Koenji, the world and elsewhere

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Shibuya Halloween: People, People and More People [video]

I was riding back from visiting a friend in Hiroo a couple Saturdays ago. As it was October 31st, I decided to swing into Shibuya and take some shots of the Halloween partygoers.

I used to go to Shibuya for Halloween five or more years ago. Every year was pretty much the same crowd: a lot of foreigners and those Japanese who regularly go out there, but simply in costume. Year to year there wasn’t much of a discernible increase in the number of people. So I expected to just pop in and take a few shots shots of Slutty Cop, Slutty Nurse, Slutty Cat and the drunk gaijin who hit on them. But what I found was beyond belief. This year was more like Mardi Gras.

Pictures would not suffice. So I shot some video. And I finally got finished editing it. A few weeks late, but here is Shibuya on Halloween. I head upward for a view from above (and the crossing in full effect) at the 3:24 mark if you get dizzy from the mosh pit below.

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Players Remember, @AFCCL Social Media Specialist Gets the Message Wrong

Players in the AFC Champions League laid down on the field yesterday for a moment of remembrance for those affected by the Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami three years ago. It’s a day many will never forget. Not I, who was was in nearby yet faraway Tokyo. Not those directly in the path of the destruction. Not those who lost loved ones or homes or got sick afterwards.

I’m not sure who is in charge of the @AFCCL Twitter account, but their access should be revoked. It’s a glaring mistake to call it the “Hiroshima Tsunami”. That’s like saying the 9/11 Attacks took place in Los Angeles.


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The Galileo of Gardening

My parents gave me this all-in-one tomato plant kit for my birthday. As I was in the hospital until November I didn’t get a chance to plant it in the summer (or whenever tomato planting season is). I went to three different garden centres asking for some growing tips, etc. All three full-time gardening professionals told me “No way! You can NOT grow a tomato indoors in the winter. You are insane! It is IMPOSSIBLE! NOOOOOOOO!” (Perhaps they were not THAT passionate about me not growing tomatoes in the winter, but they were certainly 100% against it.)

I did not believe any of them, as I had read hundreds of millions of gardening websites that some people, somewhere in the world, had in fact succeeded in growing tomatoes indoors in the colder months. It sounded crazy, but I thought “What the Hell? You only live once or twice.” So I threw Japanese caution to the wind and opened the ready-to-grow tomato kit and put those seeds in the soil, added some water, put it on the windowsill and … waited. That was in December. It took a couple weeks to sprout and has been growing ever since. We just ate the first ones today.

There is a lesson in here somewhere. I have proved Japan’s Gardening World wrong and may consider submitting my incredible achievement to select horticultural periodicals. It’s like I’m the Galileo of Gardening or something.