Keiko Ihara From Race Queen to Queen of Racing (Highlighting Japan)

As a student in 1998, Keiko Ihara got her introduction to motorsport while working as a race queen—a promotional model who is part of a racing pit crew. The dedication, the passion, the drive and the teamwork left such a lasting impression on her that she got her driver’s license right away. She also took a part-time job as a driving school instructor, where she learned the finer aspects of controlling a motor vehicle.

At the age of twenty-five, Ihara debuted in the FIA-licensed Ferrari Challenge, where she took the Japan series by storm, being named MVP of the year and culminating the year with a second-place finish at the World Finals. Her experiences bolstered her confidence and earned her the chance to participle in the British Formula Renault 2.0 series...

Read the full article with the pretty layout HERE (computer only)

Or read the html version in it's typically governmental (terribly designed) layout HERE (all devices)

Read/Download the article in PDF format HERE.

or just click the pic to make it bigger.


It's Not Sushi - Science Experiment Candy (ねるねるねるね nerunerunerune)

The first of 2 videos where I look at some kids' candy where the prep is as fun and important as the candy itself.

Thanks to The Cat for doing the science.


Shots #128 Tokyo Cityscape

Tokyo from above

Taken from the Observation deck at the Tokyo Metropolitan government building.
Sometimes you need raise yourself above the masses scurrying about their petty consumer nonsense and just gaze upon the city from afar. It helps put things in perspective.


REVIEW: Casio Selfie-Cam (AkihabaraNews.com)

My latest review. Check it out:

The Casio EX-TR35 is a peculiar beast... 
Were you to look at the specs, you’d see a 12 megapixel 1/23 inch backlit CMOS sensor mated to a 3.8mm (Full frame equivalent of 21mm) lens in a small, but not particularly impressive, plastic body.
Nothing to write home about. And definitely nothing to explain why Casio is selling them hand over fist in China and Southeast Asia, from between ¥70,000 and ¥120,000 ($700 - $1,200) each, depending on where you get it.

read the rest at akihabaranews.com



Why Did The Idols Run Across Shibuya Crossing? (Random Japan)

To make the dirty old man who owns them rich!

Because I don't want to help with that, I'm not going to link to anything from this idol group, if you care, google the name on their flag... a word of warning though... if you listen to their music your ears will bleed.

I suppose for a talentless, not spectacularly beautiful looking young woman of below average intellect this is a better job than working at the convenience store or prostitution... And even though Idol wages are notoriously low, they probably made more this month than I did, for a lot less mental work.

Damn I just realised Idols get exploited less than I do... That's a depressing thought.


EPIC Japanese High School Girl Ninja Chase Commercial.

Japanese commercials usually sway between WTF and RANDOM, but this one managed to infuse a healthy dose of EPIC into the mix. Props to the agency that Suntory hired. It's really clever, really funny, well put together and pretty damn effective. Almost makes me wanna buy a CC Lemon... Almost. Sadly no amount of amazing advertising can change the taste :p


Random Japan Phone Snaps #02 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.


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-07-07) Shibuya Scramble, Supertyphoon Neoguri, Akihabara Maids and more...

00:00 MONDAY Akihabara Streetwalkers
01:00 TUESDAY Super Typhoon Neoguri
02:00 WEDNESDAY Renewing my Drivers License
03:00 THURSDAY Clouds Moving Across The Sky
04:00 notFRIDAY Shibuya Scramble
00:00 SATURDAY Crossings
00:00 notSUNDAY A Shout Out To Mortaine6

Mama 2 (feat. Manny Marx) by The Living


Shibuya Scramble Crossing


BMW M4 - Love at First Sight

Spotted my first BMW M4 in Shinjuku 3-chome yesterday.

~Very Very Want~ 

All the reviewers whine, moan and complain about the lack of sound...
It sounded phenomenal to me. 
Their ears must be broken.


Shots #127 Last Night's Sunset.


Last night's Sunset was worth doing 2 shots in a row. 


Shots# 126 - The Next Generation

The Cat's younger brother and his new Daughter.
Ive never seen a happier father.


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-06-30) Nagano, A Holy Vending Machine, Driving and More...

00:00 notMONDAY Nagano is Beautiful
01:00 TUESDAY Just Driving
02:00 WEDNESDAY First World Problems
03:00 THURSDAY Bird Watching
04:00 FRIDAY Holy Vending Machine
00:00 notSATURDAY Anti-Nuclear Protest
00:00 notSUNDAY Always the best part of the trip.

Tuesday music was all shuffled form my iPod while driving.

Thursday Tune by Manny Marx. Support him and his epic music.


Chikuma City, Nagano

Zenko-ji, Nagano City, Nagano (fri & sat)


SCENE IN TOKYO: Touchscreen Vending Machine (AkihabaraNews.com)

I provided the video for this week's 'Scene in Tokyo'

Read the original post on AkihabaraNews for Some well written words on the subject by Reno Tibke.


Shots #125 I Agree

This sign on an Akihabara storefront certainly gets its message across.

Anzu - Japanese Apricots

Chikuma City in Nagano is one of only a few places where Anzu, or Japanese Apricots are grown. They've been at it for 300 years and are pretty good at it. The best ones sell for around ¥10000 per box.

Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu Chikuma Anzu

I've been shooting footage for a video, promoting both the Anzu, and the city, for the better part of the week. It's been a nice (and delicious) break from the rat race that is Tokyo.


shots #124 Nagano is Beautiful

I've been dealing with views like this for the past few days. I know. Terrible.

The artisans behind mass production - Matsubara Reed Ltd. (JETRO)

Matsubara Reed is a company that makes metal reeds (read the article to find out what a metal reed is)
They didn't let me take photos sadly so no extras this time. I'll get to the articles with pics next week when I return from Nagano cos the internet here is not very good. 

The artisans behind mass production - Matsubara Reed Ltd.

Precision pieces crafted by hand

Unlike the items made with the reeds, the reeds themselves are all crafted by hand. It's a time-consuming and intricate process. Each piece needs to be perfectly finished and accurate to the smallest detail to ensure they meet the specific needs of the companies that rely on them.

Because there's no unified standard, each customer provides the density and measurements they require to Matsubara Reed who then designs each reed-assembled and finished by hand-to those exacting specifications. The jobs done by the craftsmen in the company are not particularly unique, but the intricate nature of the work means it can take up to ten years to truly master the process.

reed(笑) the rest...


7 Days 7 Minutes (2014-06-23) Touchscreen Vending Machines, a cute caterpillar and more...


00:00 MONDAY - The Crossing <location>
01:00 TUESDAY - Jesus Plant
02:00 WEDNESDAY - 0.7x Wide Angle Converter is Wide
03:00 THURSDAY - Touchscreen Vending machine <location>
04:00 notFRIDAY - SOFA KING CUTE!!!!!!! <location>
05:00 notSATURDAY - DAMN! <location>
05:35 SUNDAY First decent drive since Okinawa <location>

notFriday Music: Mr. Punch by The Living