These photos were taken on the way to Osaka, and in and around Osaka and Kyoto, in February of 2007. This is the first of two pages, since there were so many photos. Click here to view the second page, or here to view the corresponding blog entry.




O'Hare Airport in Chicago, after arriving from Montreal.


Lunch in Chicago.



This is where things started to get messy. This is still in Chicago. It looks like the weather was quite nice, but the airport was still recovering from a huge snowstorm the previous day (which had melted by the time I took this photo). The snowstorm had forced the airport to cancel over a thousand flights, so it was pretty chaotic. I got bumped back so that I wasn't able to fly out until about ten hours after I was originally scheduled to leave, and I was lucky by comparison.



San Francisco airport, early the next morning.



Leaving Vancouver International. Although you can't see it very well, the town on the water in the center of the photo is Nanaimo, British Columbia.



Ski hills down below the plane.



Dinner on Air Canada. We had two meals on the flight to Japan, and I was really impressed by the quality of them, considering that we ate several hours after the food had come on board. For the first meal, I had a rice & chicken dinner with a sushi dessert, and for this one, I had the beef & vegetables with a fruit dessert.



Flying past Mount Fuji.



A view from inside one of the clubs that I was playing in, taken from the DJ booth and showing part of the dance floor with a huge projection screen in the background. I took this photo on Friday, but I wasn't playing until the following evening.



Lychee liquor - which is sort of a fruit based liqueur.



This was a bottle of a green tea cream-based liqueur. I hope I can find this in Canada, because I tried some before I went out on Friday night, and it was really good.



And here is one of those drinks.



A photo of Jason with Ian Warney, a DJ and friend of mine from university. Ian is now teaching English in Osaka.



A display rack of energy drinks. The Japanese definitely love their energy drinks.



A taxi driver. He didn't speak any English.



I spent some time walking around downtown Osaka on Friday evening.



Back alleys are much, much safer in Japan than in North America, and crime is almost unknown in Japan, by comparison.



A sign advertising a number of bars in an underground area. In many places, there are just a large number of small bars all in a group, rather than one large bar.



A sign for another club.



I had to take a few photos of various vending machines. The Japanese LOVE their vending machines, and you can buy just about anything from them. Many of the machines that sell beverages have hot and cold sections, so it is easy to get a hot coffee and a cold beer from the same machine.



A food display outside a restaurant. Again, I had to take photos of the food displays outside several establishments. Many restaurants will get colorful wax replicas constructed of all the dishes on their menu, so people walking by on the street can see what the food is supposed to look like. It also makes it easy for foreigners to order, since you can just point at the dish that you want to try.



A liquor store.



A downtown street.







This foreigner had a little bit too much to drink. We were actually sitting and eating for about fifteen minutes before I turned around and noticed him passed out on the floor behind me. After I took a photo of him, a couple of the staff noticed what I was doing and came over and started laughing at him, so they carried him outside so he could sleep on a bench in front of their restaurant.



Ian, posing for the camera in a "toy" shop.



A pair of Japanese girls in costume, just hanging out on the street corner.



Ulala, admiring an enormous Bailey's bottle.







A giant octopus on the side of a building.



A fast food menu, Japanese style.



An old poster of an event at Triangle.



A view of one side of Osaka from the apartment that I was staying in, taken on Saturday afternoon. The building was pretty tall, so the view was good. The view at night, the previous evening, had been incredible, but photos couldn't do it justice.







A line of vending machines.



A delivery truck.



In the Osaka train station. The Osaka train system is a bit more confusing than most cities that I've been in, since there are a whole lot of separate lines which are owned by different companies, and all the fares are different depending on which line you are on, and how far you're going. And of course, since the signs are mostly in Japanese, it gets even more confusing.



KFC and MacDonalds are everywhere - the only Western chains that I really saw in Osaka.



We stopped for tea downtown. The bottle on the right was a liquid sugar.



"Fast Food," sushi and snacks, at a convenience store.



More wax food displays outside another restaurant.



The Colonel, once again.



This was taken in the NHK building - a national Japanese television station. You can see the show being filmed in front of a small audience in the room, and the simultaneous live network feeds on the TV screens at the top of the photo.



This is a full-size Domokun. He is a mascot for NHK, who apparently landed on earth from space. The story goes that the first word he heard in Japan was "domo," which means "thank you," and that is where he got his name from. Although he looks like he wants to eat small kittens, he is supposed to be a "good" character.



A pidgeon.



A very old tree.



Osaka Castle. This castle is located in the center of the city, and is surrounded by an enormous moat.



A tourist train.



A Shinto shrine. Shintoism did not formally start out as a religion, but in olden times was more a collection of local beliefs that mostly centered around respect for the natural world. Shinto shrines usually display the same basic shape that you can see here. Shintoism and Buddhism (a true religion), often exist side by side in Japanese culture. Buddhism features temples, not shrines.



Enormous jugs of sake (rice wine), which will be consumed in the future at various ceremonies at the Buddhist temple.



A rock - unfortunately, I am not aware of its special significance.



Buddhist temple.







A monk.







I found these railings to be especially interesting. They look like wood, but they are actually molded concerete, designed and painted to look like some sort of cottonwood or something similar.







Some sort of flowers.



The weather was so nice that there were flowers blooming everywhere.







A license plate.



Another view inside the train station, at one of the ticket banks.



This is an overhead view of a small model replica of the Osaka Castle.



At a train station.



I could not figure out this advertisement.



Everybody loves bread.



Information about subway times. The Japanese are incredibly unforgiving of people who are late, so the train and subway schedules, which are detailed down to the exact minute, are very accurate.



Waiting for a train, on the way to Kyoto for the afternoon.



This was some sort of race, where competitors had to run up to the top of the stairs. It was raining quite hard, so all these people in the raincoats were sweepers who were trying to keep the stairs slightly less wet. Needless to say, we watched quite a few competitors do some pretty hard face plants as they were running up the slippery stairs.



I have no idea what this giant sphere was for.



A taxi lineup.



More wax food displays.



Some sort of silly kids' umbrella, hanging upside down in a shop.



One of my friends, Jessica, said that Norah Jones is one of her favorite singers, so I had to take a photo of this poster.



A nice bench and waiting area outside a random restaurant.



Paintings of the gods of Thunder (left) and Wind (right) on a building in Kyoto.







Good fortune tablets hanging outside a temple.



This kimono in a store window lists for nine thousand dollars. That's not a typo.






This is the first of two photo pages from this trip, since there were so many photos. Click here to view the second page.



Click to go to the Photo Gallery Menu or Main Page of the DJ Bolivia web site.