Our first destination was Dubai, which is horribly overrated. It just feels so fake. The city was just build from nothing in the middle of a desert and it feels like it. The city has no history, no culture. A city is more that just a collection of buildings, built in the space of a few decades by oil magnates with nothing more to do that build 7 star hotels and indoor ski slopes in the middle of a desert. It has no history, no culture and hence no character. It felt like any generic western city with no defining features apart from its sheer scale. The only thing that makes it different from any other city is the fact that it is bigger and more excessive; it has the biggest building in the world, the best hotel, the biggest indoor ski slope, the biggest ego, and it’s not even finished yet. The place is half building site half city and neither is all that pleasant. If the entire city were to disappear overnight, leaving only the desert on which it is built the world would not loose much of note.
Sorry I got distracted for a minute there; I didn’t like Dubai very much. Here’s a photo of the 7 star hotel.
Our next stop was Osaka, which was nice enough I guess. The main highlight of this city was the day trip to Himeji Castle, which is one of the biggest and most well preserved castles on Japan. As a historian it was really interesting to compare is with European castles, but I won’t bore you with the specifics.
Castle enthusiasts should be jizzing in their underwear at this next one. The rest of you can just admire the stonework or something.
This is called the 'peace bell' it has a map of the world and some writing in Japanese, Greek and Sanskrit engraved on it.
Here's the bell with the dome behind it. How profound of me to take that photo.
Similarly for this one. The flame that is between the arch and the dome (in the middle distance) is only supposed to go out when we have full nuclear disarmament, which will probably be never.
This rock has been turned black by the nuclear radiation, I assume.
That was the last of the excursions that we did. i have a few more general photos, such as these cherry blossoms which the Japanese have an obsession with which borders on the fetishistic. Seriously, they'll just stand there and stare at them for no apparent reason.
We also went to Disneyland Tokyo which was a uniquely Japanese experience, ha ha irony.
The Tokyo skyline... at night.
And some hilarious innuendo to finish off.
That's all folks! I'll be back next week with fewer photos.