Photos From My Trip To Japan & Taiwan

Last December (2006) I needed to get about 15,000 more miles on my American Airlines account so I could requalify for Executive Platinum status for this year, as I like the free first class upgrades AA offers its top level frequent flyers. As I was going to be in San Francisco for a patent conference at the end of November 2006, I figured I could use the west coast as a launching point to do a so-called “mileage run” and rack up some miles by doing a quick trip across the Pacific.

The original plan had been to visit Tokyo for a full week of both sightseeing and business prospecting, and then head home to Bonaire. However after I had already made all my plans I was informed I needed to go to Taipei, Taiwan, for a business meeting, right in the middle of my Tokyo stay. That basically ate almost 3 days out of my Tokyo plans, but it turned out to be a fun adventure.

For two of the two and half days I spent in Tokyo, I hired a private tour guide, Junko Matsuda, to take me around. Junko, who runs Jun’s Tokyo Discovery Tours, had been recommended to me by someone at, and what a treasure she was! If anyone wants a personal tour and explanation of everywhere and anywhere in Tokyo, consider hiring Junko – she can be reached by e-mail at or phone at +81-3-5477-6021 (or mobile at +81-90-7734-0079). In the links below to my photos, Junko is the Japanese woman that appears in them with some frequency. I also gave her a camera to use during our tour to take photos of me (since I rarely ever appear in photos as I am always taking them).

I also hired another set of guides – Naoto Nakamura and Eizaburo Yoshino (see their page here) – as part of a group tour of the famed Tsukiji Fish Market. As my body had not yet adjusted to the time zone, a 4am meeting for that tour worked out fine, and we had only one other participant on the tour. The fish market tour was excellent, with both Naoto and Eizaburo highly knowledgeable of the workings at the fish market.

I spent nearly a full day in transit between Tokyo and Taipei and back for a 1 hour meeting, but we (my friends/business associates and I) had a good local guide in our off time in Taipei, and got to visit Taipei 101 (the tallest building in the world at that time) and a Taipei night market, as well as several local dining establishments where we feasted on all sorts of delights, including pig’s intestines (tasted a lot better than it sounds).

I am nearly a half year late getting the 946 hand-selected pictures from my travels posted on-line because I had grand aspirations of annotating each one of them with a description.

I was off to a good start (see here and here) using the Photo Gallery software that came with my blogging system, but the scope of the effort, which involved both getting the photos to the right size as well as upload and annotate them, quickly overwhelmed me. I got about half way through my first full day in Tokyo doing that (again, look here and here) – so only about 150 photos out of 946 annotated.

But with a holiday weekend on Bonaire this weekend, and the mostly enjoyable use of Adobe’s Lightroom software, I decided to make simple web-based photo galleries instead and finally get the photos where folks could see them before they became too outdated. They don’t have any contextual annotation other than camera and exposure information, but hopefully those viewing the images will enjoy the subjects almost as much for their sheer interest (and in some cases, beauty or novelty) without the commentary I have not had time to add.

Here are the links to the photos:

Traveling From California to Tokyo and Arriving in Tokyo – December 2-3, 2006

Touring Tokyo with Junko (Asakusa, Kitchen District, Akihabara, Imperial Palace, Ginza) – December 4, 2006

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo – December 5, 2006

Taipei, Taiwan with friends/business associates Eric, Isabelle, Bryan, and Ivan – December 5-6, 2006

Return from Taipei to Tokyo (Roppongi) followed by another day in Tokyo with Junko (Harajuku, Meiji, Shibuya, War Memorial) – December 7-8, 2006

If you have any questions about any of them, give a link to the photo in the comments on this blog entry with your question, and I will answer you.


2 Responses to “Photos From My Trip To Japan & Taiwan”

  1. Jake Richter says:


    The guide we had in Taipei was a friend who was visiting with us, and not someone doing this as a business or living in Taipei. Sorry. Try asking for a private guide on FlyerTalk and see if you get recommendations.


  2. Matt Sandy says:

    Have you been at this long? Photography is a good hobby.