According to this article, they’re going to open a real Apple store (meaning owned by Apple) in Tokyo’s Ginza area this Fall. This will be the first Apple store outside of the US. It definitely would not have made sense to open it in Akihabara (the purpose of the stores is to showcase to new users), but I think a store in Aoyama would have been a better idea. Still, I look forward to checking the store out. Hopefully Apple will have some new cool gadgets for me to buy by the time the store opens.
A friend of mine, Leon, is leaving Japan in a few days, and yesterday he come over for a last visit before his return to Australia. We decided to check out a Chinese restaurant in Ikebukuro that we’d heard good things about (but still hadn’t gotten around to checking out), Seiryumon. The lunch special I had was delicious (beef and noodles in sticky oyster sauce, and some shark fin dumplings), and the place was really neat. You’ll get to see the inside with tomorrow’s pic.
On Monday it was a return to Shibuya for another try at the immigration offices (with everything going smoothly, except for the 45 minute wait), and a lunch date with Jason at Beams’ Time Cafe. Had a delicious plate of hayashi rice (a sauce which is sort of a mix of red wine, demi-glace sauce, and a few Japanese ingredients). The BGM was great, with alternating tracks of Yukari Fresh and Fantastic Plastic Machine.
I just found out that the excellent track that you hear in the teaser trailer for KILL BILL, the next Quentin Tarantino film, is by Japanese artist Tomoyasu Hotei, a very famous rocker. I’m still not sure if the song will appear in the film, or if it was just used in the trailer. You can check out the trailer here and download an MP3 of the track here.
Michael Clarke seems to share a lot with me. He’s a Canadian in his early thirties (I turn 30 in a few months) who’s been living in Tokyo for four years. He also likes taking pictures. You can follow his great photolog at his Hunkabutta site. Also check out his photo essay at the Urbanphoto website, which is what led me to his blog. Thanks to Jesper for the link.
I absolutely love Simon Ladefoged‘s photography. You can even download two pics to use as desktops, which is what I’ve done.
I just caught the last few minutes of a new anime on late-night Japanese TV called PLATONIC CHAIN. What made me stop is the look of the show, which is something I’ve never seen. The animation is computer generated, but they’ve used cell-shading to give it a cartoony look, even though the characters and movements are very life-like. It seems to follow the misadventures of two kogals (one is even all tanned with the blond hair, almost yamamba-style). Don’t know much else since I only caught the end, but I’ll try watching it again next week.
Yuko was diagnosed today with influenza. It’s a big problem right now in Japan, there’s a big warning, and it finally hit home. The strange thing is that I was sure that I would be the one to bring it home, since I’m in contact with so many kids every week, and a good number of them have been absent in the past few weeks because of it. The thing with influenza is that it’s highly contagious (Yuko could have gotten it from anywhere), and I just hope that I’ll be able to avoid it.
I’ve already talked about Japan’s infamous 2 Channel message board in this log, and here’s a link to an article that appeared in today’s edition of the JAPAN TIMES. My wife used to check it quite often for discussions on North Korea.
Yes, believe it, a new issue of GEISHA is out! Today being a holiday and all, I took the entire evening to create a new issue, and it’s just been freshly uploaded. As always, I played around with the shape a bit. This is is the street issue, and I hope you like it. Click on the “G5” icon at the bottom of the page to launch it.
I just want to add that for users of the Safari browser (like me), the pages don’t appear as they should. There’s a bug that seems to ignore the fact that I’m telling it not to put any borders. No worries though as this is still a beta of the browser, so I’m sure it’ll be fixed by the time the 1.0 ships. It is therefore recommended to view GEISHA in IE, so that it presents itself as intended.
Tomorrow is a national holiday, and I think I’m going to go check out the Muji store in Yurakucho (the biggest one in Tokyo, maybe even in Japan, it includes a gallery and a cafe) to check the without thought 4 exhibit that takes a look at design work by Naoto Fukasawa. Looks very interesting.