March 30, 2007

keeping up

"Through Midtown, we aim to turn Tokyo into the center of intellectual creativity for business and culture in Japan, Asia and the world."
Hiromitsu Iwasa, head of Mitsui Real Estate, Tokyo Midtown developers.

Providing spin on a new development that appears to be little more than offices, shops, and a hotel on top of a big tower with some random pieces of art scattered around the place.

Maybe I should attempt to develop my intellectual creativity by visiting the shops this weekend.....

or maybe not.

....road to nowhere

In accordance with my to-do-list, I have made a flying start and been for a couple of runs. By coincidence I got a mail from my good friend Mr. Smyth who has also had his running shoes on, accompanied by his fiancee (Keri), they completed a half-marathon.... he also informed me of a few more friends (Ants/Kev) who had participated.

It got me thinking that maybe we have reached that age where that nagging feeling of getting old gets a little stronger and the excess "muscle" around the midriff becomes that little bit harder to shift .... the obvious course of action - go jogging.
I will try to keep up and hopefully when I return later this year I can join them....

Tokyo is still on for tomorrow.... not sure what I'm going to do there but anyways....

In my music news, I have belatedly discovered The Shins who are jolly good. Also, if you like mono-browed men with guitars 'Tigress' and 'Captain Badass' by Songs: Ohia are great!

March 23, 2007

to do. to do.

To do in the near future (or at my rate - before I leave Japan) ....

fun tings:
1. learn to skate better (yes i am aware of my age)
2. grow my hair as long as i can (before i get too annoyed and chop it)
3. trip to Tokyo (may be my last)
4. trip to Shikoku (first and likely only)

less fun tings:
1. save. save. save.
2. keep/get fit
3. get my Japanese vocab level back up to what it was over a year ago
4. throw out old things and ship home new things

hmmm.... fairly straightforward, lets see if I can do them all.

March 21, 2007


Had my preconceived notion of a hard day's work Japan-style somewhat blown out of the water after helping out with some local theatre peeps.

The plan (conceived via email) was for a full day from 10am until 8pm helping to construct the set for the upcoming coming play "Voices". Sprout has been involved from the start, designing costume concepts and regularly attending rehearsals. But this was my first forray into the theatre world....

Having dragged ourselves out of bed at the ungodly hour of 9am and hot-footed it over to the otherside of Okayama City, we met up with Yama-chan (standard issue cheeky-chappy in charge of building) and the other workers (total 6).

After a 30min trip out into the inaka we pulled into a cool old-style Japanese country house and had a little explore. Once doors were opened, sheets unfurled and wood placed, it was nigh-on 11am. After the obligatory (teeth-grindingly awkward) personal intros we checked the plans and set to work around 11.30am....

After a whole 30mins work, Yama-chan informed us it was lunchtime.... we were stopping before we had even begun! We all piled into his station wagon and zipped off to a nearby town for a hanbaagu ranchi - very nice too.

Post-lunch shopping for some supplies meant we returned and restarted around 2pm. We then put in approximately 1hr30mins "hard graft" and were then informed it was time for ice-cream at a nearby farm.... A choco-chip gelato cone (made from fresh milk) later, we cleared away the little work we had completed and prepared to head home....
As 5pm approached, we departed - those who were interested could go on to a dress rehearsal, those who weren't could leave!

So, for the day:
hours spent working: 2
hours spent otherwise: 7

I like that ratio!

It was all great fun, but I really hope that they are putting in extra hours this week to complete everything as it was so far from that when we left....

Am looking forward to seeing the play this weekend and trying to spot the bits of the stage I might have had a hand in making!!

March 9, 2007

Almost Famoose

As another month has flown by (with more ups and downs) I have been spending too much time playing around with my blog and not actually posting anything.... I just don't think I'm cut out to be a computer programmer/designer - all this html is too confusing.... I think I'll just let it be.

We have been in a few more "the only foreigners" situations with a trip to the theatre to see an interesting but over-long play about hell - all in Japanese. This required a huge amount of concentration but was worth it for some of the funnier moments....

We also visited the above exhibition (Tsuyoshi Higashijima) and had fun running in front of the paintings to make them come alive. We were spotted by a museum curator and quickly had our photo snapped - our historic visit was to be logged on the museum's website diary.... Follow this link to view evidence of our local fame.... my back and sprout's profile whilst chatting.