Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Neon Yellow Frogskins

When I went back to Australia, I left both pairs of Oakley Frogskins there to make sure I wasn't going to lose or break them here in Japan.

I kept my cheap $20 Polaroid pair here so I had something to wear on the occasional, very rare sunny Tokyo day.

While they do a reasonable job they're not as good as those Oakleys. It just so happens that browsing through the Bingo recycle shop I saw one of the limited editions Frogskins for a bit more than a quarter of what I paid for my brand new ones looking practically brand new. The catch? They're bright neon yellow.. Aye, there's the rub..

They quite loudly scream, "HERE I AM". They will soon be dubbed my "Elton Johns".

But you know what, I get looked at plenty as it is, and the fact that they have Fire Iridium mirror finish lenses mean I can look at those hot Japanese girls unknowingly while they try to work me out, makes me feel more ok about it.

While the price was great, I saw just after I got my change back a 5% off coupon which would have instantly saved me a couple hundred yen. The Japanese cashier gave it to me and said "Next time". What an A**. Great customer service yet again.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Spring Clean For The September Queen

I'll admit that I'm a messy person. I'm the worst to clean up. Apart from the massive cleanup I did when I left the Tomioka apartment, here everything has pretty much been the same since I arrived in Yotsuya.

I must have been bored or disgusted with the accumulation of junk and odds and ends that have been constantly been building up for two years that I commenced a spring clean in earnest.

One of the most interesting things I noticed was all the old ticket stubs from visits to all the places I went to in Tokyo, and the other parts of Japan like Miyajima, Hiroshima, and the Kansai area. My laxness has mostly slowed things down considerably.

I won't say the excitement has gone, just mellowed. There are many things I'm yet to see and do. I haven't even been to Roppongi yet. Can you believe that?

Anyway, the one thing I couldn't find was my "Making Out In Japanese" book. Where the **** is it?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Silver Week

I'm always happy to get more holidays.

We had a Respect For The Aged day on the 21st, substitute 22nd off, and 23rd the Autumn Equinox holiday. Five days off! Having Thursdays off I got an extra day too.

In Shibuya there was some festivities going on so with camera in hand I took a few snaps.

I tried a Gibson Les Paul Goddess tonight.

It's the lightest Gibson I'd ever tried. What I liked about it was the transparent pickups and a nice ebony fingerboard. What I didn't like were the single volume and tone control.

Looks like Gibson marketed this to appeal to women for it's light weight. It sounded really nice. It was reserved until the end of the night and I almost bought it had the person not came to collect. Lucky for my wallet.

Because of the usual exorbitant airfares around holiday time I decided to stay in Tokyo, which usually meant a lot of sleeping in. For something different, on the Sunday we had lunch at Paul.
I had the usual Quiche Lorraine with a side of chips.She had this crepe and egg.
What I really love are the "refill" bread baskets. We usually go two or three of these. Great value all around. That's why we keep coming back.

Sunday's also cheap icecream day. Today there also happened to be cheap 198 yen Haagan Daaz at Gourmet City. By the time I got there most of what I could grab was Green Tea which is not so bad. It's quickly becoming a favourite. I'll miss this flavour when I go back home.

I also felt like getting some alcohol, so I got some new Kirin "Cola Shock". It's a coke and 5% vodka mix. It tastes only of cola. The slight light-headedness gave away the alcohol content.

On the Wednesday 23rd, we went to Higashi Shinagawa along the waterfront. It's always nice walking along the water but there weren't many people around, and that took away a bit of the atmosphere of the place.

I was hoping for better weather to do Mt Fuji. That and the fewer buses making their way there, make going there this year less likely. Not happy about that at all.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

GH1 Sample Pics and Drinking Hijinks

Last Saturday I went to a party.

At first it was turning into my worst nightmare. I was the only native English speaker at first, and most of the others were guys. Thankfully two cute Japanese girls joined the proceedings a little later and Jimmy was much, much happier to be there.

Unfortunately the alcohol didn't quite go the distance as usual, but I had a good amount to keep me happy. The okonomiyaki tasted good too.

As usual last night we had station beers outside Yokohama station.

For once, we had a girl approach us (in contrast to the drunk salarymen). She looked at me first. She didn't speak very good English but from what I kind of understood she wanted (cheap) English lessons and/or a boyfriend.

A guy that was hanging around us gave her a candy, and told her we were dangerous. We got a little suspicious thinking it may have been some kind of scam, so myself and one of the others bailed to catch one of the last trains. Jude took her to the Hub for a beer.

Looks like everything has turned out ok from the last I heard from him. By the way, there's a new Krispy Kreme inside Yokohama Station now. Uh oh..

Although I haven't taken many pictures with my new GH1, I have to say I'm really happy with the quality of the photos and video. Even low light photos have turned out better than I expected. Here's a few to give you an idea..

This is the cat that lives under our apartment. There's some really nice detail in the fur.

During the week we ordered some Pizza Hut delivery. 2,400 yen for two pizzas. Japanese pizzas don't have as much meat as back home, but these both hit the spot that night. Yum.

Speaking of food, this menu display outside Hidakaya looks appetizing doesn't it? It's not unusual to go into a restaurant based on the look of the fake plastic food. We come here often. The price is right.

When I first arrived in Japan, I thought there were more vending machines than people. After the apocalypse there will only be cockroaches and these.

This is looking across into Kabukicho, Shinjuku with the JR line in the foreground.

Here is Ichigaya station. I was quite surprised how this turned out considering the low light in the area. I was expecting it to be slightly out of focus. It captures a nice atmosphere.

I've done a few videos that look nothing short of amazing. They're not what I want to show for public display (It's mostly the mess everywhere in the apartment). Hopefully soon I'll show you all something wonderful of Tokyo with this great camera.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

I Got A GH1

What have I been doing? Hmm..

I went to Zushi Beach and had a great swim. The water was invitingly warm.

I really wanted to go to the beach at least once this Summer. I can cross that off my "to do" list now. Zushi is in the Kanagawa prefecture, about an hour and a half from central Tokyo. You can get there either by the Keikyu line (to Shinzushi), or JR's Shonan-Shinjuku, or Yokosuka line.

It was end of season, so not the plethora of bikini girls around. It was mostly a family atmosphere and a whole lot of windsurfers. It's a clean beach and quite nice. You could see Mt Fuji at sunset. I think I'll be back here again for sure. It's not that far from my old apartment in Tomioka. Shame that I never came here when it was closer.

It must have been something I ate, but on Monday morning my stomach was tight, and feeling nauseous I rushed to the bathroom to hurl. I had to call in sick. After using four of my leave days last year due to sickness, I really didn't want to do it. I actually really like my Monday's schedule, and I hope my kindy kids didn't miss me too much.

I went to Akihabara today to get myself a new camera.

I settled on the Panasonic GH1. I've been deliberating between this and the Nikon D5000 for ages, and still couldn't make a clear decision. The Panny's feature set is overall better, but I like the feel of Nikon.

I tested some photos this evening with my two lovely model "hentai' dolls I bought today for 840 yen for both.

The low light focusing is a little tricky, but I think it turned out ok. I was impressed with the detail I didn't even notice with my own eyes. The electronic viewfinder will take a bit of getting used to.

I'll pass final judgement until I've taken more pictures and video. The Japanese menus aren't hard to work out though.

For some reason black is the most expensive, but I got a good price. The Gold and Red looked really cheap to me. An SLR can be any colour as long as it's black!

I may still get the Nikon D5000 anyway, instead of buying an adapter for my Nikon lenses which would cost almost half the Nikon!

Now I can get back into taking some pictures and videos of this strange place.