28 February 2007

The World is Still Black and White

In keeping with the this is the best idea I've ever had approach to photography, I found myself at the top of the Shinagawa Prince Hotel for Tokyo's second cloudy and rainy winter day.

We had to first navigate our way through Shinagawa Station, where, over the past year or so, I have spent many an hour walking around in my usual befuddled state, clueless as to how to actually get out of the place. I'm sure it's bigger than Melbourne Airport.

A friend and I went for lunch at a restaurant in the hotel, the name of which I can't remember, nor do I know what floor we were even on, but if you're in Tokyo, I highly recommend it.

Although it rains a lot at home, the whole umbrella culture hasn't really taken off and you're considered a bit of a wuss if you shun a few drops of rain. It's the complete opposite in Japan. Locals cringe like the Wicked Witch of the West at the first sign of rain clouds and scurry for cover lest the water melts them or, even worse, messes with their fabulous hairdos. And that's just the men. Still, I've joined the brolly-brigade and now have seven umbrellas in my possession to match every possible outfit. Er, which would be black. Or black.

I had never noticed these umbrella lockers before this particular rainy day. Petty theft is relatively unheard of, so I imagine these lockers exist purely for the amount of people who would be needing to place their brolly somewhere (god forbid you carry them inside and drip water over the floor - as I unwittingly did when I first arrived). You drop the umbrella in, the key pops up and off you go, content in the knowledge that it will be there when you return.

OK, this post mentions umbrella or brolly six times. I cannot believe I am resorting to talking about the weather. Can my life possibly get any more boring? Stay tuned because you'll be the first to know.


  1. Cool!
    You're turning English!
    I have three umbrellas right here in my office. One foldy one, one big storm-proof one and one lovely old Fox Frame one (a brolly-lover's brolly).
    And another one in the car and some more at home (yikes).

    And when I get to Tokyo I'll be sure and try the nameless restaurant that's somewhere in Shinagawa.

    Excellent photos as always, GG.

  2. Never in my life have I heard of an umbrella locker, but then I rarely use one. It must be torrential for me to resort to using an umbrella.

    Oh, and don't feel bad about talking about the weather. I posted about animals in the parking lot.

  3. Oh, Dive beat me to the comment box again! Does that man ever work?

  4. Of course not, Robyn! My lovely "Very Personal Assistant" GG does all of my work for me.

  5. Me Nightingale, hold onto yer brolly, because ye will be joinin' th'piratical adventures quite soon -- I assure ye that at least one part o' yer life will not be borin'.

    Ummm, might I 'borrow' yer geisha pic for a chapter in th'adventures?

  6. Cool pics again, Gaijin Girl. It's okay to talk about the weather but I'm disturbed that you counted how many times you mentioned brollies.

  7. Hey Boss: Ha, yes, perhaps I am turning English.
    You're if I get to Tokyo has changed to when. Good stuff.


    Robyn: I'd rather read/talk about animals than the weather any day, I'm not a grandmother just yet. Your animal post was very sweet.

    And yes, I am flummoxed as to when Dive finds the time to work. I see him strumming away on every website I visit.


    Omg, Cap'n-san! Fuckin' yay, I'm gonna be a pirate! Babe, if you've not already downloaded that ruby lower lip for yer viewin' pleasure, feel free to do so now. Har, me be goin' t'be a pirate with a cutlass!


    Thanks, Vic. I know, my mind generally works in very disturbing ways. I don't usually count words, (really!) but I had visions of my family harping on incessantly about the weather and I felt that my fate was sealed. I... must... fight... it...

  8. Petty theft is relatively unheard of...
    Well, that's true to pretty much everything in Tokyo - except umbrellas. You wouldn't believe how many of them were stolen from me in Tokyo ! I mostly use the generic transparent & cheap kind, and those are seemingly regarded as belonging to anyone picking them up...
    I was pretty sure at first I would have been sued for taking the wrong brolly home (as there is no such thing as petty crimes in Japan, indeed - just crimes!), so I carefully marked mine to avoid any mistake : well, mind you, I almost never found the one I came with when leaving !
    So now I apply the 'when in Japan, do as the Japanese' motto : when leaving, I just pick any random brolly vaguely ressembling the one I came with.

    I guess that wouldn't apply to fancy umbrellas, though.