A good read in Ginza

Shopping may well be a sort of semi-official national sport in Japan, but for one or two people at least, it still can’t beat the simple pleasure of a particularly good book.

reading in Tokyo

Regardless of the glut of strange glances it may garner.

reading in Tokyo

Japanese workers working #23

Considering the frightening amount of financial failures over the last few years, the purchase of an apparently lucky trinket or two definitely can’t do any harm as we prepare to delve into a new decade.

And, if nothing else, this bloke looks like a good old boy to buy something from.

Japanese lucky charm

Preaching and placards

Despite Japan’s previous Prime Minister, Taro Aso, being a Catholic, the general consensus seems to be that Christians only make up around 1 percent of the population — a lowly figure that, over the Christmas period at least, a few of the few try to boost by the careful placement of some placards.

Christians in Japan

But that said, prompting people to reflect upon or even repent their apparent wrongdoings in Shinjuku, where carnal sins and consumerism could almost be classed as compulsory, would be no mean feat indeed.

Christians in Japan

A miracle even.

A few iPhone photos #2

The combination of always carrying my mobile, and the considerable number of photography apps currently available, has meant that the iPhone has recently become a particularly pleasing plaything, allowing me to bag pictures I may otherwise have missed, or, alternatively, experiment more with those I might not have.

A versatility that can result in opportunities for surreptitious shots of ladies paying no attention to train manners by talking on the phone, with the time-honoured technique of marginally covering one’s mouth really not concealing any of the conversation.

Japanese iPhone photo

And, on the slopes, when a bulky camera would have unbalanced my sadly still basic abilities, the iPhone is a semi-decent substitute of sorts.

Japanese iPhone photo

Or, with a few app-based alterations, there is the option of some slightly different takes on well known districts.

Japanese iPhone photo

Or less well known window displays.

Japanese iPhone photo

Plus an amazingly bendy building.

Japanese iPhone photo

Some youngsters happily sauntering home.

Japanese iPhone photo

And the quaintest little train I have ever had the pleasure to come across.

Japanese iPhone photo

A journey that was quite possibly filled with more laughter than the one below, as it involves a care worker walking with an old couple on what could well have been their last potter around the park.

Japanese iPhone photo

Should you have the urge to see some more, several of these pictures, along with plenty of others, can also be viewed here, where all the iPhone images I upload to my Twitter page are now located.

Ho Ho oh…

When it comes to presents, a spectacularly unsuitable sweater or some sadly predictable socks may well be far from perfect, but it’s the thought, by all accounts, that counts.

Christmas decorations on the other hand, especially those that aren’t done very well or are downright depressing, could well be deemed as very different.

Japanese Christmas decorations