Honda engineers have been working for more than 30 years trying to create a humanoid robot: Asimo. For the last few years the appearance of Asimo has barely changed, however every year that goes by he has smoother moves, he is more agile and is faster when walking, running or even dancing. The newest version of Asimo was shown to the world for the first time last week in New York. In the video you can see how he is able to kick a ball, serve a drink or even shake hands.
Source: Japan Today
Since so many tourists were attracted to the Harajuku bridge, it has become more and more difficult to spot young Japanese people dressed following the style of Tokyo urban tribes. Some years ago if you went on a Sunday to Harajuku it was very easy to see lolitas walking around and showing off. Nowadays it is much more difficult but if you are lucky you can still spot some small groups dressing as if they had came out of a fantasy animation movie set in an alternative Victorian era.
We ended our walk around Kameido in the Shintoist shrine Kameido Tenjin 亀戸天神. As it is open 24 hours every day, it can be visited at night and you can take great pictures with night illumination and with almost no tourists/visitors spoiling the photo.
The first bridge right after the main torii is the bridge of the woman (Onnabashi 女橋: woman, bridge).
The second bridge, right before arriving to the shrine area is the bridge of the man (Otokobashi 男橋: man, bridge)
We visited it during the blossoming of the plum trees 梅 as you can see in the night photos, but the ideal moment to visit the shrine is during the blossoming of the wisterias (Fujizoku フジ属) in April and May, when the branches and flowers of the wisterias are beautifully reflected on the water of the ponds.
Wisterias are plants that have inhabited the Japanese archipelago for a really long time. They were already an inspiration to the Japanese people of ancient times, as they are mentioned in several poems in the Man’yōshū (5th century A.D.)
“When the wisterias blossom,
the wind turns them into waves.” Man’yōshū (5th century A.D.)
Legend has it that the wisterias in Kameido were planted at the beginning of the Edo era. The rest of the temple has been reconstructed several times but the wisterias are the original ones.
More or less the same spot as 100 years ago, the wisterias were already there but the bridges were made of wood.
Another photo from the beginning of the 20th century of one of the bridges of the shrine.
The beauty of the temple and its wisterias inspired many artists of the Edo era. This is an ukiyo-e of one of the bridges of Kameido Tenjin created by Hiroshige in the mid-19th century.
Comparison of the work of art of Hiroshige and a photo nowadays.
The Hokusai version of the Kameido Tenjin bridges.
Isometric view of the bridge of the woman and the bridge of the man under the snow.
Enjoying a day under the blossomed plum trees of Kameido Tenjin by Hiroshige.
These are not ukiyo-e, they are drawings also from the Edo era that show the atmosphere of Kameido Tenjin. You can also see the wisterias, the temple, the pond and the bridges.
The Kameido Tenjin bridges, the wisterias and the ukiyo-e reminded me of the Green Harmony by Monet.
“The temple bell stops.
But I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers” Matsuo Basho
You can get to the temple by walking 15 minutes to the northeast of Kameido station. In the official website of the shrine you can find the exact location.
Kameido is a neighborhood in east Tokyo (JR Sobu line from Akihabara to Chiba) which is not very touristy but it’s worth to take a stroll around its alleys. Nowadays the eastern part of Tokyo is the youngest and most lively part of the city (Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, etc), however during the Edo era the areas west and south of the Imperial Palace were the busiest ones.
Even though Kameido, in east Tokyo, was destroyed during the Second World War it still maintains certain aura of past times. Kameido is very popular for its gyoza and horumon ホルモン restaurants.
We had dinner in this yakitori restaurant where we had some delicious shiitake.
A new thing about Kameido is that from many parts of it you can easily see the Tokyo Sky Tree.
If you like Ghibli movies I’m sure that you will like the following photos taken in a neighbourhood at the outskirts of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Known as Nukumori, it is a village with several houses, artisans shops, coffee shops and restaurants surrounded by a “Totorian” forest. All of it looking as if it had just came out of Hayao Miyazaki imagination. Some of the houses are open to visitors. In the official website you can find more information and photos.
You can see Nukumori in the last minute of the video.
It is quite far from Tokyo and you have to go by car but if you feel like having an adventure here you have the location in Google Maps.
Source: Matome Naver
NHK, the main Japanese TV network, and also a big corporation with research departments, was recently able to successfully broadcast 8K video on the air. To simply understand what it means to broadcast video in 8K, we can think of it as transimitting video with a quality “equivalent” to that of a 33.1 megapixel camera. The feat has been possible by using orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) imitating the techniques used by laptops to receive Wifi signals via 802.11.
As of now, it has only been a transmission test at a 27 km (17 miles) distance but NHK is already planning to broadcast the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 8K.