Looking good at the level crossing

With train tracks criss-crossing Tokyo in an enormous maze of absolutely mindboggling engineering, it means that waiting patiently (or otherwise) at level crossings is a regular part of everyday life.

However, when doing so, there’s certainly no law against looking good.

A beautiful Japanese woman at a level crossing

A little boy in a sleazy little alley

The fact that this little boy is stood in a dingy alley amidst a load of dodgy bars definitely has something to do with it, but there’s also something else — something more unsettling about this image.

But quite what that something is, I really can’t say.

Japanese alley

Or there again, maybe it’s just me.

Audio and pictures of a Noh actor practicing

Despite being well aware that the words would be unfathomable, and the story even less clear, I’ve always wanted to attend a Noh performance; the masks in particular, and also the mood created by the torchlight if it’s done traditionally, undoubtedly creating an incredible spectacle. Certainly not one to be easily forgotten, that’s for sure.

Seeing a Noh performer practicing in the sunshine, and sadly sans mask, on the other hand, obviously can’t match such ideals, but nevertheless, it’s still a mesmerising sight.

The moves.

Noh performance

His rather maudlin singing.

Listen!

Along with the natural elements of the stage.

Noh performance

And its natural looking ones.

Noh performance

All making for a unique, as well as very private.

Noh performance

Performance.

Noh performance

A poignant reminder of the earthquake and tsunami

It’s now two weeks since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan; a disaster that continues to inflict untold misery upon those people directly affected, and is never far from the minds of those who weren’t.

News from elsewhere, however, along with media outlets seemingly all out of sensationalist stories, means that coverage is very quickly dwindling, yet reminders of that horrible day, and its ongoing repercussions, are everywhere — even in long-closed bars down little side streets.

A poignant tsunami reminder

The earthquake and its aftermath followed in digital form

From the moment the earthquake struck on March 11, smart phones, along with their intellectually challenged cousins, have been worth their weight in gold — probably even more really. Yes, the networks may have faltered initially, rendering calls and SMS redundant, but email, along with access to the web and the likes of Twitter, allowed immediate contact with friends and loved ones, plus updates about what had, and was, happening.

Now, almost two weeks later, they are still invaluable, allowing easy access wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, to news, social media sites and the ongoing problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The only downside being that, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, they allow easy access to news, social media sites and the ongoing problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Japanese mobile phone user