 2017: On returning to my alma mater...

Day 144: ...or, one of them

When you've attended as many universities and gained much from each of them as I have, it is sometimes difficult to call one your 'alma mater'. I've spent considerable amounts of time at two universities in Brisbane and two in Tokyo. One of them, Tokyo University, I revisited this evening to attend a public seminar on Trump and East Asia, a topic I am writing on at the moment. 

It was a bit of a tough call. It coincided with my gym time and so far I've only been once this week...

...but work beat fitness for just this day. There was plenty to see during the day including the fascinating clouds...

Be the one that stands out

The plane, the clouds

The bridge, the clouds

But later in the day it was, after all, visit the old campus, walk through the famous grand red gate and although the seminar was held in a new and rather fancy building which wasn't there in my day, some of the older buildings remind, with all their charm. 

Akamon, the grand red gate

The Fukutake Hall, grand

Old school

Here, for this

Timber impressiveness 

If there were to be a pecking order in my universities, it would have to start with Griffith where my interest in Asian Studies started, my time at Daito Bunka where I invested much time learning all about Japanese politics, Tokyo University where the intrigue of international relations took hold; finally, UQ where I finished it all off (or reached that point where the questions keep coming...). Research. It never really ends.

[Camera : iPhone6S, 11.35am, 1.37pm, 3. 57pm, 6.02pm-8.19pm; 24 May 2017]

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Day 143, 23 May 2017: A walk in the park...

Day 143: ...before a session in the gym

Sometimes, dear reader, I don't know what I have become. Gym. I find myself looking forward to my session in the gym each day (or every other day, depending on work commitments; I guess it is not quite an everyday obsession. Yet). I took the long way round today, opting to stroll through the park I can see from my office. From above, it looked like some new flowers were beginning to bloom (last year it was the hydrangeas, this year?). I thought it was worth a look.

The view from above




Newer hydrangeas

In the distance, the wheel


Not bothered...

This park is quite close to where a lot of the boats we see on the port make their way into the canals and beyond near the university. It usually full of all sorts of activities but this evening, it had quietened down a bit. 

Earlier in the day I spotted one of the 'Mario' go-karts which seem to have become rather popular among tourists. They travel in packs of six or seven on the regular roads and are beginning to cause a few headaches for the police. 


The walk to the park added a few extra steps to my daily goal of 10,000+ too. Fitness. We're getting there.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.48pm, 5.48pm-6.07pm; 23 May 2017]