ceud míle fáilte

a hundred thousand welcomes

Saturday, 17 May 2008

J is for...


Tokyo Radio Tower

Just to continue my theme of places for another ABC-along post, I'd like to show some piccies of Japan. I was there in December 2005 for some concerts of Handel and Bach with a couple of orchestras - in Osaka and Tokyo. It could have been totally amazing had I not arrived in Osaka with a nasty case of 'flu, incubated very nicely on the flight over. My neighbour on the flight was VERY generous with his germs... And his chocolate, too, so I couldn't *really* hate him!

I got through the first Bach Christmas Oratorio without dying a spluttery death, but the chorales suffered from coughing fits and I've certainly sung the echo aria better!! Not one my finest moments! I have one photo from Osaka - taken from my hotel room where I was placed in solitary confinement:

Could be anywhere!!

We were whisked from Osaka to Tokyo in a bullet train (how fast?!) and arrived late one afternoon, at which point I was sent to my room again, to care for my germs in peace and feed them finest room-service sushi. I opened the curtains the following morning to be presented with this pleasing aspect:

Mount Fuji

That was the first real inkling that I wasn't in Kansas anymore, Toto (or should I say Totoro...!) Not a bad view to wake up to! The hotel was in the Shinjuku district, next to the Tokyo Central Park, and very close to the main underground terminal. Now THAT was crazy. The underground system was awesome, in the original sense of the word. It took a lot of effort to keep my jaw from being permanently unhinged. So many people, all purposeful, decorous and mannerly, going from a to b without much ado, noise or contact with each other. Another world!

Statues in Central Park

I saw a lot of the metro system on the journey back from seeing the International doctor. I went by taxi, as it seemed the most considerate thing to do, seeing as my employers thought I had SARS!! Oh yes, that would have been LOTS of fun. But I didn't - I was lacking the high temperature, but had amassed a collection of everything else! I paid an arm and a leg for the consultation and the medicine, but it was so very worth it. If you're going to be really ill, do it in Japan - their drugs are AMAZING!

Drugs, drugs, drugs and more drugs

Cough medicine, antibiotics, cortisone in pill form (no way was I having an injection), anti-histamine, very strong throat sweets (the Polo lookalikes) and I can't remember what the other two lots were for. But, bygorrah, I was up and at 'em in 2 days of starting that little lot! The Messiah gig passed without any wheezing, coughing or dizziness and, although still working at 300% and taking twice as many breaths as normal, I hope I at least made up for the Bach the week before!

One of the organisers was very kind to me a day before that last concert, and took me on a wee trip around Tokyo to make up for all the missed visits the others had been on. (I missed seeing Kyoto - I was gutted about that!) Had I been a knitter at the time, I would have insisted on finding some Noro (nom nom nom), but I was sadly unaware of the existence of such sublimities, so we sauntered around the Electric City instead and then went up a very, VERY tall building near the harbour district to see some amazing views. The photo of the Radio Tower is one of them, and here's one looking across the Imperial Palace Park to the Shinjuku district:

Tokyo as seen by the birds

I arrived back in France, after a delayed flight from Tokyo and a missed flight from Amsterdam, at 2am and had a rehearsal for some Monteverdi at 10am the same morning. I remember nothing about that day whatsoever!

1 Comment:

  1. Klozter said...
    Have you BEEN to Kansas?!

    What a sad story! I hope you get to go back in good health. I'm waiting to go back myself so I can discover Japanese knitting!

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