Category: miscellaneous

Akihabara-Ochanomizu Pt. I

akiba-ochanomizu walk

And while I have been to both places quite a few times (the former because I have an obsession with cameras (like this one, for example), and the latter for business), I had actually never walked between them – which seems a shame, given that they are located right next to each other. Plus, in most big cities, the most interesting spots are not necessarily those right in front of the major train stations (since that landscape tends to be dominated by the same homogenous chain stores that can afford the pricey real estate), but rather in the areas just outside or between the “station zones.”

2009 Year in Pictures

2009 in pictures - excerpt image

2009 was a pretty great year (well for me personally. For the world and the economy, err, not so much) and it was hard to choose just a few pictures as my “favourites” from the thousands that I snapped over the past 12 months. On top of that, there’s the question of how to sort them? While all the pictures could be classified dozens of different ways, in the end I decided to go with the four basic themes below. (if you need more granularity than that, head over to the photos section of the site and play around with the search options!)

Helvetica + Moleskine

moleskine

I first heard about the Helvetica Moleskines when they were offered at an exhibit on Helvetica at the La Foret museum in Harajuku a year or two ago. I really, really wanted to attend, but alas, this stupid thing they call work that lets me pay the bills prevented me from making it in time, and the exhibit closed, and with it my chance to lay hands on one of these precious notebooks. And for a while, that seemed like it was it. A few copies floated around here and there, but it always seemed like just a few too many hoops to jump through for a notebook (as much as I wanted one).

2009 World Bicycle Messenger Championships

2009 World Bicycle Championships

I’ll be back with the next set of pictures from the Yokohama Birthday Bash and of course the next installment of the Great 2008 Cross Japan Autumn Roadtrip soon, but first I just wanted to post a few pictures from the 2009 World Bicycle Messenger Championships held in Odaiba, Tokyo last week. I had wanted to catch the track stand and skid competitions in particular, but I got there pretty late last Wednesday, so all I managed to see was the tail end of one of the sprint competitions.

Yokohama Birthday Bash – Part I

yokohama birthday bash

It was my birthday the other day, and slightly depressed over slowly inching towards “old old panda” status (not yet, but it’s coming…), I decided to go to Yokohama with some friends to celebrate and take my mind off the ever-present press of time. As frequent readers of the pandablog may know, I love roller coasters with a passion. I’ve been to most of the big ones in Japan, but for some reason hadn’t been to Cosmo World in Yokohama yet. So that’s where we went, followed by a delicious all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in the neighboring Chinatown.

Tanabata Matsuri

excerpt image

As somewhat of a consolation prize, I decided to pop over to a neighboring prefecture to catch a Tanabata festival in a smaller town. Continuing the streak of amazing summer weather we’ve been having recently, the skies were just a stellar mix of rich blue hues, interspersed with fantastic white clouds and the whole affair dramatically lit from up above by a summer sun out in full force.

Summer Sunshine Redux

excerpt image

>Being half-panda, I’m not normally a huge fan of the sweltering summer heat (we have a tendency to melt into little quivering heaps on the floor). However, every once in a while I find myself venturing out despite the heat and usually when I do I’m rewarded with some great scenery, generally of Tokyo’s gorgeous blue skies and concrete. This past week however, I thought I’d mix it up a little, and instead headed out to the countryside to hang with the lovely Bethann. We had a great time frolicking amongst the lush rice fields that are just now in their prime – I’d forgotten how beautiful they can be! (I used to live in a place that was filled with rice fields, but I wasn’t into photography back then so I never took any pictures of them – until now!)

Quick Update

tokyo

Howdy. Just in case you’re wondering what’s with the drop off in posting frequency over the past month, let me assure you it’s not because I’m abandoning the blog, but rather because I’m working hard to improve it. I know I’ve been talking about a site update for months now, but this time I really mean it. A 95% complete and functional version is running on my development box now, and I hope to have it live within the next two weeks.

Tokyo Throwaway Pics

tokyo upshot

Originally I had a moment of photographic inspiration this evening whilst taking a break from fighting my computer (Adobe InDesign to be specific) in an attempt to make a few hundred name tags for a seminar I have to organize for work. Normally this is a straightforward data merge operation, but due to a comedic series of mishaps, this task has ended up taking me the better part of two days (at one memorable juncture I created a 400 MB, 563 page document which contained the same personnel information 10 times on each page) including the 5 hours I spent today cutting out name tags and stuffing them into lanyard holders. I never want to see another damn name tag so long as I live.

August Break

excerpt image

What has panda been up to the past couple of weeks since his last update? Well, it involves delicious chocolate cake, dodging baseballs to the face and power flexing in Starbucks. Interested? (umm, I hope so, or else this will be a boring entry! *laughs*) Let’s get into it!