Tag Archives: monkeys

Walking Tour

Yesterday I went on a walking tour. This was run by an American who lives in Singapore part of the year. At least half the people on the tour were Australian and were really gregarious and…well…Australian. Do all Australians know each other or do they just act that way?

Actual quote from an Australian person while drinking a Tiger beer at lunch: “Either there’s no actual alcohol in this or I’m still drunk from last night.”

The tour started with breakfast at The Toast Box. Singaporeans seem to have a fondness for toast, which seems like just about the least interesting food item one could have a fondness for. Companies like Toast Box, Toast Fun, and Ya Kun Kaya Toast have built businesses around this. The secret is the kaya spread, which makes the toast much sweeter than it would otherwise be. You eat it with extremely runny soft-boiled eggs (which you basically drink) and Singapore-style coffee or tea.

Actual quote from an Australian person at a 7-11 in the train station: “Where’s the fecking beeah?”

The high point of the tour was monkeys — specifically, long-tailed macaques in the rain forest.


Afterward, I went back to my room and took a nap. The Australians all went out for beer.

Central Tokyo

I couldn’t get a reasonably priced hotel room anywhere for my last night, so I’m spending $250 for a hotel downtown. Plus another $3 for wifi.

It’s been raining all day, so I bought an umbrella at Tokyo Station and wandered around the Imperial Garden in the rain. The garden itself is nice enough, but what really makes the whole palace area stand out are the many fortifications and moats. I think that there are probably a lot of places that could be improved by adding moats.


Next I walked through Ginza, which is possibly even more ritzy than the Champs-Élysées, given that they don’t seem to have a McDonalds.


I still had some time to kill before I could check in, so I went to the Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Tower is 333 meters high, with observation decks at 150 and 250 meters. I could only go to the lower observation deck, because the upper one was closed for “maintenance,” which I think we all know is code for “monster damage.”

In addition, there’s a Mystery Ball.


Here’s a close-up of the Mystery Ball.


I have my own ideas about what’s going on with that Mystery Ball, and I’m afraid it means that Tokyo Tower will end up sustaining even more monster damage.

It’s not even the tallest structure in Tokyo anymore. That would be the Skytree, which you can see in the distance here. Monsters have not knocked that over yet, as far as I know.


Tokyo Tower also has a Lookdown Window. Here’s what it looks like to look down the Lookdown Window.


When I got back to the bottom of the tower again, there was a monkey.


I don’t know why he was there. He’s nowhere near big enough to knock down the tower.

Monkey Failure

I had intended to visit Mt. Takasaki Monkey Land on Kyushu, but ran short of time and had to backtrack to Kumamoto rather than do the Kyushu loop I had originally planned.

No problemo. I would just stop at the Iwatayama Monkey Park near Arashiyama. But it was late in the afternoon by the time I got there, so I skipped it, thinking it would be better to see the onsen monkeys near Nagano anyway. They’re the famous ones. And I’m in Nagano now.

But it turns out that the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park is not really all that close to Nagano. You have to take a train for an hour, then take a bus, then walk for a half hour. The weather’s cleared up, but there’s supposed to be a typhoon coming. And I’m carrying all my stuff.

So to hell with the monkeys. I’m going to Tokyo.