Cherry blossom eye candy


No time for a wordy post, but here are a few choice pictures from yesterday’s morning stroll through Ueno Park. Click to enlarge.

Note that the sakura aren’t in full bloom yet; give them a few more days or so. My hope is that they’ll have opened up more by the time I reach Kyoto on Monday.

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Care to guess where I am right now?

Here’s a hint.


More later. 😉

UPDATE (26 March 2009): Sorry for the lack of a follow-up to this post. Sightseeing and its after-effects (sore feet, weary legs, fingers ready to drop off from the chilly spring air) took up most of my time, leaving very little room for updates. I’ll see if I can put something out after I return to my hotel this evening. In any case, I intend to write out a series of detailed, richly illustrated reports as soon as I get home, so please look forward to that. Cheerio.

Four more days . . .

. . . before Diego jets off to the land of Tsuruya-sama’s birth for a two-week holiday.

(NB: I am studiously avoiding the use of the trite appellation “Land of the Bright Yellow Orb Cresting the Horizon” [hackneyed section deleted and replaced], which annoys me to no end from sheer overuse. Be prepared for a lot of alternative monikers such as “Land of Irresistible Nendoroids”, “Land of Raw Fish on Rice”, plain old “Japan” and so forth.)

Quite likely this blog will remain dormant until I return from my trip, for any number of reasons: I’m having trouble getting a decent internet link, I’m too busy taking pictures of Japanese manhole covers, my hand is stuck in a vending machine, I simply can’t be bothered to update, etc., etc. On the other hand, if the hotels I’ve booked really do have what they say they have (i.e., “high-speed internet”, as advertised) and I can spare the time after each hard day of gawking at gardens and shrines, I’d like to post a brief nightly update describing what I’ve been up to during the previous 24 hours. Detailed, fully-illustrated write-ups will have to wait until after I fly home.

That’s all for the moment; I must get back to my packing. Cheerio.

JLPT 2008 debriefing


I was out of town for a couple of days and returned at an unholy hour early this morning. With nearly every muscle in my body crying out in protest over a punishing eight-hour nighttime bus ride (sleep was impossible thanks to a lethal cocktail of boredom, onboard videoke equipment and rowdy travelling companions who fancied themselves singers), I half-dragged myself through the door and went upstairs towards my waiting bed.

But not before spying a brown paper envelope from the Japan Foundation containing my score report for the December 2008 Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Here’s a long and mercilessly rambling account of the damage.

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Studio Rikka all-night screening on 28 March – more details now available


So, you lads couldn’t get tickets either, huh? Guess there’s nothing left for us to do but juice up on Evlend, stay up all night and listen to myself babble like a broken record.

More details have emerged about the all-night screening of Studio Rikka films scheduled to take place at Theatre Shinjuku on Saturday, 28 March 2009. In addition to the first three acts of Eve no Jikan (Time of Eve, 2008-ongoing), the screening will feature the earlier Yoshiura Yasuhiro films Kikumana (2001), Mizu no Kotoba (Aquatic Language, 2002) and Pale Cocoon (2006). If I’m reading the event listing correctly (someone better in JP than I am help me out here!), it appears that an advance sale of the third Eve no Jikan DVD will also take place at the same event.

The doors will open at a quarter to midnight and the event is expected to begin when the clock strikes twelve – or, this being Japan, when the digital display flashes 24:00:00. Tickets will be sold through Ticket Pia at JPY2,800 each.

I will be in Tokyo on the 28th, although I’m not optimistic about my chances of landing a ticket since I’m scheduled to arrive just a few days before the event; by that time they’ll probably be sold out. Naturally, I plan to try my luck anyway.

Anyone out there knows how to purchase a pass from Ticket Pia (and if there’s an outlet somewhere in the Ueno area)? I’ve heard their tickets can be purchased through the Loppi machines in Lawson stores, but I’m not sure about this.

Note: Tip of the hat to icie for first mentioning this event back in January.

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Global Shinkai Day report


Here’s a bald account of how I spent the first annual Global Shinkai Day.

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