Work

It’s strange, but I think I’m actually glad to be back at work. With 3 weeks of holidays, plus a first week of work that still gave me 3 days off, I think I was starting to get restless. This week I find myself looking forward to heading out to the schools to teach, and I’m having a pretty good time with the kids too. I have to say, this job can be a good one, and it’s pretty much stress free. How many people can say that they spend their days laughing with kids, and then get paid good money for it. Sure, at times I find myself thinking that I could be doing something more worthwhile, but then again, helping children learn a new language is not such a waste of time. And you know what? I’ve had kids that have stayed with me for quite a few years, and they’re actually capable of a lot now (especially when it comes to comprehension, which is probably the hardest thing to master when you’re trying to learn a language). Makes me feel like I’m doing some good.

Justin Hall

justinbowl-smI’ve just spent an hour or two reading about Justin Hall. Clicking on his name brings you to a website that describes in great detail all of the experiences he’s had in Japan. He’s a freelance writer who’s even published a little guide on Tokyo (which I’ll probably pick up if I ever see it somewhere) called Just In Tokyo. He also keeps a blog. You should definitely go and spend some time digging in his site for loads of fun and interesting stories (like the story about his visa, which is something that I can definitely see happen, even though I’ve been lucky enough not to have this kind of trouble).

Japanese Hosts

gakugei-bu

From the Japan Times (click on the link for the full article):

Host superstars Issa Tsurumi and Yuya Mikami (above, left and right) of Kabukicho’s Club Gold use their charm, stamina and common sense to earn small fortunes every month.

Also read about a reporter’s night out at these clubs, as well as an article on a woman’s addiction to these places.

Denpa Shonen

The infamous DENPA SHONEN TV show has just broadcast its last show. A very popular show for 10 years, bits of it have been profiled around the world. When non-Japanese journalists have wanted to show examples of Japan’s wacky TV shows, DENPA SHONEN was usually a good pick. Known for its crazy stunts (a man locked naked in a room had to survive by entering magazine contests – he stayed there for a over a year), it actually became a victim of one of its own stunts (well, a few). They got into some political trouble recently when they disrupted a famous politician’s speech, and then got their network in trouble when they fooled some real TV stations and newspapers into thinking that a mythical Japanese creature was living in a forest. But the final straw was when, after their move to a new time slot on Saturday night last Fall, they said that unless they could get to a certain rating level they would stop the show. They didn’t make it.

Tommy February6

This is the cover to a new Tommy February6 single that will be coming out in early February entitled “Je t’aime je t’aime”. This makes me very happy, as I love Tommy-chan, and I had heard that the album she released last year was just a one-off project (she’s in the band The Brilliant Green). Can’t wait to see the new video (Tommy is a very visual guilty pleasure).

Update (16/08/13): No more cover image, unfortunately.

Naka-Meguro

Went to Naka-Meguro today to meet up with Jason and do a bit of walking around. We had lunch at the Organic Cafe, where I could partake in the sizeable (a rare thing for a trendy spot I find) and tasty Triple-Decker Sandwhich. We then walked around a bit, checking out Cow Books, which exhibits an interesting design sense, what with scrolling text all around the store, and a comfortable and well lit table in the middle of the store. The selection was a bit pricy though (old edition of THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE going for 8000 yen), so nothing I really cared to pick up. After some more walking around, checking out all the interesting street art (look for that in the next few daily pics on the site), we went to Chano-ma, a nice little cafe/bar perfectly hidden (no sign, even on the building listing) on the 6th floor of a building. The place would make for a better visit at night, with a great view of the city, and a bit of subtle lighting.

We then seperated, as Jason had to go to work, and I stopped in Shibuya on the way back. I checked out the magazine floor of Tower Records, and picked up an interesting little London/Tokyo free zine (except that they were charging 300 yen for it, so not really free) called EXPOSURE. I haven’t had a chance to read through it yet, but it has lots of interesting design stuff. Then it was off to Parco, where they had a big sale of foreign books at the Parco Book Center (P-BC), in their Logos Gallery. Picked up two French graphic novels by Jiro Taniguchi from a series called LE JOURNAL DE MON PERE. It seems to tell the story of a boy growing up in Japan during the fifties or sixties. I look forward to reading them, and they were a steal at 1000 yen each.

A good day.

OPi8.com

The OPi8 site has just relaunched with a brand new design, and it looks really nice. Everything is not done yet, as there are still error messages here and there, so I’ll still wait a bit until I restart doing my Tokyo Boy blog, which hopefully will be soon.

Fey and the Sky Lounge

Had a great outing last night with Jason in Harajuku/Aoyama. We first checked out Fey, which is pictured in today’s pic. I really enjoyed this place. I has a very modern design, with appropriate music to let you relax. The food menu is also quite good, and amazingly affordable (basically everything under or around 1000 yen). We had some really tasty rice meals, accompanied by glasses of shochu (a sort of Japanese liquor) which came with a huge spheric ice cube (well, sphere). It’s not on my list of places to check out regularly. We then went to the Sky Lounge, which is part of the Las Chicas complex, just in front of the Sputnik Pad. The decor is a mix of various Asian things, which ecclectic furniture, and a very comfy velvet sofa. Great place to relax and talk.

I’m now really excited by some new project that I think me and Jason are going to be able to start. I don’t want to say too much now, but let’s just say that it would involve a regular contribution to a print publication. More on everything as (or if) it evolves.

Tokyo Boy

I haven’t made a Tokyo Boy update at the OPi8 site in at least 2 weeks, and although I was planning on putting a new up the other day, I see that there seems to be quite a few errors at the site. I know that the people that run the site were planning on doing a redesign of the site, so this could have something to do with it. I guess I’ll take a break from TB for now, and just focus on the daily pics I put here, maybe adding more commentary to the pics, like I did at the OPi8 site.

Also, I’ve been thinking about creating a new section to the site which would basically be reviews of the cool bars, cafes and shops that I visit here in Tokyo. I think it could be useful for people that come to Tokyo and don’t really know what to check out when it comes to drinking outings. I’ll also ask my regular transgression (I used to send out a mailing list describing my outings called TOKYO TRANSGRESSIONS, and we sort of started refering to our outings as “transgressions”) partner, Jason.

Lastly, since I released the last issue of GEISHA in the middle of December, I’m not quite ready for a new issue yet. If I feel inspired I might get to work on a new issue in a week or so, and if not, look for the next issue to be up for the beginning of February. Again, a big thanks to Warren Ellis who keeps plugging the new issues as they get released.