Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Wider Perspective

I took a picture of a little doodle I did in my notebook.. sorry about the lighting, I don't have a fancy scanner.

Don't we all

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Yamanashi Typhoon

The plan was to spend a beautiful weekend in Yamanashi prefecture. I was particularly keen because I have never seen mount-Fuji up close before. The best views I've had have been from airplanes.

Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived a typhoon hit, and we spent the entire time drenched. The air was so cloudy, we could hardly see 10 meters in front of us, let alone Mt.Fuji. So, was the trip a disaster? Possibly, but despite being ill, wet, and disappointed, I had a pretty sweet time.

I think the rewarding thing was to spend time with a group of individuals who I had met in completely different places, who had all agreed to come along - even though none of them had met each other beforehand. As it happened, I think we formed a really nice group. We traded in hiking, sight-seeing and wine caves for combini crawling, karaoke and a drinking game that consisted of kicking a plastic gorilla-faced owl toy off the top of a Pocari sweat bottle. Alcohol, crap weather and stupidity brought us together. 

Special mentions go to Cindy and Jack who drove an hour to hang out with us. THANXXX.

What we imagined the weekend would look like

What actually happened 

When it rains, there's no shame in requesting a plastic lid and a straw for your beer

Rockin' raincoats since Sept 2017

I wonder what this statue is supposed to represent?

When in Yamanashi

Curry lunch
フクロウ顔ゴリラ - Who doesn't love a mascot?

Karaoke dessert

This would never happen in South Africa

A plan? There is no plan

Despite our rainy weekend, I felt more sorry for these guys who I found on my journey home. Carrying a heavy Mikoshi all day during a typhoon. 
Shout out to Oden - my new favourite combini snack. Opposite of a shout out to Yamanashi bus drivers who are massive dickheads. 

There is more, but I'm heading to Odaiba for Tequilla, hula-hooping and some JETAA action.

In the meantime, here's something my brother recommended to me. Nice background beats to clean your house to:

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Hiking Mitake in 360 degrees!

We actually planned to climb Fuji, but it didn't work out for technical reasons. So we decided to do Mitake instead. Turned out to be a great day and Yuka (that genius beautiful human) brought along a 360 camera. 

We were hiking for so long, that Michaela became a pop star - you go Desta French!

The sum of the summer (It's a wrap people!!!)

At some point I realized that despite the life-long hype, I had never really properly listened to The Rolling Stones. With a wonderful pair of headphones and a few clicks I attempted listening to the 13 disc full-collection via Spotify. In a noble effort I made it as far as CD 6 - and then, as with any activity that I begin, I got distracted and then naturally went on to something else. It was a pleasant few days. The conclusion? I like their sound, but was disappointed that so many of their big hits were covers.

Wow- so glad I got that hot piece of news off my chest.

Let's get back to things. Summer is wrapping up, and I've had soaked in enough beach time to feel satisfied for one year. I've hit up Zushi and Enoshima (Kanagawa), Ajigaura and Kawarago (Ibaraki) and Onjuku in Chiba. If you need recommendations for beaches by Tokyo, I'm your girl!

OK- fine, here is the ranking:
1) Chiba-Onjuku - waaay better than expected, what a jem!
2) Ibaraki Kawarago (special shout out to Beach Burger 9, best burger place in all Japan)
3) Ibaraki Ajigaura (really great bars)
4) Zushi - trashy as hell
5) Enoshima - is that the sea? no its just a pile of waste with people floating in it.

Learning from mistakes in previous years, I was liberal with the appliation Through liberal of over-priced products - keeping sun burn and mosquito bites down to a minimum. We also got pretty good at using the diffuser during the nighttime so not to completely destroy our lungs from necessary air conditioning, and putting fresh lemon slices into jugs of water to make the process of hydration more appealing.

I've stayed in Tokyo all summer, but spent weekends on short trips exploring the outer margins of Tokyo and in neighboring prefectures. I've been hiking, canyoning, hula-hooping, trampolining, cycling, playing dodgeball doing yoga and kayaking. My bikini got good use and I'm happy with my current collection of shorts. Still feel lazy as hell somehow.

I hope Chez is glad to see me posting this here: the trippy new track from Superorganism (see below) - matches the hang over mood of this sleepy sunny Sunday. They can thank me for their new-found fame later on. Everything I post on this blog magically becomes famous afterwards. Or is it before? Well, either way YOU'RE WELCOME.

Great day to spend sat in bed with the balcony doors open, Ma-chan by my side and the start of the new season of Bojack Horseman. I already cried hysterically after episode 2.

OK fiiiiiine, I'll post this too, just because it's seriously bad-ass. I think if Quentin Tarantino makes a Kill Bill 3 he should definitely include this one:

As with each August, a bunch of people leave (following a messy leavers party - man, seriously messy this year) and then a bunch of new people arrive. I figured I would slowly stop engaging in Ibaraki JET life as I'm getting older and entering my unicorn year, also I moved to Tokyo two years ago after I left the program and it might be considered a bit lame to keep throwing myself into the Ibaraki Jet community. Tag-along-hanging-onto-my-youth-much?  Do I have "that guy who graduated 10 years ago but keeps hanging around the student union because he never really grew up and is incapable of making actual friends" vibe. Is that my vibe?? IS IT?

Well, paranoia aside, I went to a friends birthday party in Shinjuku last night and met a bunch of the new JETS. What a nice group of people. Some really awesome ladies who I couldn't help but want to get to know (I'm in such desperate need of lady-friends mode - its getting weird). In particular, my grandchild-successor-successor Taryn, who has taken over my old spot in Hitachinaka and the definition of a good egg:

Stormy Mondays are in for a treat! Keep the Hitachinaka dream aliiive. Katsuta - you lucky little town. et.etc.

For new, to old. Nathan (Ibaraki Jet 2012-2014) was in town for the last couple of weeks. We went for karaoke the other night with some of the old-crew. I asked him for some pictures, hoping there was a nice group shot, but apparently just this:

Me as potato-kun at karaoke

Happy news aside, there was one loser this summer. For those who spent summer in Japan this year, you'll know we had a few weeks of rain storms and unpredictable weather.

Unfortunately my mini-garden didn't hold up so well:

My "garden"

There's more stuff I want to add, but Matt is waiting for me to spend the remainder of the Sunday afternoon with him. Maybe we'll go to the local park again where I gave myself an aggressive accidental nose-bleed from hula hooping at the start of summer. Who knows? Give myself a black eye just to complete the cycle. A symbolic mark of the end of the season.

Monday, 14 August 2017


On his recent visit to Japan, my dad left us with his fancy Nikon camera. I am so grateful, as I have wanted a good camera to capture my time here since I arrived. 

I am still learning how to use it. A few Sunday's ago, I joined my friend Motoko for lunch in Naka-Meguro. I decided to get there a bit earlier so I could walk around the neighborhood and practice using the camera. 

I was hoping to capture a typical Tokyo neighborhood. These pictures are definitely over-exposed. It would seem that the images might be coming up a little darker on the camera viewer. This is good to know for future reference. I could easily touch these up a bit, but I somehow don't think its worth it.

Sunday afternoon jam:

Matt turns 28

Chichibu, Saitama

Forest Adventure Park


Dinner at Sanagi's Vietnamese fusion restaurant in Shinjuku: