Jonathan Fleming's Blog

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More Memories of Japan

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Nikon D90 + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

Nikon D90 + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 at 22mm f/4.5, ISO640 1/80 Sec

Yummmmmm. The dessert above is a mango sorbet, which was a perfect finish to the Sushi and Shabu Shabu dinner we had with friends at a restaurant in the Gion area of Kyoto, Japan.  I never saw the bill for this meal, or any meal for that matter during our stay with our hosts. My friends never let me pay for anything when I was with them! If they ever visited me in the States, you can bet I’d return the favor.  I can’t remember ever being treated so nicely by anyone…

You know what one of my favorite things about Japan is? Don’t laugh! The vending machines:


Nikon D90 + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 at 17mm f5.6 ISO200 1/123 Sec

There are literally thousands upon thousands of vending machines like this one sprawled out all over Japan. You can’t hide from them! I even saw them standing alone, often on unpaved roads, in the more remote areas I stayed at, outside of any major city. When I first arrived in Japan on vacation this year, I didn’t pay much attention to them. I quickly discovered, however, that the machines serve up cans of cold AND hot drinks. Yeah!

It was an unusually cold spring in Japan during our visit, and so nearly every time I’d walk by these vending machines, I’d reach down in my pocket for my 120 yen and grab me a hot little can of coffee.  My Japanese friends found this to be pretty amusing, and every time they’d see a machine, they’d say “Hey Jonathan, time for coffee!”

Of course, all this coffee drinking meant more trips to the restroom. No problem! Seems like the restrooms in Japan are as easy to find as these vending machines. They’re everywhere! Very convenient.

What really amazed me though, were the lack of public garbage cans. We have them all over the place in San Francisco, and they apparently don’t help much because there’s a ton of litter on the streets here (and in most US cities for that matter).  When I was in Tokyo, however, every time I’d buy something and eat/drink it on the go, I’d have so much trouble finding a place to throw the trash away,  and would usually end up carrying whatever it was with me until I got back to my hotel room.  You’d think that the lack of public garbage cans would mean lots of trash on the street right? Wrong. At least in the places I visited, I saw little to no litter, especially compared to what I see on the streets where I live.


Nikon D90 + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 at 50mm f/10, ISO200 1/400 Sec

Kinda random, but I spotted the image above in my archives and wanted to post it. I love Japanese sports cars! This one was parked outside my friend’s house in Osaka.  Honda sells a similar car in the US, but with a different front end design that, in my opinion, is not nearly as cool as this one. Do you see any trash in the gutter to the right? Me neither!

Written by Jonathan

November 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm