Tag Archives: tokyo

Six Month Anniversary

Each month in a different city is just a tease, a taste, a glimpse at what a life there might look like.

I have a big spreadsheet that I use to plan all my nomadic endeavors. Every city has a tab that gets filled up with a list potential activities.

Every time I move I leave behind a big collection of things I didn’t do, places I didn’t visit, people I didn’t get to see just one more time.

And it’s not because I make the list and then just sit on it. I’m out nearly every day and night doing something on the list, and often discovering new things that weren’t on my list and couldn’t have been.

Today is my six month anniversary as a nomad. I’ve lived in four cities.

Tomorrow I move to city number five, Seoul.

I cry every time I move. To me, that’s a sign that I’m doing it right.

Kirin Green Label (AKA The George Clooney Post)

Ads in the JR stations and trains will change over night.

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m on the platform at Shinjuku station.

Wait a minute, what’s this?

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Could it be? Let’s take a picture and zoom in…

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It is!

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It’s my old pal George Clooney! Looks like he’s god a Kirin beer promo going on.

He’s on the train, too!

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Now it’s Wednesday night, I’m heading home, and I want a beer before bed. I stop in the konbini and the Kirin Green Label is now on the shelves. I gotta have one.

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To be honest I don’t know what’s special about this beer. I don’t know what the 70% is about, and it tastes about the same as other Japanese lagers I’ve had.

I’ve been told that Japanese love NEW!! things and companies will frequently put out new products and retire them shortly after in order to keep people engaged with new things.

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Now whenever I see this ad I think he’s looking at the can of Kirin floating near his face and saying “ehhh…. what is going on here? get out of my face.”

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All of this reminds of a track I adore called “Love Song (for a Writer, Producer, Director, and Star)” the by Petrojvic Blasting Company, a Balkan folk band I know from living in LA. Click the link and listen.

You are looking so cute and rough. ♥

花見!!(HANAMI)

Remember this view from a few days ago?

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Well, I was walking home last night and got the sense that something had changed. This morning, sure enough, behold! Sakura blossoms! Overnight transformation. Beautiful.

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Here’s another before and after view:

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So, today is Hanami day! More pictures to come.

Photo Diary: Tokyo, Days 1 – 5

My photo diary of Tokyo continues!

Monday Night

Shibuya glows.

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First stop on my craft beer tour is Brasserie St. Bernardus in Kanda.

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The ingredients for ramen:

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Tuesday

Morning, on my way to work. This is Shibuya Crossing. Very quiet before 8 AM on a Tuesday.

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Tuesday night, time for craft beer. Headed to Goodbeer Faucets, which is conveniently walking distance from my office. They also have happy hour from 17:00 – 20:00 with ¥200 off all pints, which is a sweet deal, especially considering that happy hour really isn’t a thing in Japan!

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Photo Mar 25, 18 34 43Look, a gaijin!

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Walking home. I love small side streets.

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A block from my house. Turn left where the fancy cube streetlights go dark.

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This is how I’m able to travel with Rilakkuma. He has a special hardness so he can be strapped to the outside of a backpack or suitcase and ride along without taking up space inside.

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Wednesday

Was at home most of the day, resting. Went out at night though. Shibuya glow, again, always.

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My friend, Andreas, who I know from Japanese at UCLA! He’s been living in Japan for three years. At long last, we are reunited! We’re so happy and we haven’t even reached the bar yet.

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Tonight’s craft beer adventure is Popeye.

Photo Mar 26, 20 21 41Silly.

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Popped into a コンビニ on the way home from the bar, found whisky. Those cups on the right are individually packaged shots!

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Thursday

Chuo line. First picture faces west, away from the center of Tokyo, second picture faces east.

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This street runs along the Chuo line tracks.

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I bought a train pass! Cute penguin.

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Had lunch at this place called Stand S.

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The fellow in shorts is cooking me a sausage.

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When I left it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella, and he gave me one.

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Done with work, time to go out! This time to Ushitora in Shimotakazawa, where I will meet a new friend via OkCupid, and have more craft beer!

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Japanese real ale!

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Oh yes this omu-rice is so good.

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After Ushitora my friend and I return to Shibuya to meet some people at a British pub named The Aldgate. That’s not pictured here, however.

Time to catch the last train with everyone else:

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Shinjuku station is busy.

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Friday

Breakfast choices.

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Shibuya is getting a bit busier in the morning now that it’s close to the weekend. Also, I understand that salaried employees get paid around the 25th, so it’s about time to go out and spend that money!

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Time Traveling: Seattle to Tokyo

I made it!

Here’s a storybook summary of the past three days. Captions precede pictures.

Saturday

This is my “before” shot, pictured with everything I’m taking to Asia for five months.

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Instead of manual window shades the plane had something like digital glass, which enabled the user to adjust the tint by pressing a button! Saturday night was simulated mid-flight by tinting all the windows for a handful of hours. It didn’t fool my body.

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We departed Seattle at 1 PM Saturday and landed in Tokyo at 3 PM Sunday. I was on the plan for about 10 hours elapsed time, but twice that many hours passed as I freaking time traveled.

Sunday

First sign welcoming me to Japan.

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If you only read English then this sign says “welcome to Japan.” If you read some Japanese then this sign says “welcome back to Japan.” I was not aware of this when I first came here five years ago. I am so glad that I know this now.

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This is the first thing I saw when I exited the Asakusabashi train station, which is the same train station I exited five years ago and took my first steps in Tokyo.

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Arrived at my guesthouse (yadoya) in Nakano. This is my room.

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First meal, first beer.

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Monday

06:00 – I am awake. Time for a shower. This is my room in the morning.

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07:00 – This is my neighborhood. I’m on my way to work.

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08:00 – First breakfast. I got to my office before they opened, so I hung out at a cafe across the street and read a copy of The Stranger that I picked up before leaving Seattle.

Something I love about Japan that I had kind of forgotten: their jazzy cafe music. ♥

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17:00 – This is the view from my 6th floor office in Shibuya!

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20:00 – Same view at 8 PM. I am about to leave work and head out to a craft beer bar!

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So, yeah, everything is going fine. I freaked out a bit before I left, and that’s OK. It’s part of the process. I blogged about it in order to (1) process it and (2) show that everything isn’t awesome all the time.