Friday, September 08, 2017

August, 2017

8-17

IMG_1508.jpg

If you are in Japan, try out the September limited bowl at Ramen Kagetsu Arashi. There are 250 shops around the country. Be sure to post on social media. This shop does a monthly special, and each one is promoted by some TV celeb, ramen shop, or local ramen nerd. The dream is to have this be a regular thing.

This one will be around until late November.

DSCF1809.jpg

Gold-plated kakigori is definitely not a regular thing.

DSCF1893.jpg

So many ramen shirts that I don't wear.

DSCF1896.jpg

Emoji menu from Gaggan x Den. Fun.

DSCF2155.jpg

DSCF2163.jpg

As always, August is spent out of Tokyo with the youth of Japan.

DSCF2229.jpg

Not those youth.

DSCF2230.jpg

But there is plenty to celebrate about these days.

DSCF2376.jpg

Like some bomb eggs.

DSCF2722.jpg

Or just whatever.

DSCF2730.jpg

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

July, 2017

なながつ

DSCF1071.jpg

Summer is here.

DSCF1143.jpg

Watermelon, nigori sake, and sushi?

DSCF1257.jpg

And ramen.

DSCF1408.jpg

Spotted!

DSCF1440.jpg

New book coming soon? Yes, kind of. I'm working on a cookbook, which has proven to be a challenge. Not my own recipes, of course, and severely edited for an American audience. If you call me a sell-out, I won't hear you. I'll be sleeping on a big bed of cash.

DSCF1499.jpg

Wanna see something thing cheesy?

20226391_10154848773172507_701162618_o.jpg

I've got shirts. Official even. Grab one here:

https://shop.mactionplanet.com/collections/maction-planet-x-ramen-adventures

DSCF1616.jpg

You've still got a month to see the flower photos at Araki's latest exhibition.

DSCF1621.jpg

And other stuff he is famous for. People don't believe me when I say I really like his flower works.

DSCF1661.jpg

Scorpion pepper! (didn't eat)

DSCF1676.jpg

Blackberries! (did eat)

DSCF1710.jpg

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June, 2017

梅雨

DSCF8818.jpg

Summer jumps on you like a salaryman on some tasty gyoza.

DSCF9048.jpg

But who can blame them, when less than $10 gets you an hour of all you can eat. Make it $20 and you can get drunk as well.

DSCF9122.jpg

Sorry, Tokyo, it's getting uncomfortable. I'm about to go missing.

DSCF9124.jpg

Somewhere without such a risk of heatstroke.

DSCF0006.jpg

Right after the 7th inning.

DSCF0042.jpg

Taipei.

DSCF0949.jpg

Turns out mid-June is the "plum rain" season. Downpours for a week, with 1 day of relief.

DSCF0093.jpg

No matter, I was just here to eat.

DSCF0284.jpg

All the relevant gourmet photos reside over at Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/ramenadventures/

DSCF0416.jpg

Seriously, it dumped rain every day, with a few moments of respite.

DSCF0586.jpg

DSCF0595.jpg

Taipei's street food scene is legit. Their gourmet scene is no joke either.

DSCF0596.jpg

DSCF0647.jpg

I found a Ming dynasty era hipster-taking-food-shot painting. Tell me that isn't what this is!

DSCF0739.jpg

I also found the famous piece of jade apparently. It looks like a piece of cabbage.

DSCF0746.jpg

DSCF0768.jpg

Another view of another metropolis.

DSCF0760.jpg

DSCF0861.jpg

Went to nearby Wulai, a hot spring town a couple hours out of Taipei. The whole place was kind of destroyed when a typhoon ripped through in 2015, and the rebuilding efforts have been slow. I'm not saying to skip it, but keep that in mind if you are expecting a luxurious onsen experience.

DSCF0865.jpg

DSCF0882.jpg

Next time, road trip around Taiwan. By motorcycle or large scooter, it's something on my mind.

DSCF0935.jpg

Thursday, June 01, 2017

April + May, 2017

4+5

DSCF7567.jpg

Oops, missed a month. Special double feature then.

Walked up a random hill and found this old timer flying his RC glider. Kind of neat. This is down in Izu, up in the Asama (浅間) highlands.

DSCF7566.jpg

DSCF7645.jpg

Ah, my gear. I bought this DJI gimbal camera with hopes of making rad YouTube videos. But it needed an external microphone. So I got one. And it needed more batteries. So I got them. And a stand. And an extension arm. And since all that gear is loose, I had to track down a bigger case. Finally got my compact vlogging setup in its not-so-compact final form.

DSCF7683.jpg

Then, the motorcycle mount didn't work, so I stopped using it. Maybe I should just get a drone.

Newer videos are shot with a GoPro, which is a much more versatile camera. Don't ask how much I spent on all that Gimbal kit.

DSCF7756.jpg

Well, at least my impulse buys aren't as drastic as other's.

DSCF7793.jpg

DSCF7724.jpg

Saw a decent amount of pink this year.

DSCF7886.jpg

Sakura and Himeji castle. Bucket list? Not really, but I was in the area.

DSCF7930.jpg

Also in the area, famous local food?

DSCF7945.jpg

Katsu meshi is deep fried pork cutlets with sauce over rice. Basic stuff, but for some reason the small town of Furukawa (古川) is known for it, and you can get it everywhere. They even have two ura characters to promote it.

DSCF7948.jpg

かっつん and デミーちゃん.

Pork boy and Demi glace girl. Keep in mind this is super middle-of-nowhere.

DSCF8058.jpg

All this talk of new photography gear, video in particular, is in part due to my recent focus on the YouTube channel. I'm hoping to make an interesting series of videos that focus on motorcycle riding and ramen in the 47 prefectures of Japan. Well, over 12 days I shot footage in nine prefectures, though I'm not sure how to edit it together in a way I'm, happy with. Motorcycle footage can be a bit dull.

Stay tuned.  By the way, Ramen Adventures hit 30,000 subscribers.



DSCF8180.jpg

Camping at Hamanakako, a lake south of Nagoya. Camp here, then stay south and hop the ferry over to Mie, avoiding any city riding.

DSCF8184.jpg

Mie is an amazing place. I had a bowl at my favorite local spot, shot a video, and dubbed it #1 in town. Then I hit a spot I hadn't been to, and it turned out to be one of the best bowls of the year.

DSCF8230.jpg

Oh well.

DSCF8271.jpg

Maps, maps, maps. Who makes these random maps. Fun fact, I almost took a career in GIS mapping about 15 years ago.

DSCF8290.jpg

Camping at my secret Biwako spot. Free.

DSCF8309.jpg

Camping in Tokushima. Also free.

DSCF8367.jpg

Views are great.

DSCF8460.jpg

Back in Tokyo . . . food.

DSCF8527.jpg

I've gained some girth recently. When I commit to cutting out sugar someone shoves four concretes from Shack Shack in my face. Foodie problems.

DSCF8536.jpg

DSCF8641.jpg

But there is just too much stuff to eat.

DSCF8669.jpg

Insane kobe beef sandwich from a place called Wagyu Mafia. Don't ask how much.

DSCF8678.jpg

Oyakodon from an underground place that is half sake cellar, half charcoal grilled yakitori.

DSCF8848.jpg

Best tacos in town. I mean it.

DSCF9067.jpg

I miss the snow. Peace.