Friday, May 30, 2014 is now


I was having trouble renewing my domain name,, though the Blogger system. I tried many times, but in the end I was just lazy and let it expire. I also thought that if I let it expire, I could just re-register it through GoDaddy, which is where I have my other domains.

Anyways . . .

The minute it expired, some company swooped on it. I guess that is something that happens a lot.

So now the .com is a .co

Here is a photo of ramen:


If anyone knows how I should try and get back, let me know. I do't want to spend much money, and I think the URL is pretty much worthless from a financial standpoint.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Haikyo! Motochikozu Mine

Yo! Grab your cameras, it's more haikyo!


The entrance to the mine was totally locked, and a little slickness was in need to get in. I'll let you figure your own way if you ever make it out here.


The hillside mine / processing building was crazy.


All kinds of giant machinery. What kind of poisonous chemicals are we breathing in? Who cares!


We actually thought this was a gold mine, but a local we met at the onsen down the road said that it was used for mining and processing some kind of caustic minerals.


So, ummmm, don't drink any of the standing water.


And for god's sake, don't flip the place on.


Located somewhere in the middle of Izu.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Haikyo! ??? Hotel

Yo! More haikyo!


A good hotel with a nice view isn't hard to find in Izu. Sure, the internet is full of 5-star recommendations and discount websites, but sometimes it is fun to just find one on your own.


Better yet, one that will let you simply pitch your tent in the pool area.

Thank you management!


They even let us borrow some mahjong tiles for a bit of gaming. Domino mutha fucka!


And the onsen is open at all hours. 気持ちいいいいいいいい!


Feel free to borrow a comfy mattress for a night of blissful slumber.




You bet. This seaside resort has it all! Hellllllllllloooooo Oshima.


Modern art adorns the walls. What famous artist did they commission for this? Someone call the MET!


A couple laps with the sunrise was the perfect way to start the day.


No time for sitting! We're on to the next spot!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Haikyo! Royal Hotel Atagawa

Yo! It's time for some haikyo!


Atagawa is one of many sleepy hamlets along Izu's southeastern coastline. All of these coves have a heavy flow of onsen water erupting from the ground, so it comes as no surprise that the bubble economy meant many new hotels opened. Gotta spend that dough!

The Royal Hotel Atagawa is a 5-story example, with probably just shy of 100 rooms.


I rode down with some biker friends, one of whom considered stealing the instrument panel from this old scooter, which would fit the same model he had at home.


Enter through one of the broken windows, and get ready. This place is big. Piles of giant carp flags lay strewn about the lobby. The newness of these flags makes me think that they use this haikyo as a storage for local festivals.




Entering the foyer, you'll find a piano,


and taiko drums. About 20 of them. At this point it was confirmed that the locals must be secretly keeping this place, this room at least, in use.


Some rooms aren't in such repair. The basement (are those support columns for the entire building above?) is burnt to a crisp.


Were these fires made before or after the closing? Were they the reason that the Royal Hotel Atagawa closed in the first place?



When did this place close, anyways?


An old newspaper suggests July, 1988.


The rooms are quite nice, looking out to the sea and the massive garden area.



I've heard of haikyo hunters sleeping in the upper rooms, but I wouldn't risk it. I don't think that hose is hooked up to the fire-sprinklers anymore.


Atagawa is a swell place, with a free foot bath by the beach, and a place to cook your own eggs and eat banana ice cream. And a fresh haikyo. What's not to love?


Monday, May 19, 2014

Dogo Onsen Art


I had work in Shikoku, and figured I would cash in some of my Toyoko Inn points and head down to Matsuyama a few days early. What is there to do in this famous town? Besides eat ramen?


Onsen. Dogo Onsen (a short ride on the local street car) has foot baths everywhere.


All of the high-end Japanese hotels have courtesy foot baths outside.


Some even have their own towels. Bonus!


Wow, a steam engine that runs on the street car tracks. How fun.

Ahhh, I can't fake it anymore. Matsuyama (without a bike) was a bore. If I had my bike, I could have ridden 30 minutes into the mountains and been in bliss. Or 30 minutes along the coast and been in bliss. I took a lot of naps at my shitty hotel.

But . . .



Turns out Dogo Onsen was having a sort of art festival. Outdoor pieces are scattered around, but the real highlight were at the hotels. Famous artists were commissioned to handle the interior design of some hotel rooms. The Hotel Horizontal project spans across 9 rooms in 9 hotels. These are normal rooms that you can stay in (for a hefty surcharge), but between 10am and 2pm, they invite randoms to come and have a peek.

They do, though, charge. That's why I didn't drop $10 to see the Kusama Yayoi room.


But when I saw that it was only $4 to check out Araki's room, I jumped.


Awesome. You can stay in these rooms for about $300 a night, minimum 2 people.


You can see some photos of the other rooms at the Hotel Horizontal project online. Oh snap, the Minagawa room is ill!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My First Speeding Ticket!

The Atsugi-Odawara toll road is a know speed trap. But I decided to speed anyways. And henceforth received the first speeding ticket in my life!

And some jerk I ride with caught it all on video:

98 km/h in a 70km/h zone. A fine of 15,000 yen and 3 points on my licence (you get 6 a year).