Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back in Tokyo


Yup, finally the army stuff is over – at least for this year – and I came back to Tokyo last Sunday afternoon. For the first time I took Turkish Airlines instead of Emirates which I always used before. Even though the in-flight entertainment system on Emirates in unrivalled by pretty much any other airline company (there are literally more than 200 movies from animations to movies in theaters to classics that you can choose from) the ease of travel is not even comparable. Emirates does not like the newer, international airport in Tokyo for some reason. As a result, to get to Tokyo, one first needs to travel to Osaka and then fly to the smaller of the two international airports (Haneda/羽田). Add to that the fact that Emirates always stops over in Dubai and you get the pretty ridiculous itinerary: Cyprus –> Istanbul –> Dubai –> Osaka –> Tokyo. With Turkish Airlines this takes much much less: Cyprus –> Istanbul –> Tokyo. The flight is a “codeshare” between Turkish Airlines and ANA so a lot of Japanese passengers use this route too. The price can get a bit high if you get the ticket in the last minute though so if you decide to use this make sure to get your ticket nice and early.

Friday, July 3, 2009

On the road again...

I am going back to Cyprus tonight for three weeks. I guess my life in Tokyo has got into a rhythm of sorts and now, a change like this brings an almost subconscious fear that grips the excitement coming from visiting family. OK me will keep this short - I am typing on my phone and while it doeshave a full-ish keyboard it still is a bit of a pain to type. More soon assuming I make it to Cyprus in one piece :p

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tokyo National Art Center


Located in Roppongi, the National Art Center should definitely be on your places to visit if you ever happen to be in Tokyo. Not only the art center houses certainly interesting exhibits but the general design of the building and the gift shop themselves are more than worth walking for about 5 minutes from the nearest subway stop. There are signs to guide you once you are close enough but you may have to look for them. I recommend looking up in a map before going to Roppongi – once you know the general direction, getting there is simple.


The first thing you realize when you walk through the door, other than the ticket booth which you only need to stop by if you are going to wander into the exhibit, is the design of the building which looks extremely futuristic. It was designed by a very famous Japanese designer and in a single word, is very "curvy". This idea of "futuristic curves"  is followed throughout the building. The gift shop itself is pretty amazing and very different than the typical art museum gift shop which would be content with its offering of postcards based on famous artwork. Not this shop... There are a lot of small items that themselves could easily be called works of art - original ones mind you. The only slightly upsetting thing is that you cannot take pictures inside the gift shop so I don’t have anything to post on here but you should go check it out for yourself anyway :)