Archive for the ‘Moblog’ Category

Shinjuku Ni-Chome: Advocates Cafe

Shinjuku Ni-Chome: Advocates Cafe
Now at Advocates, a bar in Shinjuku Ni-Chome, not too far from Yotsuya, where I started out the afternoon with Satori. I’m now with some friends, talking about some other friends who may or may not be on the way.

Shinjuku Ni-Chome, by the way, is a part of town with a lot of gay bars. Advocates is one such, though that’s not to say that it’s a place that makes non-gay people feel unwelcome or anything. I’ve always felt welcome here, at least.

Advocates is small but it opens out to a wide sidewalk, and when the weather’s nice, you’ll find dozens of people here, and “Advocates” becomes the sidewalk and even the street around the bar instead of just the physical environs of the bar itself. Particularly during the time of day (7 to 9) when they have “beer blast” going on (all the beer you can drink for 1000 yen).

Anyway, it’s a very nice place. Plan on stopping by some time — especially on a day when the weather’s clear and comfortable.

Gaienmae: The Office

The Office
Right now I’m at a place in Gaienmae called “Office”. If you’re in Tokyo and looking for an interesting place to while away a couple of hours alone or with friend(s), you can’t go wrong stopping by here.

It has a bit of the feel of a college coffee house, except that instead of having a view out to some “quad” or whatever, it has a 5th floor view out to a neon-lit busy Tokyo intersection.

Other particulars: a full drink menu, including liquor, sake and shouchu, beer, wine, juice, tea, and coffee. Nice lighting, nice staff, usually good music. Seating for about 30 people and not usually crowded (so a good choice for impromptu gatherings). A selection of decent light food. And reasonable prices. A variety of interesting books and magazines you can borrow and enjoy along with your food and drink.

Also, a real rarity in Tokyo: outlets into which you are free to plug in your laptop’s AC adaptor and/or keitai charger.

And to top it all off: it’s open until 3am every night, including Sunday and Monday.

To find it, just ride the Ginza line to Gaienmae station, take exit 3, and you’re there. Well, almost. What you’ll see at the street level when you come up and out from the exit is a place called “Sign”. Office is in the same building, just on the 5th floor. So just go around the corner, left from the entrance to Sign, and climb the stairs (no elevator) up to Office, and enjoy.

Yotsuya: 247 Photography Roonee & Gallery Niepce

247 Photography Roonee & Gallery Niepce
Headed out with my daughter Satori today to Yotsuya and stopped by 247 Photography Roonee and Gallery Niepce (next door) for a couple of photography exhibits that were ending today. Both were nice and I’ll try to post details when I get back to my PC.

Also attempted to find a new place nearby called Lotus Root Gallery — somewhere in the midst of a mostly residential area. But once we got to the general area where it’s supposed to be, could not spot any sign for it even though we probably spent 10 or 15 looking and had to have been just a few meters away from it, wherever it is. At one point Satori pointed out a young hipster-type guy to me and said he must be looking for the same place because she had seen him already, circling around just like us.

Anyway, that little side trip wasted at least 30 minutes altogether — on a day when we had already gotten a late start — so Lotus Root Gallery is now officially on my shitlist.

But we did manage to get back to Le Deco and I did have time to see more of the Tokyo College of Photography “apartment” show, and to talk with one of the photographers, Priyash Karmacharya — who was kind enough to bring us some tea. Also, Funiku Ookami of the “7” show there (also ended today) gave Satori a couple of shoe creams, and another photographer from the “apartments” show gave her some cookies, so she went away pretty happy for the day and fairly successful as far as scoring of sweets swag goes.

Go to Le Deco tonight/tomorrow

Go to Le Deco tonight/tomorrow
Tonight (Jan. 28) until 7pm and tomorrow until 5pm only there’s an excellent set of exhibits showing at Le Deco, on four different floors. The top floor has photos, including works from Tommy Oshima, Funiku Ookami, and Mario Takahashi. When I stopped by, they all three were there and I had a chance to talk with them all. Mario showed me a couple of his handmade trick lenses and even let me play with them.

On another floor you’ll find a installation with some dark, moody 3D work by Tacji Kikuchi (ends today).Other floors have more photos (which I had to rush through because I was running very late) and some CG animation video work.

Highly recommended. Go. I plan on going back again tomorrow, with my daughter.

(Note: This entire post was moblogged direct from keitai.)

Shinagawa Station

My almost-eight-year-old daughter Satori took this photo. She shot it at the Shinagawa JR station while we were waiting for a train to Shibuya.

I go through Shinagawa station almost every weekend, and take the Keikyu line from there to pick up Satori in Yokosuka, where she lives with her mother. Often we end up coming back through Shinagawa to Tokyo, and going to Kodomo no shiro or to a museum. Sometimes we go to Kawasaki to watch a movie, because the theaters there (Cinecitta and the one near the Keikyu station) have more showings dubbed in Japanese. The theater at the Prince Hotel is nice too, but doesn’t have as many dubbed showings.

Anyway, I’m thinking about buying Satori a digital camera for her eighth birthday. She loves to take photos. She seems especially fascinated with taking pictures of her own shoes and the ground around her feet. But as far as pictures of shoes and the ground go, hers are usually not so bad. So if I give her a camera, there’s no telling what she might get fascinated with next. Or maybe she’ll specialize and become the world’s most accomplished photographer of ground-and-shoes images.

(This posting was moblogged direct from keitai.)

The Yellow Line

The Yellow Line
At the edges of most train platforms, you’ll find a yellow line, and you’ll hear periodic recorded announcements admonishing you not to cross it (and fall over the edge onto the tracks).

Notice that the line is comprised of thick raised dots―so that blind people can tell where it is.

(This posting was moblogged direct from keitai.)

A visit to Cafe Pause in Ikebukoro

Jean Snow (the hardest working blogger in Tokyo) has written quite a bit about Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro. (see his postings at MoCo Tokyo, at Gridskipper, and at his site), and I’ve been wanting for some time now to visit it. So today I stopped by to check it for myself.


Coming of Age Day (成人の日)

Every year, the second Monday of January is a Japanese national holiday, Coming of Age Day (成人の日). People turning 20 dress up in formal wear. I took this photo of two celebrants in kimono at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro.

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