Goodbye 2006

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Well, as 2006 draws to a close, I find myself spending it pretty much the same way I’ve done so for years now. Earlier today we went to Seibu’s depachika and loaded up on food. We’ve eaten a good part of it, waiting until around 23:00 or so for the soba. I’m flipping through all the TV specials, including of course the venerable KOHAKU on NHK, mixed in with some K-1 for good measure — poor Akebono continues his losing streak, and in record time! I am quite sad that Takashi Okamura of the comedy duo 99 won’t be doing his annual New Year’s show — I did get a kick out of his appearance on KOHAKU though — it just doesn’t feel the same. A bit after midnight we’ll walk over to Gokokuji, a rather large temple not too far from where we live, for hatsumode (first prayer of the New Year). I always look forward to the food stalls set up in front of the temple — gotta get me some buttered potatoes! Strangely enough, despite the couple of beers I drank earlier — some delicious amber Kohaku Yebisu, which I highly recommend — I’ve taken the time to install a program, Tracks, to help me get started on the whole GTD craze. I’ve also been cleaning up the computer a bit, leaving me with a beautiful clean desktop (although I tend to be pretty good with that at all times), and changing the desktop after about a year with no change to what you see above (photo taken during Tokyo Design Week at the Design Tide main exhibition space). Tomorrow, it’s 2007, and I look forward to a first bowl of ramen wearing my brand spankin’ new sneakers! Happy New Year, everyone!

JEANSNOW.NET Searches: End of December 2006

So what are the search terms that are bringing readers to the site these days? “jean snow” and “jeansnow” are still tops, so either it’s people who can’t remember the site’s address (hint: starts with “jeansnow,” ends with “.net”), or I’ve got a little cult of personality going. Bape is still going strong — the Bape London shop is still tops — but gaining ground is Hysteric Glamour (and coincidently, my latest post at Gridskipper relates to the brand). The Willcom R9 phone got a lot of interest, as did the Yutori Kimono shoes from Puma. Seems like there’s also interest in Naoki Honjo — maybe I should write more on him. “tokyo blog” seems natural enough, and of course “japanese jeans” (Jeans Now!)

Another nice thing with the Mint program is that you can get stats on searches done on the site, to see what people are looking for once they already are here. Tops is “pecha kucha,” which is probably due to Momus‘ recent rant (and supposed satire) that caused some fuss. Next up are “record store” and “kono takashi,” and I see even “marxy” gets some attention.

More from TDW at MoCo Loco

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There’s still a backlog of photos I took during Tokyo Design Week that MoCo Loco hasn’t gotten around to posting yet, but they will come, starting with these latest two (from 100% Design Tokyo): Ismi Design Office (pictured above) and i-Design.

And in other MoCo Loco-related news, it’s no secret that the MoCo Tokyo site I was editing has been on hiatus for a while now (the site is going to evolve into something else, which you’ll see sometime next year), but plans are for me to start contributing regularly to the main site in 2007.

Christmas in Tokyo 2006

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What does a Jean Snow Christmas in Tokyo look like? Well, this year, things kicked off a bit early on Saturday night, when my good friend Denis — a childhood friend, and interactive designer, from my hometown who recently moved to Tokyo — dropped by Cafe Pause for a drink. For dinner, I wanted to bring him to Rakeru, the chain that specializes in om-rice (omelette/rice), and when we got there we saw they had a Christmas plate. Sure, corn soup, an omelette, and some chicken with mustard and white sauce may not sound very Christmas-y, but hey, it’s all in the mind! We then went to Mashman’s Cafe, also in Ikebukuro, and a sort of hippie/art/rock cafe/bar (if that makes any sense), where after a few drinks the owner/manager gave us a copy of a Mashman’s Cafe CD as a present.

So then we get to Christmas day. Since it’s not a holiday in Japan, Yuko was working, and so I figured I’d try to find some sort of reasonable Christmas lunch to grab with Denis, hopefully involving turkey. When I couldn’t find anything, I spotted the ad in METROPOLIS for the chain of Belgian pubs in Tokyo that was touting a few special Christmas beers on the menu. What better than Christmas beer, right! So we picked Frigo in Shinjuku, because the name is also French slang for fridge, and that made us chuckle. The beers were terrific — if pricey — with mine being the fine Cuvée de Noël St. Feuillien pictured above. I had to get back to Ikebukuro to meet Yuko, since we had planned on getting food from Seibu’s depachika, something we do every year. But she was detained at work, and since Denis wanted to get some more Belgian beer, I brought him to the world beer section at Tobu’s depachika, where we hit gold. I forget the name of it, but on the label there was a picture of little baby Jesus, in the stable, riding a hot-rod, giving a thumbs up! Since Yuko was going to be late, we got a big bottle, and then just walked outside to the Metropolitan Plaza area, found some nice steps to sit on, and proceeded to down our brew. We of course kept it wrapped in the Tobu wrapping paper, hobo-style! Merry Christmas!