snapshots and observations

Saturday, 31 March 2012

satoshi and the stüssy crew

nothing much to say here. just a few shots i took of my friend satoshi
and his crew at the stüssy ikebukero chapter.

cheeky !

the earlier photos were taken on friday, then i met satoshi the next day
for a coffee and took a few more shots

hmmm... this looks suspicious...
by now alarm bells should be ringing...
you know what's coming next don't you ?

boom !
satoshi is wearing a limited edition stüssy x pendleton shirt
i'm wearing a limited edition stüssy x bathing ape t-shirt

half-time score: japan 1 england 1

nice to see you again satoshi, and thanks again for all the gifts... you're too kind.

Friday, 30 March 2012


i'm trying to show you my tokyo snapshots in order and to try to 
make a story out of them, you know, a bit like a diary.

however, before i get to the next batch, which are all photos i took
of my friend satoshi and his crew, i found these three unrelated pics.

a stand alone unit on a platform of the jr line consisting of two
boss vending machines and a video screen showing a loop of a load of
tv adverts for boss coffee starring tommy lee jones. 

probably the best train platform in the world.

another day, another 500yen chicken katsu curry.

trust me... it's not as complicated as it looks


the same day that i photographed the tuna auction, i met up with
a friend of a friend, yuriko-chan in a corking place in roppongi called...
( ok, i've forgotten what it was called... it was just a number not a name )

yuriko brought along kana, a friend of hers, who i've already mentioned
in previous posts due to the pulp fiction style timeline i'm using here
( caused by blogging photos from three different cameras in the order which
they were taken )


after a few drinks i resorted to my standard tactic of drawing myself
and my companions on a couple of my business cards
left to right: me, yuriko-chan, kana-chan.

they got me back by doing sketches of me...
on the right is yuriko's effort, which is pretty good although it looks like
i'm struggling with a mouthful of sushi or something.
on the left, check out kana's effort... she studied me for ages then simply
did a profile sketch of me ! very nice indeed. very stylish.

kana also tried to teach me how to write my name in japanese

as we were leaving i spotted a very nice background for a little photoshoot
( you know i like wood right ? )

here's one i took of kana and yuriko

then i asked a passer by to take a shot of the three of us

i didn't know how to say "is there any chance?" in japanese so yuriko
politely asked her to try again...
still a pretty disgraceful attempt, which is a shame as i was looking like
a boss here !

obviously i asked one of the ladies to take a shot of me... just of me
nice... i love wood.

next it was yuriko's turn to take a shot of me and kana

then myself and yuriko eyed kana suspiciously as she took a shot of the two of us
i should say a big thank-you to yuriko and kana for meeting up with me,
listening to my rubbish stories and putting up with me griping about the beer.


Thursday, 29 March 2012

the all nighter, plus breakfast.

at the end of my first day in tokyo, i didn't go to bed.

instead at around midnight i headed over to tsukiji to meet yudai, 
my translator and to photograph the tuna auction at 4am.

on the way to tsukiji i stopped off at ginza to have a look around
this is an advertisement poster at ginza station.
is it my imagination or have they removed the fence that goes around stonehenge ?
they certainly don't let people get that close these days.

check it out.
more great britain posters next to my favourite tokyo thing
this vending machine is a cracker because you can use your pasmo card
to buy drinks ( pasmo is the japanese version of our oyster card )

tsukiji station
which for some reason i kept pronouncing as "tsujiki" 
( i hope that doesn't mean anything rude in japanese ? )

i don't know why, but i love this sign
i even have a t-shirt with it printed on the front.

it also reminds me of a band that a friend of mine almost managed
( they were called "exit here, to the left to the left" )
in tokyo, as ever, i was representing n7

ha ha !
my favourite place name
all together now... 
"the next station will be takadanobaba... takadanobaba"

here's my translator yudai, his cousin and me, trying to stay
awake through the night at jonathans 24 hour joint in tsukiji
wow ! i look tired... this was friday morning in tokyo and the last time
i'd slept was tuesday evening in london.
( many thanks to virgin airlines and their seats / legroom for making this possible )

moving on... here's the magic button which would summons a waitress
to our table
to bring japanese food for two people and chips for me.

fast forward a few hours, and after my shoot we hit a small sushi bar
just over the road from the fish market. it was about 6.30am
time for breakfast...
i won't lie, i was freezing cold by this point. but warmed up with some fresh green tea
( they wouldn't make me a flat white )
we ordered up some sushi...

it was horrible
i kid...
it was absolutely incredible. i'm not a sushi fan but this was amazing.
it was also amazing to think that an hour or so previously i'd seen this tuna
being auctioned off... hmmmm.

of course when what was left of me got back to ikebukero, it was time for
me to grab another little breakfast before hitting the sack
a milky coffee and a hot doughnut at the little jazz cafe near my hotel.
surely in a few minutes i would sleep like a champion right ?

ikebukero at night

here are a few shots i took one night walking from my hotel to the 
train station in ikebukero

this place was just around the corner from my hotel.
it's a dog hotel !
i guess you can leave your dog there when you got to work or whatever and
give it a day of pampering... you know, pay for your dog to have an aroma massage.


around the corner from the dog hotel was a block full of restaurants, bars
and amusement arcades. to be honest, some of the little restaurants and
bars looked amazing, but i didn't venture inside any of them.

it's a mirror ok... mirr-or... mirr-or

the advert on the left reminds me of my friend reiko's illustrations.

i just like japanese writing, that's all.

great writing plus check out the way it's attached to the wall.

what a great sign !
amazing font for the word 'bar' and the number 11

they should sell t-shirts with this on the front.

this looked interesting, but i preferred to give my yen to c & c curry

yoshinoya is a great place to eat, plus they use a lot of orange in their signs.

i must admit, these look a lot nicer than c & c curry but...

so does this, but i still preferred to dine at c & c

hmmm... i really like the idea of 24 hour eateries

nice '5' nice japanese writing, but what's the 'green peas' all about ?

this was interesting. as i walked past this place i could hear a load of beeping
and video game noises but also this rhythmic drumming...
a bit like in 'love lockdown' by kanye west.

i stepped inside to check it out and there was this boy and girl playing a video
game which involved drumming. i won't lie, it sounded fantastic.
in hindsight i should have recorded it as an annoying ringtone.

anyway, it was very cool... very japanese.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

like a boss

if somebody were to ask me what my favourite memory of tokyo was,
i would not hesitate in saying "the vending machines"

ok maybe that's a bit harsh. tokyo is a great city and has lots to offer...

... but seriously, those vending machines absolutely everywhere. 

my favourite brand of canned coffee is boss
this machine was just around the corner from my hotel

boss rainbow was pretty good
these bad boys are for cold coffee by the way. blue means cold.

the cans on the left with all japanese writing were very nice
and as you can see from the red tabs below, they come out hot ( perfect )

my favourite of the lot though was this
boss black.

it would warm my hands up as i walked back to my hotel and taste great
as i did a bit of early morning blogging.

it's a shame these machines wouldn't work over here. it's a credit to japan
that they have them everywhere, almost on every street corner doling out
tasty hot coffee ( and tea, hot chocolate, even soup ) and i never once saw
a machine that was out of order or had been vandalised.

half-time score: japan 1 uk 0