Monday, 29 November 2010

The Big Island

Off for a week to the Big Island tomorrow. Not much swell forecast, thank God, although even 1-2' on the Hawaiian scale is overhead and'll kick yer arse - my arse anyway. Stoked, feels like the night before Christmas!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Tori no Ichi

This November saw two Tori no Ichi festivals at Hanazono Jinja in Kabukicho. I gave Hebi-Onna a miss this year so haven't been able to add to the three year's worth of snake-skin tucked in my wallet. 
Lots of eating and drinking though watching the punters buying bears claw (kumade) bamboo rakes hoping to rake in the money over the coming year. You can start with a tiny little starter claw about the size of a cocktail umberella but have to upgrade every year. 
Some of these folks have been coming for 40 years or more and can barely carry the bigger ones home.

A guy I know got into the buying-a bigger-one-for-luck cycle about 10 years ago, spending more and more hundreds of dollars at the same stall every year

This year though he didn't want to bother but since the stall owner had his business card the usual reminder emails started coming in a few weeks before. 

When he didn't turn up for the first festival the reminders got a lot heavier and on the final day they were basically demanding stacks of cash with threats and reminders they knew where he worked.

He caved in and paid up.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


To-Genkyo are a small design company in Kyoto who according to their website, make a small utopia of daily life. TO-GENKYO gropes for the idea that improves living”.

Their groping around has come up with these egg-timer-shaped expiry-date labels for packages of meat. 

As the meat starts to go off it gives off more and more ammonia, which causes the label to darken making it easy to see how fresh the meat really is. 

Eventually the barcode at the bottom of the label becomes unscannable, and the shop can't sell any dodgy old meat. 

 No sign of these in the shops here yet but can't wait to see this sort of label in kebab houses on the elephant's legs.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


 ...looking a tad post-apocalyptic. Now that's not a phrase you hear every day.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Price of Fish

A bit of retro comes at a price in Tokyo.

¥211,050 at today's rates is $2,750 or £1,600! 

Sunday, 7 November 2010

If Edmund Surfed

from the new "Blackadder" line of surf threads.
...and meanwhile, someone had kindly half-filled my glass.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


You dont get to see Fuji-san much during the summer months and not at all when the typhoons roll through, but last night at sunset just as the last of the storms were done with Tokyo and heading East, for the last few minutes before dark you could just see something breaking out from under the cloud cover...

...then this morning you knew winter was on the way.

I took this shot a couple of weeks after the original post on Nov 19. 
...winter falls quickly in these parts.