Monday, February 01, 2016

January 2016

Happy New Years

DSCF5411.jpg

Another year, same ol' Japan! Never change, Japan!

DSCF4996.jpg

Never change.

DSCF5040.jpg

I've been going a bit hard on the sushi scene lately.

DSCF5042.jpg

As well as the fine-dining scene. Yes, I'm becoming one of those people.

DSCF5220.jpg

So much so that I now have an opinion on truffles. Basically, I don't understand what all the hype is about. I mean the crazy, truffles-over-bitches mentality that people seem to have. Am I missing something? Good, but not that good. I have, though, had flavorless truffles, and others with a wonderful, strong scent, so maybe I'm just missing the next level, where it becomes some sort of ambrosia. Who knows.

DSCF5221.jpg

I see a new food trend this year!

DSCF5260.jpg

Cutlets . . .from an animal. What animal?

DSCF5356.jpg

Mazesoba . . . from an animal. What animal?

DSCF5279.jpg

Tokyo ramen school, coming soon.

DSCF5504.jpg

Classy. They poured me a primo cup of cold sake in this beautiful ochoko, and then hit me with another cup of it hot.

DSCF5507.jpg

Feeling good after this one, I had to hit up the Murakami exhibit.

DSCF5543.jpg

So legit.

DSCF5547.jpg

Go before it is gone (March something).

DSCF5552.jpg

DSCF5592.jpg

I have a sake guy at a sake shop. He knows me, and knows what I like. I want 2 or 3 bottles of dry daiginjo, and another bottle of something random. Well, my guy wasn't in, so someone else helped me out. So far, I've only tried the two on the right, and they were both pretty bad. About to dip into the next one.

DSCF5648.jpg

DSCF5690.jpg

Thanks, Mike, for the shoe delivery. #31cminJapan

DSCF5713.jpg

A nishonshu vending machine. The top row all cost a dollar. A buck for a cup of booze.

DSCF5722.jpg

Best sushi in Toyama at 鮨人. Amazing.

DSCF5794.jpg

Also, this is thought of as the most beautiful Starbucks in Japan. Pretty stellar design, and the dog-friendly patio was a great place to sit for a couple hours.

DSCF5818.jpg

In the cold months, vending machines have lots of hot choices. Let's see, do I want coffee, coffee, coffee, corn soup, or clam juice?

Saturday, January 02, 2016

December 2015

明けましておめでとう。

DSCF4778.jpg

Another year in Japan. This will be my 10th year blogging here at Japan Bash. If you've been following along, thank you. The effort has waned, with 2015 having only 21 posts. To put it in perceptive, 2008 has 5 times the amount of effort.

DSCF4752.jpg

Another charity motorcycle run and another month of good food. If I get some heated motorcycle gear, you'll probably see more riding. If not, more eats.

DSCF4542.jpg

DSCF4549.jpg

While doing research on Japanese shaved ice, I accidentally ordered this one; affogato over Japanese red beans. Crazy combo.

DSCF4785.jpg

DSCF4822.jpg

Osaka is, as it always is, a strange and magical place. Years ago, before I moved to Tokyo, I was about 50/50 between taking the next step in Tokyo or Osaka. Frankly, opportunity abounds in Tokyo, so I know I made the right choice, but I always wonder.

DSCF4836.jpg

DSCF4858.jpg

One and done at Universal Studios Japan. Like every other amusement park, it is a lot of waiting around. But instead of implementing a fast-pass type of system, here you can just buy your way to the front. Seven express tickets cost an extra $100.

Might be worth it. The day I went was a cold, rainy weekday in the off season, and the Harry Potter ride had a 4 hour wait.

DSCF4862.jpg

$100 for some tickets ain't nothing to a baller.

DSCF4890.jpg

Not sure why, but I ended up with a bunch of Christmas present pate from restaurants. Hugo Desnoyer is a strange place. The clientele are your typical stuffy executive-looking dudes, but the speakers blast some kind of space disco soundtrack. The other pate is from Anis, which is one of my favorite places in the city. And another is from a friend who went to Paris. So, yeah, pate party at my place.

DSCF4911.jpg

Camp-style spiced cider.

DSCF4915.jpg

Camp-style spit-roasted sausages.

DSCF4934-Edit.jpg

Fuji from the north and the south. I spent the 31st riding, was asleep by 10pm, and spent the 1st riding as well. The next day, Facebook had a bunch of posts from friends bragging that they had done the same (the going to bed early part at least).

Time to think about 2016. Two years ago I gave up a vice, and last year I gave up another. We subtract in order to add. Maybe I'll just get a haircut this year.

DSCF4969-Edit.jpg

I hope everyone makes every year count.

DSCF4975.jpg

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Tokyo Toy Run

Every year, our motorcycle club does a toy run. We collect toys, and deliver them via our bad-ass bikes to some orphanages.

So many toys! Thank you for the donations. Some people gave me toys in person, some sent them to me, and others donated cash.

DSCF4723.jpg

Well, the 2015 Tokyo Toy Run has come and gone. The weather was dicey, but the morning showers let up into an on and off drizzle. Not even enough to damage my leopard print Santa suit.

12391173_644131185726761_2693942525516252907_n.jpg

Santa Cee, coming at you from the north side, ya digg?

DSCF4728.jpg

A fan of the site sent in this brand new XL-size Duffy. Those are like $100! Solid!

This year there were around 60-70 riders taking part. The look on the kid's faces when we unleashed a furry of rad presents is what this is all about. 

DSCF4725.jpg

Well, can't really post photos from the event, so here's a photo of some dude's custom Honda NM4. Is that an Iron Man theme? Yes, yes it is. There was another guy, his friend, on a matte black / carbon fiber NM4. Strange bike, but I'm into it.

DSCF4732.jpg

Speaking of matte black. Any given Sunday at the Ebina parking area.

DSCF4735.jpg

Yep, a pink Aston Martin DB9.

DSCF4741.jpg

This was a first. Four BMW i8s were meeting up. The drivers were the oldest of the super car lot there. I asked them their opinions of their expensive rides. They looked over at the Ferraris and said, "Ours are silent."

DSCF4743.jpg

Enough cars already!

DSCF4736.jpg

How about some pictures of the kids?

DSCF4761.jpg

Seriously, though, I'm thankful for this opportunity. Not only because the expat rider scene in Japan is here to put together events like this, but because of their all-around awesomeness. For 9 years now I've ridden with a lot of these guys. If I have a problem, one of them is there for me. Apart from general bike issues, when I had my accident a few years ago, these were the guys who were visiting me in the hospital more than anyone else, a gesture which resonates with me until this day.

See you guys next year!

12374935_10153784313769313_7836356846242440893_o.jpg

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

November 2015

Movember

DSCF4099.jpg

Strange.

DSCF4117.jpg

Risque.

DSCF4147.jpg

Artistic.

DSCF4189.jpg

Decadent.

DSCF4230.jpg

Poisonous.

DSCF4259.jpg

Hilarious.

DSCF4270.jpg

Tranquil.

DSCF4300.jpg

International.

DSCF4322.jpg

Ancient.

DSCF4363.jpg

Equal.

DSCF4389.jpg

Questionable.

DSCF4449.jpg

Privileged.

DSCF4516.jpg

Iconic.

DSCF4519.jpg

Tokyo.