Sunday, December 31, 2006

Japan Scans! Part 3

Yep, they're still coming. I'll probably be taking a break now and then to post about other subjects, but this scanning project will get done. Here's the next batch.

A surprising number of people are finding my blog in searches for Kyoto, kokeshi or Nakayama dolls. So, here's one for all of you that fit that description - the Nakayama Doll Manufacturing Company brochure (multi-page PDF):

They told us specifically not to pay any attention to that brochure, because most of what's in there is no longer sold by the company. The nature of their business is that pretty much everything is a limited run, so they have a lot of dolls similar to what's in here, but not many that are exactly the same.

Here's the English version of the Tokyo Tower brochure - I also have (or had) a Japanese version but I may have given it away already. (Multi-page PDF):

Tons of cool stuff in there. Tokyo Tower's a happenin' place.

When we first got to Tokyo, we went to the restaurant owned and run by the "King of Iron Chefs", Hiroyuki Sakai. Anyone who's seen the original Japanese version of Iron Chef knows that while yeah, the show was always intended to be campy fun, the food really was taken seriously and the chefs on the show really are among the top chefs in Japan. So, we took a couple souvenirs from Sakai's restaurant. This is the card they have at the table for you, front and back (and no, I don't know what the back says):

This was our check! Sorry for the wrinkles, it went through a wash!

Yeah, pretty expensive, but not outrageous by "nice restaurant" standards. About $100 per person. It's a prix fixe menu, which is nice at a place like this - no worrying about wasting money on a course you don't like, or trying to save by ordering the cheapest entree. All of the courses were fabulous too, and this is not "nouveaux" French - we were stuffed by the time we left. On the other hand, it is the kind of restaurant that does not put salt or pepper on the table. You're expected to eat your food as it's prepared.

I promised a shinkansen ticket in an earlier post, and here it is - top is the base transport fare, bottom is the express fare/reserved seat ticket. (Not front and back; these are two separate tickets, and you need both to ride on any shinkansen, reserved seat or not):

Here's one of the many Tokyo subway maps we picked up. This one's all Japanese; there are other ones that are about half and half. Still others were also all Japanese but slightly different. It's pretty confusing. Note that the Tokyo subway is now officially the "Tokyo Metro", but nobody actually calls it that (perhaps just not yet):

And just for fun, here's my Sega Joypolis ticket (front and back). It's interesting - hard to tell by the scan, but it's actually silver with white text, and whenever you add money or use it somewhere, you put it in a machine that gives your card back with a new transaction history on it. Everything you do with the card in Joypolis is written on it. Obviously, you can see we didn't do much:

I've got a huge brochure/map from Joypolis scanned to post later also... I just need to organize it. It's like 20 separate pages.

Well, more to come soon!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

DVD Review - PUFFY (AmiYumi) - Tour! PUFFY! Tour! 10 Final (import)

Post Moved!

This post now resides at my Puffy-dedicated blog amiyumidas. Please click here to be taken directly to the post. If you're interested in Puffy, you may want to browse around a bit while you're there - I've got a lot of cool stuff.

Please update your bookmarks.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Japan Scans! Part 2

Continuing on from my earlier post, the scans just keep on comin'.

Here's a ticket to Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto (jpg):

Back of the same ticket - this basically lists out some of the rules you have to follow, like no food, no photography, you may need to show this ticket, and follow the posted rules inside. (jpg)

The Sanjusangendo Temple brochure (multi-page PDF):

Here's a ticket to Kiyomizu Temple (jpg):

Back of the same ticket - poetic! (jpg)

Unfortunately, I didn't see any brochures at Kiyomizu.

On to Kyoto Tower. This tower offers both a day and a night ticket - since we were a pair, the clerk gave us one of each even though we visited during the day. Here's the day ticket, with Tawawa-chan in full effect (jpg):

Night ticket (jpg):

Like a lot of tourist areas in Japan, Kyoto Tower also has brochures in both Japanese and English - and it's not just a difference in the language. Often the actual content and imagery is different too. Here's the Japanese brochure (multi-page PDF):

And here's the English version (multi-page PDF):

Yeah, I've got one or two brochures for Tokyo Tower too, and it's pretty slickly produced. A big contrast to the almost down-home feel of the Kyoto Tower brochures.

That's it for today - we're about 1/4 the way through!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Japan Scans! Part 1

Ok, I've promised to post scans of all the various brochures, tickets and other interesting documents I picked up while in Japan this past October. You want to see what a shinkansen ticket looks like? It's coming. The Studio Ghibli brochure? Scroll down. The Gion Corner program? It's here. Lots of stuff is on the way, and this is just the first round.

I'm going a little further than I'd originally planned, creating fancy PDF's and all (these are not just for you; I'm also creating backup archives for myself). So some of them are going to be large files, and I'll have to post them over several separate entries. I'll also be updating my earlier Japan trip posts with links to these scans as appropriate to the subject matter, the better for you guys and girls coming in direct through Google.

This is just gonna be a smattering of random stuff. If you want it organized and with context, wait until I plug them into the appropriate existing posts. Bear in mind the thumbnail images are just that - the linked PDF's are multi-page and have more stuff. They're also pretty big files (up to 2MB), so take that into consideration before downloading. The smaller tickets and whatnot are just image files.

Here we have an official Akihabara map, given out near the train station (click for multi-page PDF):

Gion Corner English program (multi-page PDF):

Gion Corner Japanese program (multi-page PDF):

Instructions on how the Studio Ghibli Museum ticketing system works - yeah, only in Japanese (PDF):

Studio Ghibli Museum ticket from Lawson (jpg):

Studio Ghibli Museum bus ticket (jpg)

Studio Ghibli Museum brochure (multi-page PDF):

Much more to come!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Decorating - TO THE XXXXXTREME!!!!

This is our first year in our new neighborhood, and we're learning it's got some quirks. Mostly endearing quirks, but quirks nevertheless.

One of these quirks is that there's a particular street, right off of ours, that goes entirely insane every holiday. It's collective; it's not one person, but neither is it any sort of homeowners' association or anything like that. It's just a block full of really dedicated, apparently really bored people who get together and do stuff to their houses in the way I always thought suburbanites only did in bad Hollywood movies.

A couple of examples:

Apparently, this street makes the local newspapers more often than not each year, not only for the Disneyland decorations, but also for the fact that they hire a Santa Claus and hand out free hot chocolate to everybody in the neighborhood every December 16th.

Personally, I think it's kind of neat to live near a street like this. But I'm glad I don't live on it - that's just too much pressure every year. Our house at the moment has just one pathetic little string of icicle lights hanging from the gutter - that's about all we've got the time, energy and money for at the moment.

We do also have a real Christmas tree (our first ever), with presents underneath and everything, which I may as well post up - it's a little thin this year, but we're just getting started:

By the way, the Japan scanning project is still happening - just taking longer than I expected. The office room is now in full effect, though, and my scanner's chugging along eating its way through all the brochures, pamphlets, tickets, maps and whatever else I picked up in Japan. Hopefully I'll finish this weekend.

About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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