A Week in Tokyo 41
Must have been the first time in years where I went a week without writing a photo article - yes its been that busy!
No matter how busy I end up being however, regular meals is something that I dare not skip. Sushi is great because they prepare it fast, its healthy and because they are bite size, you can order accordingly to fill up any gaps left in the stomach.
Can you name these sushi?
I prefer to sit at a table and fill in this sheet of what I want rather than yell out at the sushi guy from the counter because they sometimes forget what you want.
We end up moving to the no smoking counters due to the intense smoke coming from the tables around us.
More sushi for lunch. This place is a kaiten sushi place where sushi goes round on a conveyor belt. The stuff that usually goes round is the cheap stuff because they can afford to have it go round forever - this is why you need to call out to the sushi chefs if you want the good stuff. My fave is Engawa but don't know the name in English. An example of a kaiten sushi restaurant from the perspective of a sushi below.
Many kaiten sushi places will count how many dishes you have had and work out the cost from the different colors of the dishes. This place however has some sort of micro chip in the plates. The lady comes along with her scanner and places it near the dishes. The total cost is calculated immediately and a receipt automatically comes of a small printer thingy attached to her belt.
Forgot to mention that some of these photos are more than a week old. Here I'm polishing up the Vader armor for a sale - managed to find a new parent for it.
Nagi and Curry for lunch.
Some slabs of wood being soaked at a fish store.
Octopus slide for the kids in a park.
On the way to a meeting in Ebisu.
Picking up some Calpis water on the way to my next appointment.
Time to pick up an iPhone. I remember the time leading up to the iPhone launch in Japan over a year ago. Said to myself that it would change my life. After finding out that the largest HD model was only 16GB, I decided to wait. Am glad that I did wait and now got a spanking 32GB iPhone 3GS. And it has indeed changed my life in many ways which I will talk about in a different article.
...or one of these Softbank mascot dogs also known as Otousan (daddy). Otousan in action below advertising student mobile rates. Do students get discount phone rates in your neck of the woods?
Chose black but only because my white NDS turned yellow after a while - decided not to choose any white appliances since then. Wifey got the white one which looks really nice. Does anybody out there have a discolored white iPhone?
A lovely lady at the Softbank store sorts us out. Like the stewardess look ^^; Over 30 mins of paperwork/activation and MNP. Mobile Number Portability was introduced in about 2006 which enabled people to change carriers while keeping their old number - sounds like a given to folks outside Japan but in Japan, the carriers want to control everything. I'll be wanting to know how I can use a local sim card from Singapore, Canada or Malaysia (planned trips this year) on the iPhone - needs some sort of jail breaking or other device?
A queens Blade-esque pachi slot machine poster. We have so many pachinko and pachi slot places around here - I should go in and give them a whirl one day. Pachi slot in action below.
At the underground Chinese restaurant where we usually take guests.
Students line up for some cheap ramen at Seiya.
Picking up some ice cold bottle drinks with a bag O Mr Donuts.
Separated at birth - Mr Donuts Pon De Ring and Saber Lion.
iPhone users in Japan get to use all wireless Yahoo mobile points around Japan for no extra charge. iphone users in Japan should download the app that enables you to do so. Search for "Softbank Mobile Corp" in the app store. Not sure this will work for iPhone users visiting Japan though.
Tokyo 08:53. Waiting for a train going to Tachikawa.
Arrival at the headquarters of Kotobukiya in Tachikawa for a 10:00 meeting.
After the meeting, I go around the office snapping pics. Here are some decoration masters for some figures who I dont recognize.
Another unfamiliar cute figure. Name that character.
Then its off to lunch before continuing meetings in the afternoon. Today its Mabo tofu set. Yep - its a Max Factory figure at a Kotobukiya lunch ^^;
And this is what the rest of the Kotobukiya team is having.
And this is what they look like ^^;
Meetings at Kotobukiya finish at about 15:00. Heading back to the station. I love the elevated train tracks that travel over many parts of tokyo. Some of the JR Yamanote line from Meguro to Akihabara is elevated. Love looking out the window at the metropolis on a golden brown evening sunset.
Changing trains to the Nanbu line.
Wifey makes lovely Hainan chicken rice at home. We dont have any of that brown sauce but have loads of the chilli.
Mentaiko is a food which I couldn't bring myself to eat for quite a while after moving to Japan. Its marinated roe of pollock and looks quite gross.
Did manage to try it after a few years and now love it! Although I do need to eat it with rice and still probably couldn't bite one in half ^^;
Another Japanese dish I cant eat is Natto - its that sticky gooey fermented beans thing which you can see in action below. Are there particular Japanese foods which dont agree with you?
Waiting for a seat at Bamiyan. They got some toys at the entrance for the kids who say "mum I want this" when the parents are paying for the meal.
This is a keyholder with the Akihabara train sign. It plays the Akihabara jingle that you hear at the platform when pressed - yours for 525 yen. Most train stations play a different jingle just before the doors close.
For those who have been to Japan, prepare to transport yourself back here - close your eyes and listen to the train jingles in the following video.
Time to choose from the menus filled with photos that hardly resemble the actual dish.
But the food is nice though.
Saturday Lunch - Kaisen Yakisoba. That Kyoka Puchi Nendoroid is so darn cute.
At Gotanda Blog Dinner - the monthly Japan bloggers networking event thats been successfully running for many years.
The Oimachi line will extend to Mizunokuchi soon and this school girl seems to be pretty happy about it.
10:00 in Shibuya. A chap strips a wall of posters.
Many deliveries going on in the morning.
While they dont come as often as trains, bus times are pretty spot on. The driver usually announces where the bus is about to stop too.
At about 10:10 I arrive at the Apple store in Shibuya to pick up a new gadget.
Passing the Hachiko crossing to catch the train back to the office.
iPhone wannabe. Google does promotions by collaborating with other companies.
The problem with Tokyo is that you often see people sleeping out n about so its difficult to judge if people are dead or not. I've somebody lying face down at the top of elevators with people just walking around him.
And this is why I was in Shibuya earlier on - my MacBook Pro decided to die for a second time. Same problem where it shows me the Black Screen Of Death. I thought I could take out the HD and boot from it on the Mac Mini but it got fried at the same time!
Have always wanted an 17" MacBook Pro. Its got a crisp 1900 x 1200 resolution. Review of the Alternity Nissan GTR Convoy in a separate post.
Apple Care - dont leave the store without it. Cost me an extra 40,000 yen but you really never know with Apple products. The new line of Mac laptops dont come with DVI adapters anymore so had to pick one up separately.
The first thing to do was to open up the machine. Changing the HD does not void warranty but changing the battery does. Although there is a way to change the battery without Apple knowing about it and you can find out how on YouTube.
The old HD was fried so had to do a Time Machine restore over LAN. Out NAS does not support direct USB so it took about 10 hours for a full restore of about 130GB.
After the Time Machine restore, I boot up Grand Perspective to visually see what files are taking up the most space on the HD. I can mouse over and see the file name/location and remove any crap like swap files or error logs which can end up being a few GB's.
Firefox does not seem to like the new machine as it keeps giving me the spinning ball of death. Here I'm setting up servers and doing a ton of virtual host configs. I think I know everything there is to know about virtual hosts on Apache by now - but pulled out half of my hair trying to figure everything out ^^;
The reason I have many Macs is that some are servers and some are monitoring stuff on the two different optic fiber networks that we have at the office.
Heading out to look for food.
Picking up some snacks for the office.
Stocking up on plants too. Plants with figures seem to go well with each other.
Yesterday evenings office.
Hmmm? Light Saber chopstick (Chop Saber) samples on the desk?
Looks like I'm working with Kotobukiya on some video for the Chop Sabers.