Saturday 21 February 2009

The last night in Tokyo

The last night in Tokyo, originally uploaded by electrolyte2006.

As I write this I am heavily jet lagged having got back to Blighty just a few hours ago. Before I head off to - hopefully - a long night of sleep, I thought I'd update my blog with photos from the last couple of days in Tokyo.

My last post covered the week up to Wednesday night; this post brings you all up to speed and contains details of what I got up to on Thursday and Friday.

I spent Thursday and Friday at the exhibition working hard of course. At the end of the exhibition on Thursday there was a reception held in the conference venue. This was an event laid on by the organisers with various speeches about the scientific topics on display at the event. Most countries had stands similar to the UK one and each country - except for the UK - laid on free drink at the reception. This meant that there was wine from the Aussies, beer from the Germans, Dutch and Belgians, Prosecco from the Italians, Rioja from the Spanish and of course Sake from the hosts. This proliferation of free drinks ensured that virtually all the people in the huge hall ignored the speakers and drank as much alcohol as they could. And I'm afraid to say that I joined in with gusto so felt a little delicate on Friday morning.

As Friday was the last day of the exhibition most of the UK delegation met up in the evening for a few drinks in our hotel bar. The hotel bar is beautifully lit at night by candle light so I couldn't resist the temptation to get out my 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and shoot some low light portraits. The light was amazing; it was just a shame that my camera is so noisy at ISO 1600. I wish I had a Canon 5D2 with it's excellent noise free 1600 and 3200 ISO modes.....

These few drinks soon turned into a Japanese meal near to our hotel, a further drink at a local bar and then a small walk around "the real Tokyo" past Shimbashi station. At each stage the numbers from the UK delegation got smaller and smaller until there was only 4 of us on the walk. One of of the 4 was a frequent visitor to Tokyo and he managed to persuade us all to go to a karaoke bar. I have to say I was initially not keen but once we got there I have to say I really enjoyed it. We went to a place where you could hire a small room with a screen, a loud speaker system a couple of microphones and a couple of tambourine / percussion things. The room also contained 2 books the size of a typical yellow pages full of songs that you could sing along to. It was full of obscure songs so I was able to sing along to Debaser as well as some more conventional Frank, Elvis etc. It wasn't cheap though - ~8000 Yen for 1 hour plus four beers. But it was worth it!

You can see all of the portraits that I took at the hotal bar, restaurant, walk and karaoke bar here:

Before I met up with all the others in the bar I took a quick photo from my hotel room of the dusk over Tokyo and was reasonably pleased with the outcome:

the view from my hotel window at dusk

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