I was down in Noda town about a week an a half ago helping clean up tsunami damage. This is all volunteer work, but the Japanese like seeing us out in uniform. Noda is about 2 hours south of where we're at here in Misawa.
Took the girls down to Komaki Onsen for a photo shoot. I was extremely unhappy with my lens's ability to focus, but I suppose you can't complain too much about a $90 lens. I still managed to get a couple of good shots.
If there's one good thing that came out of the earthquake its that folks had to live a few days without an endless supply of gasoline. I've taken the opportunity to take another crack at serious bicycle commuting. I say serious commuting, but I only live a 12 minute bike ride from work. Regardless, I've managed to use my car about 3 times in the past 3+ weeks. And, I really enjoy it. My new Fuji Cross Comp isn't the fastest or prettiest, but its the perfect bike for zipping to and from work and around town on errands. Plus, it looks good with mud on it.
I got to spend half a day running around Tokyo this weekend and it worked out very well. I'm not a big fan of large cities, but I love taking pictures of colorful people and big cities offer so much more opportunity. I could easily spend 2-3 days taking pictures just between Shinjuku and Harajuku.
"It was the longing, romantic, reasonless, which lies deep in the hearts of most Englishmen, to shun the celebrated spectacles of the tourist and without any concern with science or politics or commerce, simply to set their feet where few civilized feet have trod" --Evelyn Waugh explaining why Eric Newby attempted an ascent of the Hindu Kush with only a few days scrambling experience.