It's Not Sushi - Okonomiyaki at Houzenji San-Pei, Dotonbori, Osaka

I had a job in Osaka for Highlighting Japan recently and as part of it, I was treated to Okonomiyaki at a small restaurant called Houzenji San-Pei, in a small back alley behind Dotonbori, in Osaka.

Music: Darc Urban Jungle by DJ Russel CrossFire


Random Japan Phone Snaps #3 ランダム携帯で撮った写真

Sometimes I snap things with my phone that I only ever use once or intend to use in the future but never do. They gradually build up till I drag them all off my phone into a dump folder, where would usually spend the rest of their digital eternities...

Until now.

Enjoy these random images of random times in random Japan.


Sony a7S Tokyo Street Shots ~5 hit combo~


I took quite a few street shots for the Tokyo Street Shots addendum to the a7S review. They also helped me get to terms with the camera for my review of it. Ive put all of them up on my flickr and dropped 5 here to entice you to go check the rest out.

Tokyo Street - Sony a7S

Tokyo Street - Sony a7S

Tokyo Street - Sony a7S

Tokyo Street - Sony a7S

Tokyo Street - Sony a7S

Still here? go see the rest on my flickr!


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-08-11) Shibukawa Dashi Matsuri, Obon Rituals and more...

00:00 MONDAY Ashes to Ashes
01:00 notTUESDAY Web Surfing
01:22 WEDNESDAY Obon Rituals
02:03 THURSDAY Caffenation
03:22 FRIDAY Homecoming
04:23 SATURDAY Shibukawa Dashi Matsuri - Day 1
05:32 SUNDAY Shibukawa Dashi Matsuri - Day 2


Shots #131 Hanabi

Because I need to keep posting even if I'm too busy to post... and because it's summer.


The Great East Japan Tour

I've been busier than a former AKB girl turned hooker over the last few weeks, and the places I've been generally didn't have connectivity or I didn't have the time to use the connectivity to blog. I apologise. 

I left for Shibukawa, Gunma on the 9th, and rode the 50cc 6 hours on the backroads to get there. I stayed with Yoshitatsu that night and the next morning we pulled out at 2am to go to Nikko Circuit for the DRiFTWiRED1 drift event. 

When I got back The Cat told me that her grandfather wasn't doing well and the next morning I got the call that he passed away. I met up with her and her sisters in Takasaki, Gunma we went back to Nagano for the funeral and proceedings.

After the funeral, I hopped the shinkansen back to Gunma and participated in the Shibulawa Dashi Matsuri. Which is and was one of the highlights of my life when it comes around every 2 years. It was good to be home. 

After 2 days of festival and a day to replace the Chain on my bike, I rode back to kawasaki and barely had a day to recover some semblance of sanity before hopping a Shnkansen for 5 hours to Akita in the far north.

I interviewed the heads of the Yamamo Soy Sauce company and a maker of Inaniwa Udon (one of the best known types of udon in Japan)

Back on the shinkansen to Kawasaki where I had a night in my own bed before heading west to Nagahama, in Shiga Prefecture, on the shores of Like Biwa, Japan's largest lake. 

The work was to interview the management team at Top Seiko, one of the world's most precise ceramic and tungsten machining companies. 

I then tool a look around the Kurokabe area, near Nagahama Station, where one of Japan'a oldest downtown shopping areas has been preserved and still serves the same purpose. Lack of money prevented me form taking too much time there. 

I hopped back on the shink and finally headed back home where I am now putting together a craptonne of articles, images and videos  over the next 2 weeks before getting on more trains and heading to more exotic destinations.

not my actual route or transport method but accurate sense of scale


REVIEW: Sony α7S (Alpha 7S)

My latest camera review... I'm doing a lot of these recently:

In my many ramblings on cameras and photography (or arguments, when Canon/Nikon sycophants are involved), I have always stuck to 2 main points:

1: The 1940s flappy mirror box design (DSLR) is ancient tech that is marketed by old men for old men, and it’s holding back imaging technology.

2: Sensor size and megapixel count don’t matter if they’re not optimized. It’s all about getting as much light as possible onto that sensor to make the most of its size.

So, more megapixels means less light per pixel, and a larger sensor with fewer megapixels captures more light and detail than a sensor twice its size.

With the ever increasing push for high megapixels in both the full-frame and APS markets, there were really no options for low-light performance or image quality that warranted the almost exponential price and size premiums over the smaller Micro Four Thirds system cameras (like the Panasonic Lumix GH4).

Armchair enthusiasts point to reviews and beat their chests about this, but real world experience has told me that unless your photography requires that extra 5% of performance that the highest-end (double-sized and triple-priced) DSLRs provide, anything bigger than the Micro 4/3 sensor was a waste… Until Now....


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-07-28) Osaka, Faux-Pro, Abeno Harukas and more...

The camera is called the SJ400 Action Camera.

00:00 Faux Pro
01:00 Riding Into The Sun
02:00 Taking a Trip
03:00 300 Metres
04:00 Old School
05:00 No Power
06:00 Walkies

Abeno Harukas Location:


Nagano in HDR

When I was in Nagano at the beginning of last month I fired off some brackets. 
Here are some of the Resulting HDR images:

Nagano HDR

Nagano HDR

Nagano HDR

Nagano HDR

Nagano HDR


A Tribute and Farewell to my Old Buddy

Financial woes have forced me to part with my well used, trusty Lumix GH1. It has been my backup camera up till now for all the times the GH3 messed it's pants and needed to be sent back to Panasonic for repairs. It was my first Digital interchangeable lens camera and my first proper camera that I bought with my own money.


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-07-21) Yokohama Night, Street Performer, Epic Music and more...

00:00 notMONDAY Street Performer
01:00 TUESDAY Just Riding
02:00 notWEDNESDAYLocal Bike Shop
03:00 notTHURSDAY Minatomirai
04:00 FRIDAY Follow Friday: Moth De La Cruz
05:00 notSATURDAY Yokohama Nights
06:00 SUNDAY Another Perfect Sunset

All Music by The Living off the album M.I.V.1

Follow Moth De La Cruz and The Living:


Shots #130 - Tsutenkaku Tower - Osaka

Tsutenkaku Tower

Tsutenkaku Tower, Shinsekai, Osaka. 
I took this from the observation deck in the Abeno Harukas building in Tennoji.

Osaka Kabuki Cat

I spotted this feline as we were leaving Osaka Castle yesterday. Upon my return, I showed it to The Cat and she noted that it looked like the cat had Kabuki make up on... I tend to agree. What do you think?

Kabuki Photo by Mick Rock. Go peep his work.