Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Couple of More Sunday Pictures

Here are some more pictures I took on our Sunday hike.
This cat was reasonably friendly. We weren't sure if he was a stray or not; he sure didn't act much like one, but he didn't have any visible owners around (halfway up the hill).
These statues guard the path to...

...a Christian gravesite.

A Hill near Jingmei

On Sunday, Jenna and I climbed up a big hill near our apartment in Jingmei.
Here's the view looking towards downtown Taipei.
And the view looking towards Xinyi.
Jenna photographing a bit of painted sculpture on the path.
The path.
There is a temple halfway up that seems to double as a community center.
There are some excellent viewing areas in the temple.
A super close-up picture of the inside of an incense bowl.

Another look at the face.

My neighborhood

Here's my street - Wanqing St., Lane 32 - at street level:
And here are some pictures I took from the big open balcony across the landing from us:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Japan pictures

It's been nearly a month - but here are some pictures from my trip to Japan with Jenna in September, to visit our Japan expat friends Jennie and Gerome.
This is the path leading to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. It's near the center of the biggest city in the world - and yet it's so quiet and tranquil.
Jenna and Jennie at the Meiji Shrine.
The entryway to the shrine.
We went to a sumo tournament on Saturday. My knowledge of sumo is next to nothing, but I was swept away by the whole pageantry and ritual of it all. I knew the individual sumo matches would go by quickly, but the ones that lasted as long as ten seconds or more were exciting to watch.
Popular wrestlers got people carrying banners proclaiming corporate sponsorships.
After a while members of the royal family showed up. They were preceded by very creepy black-suited people who took up the seats on either side of the royal box. When the royals actually showed up, they got applause from everyone present, and bows from the wrestlers.
From left to right: Prince Naruhito, Princess Aiko, Princess Masako, big bodyguard.
This picture was taken from a 53rd floor restaurant in an office building. (When you just get drinks and dessert, it's not too expensive.) I believe the large dark area on the right is a park or a shrine.
On Sunday we went to Kamakura to see the world-famous Buddha statue. (That's Jennie and Gerome in the right foreground.)
Some pictures of statues at a shrine we visited at Kamakura.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Taipei MRT Renamed

Gareth of Gareth, Vivian and Fiona has fully translated the Taipei subway map into English, in what I must say is a beautiful piece of work.

I can't quite follow everything he has done here (I'm not sure how he got "The Hot Branches 1911 Revolution" out of "Xinhai") but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.