Friday, October 29, 2010

Yoshi Swims

Sorry for the slow-down in posts. I was sick a few weeks ago, and then my wife got sick. Then 2 weeks ago my wife's beloved cat Koko had to be put to sleep. Perhaps one day I will post the whole story and some pictures of the whole ordeal, but it was quite sad and tragic. Let's just say the vet messed up and basically forced our hand to put the cat to sleep.... not too impressed, especially of how it affected my wife.

As soon as the cat passed away, the turtle started having some issues with shell rot. My wife frantically did everything to make it better, including another visit to the vet ( a different one that specializes in reptiles ). I thought I'd take some pictures of Yoshi as he swims happy in his 55 gallon tank...... I'm not a big pet person, but it is pretty cool to own a turtle. Minus the cat, we still have a turtle, birds, and a dog..... man alive!!

My posts will soon be more regular as I'm off to Japan again for most of November. I'll try to post daily....... thanks for visiting!! Comments are appreciated!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sushi in Vancouver

I grew up eating sushi, but I was conflicted about this. When I was a kid, I was beat up and teased for being Japanese. It wasn't easy growing up Japanese in the 1970's and 80's, as most of the visible minorities in Vancouver were either Chinese, East Indian or Vietnamese. Yes, us Japanese kids were the minorities within the minorities. One of the biggest things I was teased about was that I ate raw fish.... first of all, sushi isn't raw fish as many of you already know. That's sashimi. Sushi is about the vinegar and sugar rice. In fact, you can have vegetarian sushi if you want, like kappa maki (cucumber and seaweed and the rice). Sometimes I'd take the sashimi off and just eat the rice with a bit of wasabi and dip it in the Yamasa soy sauce.

Anyway, none of my friends ever came over to eat sushi with the family, as they all assumed eating raw fish would be disgusting. Even my best buddy in high-school tried it once (1989), but couldn't finish it, even though it was ebi and taco.....both cooked!! So I grew up, always knowing we had something amazing to share, but I had no takers. In fact, in the 70's in Vancouver, I bet there was only 3 or 4 sushi restaurants, all owned and operated by Japanese. Now, I'm guessing there's hundreds of Japanese restaurants, most of them neither owned nor operated by Japanese. Ironic eh?

But I do feel vindicated now since sushi is no longer considered exotic. Sushi is no longer really Japanese, but an international food, like pizza or butter chicken is no longer Italian or East Indian. Here are some pictures of some sushi and sashimi I've had in the past year. I think Vancouver has really good sushi. An awesome food scene, easy access to good fish, and lots of good chefs.... man oh man do I feel like sushi (and sashimi) now......

Monday, October 18, 2010

Late Night Ride Through the Park

Last year I rode through the local park and noticed they left the soccer field lights on. At the same time, fog was just settling in across the park. It felt surreal. It looked as crazy as the picture shows, like I was walking on the surface of another planet, or inside a scary movie or something....... I think the empty bleachers is what makes it all the more creepy..... and how the flood lights substitute for a full moon.......

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Pics from the bridge

Found some older pics from last year, before I started the blog. Taken with my LX-3, which was pretty new at the time I guess. On the way home, since it's facing West......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Onsen in Hakone April 2009

This was my first experience at an onsen as an adult. When I grew up in Okinawa, I have very fond but vague memories of going to onsen with my family. But after moving to Canada, and although making many visits to Japan, I've never been to one again. It was a great experience: the surroundings, the food, and of course the hotsprings!! After a long train ride to Hakone from Tokyo, and then a nice quick dip, and then a fantastic dinner, and then another, more relaxing dip, I completely passed out. I went again in the morning, and then the day was over. I went with my father and step mother on this trip. I hope to take my wife next time. Good memories. Good times.......

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Japan and Vending Machines

I was on Lisa Katayama's blog and saw her recent entry of a cool special edition vending machine. This most unusual vending machine was found near my dad's apartment in Otsuka..... it dispenses batteries!! I should have double checked to see if it was still operational, or if it was just an old relic that no one had carted away yet. I mean, it looks like it was put in place in 1985!!

You know what would be cool? If there was a vending machine museum in Tokyo! Wouldn't that be cool? They have every other type of museum you can think of (parasite, tobacco, salt, etc.). How about one that people actually want to see?

Tokyo at Night

Shinjuku Station facing West

Shibuya, just up the street from 109... Kitamura Camera to the right! Great used section!!

Nissan Showroom in Ginza.... no people in the way at night

Just South of Ginza

Marunouchi area, near Tokyo Station

Still Marunouchi area


Roppongi Hills light show

Roppongi Hills

Tokyo Station area

Shinjuku West government building public observatory.... it's free!! Who needs Tokyo Tower?!?!

I've been sick at home for almost a week (well, a work week) and I've become sick of being sick, and tired of being tired, and bored of being bored. I thought I'd look back at some old pictures to re-live some of my recent trips. I thought I'd share some night shots of Tokyo. I'll post something more interesting (people or food, or both), but please enjoy these pics for now.....

Harajuku & Omotesando @ Night

There's a certain peace when shooting at night, especially in areas that are usually populated during the day. Not so many people....Harajuku and Omotesando look like ghost towns at night in the retail areas... the only thing is I have to shoot at a higher iso, and sometimes I get blurry shots...