Nice Origami Site

A fellow named Brian Chan has a nice gallery of his original origami works here. It’s quite impressive stuff, and way, way over my head in both design and execution.

Photos from Japan Posted

We’ve posted a bunch of photos from our trip in this site’s photo gallery; click here to reach them. I took over 2000 photos during the excursion. Tracie waded through them and discarded the duplicates, blurred shots, mistakes, etc. We uploaded the rest to the gallery, organized by city or pairs of cities (e.g. the section titled “Tokyo to Takayama” contains photos taken during our trip from one city to the other).

Sorry there aren’t captions and descriptions, but I just don’t have the time to add them. If you have any questions about what you see, though, feel free to drop me a note. read more

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Categorized as Japan 2007

Sonic State Gets Cute

There’s a website called Sonic State which covers music-tech news, product releases, stuff like that. They have discussion forums also. I’ve never paid much attention to it but sometimes I watch their videos from trade shows. They tend to do strange things like run press releases for completely insignificant events, particularly things having to do with Roland. On the other hand, they’ve never printed the press releases that Audio Damage has sent to them. We have no idea why; typically news-oriented sites are eager for material to post. Eventually Chris stopped sending them stuff altogether since it seemed to be a waste of effort. read more

Kami-Robo: Fighting Japanese Paper Robots!

I ran across the Kami-Robo site while googling for paper models. Some fellow makes paper robots and then stages make-believe pro-wrestling-style fights with them. He videotapes the bouts and writes elaborate commentary and back-stories. Quoting from the English version of the site: “At some point in childhood, all of us must have been swept up in the magical world of make-believe while playing alone. We were a special character in a situation known only to us. At the age of 10, Tomohiro Yasui began constructing robots out of paper to give form to his fantasy arena of wrestling robot fighters. Twenty years have passed, and he continues to enjoy and explore this solitary sphere of make-believe.” read more

Amazing Origami Video

Kamiya Satoshi is one of the top origami artists in the world. Until recently I’d seen only one or two photos of his work; he’s known for folding a nearly unbelievable dragon. It turns out that he has a webpage here and here’s a rather amazing video of him folding a phoenix:

Wrap-Up Part Two: Miscellaney and Conclusion

A few miscellaneous observations and recollections:

Cleanliness

Urban Japan is startlingly clean. The airports and train stations, including the tracks themselves, are basically spotless. The cities themselves are also devoid of litter, cigarette butts, fast-food wrappers, etc. I saw exactly one example of graffiti. One could speculate that they pay particular attention to keeping the tourist-heavy areas looking their best, but even the industrial/warehouse district on the outskirts of Kyoto that we passed through on the way to the airport was dramatically cleaner than, say, the outdoor mall in Boulder. read more

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Categorized as Japan 2007

Wrap-Up Part One: Wheelchair Accessibility

As you may have already surmised, the vacation is over and demands of our usual lives and my two businesses have taken my attention away from this blog. There are many more things I could write about and many more photos I could post here (I took over 2000 of them, although I did at times make use of the auto-winder mode on my camera) but I’m afraid that it’s unlikely I’ll do so. I probably will put an assortment of photos in this site’s photo gallery at some point, but it will take us awhile to go through them and pick out the best ones. read more

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Categorized as Japan 2007

Catch-up post: Tour in Tokyo

I haven’t yet posted photos from our day of touring Tokyo (or rather a tiny fraction of Tokyo) because of lack of time and energy. It was actually one of the most photo-heavy days in Japan; I took over 270 pictures that day. Here are a few of them. You may want to refer back to my first post about that day.

Here’s the view from our hotel room window:

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Some shots from the grounds of the Imperial Palace:

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Photos from the Meiji Shrine, starting with the tori on the way in: read more

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One More Beverage Machine Photo

I meant to include the following photo in my previous post, as an amusing example of the old and the new one sees in Japan:

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Categorized as Japan 2007

Special Report: Beverage Vending Machines

Many of you may be faintly puzzled by this post. I admit that I’m faintly puzzled by my own fascination with beverage vending machines in Japan. I don’t think twice about vending machines in the USA, and I don’t drink many soft drinks. However, I was quite taken with the vending machines in Japan. Dan and Richard will understand; I know that they share my fascination.

Vending machines are a very common sight in Japanese cities. There seems to be one on about every block (loosely speaking–not all of the cities we visited had “blocks” in the American-city sense of the word) and sometimes you find several at once. Here’s a photo of a large bank of them near the Meiji Shrine: read more

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Categorized as Japan 2007