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Everything posted by sammydee

  1. I just returned from my business trip to Tokyo. I thought some of you might be interested in a few words about caching in Tokyo. I apologize for the offtopic post...but since I mentioned the trip here earlier I thought I'd let y'all know how things turned out. Unfortunately I didn't manage to hook up with anyone who had TBs heading to Japan before I left, so I went bug-less. Maybe next time! I stayed in central Tokyo in an area called Akasaka. There were so many US chains! I expected Starbucks to be common, but I wasn't expecting to find an AM/PM market AND a 7-11 on every block! There aren't a whole lot of caches in Tokyo, and many of them are virtuals. So there aren't hundreds to choose from - maybe a couple of dozen. Because of letlag, both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I woke up very early (for me), around 5-6am. So both days I went caching in the morning, then returned to my hotel, showered and changed, and was off to business meetings by 9am. For these early morning excursions I took the subway. The Tokyo subway is really quite easy to use, even if you only speak English. You can get a subway map in English at the Tourist Information Center at the airport, and almost all signage in the subways is in both English and Japanese. A one-way ride in the central area costs less than $1.50 (160 yen). I found "Four Valleys" and "Magneto" this way. Both of these caches are within 0.3 miles of a subway station. Four Valleys was a traditional micro (35mm filmcan), but in a surprisingly green and non-urban setting - by a popular walking / jogging trail that separated a housing neighborhood from a greenbelt / river. At least at this time of year, the sound of cicadas is almost deafening in such a place. I liked the greenness of this place after central Tokyo. "Magneto" is an equally nice experience. I took the subway for quite a distance out of the central city to an interesting neighborhood. The subway station is in a rather downtown/urban setting, but walking away from the station just a few blocks the area turned quickly into apartment buildings and local neighborhood stores and shops - a nice change from central Tokyo. The cache is on the banks of another very small river - but this one is a rather concrete affair (the river flows through a concrete channel with vertical sides - no trees). Nonetheless, things were very tastefully decorated, with a really nice walking path. The cache was huge for such an area - say 6 x 4 x 2 inches - and was really quite fun. I was lucky enough to spend an entire vacation day sightseeing. There were a few things I wanted to see, but I let caches set much of the agenda. I visited a very nice cache called ODAIBA. Odaiba is a large (mostly artificial?) island in the harbor. It has great views of a nice suspension bridge and of Tokyo proper. Think Treasure Island in the SF Bay. The island is a new development, with many fancy office buildings - but it also has many attractions - the maritime museum, a small-scale copy of the Statue of Liberty (!!), and others. I spent several hours walking along the nicely manicured waterfront. The ODAIBA cache was a lot of fun, and was a great excuse to come visit this part of Tokyo. Finally I tried to find "A strange building near Asakusa", which certainly is. It has what appears to be a big mound of golden dog poop about 2 stories tall on top. (It's supposed to be fire - riight.) The cache was a filmcan near a building, and there were so many muggles I felt very exposed - so I only searched for a few minutes before giving up. (I didn't want to have to explain myself to the nearby team of construction workers - with no language in common.) Asakusa is home of a number of major "mainstream" tourist stops which I was planning to go see anyway, and the building is in a nice part (again, by a river) that I wasn't planning to come to, so I consider all 4 caches to have been time VERY well spent. So anyway, that was my first experience in Asia, and my first experience in international geocaching. It was a great time! ...Sammydee
  2. sammydee

    Caching In Tokyo

    I just returned to California after a very nice business trip to Tokyo. This was my first trip to Japan. While there I was lucky enough to go caching several times. Because of jet lag I would wake up early in the morning (0600), then go caching, then return to my hotel to get ready for my meetings. Several times I would take the subway from my Akasaka area hotel to find caches. I found ODAIBA, Magneto and Four Valleys, and couldn't find "A strange building near Asakusa". I want to say "Thank you" to the cachers who are responsible for these caches. They were all in very nice places, and they are all in places that I would not have visited if the cache wasn't there. Geocaching is a great way to see a new city!
  3. It looks like I'm lucky enough to get to go on a business trip to Tokyo next week, and may have some time to go caching while I'm there! If anyone's got any TBs that want to head that way, let me know....! ...Sammydee
  4. I just noticed that dgreno is at 1999 and digitalfish is at 999 - we're on the verge of a major cachetastic event!
  5. Thanks for the reminder. I've got to replace one cache ("Forgotten Plaza") before the rains, because it wasn't at all water tight and it got a lot of grumbles last spring. What's the convention for replacing a container? Should I archive the cache and create a new one, or just swap it out? ...Sammydee
  6. We don't live in Cambrian (we're near Santa Teresa / Cottle), but might be able to attend a dinner thing. Would be fun to say "hi". ...Sammydee
  7. Sorry to reply to this question a bit late...I hadn't been to the forums here until today. We also did 7 of the Woods Road caches last weekend, and had a great time. There were two adults and my 11 year old daughter. I didn't even bother to print the sheet for the cache at the official cemetery, because I was convinced that we would never get that far into the park before the 11 yo got tired. But once we got out there, with so many caches to hit she never had a chance to get bored / tired / whatever, so we made it to the cemetery with ease. I'd hate to see a cache every 528 feet on every trail (though I admit to putting a cache 527 feet from an existing one), but YES I think having some high density spots like this is a good thing. I hope sometime we're lucky enough to sync up with a big group like y'all had last weekend - sounds like lots of fun! Thanks for the caches! ...Sammydee
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