Friday, November 25, 2011

Japan 2011 - first post

So this was my first post to my blog from Japan, 2011. Thought I'd leave it here as a nice reminder of a new beginning!

So here we are in Tokyo! The penguins are all aglow.

It's been almost three months since we arrived and I am finally getting my blog started. Welcome to those of you who are visiting for the first time. I hope to make regular posts a few times a week if I can keep up with this but no promises. I'll start from here but occasionally pick up some past treasures for your viewing/reading pleasure.

Christmas season is in full swing here so everywhere you see lights and tree shaped objects. The picture above is on the Shinjuku Terrace. Of course if you turned around you would see Starbucks and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Across the way is Tokyo Hands, a great source for all things needed and next to it is Kinokuniya Books with its floor of foreign language books (English, French, German, etc). Very nice...

Here is where we live -

Addresses in Japan are interesting.
Don't ever really expect to find a house based on an address. We live in the 4-chome 6 area of Bunkyo-ku. It's a great, older residential area but still very much in "central" Tokyo. A mix of very new houses and nice older houses. Some of the old traditional wooden  house are still being used in the neighborhood.

Bunkyo is our ward in Tokyo. 4-chome is the area in the ward where our house is. The house is in the 6th block of houses. After that houses are numbered in the order they were built. Nothing is really sequential.

We rely on Google maps and Street View a lot.

This is the main street through the neighborhood - both directions. These streets, of course, are not one-way. They take - cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, taxis, bicycles, walkers, dogs, cats, and everything else.

 And our street - home sweet home.

Close to our house is the Koishihara Botanical Garden. Actually, it's the wall surrounding the garden. We have to walk around to the front to get in but it's nice to have it near by.

The classes I'm to teach haven't started yet. Looks like most of that will happen when the school starts in April. For the time being I am busy doing guest lectures at universities, attending concerts, meeting composers, and working on some new pieces. I gave my first lecture at Tokyo University of the Arts in October. You have to click on the image to enlarge it but my poster is in the middle there... (the little b/w one).
So that's about all for now. Much going on so much more to follow.