2014-04-30

I'm 30 years old.



I'm officially old. My 20s have come to an end and I've summited and am now beginning to descend. My birthday present? An endoscopy (which I paid for) and the subsequent feeling like crap that goes along with having a camera shoved down one's throat. 




Good news: I definitely don't have stomach cancer, ulcers or anything visibly wrong.
Bad news: We have no Idea why my stomach is constantly giving me grief.

Maybe the very first diagnosis was the correct one... Stress.




In other news no birthday Party this year. There is nowhere to have a braai at our new place in Kawasaki. And even if there were, it's raining all day and I'm very very VERY broke this month. I AM getting a lot of exposure this month. But you can't eat exposure, nor can you have a birthday party with it. 



Seriously, those of you who know me... can you imagine ME not having an epic birthday party??!! In truth I would be unable to consume the amounts I'm used to consuming and so I wonder how crazed it would be but I'm old so an old man's party would still be better than no party. 



It's not all bad. My mom is in Japan. It's good to have the woman who birthed me and raised me around for my 30th birthday. We were gonna see a movie but all the stuff on circuit right now is crap so we got a burger and went home. She's making some home-cooked mom food right now though. She also brought a half-jack of Klipdrift from home so I can get a taste of the good times even if I'm not slugging a mighty mix (750ml klippies into 1.25l of coke).



but yeah. 30, on the 30th of April 2014. done and done. Now go watch my YouTube videos and share them with everyone you know so I can make some money to have a proper party sometime before the year is up.


2014-04-29

TEST DRIVE & REVIEW: Terra Motor’s A4000i iPhone-Connected Electric Scooter (AkihabaraNews.com)



Terra Motors, Japan’s very own electric vehicle startup (no stranger to Akihabara News), is preparing to launch their A4000i smartphone-enabled electric scooter this summer, and they recently invited us to the MONO startups space in Tokyo Bay to get up close and personal with it.

I got to check out and ride Terra Motors' new electric scooter: the A4000i.

read my full review at AkihabaraNews.com

A wild NSX appears!



Spotted this clean Honda NSX parked outside a Hot Spring Hotel in Chikuma, Nagano.

2014-04-27

7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-04-14) Carp, Shinjuku, That damn popcorn and more...


Didn't quite make 7 minutes this week, even with extra footage. Because reasons.

00:00 MONDAY Carp Streamers
01:00 TUESDAY Tama Plaza
02:09 notWEDNESDAY Cheap but decent Udon
02:47 THURSDAY Shinjuku
03:47 notFRIDAY Time and Tide
04:47 notSATURDAY That Damn Popcorn!!!
05:43 notSUNDAY Carp Closeups

2014-04-26

I'm in Nagano again... And the cherry blossoms are still in bloom.



View from the Kitty park in Chikuma, Nagano earlier today.
For all it's skyscrapers, trains, money and sheeple, Tokyo has nothing that can compare to this.

2014-04-23

Shots #114 Ninja Delivery


Screw bicycle messengers.. When you need something delivered proper fast... You call a Ninja.

It's Not Sushi - Tachibana Tsukemen (Chikuma, Nagano) (麺屋たち花 - 長野県千曲市)



In Chikuma City, Nagano Prefecture, That cat's dad and little bro introduced me to an amazing tsukemen (dipping noodles) restaurant around the corner from Togura Station.


麺屋たち花
LOCATION

2014-04-22

Mazda debuts 25th anniversary MX-5 Miata and next-gen SKYACTIV chassis at NY Auto Show (AkihabaraNews.com)


The full piece is actually a creative regurgitation of a press release, but it is my regurgitation and I like to think it's a better one than all the others out there:



MX-5 Miata
The Standard?

While it has a reputation as a hairdresser’s car in parts of the world, there is no denying the fact that Mazda’s MX-5 Miata is one of the most iconic sports cars ever built.
In its 25 years on the road, it has become the open-top benchmark. While there are certainly faster, often cooler and way more expensive examples of open-top 2-seaters, with over 940,000 units sold, the Miata is far and away the most popular.

As always, read the rest on AkihabaraNews.com

2014-04-21

The effect of clickbaiting will blow your mind!


No it won't actually. But it's both impressive and rather sad how an obviously baited title (and possibly a cute cheerleader) had such a big impact on my page views. I'll take a look at google analytics later and try figure out the details but purely from hits on each post  it's rather obvious the click bait worked wonders. Incidentally, I didn't post this to any other communities or anything besides my own social media outlets. Now I know why all those garbage regurgitation sites do this. clearly it works.

It is still tacky, cheap and lame... and despite my blog needing some miracle in the pageview department, I'll try to avoid the bait unless... it's to take the piss out of the easily baited...


AND CHERRYBLOSSOMS!!!!


Shots #113 Triippple Nippples!



Shibuya is Awesome like this.

2014-04-20

Monsters on the prowl


I took a long ass walk across Tokyo not too long ago (Video coming soon... I promise). Anyways at the end of the trek, rolling down a hill from Aoyama-dori toward Shibuya Station i spotted these 3 cool kids handing out free monster energy drinks...

So I took a can and shot the kids!




Shocking! Tourist flashes in Tokyo!


Yes the title was clickbait. I know. I apologise. But I generally have a policy of NOT clickbaiting because it looks tacky and is a pretty cheap move. At the same time I was curious to see if it actually works.

Forgive me.
I won't be making it a habit.

Incidentally, if you're a first time reader that clicked the clickbait. WELCOME!


Here... Have a Jaspers Cheerleader as compensation:

2014-04-19

7DAYS 7MINUTES (2014-04-07) Written off week and Helvetica Rules



MONDAY - DoubleDutchDexterityDemons
TUESDAY - DJ Michael YEAH!
WEDNESDAY - Empty Promises
THURSDAY - Gratuitous Shibuya
FRIDAY - Twilight Dancers
SATURDAY - Tired of taking trains
SUNDAY - FREE HUGS!

2014-04-18

Shibuya like you've never seen it before!

Panasonic GH4: Fun with VFR in Shibuya, Tokyo




I slung together some of the extra VFR footage I had from the GH4 review and strapped it to a tune from the youtube creator's library. I'm mad impressed by how well it turned out. I'm also in love with the GH4's in camera variable frame rate.

Anyway... WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!! it's spectacular!

wanna know more about the GH4? read my review of it on AkihabaraNews.com

REVIEW: ICEPEN 'ZEN' Multifunction Tablet & Smartphone Stylus (AkihabaraNews.com)

akihabaranews.com

ICEPEN is a Vietnam based startup that blasted 150% past its Kickstarter goal and is now in production. The stylus is a 3-in-one device that includes a standard rubbery tip, a precision tip, and a traditional twist-out pen. AkihabaraNews tested two pre-production units, and here’s what our reporter thought.
• • •


"our reporter" is me.



Click here to read the review.

2014-04-17

Epic Enka 女・・・ひとり旅 - 田川寿美

I'm busy designing web banners at the moment and I don't know when I'll have time to sling together a post with some original content today so here is an epic Enka tune that I currently find myself repeating when it shuffles into my playlist.

Wikipedia says:
Enka (演歌?) is a popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically...Modern enka, as developed in the postwar era, is a form of sentimental ballad music.


Yes I am a metalhead...
Yes I love Enka!

Why? BECAUSE REASONS!

Take a listen. Tell me what you think. Tell me if you want me to do more music related stuff (after all that is how I made a name for myself in the first place.)


女・・・ひとり旅 田川寿美 (Onna... Hitori Tabi by Toshimi Tagawa)



2014-04-15

Tokyo Street Shots - SPECIAL EDITION: Panasonic GH4 & Legs! (AkihabaraNews.com)


For those of you who don't know yet, AkihabaraNews.com publishes a bunch of my Street Photography every week. This particular batch was shot with the Panasonic Lumix GH4.

Click the pic... or HERE to see the full set.

While you're at it check out my review of the GH4 too.

2014-04-14

Shots#112 Spring Peach Blossom Festival in Nagano.


While the Sakura had come and were starting to go in Tokyo, further north, in Chikuma City, Nagano, The apricot blossoms had just started to bloom. The city is known for it's apricots and as a result Spring is heralded in by the apricot, rather than the Cherry blossom (which comes a bit later). There is also a small event at a local shrine to commemorate the blooming of the apricot trees and the coming of spring... But the weather decided that spring can wait. It must be said though, that these ladies deserve som emad props for continuing to dance even as biting cold winds stirred a blizzard around them.

2014-04-12

Japan How It Is - Yuasa, Wakayama.



Yuasa town in Wakayama Prefecture is time machine 2 hours outside Osaka. It's the town where Soy Sauce was first made in Japan. I got lost there and ended up finding out about a truly amazing town.

Related Yuasa post. HERE>

Yuasa town home page (Japanese): HERE>

Manny Marx bandcamnp: HERE>

2014-04-11

REVIEW: Panasonic Lumix GH4 (AkihabaraNews.com)

http://akihabaranews.com

GH4! 
When the GH3 came onto the market, there was no denying that Panasonic was deliberately targeting the pro market. The GH2’s consumer-like colorful smoothness gave way to a magnesium body that was larger, more ergonomic, and dressed like Darth Vader.
Their online marketing material included testimonials from professional photographers and filmmakers from around the world, giving further evidence to the notion that it was a professional device.
By and large, they succeeded and found their niche in the market as purveyors of the best (arguably only) true hybrid photography system.
Now, a year and a bit later, Panasonic is about to unleash the GH3’s successor It’s called the GH… wait for it… 4!

No jokes... This might be my best piece since the Otaku Magazine days.
Go! Read it now! there be pretty pictures and vids too!

http://akihabaranews.com

2014-04-10

Race Queens of the Subaru BRZ GT300 - Round 1 (GALLERY) (AkihabaraNews.com)

akihabaranews.com


I did a big chunk of the writing on this one... No I don't expect you to check it out because of the writing... I wouldn't either. But for what it's worth you can glimpse my wordsmithing skills on your way to feasting on delicious eye-candy. Anyway, click the pic or link below to see more:


Race Queens of the Subaru BRZ GT300

2014-04-09

Shots #110 Imperial Guardsman, Tokyo



7 Days, 7 Minutes (2014-03-31) Spring, cherry blossoms, cheerleaders and more...



00:00 notMONDAY Hanami
01:00 TUESDAY Changing of the Guard - Imperial Palace Tokyo
02:00 WEDNESDAY Spring Rain
03:00 notTHURSDAY  Akasaka Sunset
04:00 FRIDAY Heading to Nagano
05:00 SATURDAY Chikuma City - Nagano Prefecture Location: https://www.google.co.jp/maps/place/%E5%8D%83%E6%9B%B2%E5%B8%82%E5%9F%8E%E5%B1%B1%E5%8F%B2%E8%B7%A1%E5%85%AC%E5%9C%92/@36.4798149,138.1399347,17z/data=!4m7!1m4!3m3!1s0x601d9d1cba8bfb41:0x5d9a6661095efb7b!2sChikuma,+Nagano!3b1!3m1!1s0x0:0x93bcdc8754312eaa
06:00 SUNDAY Formation Flying

2014-04-05

Woot, I'm in Nagano.


In The Cat's hometown shooting for a video project thats due in September. It's good to be away from Tokyo till the morrow, but I wish the cat were here... probably not as much as she wishes she was home though...

2014-04-03

An Unmistakable Aroma - 750 years of soy sauce tradition takes to the tables of Europe’s finest restaurants (Highlighting Japan)

The new issue of highlighting Japan is out and the the piece I did when I went to Wakayama (after I snapped that Dotonbori video and Osaka street shots) is up.



An Unmistakable Aroma

750 years of soy sauce tradition takes to the tables of Europe’s finest restaurants

Soy sauce, or shoyu, is almost indispensable to the Japanese dining experience. There are over 1,000 large and small soy sauce companies throughout the country, each with its own unique recipe and flavor. Out of this large field of competitors, how does a small brand from the quaint town of Yuasa in Wakayama Prefecture find its way into the kitchens of not one but nine Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe? And how has a company that makes up an estimated 0.01 percent of Japan’s soy sauce supply won Belgium’s prestigious Monde Selection Gold Quality Award every year since 2006?

According to Toshio Shinko, the warm-hearted and down-to-earth president of Yuasa Soy Sauce Co., Ltd., it comes down to a combination of history, tradition, dedication and passion. 

Read the rest On Highlighting Japan.





This is probably the best assignment I've had. In truth through the Highlighting Japan project and the JETRO project (not yet published) Ive had the opportunity to visit some amazing places and meet some truly inspirational people, but I would say that Toshio Shinko, the president of the Yuasa Soy Sauce company is at the top of that list.



His passion for his work aside, it's his passion for his home town, it's traditions and the younger generations growing up there that I liked best about him. His vision and goal have nothing to do with expanding his business (and being that they make the best soy sauce on the planet, there is plenty of potential for expansion). Rather he wants to educate the children in his community and instil a sense of pride in them that he hopes will inspire them to continue to live and work in Yuasa instead of migrating to the urban centres to work for the faceless corporations that built them.

He is especially critical of the way the leaders are removed from the realities of life on the ground in Japan and as a result they are unable to truly deal with the actual problems the country is facing.
as you may have guessed.. this scheduled 1 hour interview became a much longer conversation between he and I about some very deep and meaningful topics that we pretty much agree wholeheartedly on.

He was also very generous. he gave me a bottle of his fine soy sauce, 2 bags of the local, exquisitely delicious mandarin oranges, and a tub of unique miso that they make there.

It's assignments like this that make the stresses worthwhile. To get paid to meet and talk to interesting people and share their stories with the world... It brings me many feels.

Now to find more work like this... and hopefully get paid for it too!

Shots #109 refined beauty




Spotted this Fairlady Z as she drove by me near the Akasaka Palace. 

It's quite lucky that it isn't a total blur. With just a little nudge here and there in Lightroom, this came out quite well. 
Incidentally it's 16:9 ratio so it will scale nicely as a wallpaper.

2014-04-02

Cherry Blossoms and Spring Time in Tokyo ~5 Hit Combo~








7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-03-24) Bad Religion, Spring, Futsal and more...

00:00 MONDAY On The Balcony
01:00 notTUESDAY Futsal and the City
02:00 WEDNESDAY About the Weather
03:00 notTHURSDAY International Arcade, Yurakucho (Location)
04:00 notFRIDAY A truly beautiful sight
05:00 SATURDAY Bad Religion, Punkspring 2014
06:00 notSUNDAY Follow Sunday, XIIRosary - Nina (Blog) (YouTube)