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Penang, Ueno and life in general

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Penang

It's been a while. I guess we've been pretty busy.

Let's see. I went to Penang a couple of weeks ago for 4 days for a conference. I presented a paper and it went reasonably well I think. The highlight for me was seeing my friends from uni of Wollongong who I hadn't seen for so long. It made me feel all nice and supported again....good to actually see them and hear their stories too.

The conference was held in the hotel we stayed in which made it very convenient and I didn't leave the hotel for 2 days. When we eventually left we went to a seafood restaurant up the road and had an absoute feast. Overall the food in Penang was absolutely delicious. Lots of seafood and lots of herbs and spices. 

The programme on the third and final day of the conference was only short so my Wollongong uni colleague Nichole and I decided to do some sightseeing.

Canopy walk
We went up to Penang Hill and did touristy things like catching the cable car, hiring cycles and getting henna tattoos.

It was a very short trip but it was lovely to experience some heat and humidity again because Japan had suddenly become freezing cold! I arrived back at Tokyo to a frosty 6 degree evening.

So yes, we have well and truly been plunged into winter. The lovely autumn red and orange leaves are falling off the trees and although the skies have been a beautiful blue, the air is now very chilly. Andy and I went to Ueno Park on the weekend. It was a beautiful day and the masses came out to enjoy it. Inside the park are several art museums. There were some exhibitions that were free to get into, so we took advantage of that and did some art browsing, picking out our favourites at each exhibition.

Ueno Park
 We wandered around the park and took in the lovely colours of the leaves. There is a Japanese word, 'koyo', to describe the changing in colour of the leaves in Autumn. The Japanese seem to really appreciate nature and come out in droves to admire the 'koyo'.

Ueno Park is also famous for its expansive zoo and as the entrance fee was a measly 600 yen we decided to have a look. They had a huge variety of animals - elephants, giraffes, (one) panda, gorillas, tigers, lions, kangaroos, hippos, rhinos, snakes...etc..... The panda looked a bit lonely, the elephants a bit cramped and the polar bear decidedly unhappy, but apart from them, I think the animals were reasonably happy. But then again.....how would I know?

Andy has started taking Japanese lessons from a woman he teaches English to. He has his lesson every Monday and has just finished learning how to write hiragana which he has been practising like mad. On the train to Ueno Park he wrote down the names of all the train stations as we went through them.

We have booked a skiing holiday up in Hokkaido for late Jan/early Feb which we are very much looking forward to. So it's now time to start saving our pennies!

 

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Penang
Penang
Canopy walk
Canopy walk
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Outside temple in Penang
Outside temple in Penang
mean tat on Penang Hill
mean tat on Penang Hill
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
curry lunch in Ueno Park
curry lunch in Ueno Park
hairy hands practising hiragana
hairy hands practising hiragana
Tokyo
photo by: maka77