Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

No Longer a Sleepy Town.

My Town.

Akishima (昭島市; -shi) is a city located in Tokyo, Japan. It was founded on May 1 1954. Wikipedia says:

The name of the city consists of one character from each of its predecessors. Akishima is the result of the merger of the town of Showa (昭和) and the village of Haijima (拝島 Shōwa). The first character contributes the “Aki” to the name, and it’s the first character from Showa.

What’s missing from the entry is this, “Akishima is boring. The residents are bored. Even people who live in the hills of Oume find Akishima boring.” Well, that is all about to change.

2429 Seats. 12 Screens.

Movix (Cineplex) has landed!

Movix Signage

Movix Akishima is equipped with:

  • Original buffer boards – I have no idea what these are, but they are “original”, so they must be cool.
  • Some other original feature dealing with the screens.
  • Each building has some sort of Digital Sound System (SRD,SRD-EX,dts).
  • Reservations via the net.
  • A large concession stand.
  • Barrier-Free.

Kichijoji, eat your heart out! Tachikawa, you need to up your game. *Pauses* What if Movix only shows anime and kid centric movies? Please, God, don’t let that be the case.

More Entertainment than Advertising: Hot Pepper Redux.

Hot Pepper.

Hot Pepper.

The TV commercials for Hot Pepper, a monthly and free coupon magazine, are a stroke of genius. The basic recipe is a) create or find a scene, b) write a script that matches, but doesn’t match, and c) add Japanese voiceovers.

Example: Horror Movie.

Guy A is obviously either dead or dying and his friends Guy B and Girl A run up to see if he is really dead. Guy B, not dead, shakes Guy A, who could be dead, and shouts something. Girl A, alive, shouts something and Guy B looks at Girl A. Guy B then turns back to Guy A and says something. This process repeats. Standard horror movie fodder. The catch is what is being said in Japanese.

  • Guy B to Guy A (Dying or dead.): May I take your order? Gumbo for three, right?
  • Girl A to Guy A: Thank you for your order!
  • Guy B to Guy A: She’s new, so her timing is a bit off.
  • Girl A to Guy A: Table for three! (This is normally shouted for the benefit of the staff.)
  • Guy B to Girl A: They are already in and seated. (seated being implied.)
  • Girl A to Guy A: How about some potatoes!
  • Guy B to Guy A: You have Hot Pepper coupons, right?

Hot Pepper Commercials for your Downloading Pleasure! My personal favorite. He makes another appearance here. Poor guy.

Hot Pepper is published by RECRUIT.

Plethora.

RECRUIT publishes magazines covering a variety of areas:

That’s just about everything, yes?

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The Ferris Wheel in MM21

I took this picture last night at MM21 (Minato Mirai 21) in Yokohama.

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This Ferris Wheel was built about 20 years ago, first it appeared at Yokohama Expo I think.
After that it was moved a little near the sea, had renovation these days, got more illuminations and became gorgeous.
It also has a clock in its centre. You can see the time from Sakuragicho Station( About 30 min by train from central Tokyo)
And there are 4 good hotels around here. One of them has observation room on top floor. You can see Mt. Fuji from there in a clear day.

Snow

Yes, it snowed briefly our area of Tokyo yesterday; the cold is finally here.
And so is the ski season: Gala Yuzawa is already open, with depth of 180cm, according to Snow Japan.
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Hopefully this could be a good year; quotes from Snow Japan:

I have lived in this region for 15 years now, and I can’t remember there being so much snowfall in one go before New Year. This is a really good start to the season.

It goes without saying of course that when the clouds eventually clear up, it is going to be epic conditions all round. This is like no other mid-December in recent times.

Taiko Fighting

And so the brave warriors go into battle: one side against the other and there can only be one survivor.
Except in this case, their weapons are drums and the judges can call it a draw.
PICT2341.JPG

We were in Fujinomiya-shi, Shizuoka-ken for the “Bunka no hi” long weekend and for 3 days, from 8am-late, these groups of elders, Taiko drummers, flute players, dancers and hangers-on from each part of town were banging their way around town. Occasionally groups from different areas would meet head-on in the road and try to “Taiko” each other into submission.

The two teams would be face-to-face, each playing their own beat and shouting as loud as they could, trying to make the other group lose their timing.
If neither team gave up, a judge was called upon to give a verdict.
PICT2362.JPG PICT2353.JPG
At the end both teams would drink sake together and then continue on their separate ways.

Let’s Catch a Flick!

Build It.

In the ’80s and mid ’90s the movie theater scene around the outskirts of Tokyo, near Tachikawa and Hachioji, was horrible. For a few years, Tachikawa did not have a movie theater at all and Hachioji had one screen with sticky floors and ’70s speakers. It was dismal. But that has all changed recently. In the general Tama (多摩) area, we now have the following cinema complexes either built or being built:

Those are places I would consider within striking distance.

Be Heard!

Currently, we give our money to Cinema City in Tachikawa. Cinema City has introduced Cinema Council. Cinema Council allows Cinema City members to vote for movies they want to see. For example, currently, Tim Burton’s latest flick is playing. The question is, which old Tim Burton flicks do you want to see?

Links

Yahoo.co.jp provided the best list of movie theaters with their movie search by location. Thanks Yahoo.

Tokyo Olympics 2016?

Yesterday, October 10th was Health and Sports Day (taiiku no hi), marking the Tokyo Olympics, which started on October 10th, 1964.
Towards the end of last month, Tokyo Gov. Ishihara launched a campaign for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Tokyo. It’s still a long way off and Tokyo isn’t even the official Japanese candidate city: two other cities, Sapporo and Fukuoka are also vying for the spot, but if the Olympics were to return here in 2016, this would impact Tokyo significantly.
What are people’s opinions on this?
Would this be good for Tokyo? Could it cope with the flood of extra visitors? Do we want the Olympics in Tokyo?

AIG Japan Open Tennis Tournament 2005

AIGJapanOpen2005.jpg
The AIG Japan Open Tennis Championship in Ariake, Tokyo starts today, running until Sunday October 9th.
A couple of the big names have pulled out due to injury, but in the men

Tears in the Fabric.

SOP

Cycling: Standard Operating Procedures for Passing.

  1. Stay to the left. Pretty simple.
  2. When a fellow cyclist approaches from the rear and signals they would like to pass, stay to the left. If you are not already riding on the left hand side of the sidewalk, make haste.
  3. When a rider approaches from the front , guess what, either stay to the left or move to the left.
  4. At no time should one veer to the right unexpectedly.

So, what happens when these procedures are ignored? Pure comic gold.

Consequences: Accidental Humor.

Picture yourself cycling along your standard Japanese sidewalk. In front of you are two twenty-something, female cyclist riding down the middle of the sidewalk. Since it is not possible to squeeze by, you ring your bell. The comedy begins.

Girl A, on the left, attempts to veer right, while Girl B, on the right, dives to her left. They collide and veer off at odd angles, over correct and end up a few inches from smacking into each other again. Startled, wide-eyed looks pass between them. Girl A’s look says, “What the hell are you doing?” Girl B’s look says, “What the hell do you mean?! What the hell are you doing bumping into me!” Girl A’s eyes shout, “What? Move to the right!” Girl B’s eyes blaze, “No, you move to the left!”

They joust.

Not wanting to be left out, I ring my bell again and veer to my right. This spurs them into action and they both manage to go left.

Densha Otoko 1000.

The last episode of Densha Otoko (電車男) aired today. Predictable. Sappy. Geeky. Exaggerated. I enjoyed every minute. Densha Otoko = modern day Beauty and The Beast.

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