Saturday, May 6

Hi everybody.  Jim got home yesterday and Keith left today, so for the first time in a week and a half I'm on my own.  It was nice having some visitors, but the room is a lot cleaner now...

Today wasn't a very busy day.  Keith wanted to go to the S. Watanabe Color Print Co, a 100-year old family business currently run by Shoichiro Watanabe.  He is well known in the business as an expert on wood cut prints.  Here is a link to an article about the company.  Neat place, lots of nice pieces, and they were actually reasonably priced.  Original prints that were more than 100 years old were in the $2,000 range which doesn't seem too unreasonable to me.  Keith bought a modern print made using the original wood blocks.  However, I didn't purchase any prints, as I'm still trying to figure out where to put the Beatles prints I bought back in March.  But I did buy a book that they made there, on the art and process of doing wood-cut prints.  It's a step-by-step book that shows each phase in the process, pretty neat.  Ask to see it when I get back.  The store is located in Shinbashi, an upscale area south of Ginza.  Here's the cover of the book:

As usual, we took the subway as our way to get around, and here's some highlights from that.  The sign that indicates the subway system, which is important to know, because unlike a lot of other cities, the commuter rail lines (JR and others) share a lot of stations with the subway, and in a few cases share tracks.  So look for the big blue sign with the "M".  Inside, we also liked the limousine bus advertising sign telling you to Enjoooooooy! and that it is Smoooooooth!

Apparently Andrew Lloyd Webber is popular here as well, and a couple of productions are coming to town.
A couple of shots of the area around the hotel, and from the Tokyo Prince where the Friendly Limousine Bus stops. 
A reflection of the Tokyo Tower in a local building:

Keith in front of Zojo-bi Buddhist temple, next to the Tokyo Prince.  I noticed that a lot of you downloaded the 24-meg Shibuya Crossing video and we decided to record a new video for your amusement, available here. We call it "Noisy Fountain."  Enjoy!

And finally, another set of ham radio antennas.