A Week in Tokyo 60
Looks like I'm only getting round to doing these once a month ToT. Will try to do the next one again within a week before this series gets renamed "A Month in Tokyo" ^^;
Today we look at everything that happened up to my arrival back in Tokyo after a week in Singapore for the most awesome Anime Festival Asia.
First photo - when one wants to change their mobile carrier, a fine needs to be paid to the current carrier. That's how they treat you after many years of loyalty. Folks who are thinking of switching to the iPhone carrier Softbank need not pay the fine as they will cover the cost for you. Does your mobile carrier threaten you with hefty fines to prevent you from switching?
Had the honor of being invited by the Japanese government to speak at the Cool Japan Conference on November 2nd. Photo coverage in the Japanese Government post.
Editing for Culture Japan continues. About to munch on some katsu bento for lunch.
Dinner with voice actress Shiori Mikami-chan.
My wife likes to tease guests by always ordering them some Shirako...
Working on Culture Japan often means eating in the office. Editing a 30 min show takes aaaaages!
A visit to the BNN office - the publishers of "100 Masters of Bishojo Painting" [絵師100人]. They were also looking for some freelance Japanese to French translators. Managed to find them somebody after tweeting the position. Often post job opportunities with Japanese companies on my Twitter so you may want to follow if you are interested.
Out n about the Ebisu area. I should come out here more often. A load of restaurants in the area.
How many of you use the Taxi to get out n about when in Japan? We only use the Taxi when arriving back in Japan from Gotanda station.
Ebisu station on the JR platform. The JR lines are being slowly kitted out with barriers to prevent people from falling or jumping in the tracks.
To save time in Tokyo, you can download various train map apps from the iTunes store for your iDevice which more often than not includes train carriage exit data. Say you need to get off at Ikebukuro station at exit 5, the application will tell you which carriage you need to be on so you can move to the carriage position while waiting for the train to come.
Melonpan - 105 yen.
Overground cables means a high penetration rate of optic fiber Internets for folks in Japan - starting at about 10 USD per month. How much are you paying and for what speed? More info about the optic fiber cables in this post.
Another Culture Japan editing day.
Some goodies fall through the ceiling again.
Got ourselves the ES_PRO Steadycam to help keep the camera steady. A sample of it in action below.
However we found that we didn't really need it for the type of shots we wanted and have hardly used it. Picked it up from Amazon for 35,820 yen but will sell it to anybody who is willing to pick up from Meguro for 19,000 yen.
The hole in the ceiling keeps getting bigger with stuff like this that keeps falling through it. Which of these (apart from the GH2 ^^;) do you want for the next giveaway. The most annotated item will be the next giveaway if my sponsors have it in stock.
Quite a few faves this month including the Nanoha Nendo puchi, figma Haruhi, figma Mikuru, figma King Kazma and figma Dead Master.
If you are looking for any of these then you may want to have a peeketh at one of the following trusted online retailers.
Looks like figma Mirai is going to have a load of accessories to play with.
These are traditional Japanese muchies called Kamaboko [蒲鉾]. Its made of pulp fish and usually slightly salted. Tastes absolutely yummy. You may have already tried it in ramen and recognize it as looking like this.
Blue skies in the Winter are absolutely gorgeous over here. Not sure what some folks are on about when they say that Tokyo is polluted. Is the sky in your neck of the woods generally clean or do you go back home with black snot - just like I did when living in London ^^;;;;
Out n about on a Sunday morning. Never get tired of looking at Japanese urban scenery.
If you drop something while in Japan. Trek back over the path you walked and also check nearby walls. More often than not, folks will pick up anything they find and stick it on a nearby wall like this - instead of leaving it in the road to be trodden on or kicked.
Wifeys yummy dishes for dindins.
Culture Japan production = very little sleep + days on end of filming = often half dead in the crew's van.
My lovely girls hard at work.
The figure shelf of late.
Some very cute Taiko no Tatsujin goodies at McDees. Did they localize this arcade game worldwide? Some Taiko action below.
Whenever I see Nokyo Milk I think of the Sora Mimi Hour. For folks who dont know Sora Mimi Hour, they take non Japanese songs and highlight bits which sounds like Japanese. In this case Prince's "Bat Dance" has a bit which sounds like "Nokyo Gyunyu!" (Nokyo Milk).
Is that the new 11 inch MacBook Air that just fell through the ceiling?
No - it belongs to somebody else ^^; While it looks lovely, not sure if its any faster than the 1st generation MacBook Air which I've got. My MBA starts to choke just by using Firefox for a while. Anybody got the new MBA's? Any good for light graphical work?
Lovely design though.
On a non-combustible recycle day, somebody throws out a load of VHS tapes to be collected. I used to learn some of my Japanese on these before the Internet age.
Halloween in Japan came and went...
Trying out a dish at the new place round the corner.
At many restaurants in Japan, one is required to buy a food ticket before eating. At some of the smaller places, one will find these cute machines to choose their food from. If you walk into a restaurant are hear somebody say to you "Shokken" [食券] then it means you need to buy a food ticket first.
Must go and see Space Battleship Yamato next week!
Meeting at Roppongi Hills. If you are meeting folks in Japan at Roppongi then just mention "The big spider" and most should know where it is.
Roppongi Hills has a cinema and is filled with snazzy shops n restaurants.
Love driving on the highways through Tokyo - most of them are elevated like the one you see here and you get to see a lot of the city as you drive. Listen to some Ridge racer while you drive and the experience is even better.
Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore's Ghost gets a Japanese remake. This time round however, she (Matsushima Nanako) bites the dust.
Some noms at home for dindins.
Example of some Japanese takeout food.
Our trusty steed serves us well.
Fave sushi is Engawa [縁側] which is the muscley part at the base of the fin.
Some evening cake from Cozy Corner.
Folks visiting Japan will notice that many places have the price written in bold red on a yellow background. Much research has come up with this color combination which has been proven to increase sales.
BLT Sand. "Sand" [サンド] is short for "Sandwich."
I love how citizens neatly stack recyclables to be picked up the next day.
Vividblaze and I have been working on the cover of my first attempt at producing music - "Mirai Mechanism" is Mirai-chan's theme song. Which jacket cover do you prefer?
Smexy Mirai-chan on the right.
Working on Culture Japan and the Itasha special.
Strawberry ice cream to nom on after dindins.
About to devour some of wifeys satay.
Filming some Pachinko shenanigans for Culture Japan with the Amusement Girls in Ikebukuro. You can see some photos of the shoot in the Amusement Girls post.
Stopping off at a very small n cosy ramen place for dindins. Run by an old lady, she also sold various knick knaks outside her shop too.
Spoke at the "Cool Japan and Japanese Industries" seminar with some other gaijin folks who are doing their part to disseminate Japanese culture around the world.
A load of industry folks including came along to do the business card thingy after the talk.
If you are changing trains at Otemachi, be prepared to do long walks to the other lines.
Please do it again - this time its a cool guy turning off his mobile while standing next to the priority seats. He starts to sparkle after turning off his mobile.
Located right in the middle of a business district are these Gacha machines. One thing I love about Japanese culture is that adults continue to enjoy and consume character goods while many folks outside of Japan stop consuming because they think its embarrassing - or rather their peers think its embarrassing.
If you enjoy something then don't feel ashamed to stop just because of what others think - because if you do stop then the only person who looses out is yourself.
Some APEC event lead to heightened security meaning that many vending machines were sealed off to prevent bad and evil devices being inserted into them.
Launched a new site in the Mirai Gaia platform for Ascii Media Works. Tokyo Kawaii Magazine is an iPhone magazine application that features Japanese Pop Culture. I also currently write for the magazine every month.
Birthday noms at the Chinese restaurant.
If you need cardboard boxes in Japan then you need not buy any - just pick some up on the night before cardboard recycle.
More filming for Culture Japan - this time we take a look at how all that plastic food is made. Took a load of photos which I hope to get around to posting someday ^^;
Time to pack and head to Singapore for a week.
Buying train tickets for Narita.
The old Skyliner has been replaced by the Skyliner Airport Express - 36 mins to the airport from Nippori. Have a lookie at the Tokyo Airport Train post to see the various means that one can take to and from Narita airport.
I somehow prefer the old worn in seats of the previous Skyliner. The new Skyliner has electricity plugs near the bottom of the seats for folks who need to charge their laptops or dolphins.
Wandering around Narita airport before the flight. All these are made from paper. Used to do a bit of Origami when I was younger.
Just because 1 person carried petrol onto the plane in a bottle, the whole world has to throw away their drinks before going through security.
A week passed by too quickly and before I knew it I was on a plane back to Tokyo.
Saber climbs out of the luggage to breathe after a long flight. More photos in the Tokyo Arrival 2 post.
Some previous A Week in Tokyo posts below.