Tokyo Year of the Rat 2020: February

Candid street, urban, and omoshiroi mono “interesting thing” snaps from an expat’s daily life in Tokyo, the greatest megacity in the world

Tokyo Year of the Rat

More Tokyo Year of the Rat 2020 Photos: February at https://medium.com/p/55d00011dda9/edit

Tokyo Year of the Rat 2020 Photos: January at https://medium.com/@aaronpaulson/drafttokyo-2020-photos-january-ddedf2444829

A Message from the Photographer: In the spirit of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sumi-e monochrome ink painting, many of these pictures have been treated to some judicious processing with an eclectic mix of Olympus art filters, DxO PhotoLab, and Adobe Lightroom to capture the unique sights, sounds, and… smells? of Tokyo, the greatest megacity in the world.

Winter Plum Blossoms, Tokyo

Hanazono Shrine, Shinjuku. Tokyo… Rat

See more candid street, urban, and omoshiroi mono “interesting thing” snaps from an expat’s daily life in Tokyo, the greatest megacity in the world, at Tokyo Kills Me Photos: 2020 Year of the Rat https://medium.com/@aaronpaulson/tokyo-kills-me-2020-photos-year-of-the-rat-55d00011dda9

50,000 Free Domestic Flights in Japan Summer 2020

(Tourists only need apply)

Sacred Mount Fujisan — photo by Aaron Paulson

(Just to say, I have no connection to the airline involved and am not promoting their product or getting compensated by them in any way — I don’t even have their mileage card! Or, because I live here, even qualify for the contest. But the opportunity for . little off-beat, adventurous travel sounds like the real deal — and I’d sure be interested if i were traveling to Japan between July and September of 2020).

Not the kind of story I normally write about, but I know many of you are excited about the upcoming Summer Olympics Games, and a chance for a little — free — off-the-beaten-path travel is just adding natto to the rice bowl, so to speak.

It sounds too good to be true, but according to the official JAL website the headline checks out: JAL is giving away 50,000 free flights this summer to international visitors.

In conjunction with the Japan National Tourist Organization’s (JNTO) “Your Japan 2020,” Japan Airlines (JAL) is giving away 50,000 free flights to four “mystery” destinations from Tokyo and Osaka during the Summer Olympics.

The flights will be scheduled from July 1st to September 30, which means Olympics-goers can add a little serendipitous adventure before or after the Games.

To add to the sense of adventure, the destinations won’t be announced until later, but will apparently be less-well known destinations than main cities Osaka and Tokyo.

If I had to guess/wish, in no particular order I would nominate Sapporo or perhaps Asahikawa on the northernmost, frontier island of Hokkaido (great for hiking); Naha for Okinawa and access to the southern islands; Kyoto seems unlikely, but Fukuoka on the northern part of Kyushu island has a reputation for being worth a visit; and maybe Nagasaki on Kyushu’s wet coast (a cool little city with an international funiki, or “atmosphere,” and Gunkanjima “Battleship Island” as a unique half-day daytrip for fans of haikyo for fans of urban adventure (note that Gunkanjima is open for siteseeing only. not urbexing).

More details can be found on JAL’s official website Win a Trip with JAL https://www.jal.co.jp/en/jmb/japan-promotion/

Note that you have to be a visitor from overseas, and a member of JAL’s Mileage Bank https://www.jal.co.jp/en/jmb/

Good luck! Send me a postcard if you win one of the free flights 🙂

Additional coverage on, amongst many other travel sites I’m sure, Afar, “Japan Airlines is Giving Away 50,000 Round-Trip Flights”https://www.afar.com/magazine/japan-airlines-contest-offers-free-round-trip-flights?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=011420%20JapanAirlinesFreeRoundTrips&utm_term=Daily%20Wander%20Newslette r by Cassie Shortsleeve,

and

Sasha Brady, in Lonely Planet’s “Japan Airlines is giving away 50,000 free flights — here’s how you can win” https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/japan-airlines-summer-promotion

Autumn in Tokyo: Photos

Temples, Mountains, and “Koyo” Autumn Leaves

Mitsumine Shrine in Koyo Autumn Seasaon; Saitama, Tokyo Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Koyo Autumn Season; Tokyo, Japan
Mitsumine Shrine in Koyo Autumn Seasaon; Saitama, Tokyo Japan
Mitsumine Shrine in Koyo Autumn Seasaon; Saitama, Tokyo Japan
Mitsumine Shrine in Koyo Autumn Seasaon; Saitama, Tokyo Japan

Mitsumine Shrine in Koyo Autumn Seasaon; Saitama, Tokyo Japan
Autumn at Mitsumine Shrine. Tokyo, Japan.
Autumn at Mitsumine Shrine. Tokyo, Japan.
Drying Persimmons; Tokyo Japan
Drying Persimmons; Tokyo Japan

In the spirit of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sumi-e monochrome ink painting, some judicious processing in Olympus Workspace, DxO PhotoLab, and Adobe Lightroom has been applied to emphasize the feel of this dramatic landscape.

Mount Norikuradake: Mountains of Japan Photos

Unkai “sea of clouds,” reflecting ponds, and koyo autumn leaves in the Japan Alps

“Unkai” Sea of Clouds. Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
“Unkai” Sea of Clouds. Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
“Unkai” Sea of Clouds. Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Norikuradake; Mountains of Tokyo

Pictures taken with an Olympus em-1 and M.Zuiko 12–40mm.

In the spirit of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sumi-e monochrome ink painting, some judicious processing in Olympus Workspace, DxO PhotoLab, and Adobe Lightroom has been applied to emphasize the feel of this dramatic landscape.

Mountains of Tokyo: Mount Mitsutogesan

Jizo Statues and Views of Mount Fujisan

Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo

Photos from Mount Mitsutogesan in Yamanashi prefecture, on the far western outskirts of the Greater Tokyo Area.

Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mount Fujisan. Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo

Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo

Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo
Mitsutoge; Mountains of Tokyo

Pictures taken with an Olympus em-1 and M.Zuiko 12–40mm 2.8 or 75mm 1.8; or on the iPhone X.

In the spirit of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sumi-e monochrome ink painting, some judicious processing in Olympus Workspace, DxO PhotoLab, and Adobe Lightroom has been applied to emphasize the feel of this dramatic landscape.