A Weird Trip

It was certainly a strange trip.

Saturday started out a bit crazy as the alarm clock didn’t wake us up at 6:30 as planned. We were planning on leaving our place at around 7:15, and luckily I woke up by myself at 7 (after maybe 3-4 hours of sleep). We rushed out the door to still try to catch our Shinkansen train wich was leaving from Omiya station at 8:14. But the way there was a also screwed as the rapid train we though we could catch from Akabane wasn’t in service that early on a Saturday, which means that we got to Omiya at 8:15. Since our tickets were non-reserved seats, it meant that we could easily catch the next one, which came at 8:50 (with non-reserved seat tickets, you can use them anytime on any train for 3 days, for a one-way ride of course). The way to Niigata was also a huge letdown. On top of being overcast, most of the trip was spend in dark as the train goes through all the mountains. Niigata itself was, well, boring as hell. I’ll admit that we didn’t really have time to do anything as Yuko was busy at the university pretty much the whole day. When we got back to the station at night, at around 8-9, we found that the bus terminal was already closed. Luckily, some people told us about a night train that left at 11:30, which is what we took to come back. I barely slept all night, and we arrived in Ikebukuro at 5 the next morning. What a long day it was.

But things went very well for Yuko at the symposium. She was pretty much a hit with her lecture, and got to meet a lot of very important people in the field, who were all very intrigued by her subject matter. This is certainly going to give her a good boost in her academic career.

To finish off, let me say that I never want to go to Niigata again (well, not the city at least, I here the prefecture is supposed to be nice).


TOKYO BOY now finds a permanent home at the OPi8 website with the latest log I just put up. All of the previous logs will also soon be available from the same page.

As I write this I’m eating yakitori (grilled chicken normally served on a stick) from a can that I just picked up at the combini (convenience store). The can even comes with little sticks to poke your meat with. I love Japanese “speed” food.


I’ve fallen in love with a magazine called EAT. It’s a Japanese magazine about food presented in a bilingual format. I never thought I would become so interested in a magazine about food, but this one is definitely not what you would expect. It presents the subject matter from a very different perspective, one that incorporates a very strong design sense. One of the feature articles is an interview with the noted cyberpunk author William Gibson, in which he talks about foods that he likes, along with other subjects (like his next novel). The issue’s theme is speed in food, and it looks at it from several very interesting perspectives. Even the cover is very nice. It’s what you see here. What looks like a sticker is supposed to be the cover of a cup of noodles, and you can actually peel it off to reveal the insides. Very nice. I think I’m even going to get some back issues.

Niigata by Shinkansen

We’ve had a slight change of plan and we’ll be leaving for Niigata on Saturday morning by Shinkansen, which should give me the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way there. Can’t wait.

A Day Trip to Niigata

Tomorrow night I leave Tokyo for a day-trip to Niigata. My wife is giving a presentation at a symposium (regarding Chinese politics/history), so we’re making a day-trip out of it. We take a night bus from Ikebukuro (where I live) that leaves Friday night at 11:30, and we should get there early Saturday morning around 5. We’ll return by night bus that same night at 11. Although we’re saving some money by taking the bus instead of the Shinkansen (the Japanese rapid train), the shitty thing is that I won’t get to see the great scenery that we’ll be travelling through since it’ll be at night. I’ve yet to see the Japanese alps, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to see anything from Niigata city, but here’s hoping. I’m definitely bringing my digital stills camera with me, as well as my digital video camera, so I’ll have lots of pics from there for the next week or so of daily pics.

Tokyo Boy on OPi8.com

Starting tomorrow, my TOKYO BOY weblog will start appearing at the main OPi8 site instead of in the forum. I’ll now be able to leave a permanent link on this site to lead you to it. I’ll make an annoucement (as usual) as soon as it’s up.

Back with MT

So I’m back with Moveable Type, and back to the original page design as well. I think everything with MT should work fine now, but if ever it screws up again, I’ll be able to quickly switch over to Blogger. I think it was just a stupid little spacing problem in the code, but I still don’t know why it popped up. But anyway, hopefully things will go smoothly from now on. As for the return to the original page design (with the daily pic presented on the front page), well, as someone commented, it works better that way.


I really enjoy the photography at the Suction site. I like the way the pics are presented in a series. I think I may have to steal this idea for some future issues of GEISHA.