Life’s a beach

Maybe I will stay here a month next year…  Having a blast here on the island.  Some friends joined us on the island yesterday and we have been getting into the lifestyle together.  Snorkel, chill, eat, walk, snorkel, eat, drink, sleep.  Not a bad pattern.  Today went for a drive around the island with the owner of the lodge where we are staying.  Great people here, drive us to all the beaches and tours us around when the ocean is too rough to swim or go boating.  Highly recommend the lodge if you are thinking of visiting Akajima.

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The view from the beach in front of the lodge.

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Deer tracks in the sand.  Turns out there are a lot of deer on the island. We have already seen a few.  A protected species, there is no hunting, so they have grown in numbers over the years.

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Click on the panorama below for the view from the deck of the lodge.

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Friend of the family Yone arrived yesterday and immediately took over as ocean leader!  Some people have sea water in their blood and he is one of them!  On our first snorkel session he just reached out and grabbed this fish by the tail.

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Catch and release roots style!

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Now a quick reminder of what the ocean can do to man made products.  The bicycle here at the lodge.

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Took a ferry ride to Akajima today. It started raining a little while after we arrived, but still had time to walk around and check out the surroundings.  Beautiful island so I hope the weather gets better tomorrow.

All photos taken with my Olympus waterproof and shockproof camera. Finally got to test out the waterproof capability by sticking the camera in the ocean to snap a few shots before dinner.

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Seboo my space

My long time friend and collaborator over the years Sebastien is making his debut as a recording artist.  Last year I used five or six of his tracks for the sound track to Car Danchi 3 and was really stoked to hear his work.  I had a lot of people asking me where they could buy his music, but all I could say was you have to wait…  Well now you can check out his Myspace site and listen to some of the tracks there.  Seb called me recently and told me that he has been making lots of new music and recording with a bunch of Sapporo’s up and coming rap artists.  We also talked about collaborating on a music video project when I get back to Sapporo.  I can pretty much guarantee that you will here more music from Seboo in this year’s edition of Car Danchi 4.

Seb pic

If and when you go to Sapporo make sure to stop by Seb’s club “Booty” in the heart of Sapporo (Susukino).  Great club space on the first floor and nice lounge and bar and food space on the second floor.  The music is always good and the crowd is down to have a good time.  Booty web site here.


Ahhh Vacation time

Finally wrapped up work in Tokyo last night!  It was a pretty productive trip, but I must admit I am talked out.  Non-stop meetings for four days…. Yesterday finished with another marathon meeting from 2 to 11pm.  Enough!

Flew from Tokyo to Naha the capital of Okinawa this morning, today is the start of my official vacation for 2009.  I will be chilling on the beach here in southern Japan for a week after a long cold winter freezing my ass off in Northern Japan.  Well deserved break before the editing process begins and I have to stare at footage of snowboarding for a month and a half.

Okinawa is one of my favorite places to visit in Japan, such a different vibe down here.  This will be my fifth or sixth trip (lost count) and I hope to make it a yearly pilgrimage.  Nice place to bring the family and chill out.

Pig’s head at the local market.

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Started sampling the local brew “Orion” right after lunch.  This glass was only 300 yen, so pretty cheap prices down here.
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Very bushy house which probably keeps it cool.
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Another old building.
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Discovered a Hokkaido Ramen shop representing the north island here in Naha.  It came complete with snowman and icicles!
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Taco rice is one of my favorite Okinawa dishes.  Basically all the ingredients of a Mexican Taco, but they put it on top of a rice shell instead of inside a tortilla.  Found a small stand selling Taco rice, but ended up actually getting the normal taco version.  Will be here for a week, plenty of time to eat the rice version.
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Had a few more pictures to post, but my internet connection is getting way too slow.  Can’t complain, we are staying at a hostel right downtown for 2,500 yen a night with free internet.  Tomorrow will be on the ferry to another more remote island about an hour and a half from Naha.

Dinner tonight was Goya champuru with brown rice and white miso soup Okinawa style.

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The back alley shop we ate at.

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A few more beers and a local donut to wrap up day one in the islands!

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Bike Crazy

Back in Ueno again.  Last time I was here was about a month ago, with Hiroshi for the start of the Cassiopeia train trip to Sapporo.  Always fun to walk around the Ameyoko market area and listen to the sales people screaming about how cheap the products are and how the store is going out of business.

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You can always find a temple among the madness here in Japan.  Discovered this one right in the heart of the Ameyoko market.

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Hooked up with Key Photo for lunch in Shibuya.

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Then we walked to “Sexon” the super bike shop also in Shibuya.  Found Ue there working on some biek forks.  He had the glamorous job of scraping paint off the old forks.  Now you know what pro snowboarders do in the summer time here in Japan.

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A few minutes later Key Photo pulled out the credit card and paid for his new track bike set up!  Nice piece.

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Ue getting ready to teach Key the finer points of track bike riding in Tokyo!  Ride safe!

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Tokyo Touring

Tokyo cruising the last two days.  Visiting people and having meetings all over town.  Yesterday was “Harajuku” day.

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Stopped by Hiroshi’s office even though I knew he was not there, wanted to say hi to the famous assistant “Ku”.

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Fragment design skate decks and a rather scary figure on the tricycle, all kinds of interesting stuff to be found at HF office.

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Next stop was North Face press room.  DJ Ogu in the house.

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Thanks for the cool mug cup set!

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More meetings and interviews lined up today, Tokyo the town of non stop action keeping me busy.