The Hard Light Blowout and Nuno Napkin Extravaganza

Alright, so I’m not going to even make any excuses, it’s been like 3 weeks since I last updated. But I’m here to make up for it with a bunch of pictures AND a video blog. Don’t you feel lucky?

Mugging for the camera in the park

You’re probably wondering about the title of today’s post. Well, I’ve been playing around with “hard lighting” in some of my photos to give them a darker, more atmospheric feeling. I’ve accumulated a few over the past couple of months, and decided to post them all in one big entry so I can clear the deck for new photos in future posts. Hence the “hard light blowout”.

Home made watercress and spinach soup for dinner…

Now, about the “nuno napkins”. That’s Japanese for “cloth napkins”, and my friends, I’m not talking about the napkins which we use at the dinner table. But rather than type it out in excruciating detail, I’ve decided to make a video blog about it – and how I almost killed myself with a tea scented candle.

A ramen shop under the train tracks in Yurakucho

You can check it out below, but allow me to say this before you click play: the last 7 minutes of today’s video is rated PG-13 and is squarely aimed at my (largely female) readership. Because ladies, I feel like this is something I can talk about with you in a frank (and humorous) fashion. Gentlemen and small children? You may wish to skip the latter half of this video, unless you’re way metrosexual like yours truly. You’ve been warned.

If you are still, for some reason, curious about cloth “napkins” or wish to (for some ungodly reason – did you not just listen to all the problems with this scheme I listed in the video!?) make your own, well then, I have dug up a website just for you. It’s in Japanese, but the pictures are pretty self explanatory. But seriously, gentle readers, do yourself a favour and just buy the damn things in the store. This is not an area you want to be handi-crafting around with.

Hand Made Cloth Napkins

Okay, that’s it. Tons of pictures after the “keep reading” link below.

Taken in the back alleys of Ikebukuro

Near Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro

Inside Cafe Pause. The cake was delicious. The lotus tea, on the other hand, not so much…

One should always eat their mint. Even if its stuck in a cup.

Blue blue skies while waiting for a bus

A quiet walk in the park

The old lady in the shot later came up to me and asked why I was photographing a gutter

Autumn is arriving…

Killing time while waiting for a friend in an upscale cafe in Ginza filled with rich old people

This place is actually a restaurant…

Inside aforementioned restaurant

Eating homebaked pound cake. For the record, that is not a crime scene in the background! – I was spray painting something red ;)

The sun starting to set over Tokyo

Yurakucho station

Okay, that’s it. Thank you for reading!

Now listening to: “Above & Beyond – Trance Around the World Podcast #237 (Featuring Guest Mix by Myon & Shane 54 Guest)

You can download all the past Trance Around the World Podcasts here, or else subscribe for free on iTunes!

14 Reactions

  1. Marty

    I just threw up a little in my mouth. You’ve got to put a bigger warning on that video.

  2. Lorelei

    “I do not currently menstruate” – I just laughed so hard!
    Do they sell these pads with a panda design?
    No, seriously, that is quite possibly the grossest and most disturbing thing ever; I cannot imagine who would even consider using something like that. I am horrified and will probably have nightmares for days.
    (I owe you an e-mail. It is forthcoming. Soon, um, -ish.)

  3. 6th Floor Blogger

    Your pictures always make me want to visit Japan.
    “I saw a 6 year old (I guess) kid here once with a prudential t-shirt on. which was so weird because I was like, I didn’t know Japanese elementary school students were all that into american financial companies.”
    Hmm..I wonder what his thoughts are on how to fix the financial crisis? I have a feeling he might be as qualified as anyone over here..

  4. yunnermeier

    konnichiha panda-san!
    i can’t view your video because i don’t have speakers:(
    the cakes look so good. i really miss japanese cakes and wagashi.
    so tell me, are you staying in japan because your kanojyo is japanese? ;)

  5. FatYoli

    Dear Panda,
    you don’t have to be a boy to completely freaked out about it… when I saw this I wondered the same… even worse, why would someone even wear a pad, tampons are waaay better (way less bad?)
    as for the candle accident well at least you didn’t drink blood like my former supervisor, who mistook her mug with a sample she was analyzing hehehe

  6. SabineM

    That made me laugh….glad you didn’t burn yourself…but quite funny!
    But the pad and carbon foot print part.. OMG….I mean I am all about saving the environment…but that is just wrong…

  7. diana :)

    Buhahaha, I laughed so hard at your video.
    Your photos are amazing.
    (I used to read your blog anonymously a long time ago)

  8. diana :)

    ok, normally I would’ve waited until your next post or something but since you asked me questions! (and since you wrote me an uber long comment and I really wanted to mocklaugh at your capybara-dream)
    a)! There are three different sections because I am stupid and I did not know how to format it properly on Blogger so I just left it out, but in reality on my Microsoft Word document, the first row is Present, the second row is In 5 Years, and the third row is In 10 Years.
    b)! BUHAHAHHAHAHAHAH. I had to google ‘capybara’ but you want to own a large South American rodent. As a pet. (I understand your landlord’s concerns, although you clearly don’t! Buahaha) Truly amazing, I think. I enjoy my cats.
    My cat, in the video, is not declawed. I would never do such a horrible, inhumane thing to a living being. It’s like cutting off almost a third of your finger. Its terribly disgusting and awfully excruciating. Can you imagine! But cat is generally a passive little one- he doesn’t claw at things much, but more paws only. Needless to say, my laptop still endures his abuse. :( I do love my laptop very much though! Do not take me for a laptop abuser!
    Also, thanks for the tip but theres so extreme competition going on nowadays! Or at least here. I don’t mind it. I mean, I do. But I’m not that intense yet. I stop when I need a break. Like now. Although today isn’t exactly the smartest day to take a break. Har har har.

  9. Angel

    Oh nasty! Lol. D: No thanks Japan, when I visit, I’ll just bring my own gear. xD;; (I’m a girl)
    (They have regular pads right…? O_O; )


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