Thursday, 26 September 2013


You might be surprised that after all these years I had never been to a sumo tournament. I don't know why really. I guess I just didn't find the time to go. But right now I'm getting my culture on and checking it out!

I watched a Youtube video of a recent match and found myself laughing. Near naked fat dudes pushing their weight onto each other to either knock the other out of the circle, or on the ground.

The place to see sumo is at Ryōgoku Kokugi-kan in Tokyo. (Sobu line, Ryōgoku station) Seeing it live was pretty cool. In my haste to get there, I forgot to load my charging battery in my camera, but she was using my old camera so not all bad.

I never realised how short each match is. There's quite a build up as the wrestlers psyche themselves up with some salt throwing, false starts, and butt and stomach slapping. Once the fists touch the ground the fight is often over within seconds.

The sumo hall isn't that large. I think every seat in the house will get you a good view of the action. The cheapest seats are less than 4,000 yen. I paid the second "worst" seat price of around 5,000 yen but I was happy where I was. Sure, closer is always better, unless a sumo wrestler falls on you of course.

This is my video of the final fight of the day. They go a bit longer than usual, so it was a good match.  Stay watching for the pillow throwing!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cats And Lions

I saw the Neko! exhibition recently and mentioned the Cats and Lions that was also by the same photographer.

Today I went to have a look. It was interesting how the photos were juxtaposed with similar poses between the animals. If you enjoyed the Neko exhibition or if you're a fan of cats (and/or lions), I think there's much to like here.

It is being held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Ebisu until October 20th.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Morito Beach

I didn't get to go the beach as often as my record high last year. I went "only" eight times this year.  At least I didn't get the massive jellyfish stings from the previous Summer season.

I got a tipoff about a picturesque place located not too far from my favourite beach.

This one's called Morito beach. Because it requires a bus from the train station, it's a much more relaxed affair than Zushi's crowds. Being past the end of "swimming season" (end of August),  is another reason the beach was practically deserted. Except for a photo shoot that was a nice extra surprise. Thank you..  really.

There are two parts to the beach split by a shrine. The first part is a fairly small patch of beach with a nice little man-made "jetty" made of blocks. The water was pretty clear. I could see quite a lot of fish and baby crabs scurrying along the wet blocks.

Just around the corner I was surprised by a nice stone beach which looked even better. In the distance there's a "floating" torii gate. Here the water was clear enough for some decent snorkeling. I wish I'd brought my mask!

With a slight fear brought on by last year's "attack" I stayed close to the shallows in my inflatable ring with a nicely balanced chu-hi to relax comfortably.

This is definitely one secret beach worth coming back to. I hope it stays this way. In the evening it was possible to see Mt Fuji.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

American Pop Art

It was an awful rainy day so a good time as any to check out the American Pop Art at the National Art Center in Roppongi.

I'm a bit divided on the merits of this art movement. Jasper Johns works left me unimpressed. Nothing that a school student couldn't do on any other day. Andy Warhol has his fans, but he just copied existing works (Campbell's cans) and photocopied prints. He had a good sense of colour though. I'll give him props for that.

I'm a big fan of Lichtenstein. His comic book style really does pop. I like someone that can really draw or paint. THAT is an artist.

 I really liked Claes Oldenburg's Giant soft vinyl drum set. I was thinking it would look great in a living room to lie on while watching TV.

The exhibition is on till the 21st of October.