Archive for December, 2008

Show us yer twinkly bits…

Posted in Bah. Winter., purdy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

…is something Ive not yet said to anyone here in Japan. I just go right ahead and take a photo. Tends to avoid awkward translation issues. Given that this is the time of the year for twinkly bits, sadly my image collection is thus far poor. But that wont stop me foisting them upon any individual foolish enough to be browsing this page. Oh no.

Im planning an after dark sortie tomorrow around the neighbourhood & will be in downtown Tokyo on the 25th (after my Nihongo lesson – no chintzy day off here pally), so will post some more flashness (heh) later, but until then…

This place stood out like a house with Xmas lights all over it from the Ferrari shop that I ve been stalking, so I dashed on down to steal some festive souls.

In Japan we have three santa’s – much more efficient than your puny western one. Here, I have shown considerable festive dexterity by capturing all three in illuminated guise. I know. Flash as.

Local Politico in Blue Light Special! Posters of these cheesey gits are everywhere. Wonder what they do for Guy Fawkes?

It wouldnt be right to not include Gland Belly in every post on this blog. If I was more technically able I would include the sound that goes with the lighting. Hows that for a teaser. Ho ho ho!

I managed to craftily obscure the Gap logo with a tree. No free advertising for those capitalist infidels. Of course, if they were to offer me a modest sum, I could reconsider my high falutin’ moral stand and possibly publish the photograph showing the signage in it’s azure glory.

If I were halfway capable of capturing a decent image with my idiotproof camera, you would be able to see that this is a bitchin’ly cool looking pooch with a styling blue strobe attached to its neck. But, no, no and sadly not.

It seems that Im not the only one who knows that there is a mall here. So who told? Was it you Winston? Was it due to the Ha Ha! thing?

Its not that I am incapable of taking a clear photograph of people moving at night – they were moving really fast. To Gap. To take advantage of their fabulous Xmas savings. Of course.

It’s a craftily efficient gardner who illuminates the weeds for Crimble… Might even be able to put off the weeding until Sangatsu.

To make you feel that you are at Gland Belly with the rest of us, first, to the right…

…then to the left. Woohoo!

The glowing blue deer of Minami Machida. Not many blogs you’ll see those on. For some reason.

Putting both my skulking and lurking skills into play, I managed to sneak up on some of the glowing blue deer of Minami Machida. Just for you. Ho ho ho! Meeery Xmas!

Not sure why they placed the two round things at the base of the long thing. Maybe the Gland Belly Xmas Taskforce After Dark Bright And Flashy Amusements Designer was playing funny buggers.

We managed to get away from Gland Belly in order to do some nocturnal lurkmongering around our Turuma neighbourhood, thus ensuring that foreigners will be viewed with suspicion by locals for many moons yet.

This poor Pegasus was slowly flapping its wings, possibly in an attempt to escape, but the suburban festive overlords had tethered it to the ground. I would have tried to assist it, but who knew which of the overlords were watching. Not I.

Fly blurry horsey! Like the wind! To be free! Or alternatively, stick around for the first three days of the New Year when tradition dictates that you must drink sake for breakfast! Tough jobs’n all…

Most streets in Japan dont have names – the Americans insisted that they did during the occupation, but after they sodded off, the Japanese gleefully un-named the byways again. The thought of which entertains me enough to outweigh the inconvenience of not being able to find my way anywhere. So directions to somewhere generally rely on landmarks and suchlike. You can imagine my disappointment after seeing this decoration, that nobody has asked me to direct them about the area (suprisingly, not once since I arrived, actually. I had thought that I had begun to disguise my directional fecknessless, but no.), so I could guide them past the bare limbed tree with the glowing golden knobs. Actually, if at some stage somebody does ask me for directions, I might try to assist them in haiku form. That’ll guarantee repeat custom!

I suspect that these are Glowing Pegasus droppings, but I couldnt find an expert in such matters to confirm this and flappy old Dobbin wasnt too communicative.

Dodgy old Tri-Santa – performing the time tested wall-shimmy break in again. I would have called the rozzers, but Im keeping a low profile after my last Glowing Pegasus liberation attempt.

Here he is trying to get into the old duffers home across the way from our place. Im wondering if I turn up with my oatmeal chopsticks one morning, whether they would feed me a hot breakfast.

Saving what is quite obviously the best for last, here is our contribution to the festively efficient wonder of our neighbourhood. As you can probably see, we had to keep all of the other lights off in order to power our display, but I think it was worth it.


Slightly warmer. But still not enough for sandals.

Posted in Bah. Winter., Gran Touristmo, plantlife. and death. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

Unable to help myself, I plunged back into hippydom at the local park. I cant seem to stop the clickery when the leaves go all aka. Maybe Ive gone all aka in the atama. I blame the weather. And those damn F-18 flying Americans, with all the booming and roaring and carrying on. Meh.

Hey! This is kiro, not aka! Kuso!

Not too many large dogs to be seen here. Maybe because the poo bags (what’d you call me?) are only available in small sizes. Or the chiisai houses. Or maybe large dogs are less efficient.

I dont subscribe to the notion that a red bag enables you to sneak up on the tree to take a photo before it realises you are there. In fact I prefer to whirl like a dervish and shriek like a banshee, so the tree has ample warning of my intentions. Doesnt sit too well with the natives, but I havent heard the trees complaining. Too much.

Here’s a new one. It’s a tree. With red leaves. That’s right. Purdy.

For a short time the train drowned out my whirling and shrieking. Only a short time, so dont worry – Im ok. Anyway, how are you?

Here are some nice seats, so you can relax under a tree with red leaves. Whilst people go to the toilet behind you. Hopefully using the facilities provided.

Mitte! Mitte! One of the red-leafed trees has escaped from the park!

Dont worry – turbo here will catch the other one.

These yellow fellows (heh) glowed in the sunlight for about three weeks in an almost ethereal manner. Then it blew like a (whatever!) a couple of days ago and now the trees are naked as a (whatever!) on Grand Finals night. I think nature decided that they were getting a bit smarmy in their finery. Also, a frigid anti-cyclone blew over from the Asian mainland. “Gosh – it’s brisk!”, is probably what I may have exclaimed at the time, given my well known aversion to profanity.

After the excitement of our adventures in the park, we stepped out for some Minami Machida night action. Here is a blurry capture of the madness of Route 16 when the sun has Run To The Hills. The apartment building (manshon in the local parlance) in the background actually has no residents. But they can leave the lights on because we dont have to worry about running out of power here. Ahh – plutonium. Or uranium. Ha ha – I said!

This is looking toward Yokohama. Dont be shy. Say Konbanwa.

And this is west, toward… ahh… China.

Leave it to Japan to provide an efficient way to get off of the bridge.

Im pretty sure that it is easier to sneak up on a tree at night, but I whirled and shrieked anyway.

Little did the locals realise, that a nattily behatted gaijin was skulking about, stealing stouls in the early evening gloom.

Of Doom!

More gloom… And then…

…the dazzling wonderousness of the bicycle parking lot. Here wait the steeds of the Bikers of the Night. Most have Baskets of the Night on the handlebars.

Not just any bicycle parking lot. This one is beholden to Gland Belly itself. Which is all snazzed up for Xmas.

Local folklore suggests that if you wish to find an Eskimo, firstly check beneath the glowing tree.

I sat beneath this glowing tree, but the Eskimo were scarce. Perhaps startled by my whirling and shrieking.

The excitement of glowing trees lessened somewhat, but may return when I find another Eskimo.

Now there’s a funny word to put on your shop.

The quickest way home happens to pass one of the local Ferrari dealerships, which is a shame…

It’s too cold to wear sandals…

Posted in plantlife. and death., purdy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

…but I can still take hippy photos.

Sunday was sunny as all heck, but samui to the same degree, so we stepped out for a sampo with the trusty soul stealer. I have it on good authority that this garden wouldnt cut it in Kyoto, but we werent in Kyoto. Or at Fuji Speedway for the Nismo Festival. Or at Odaiba for the MSC Exhibition. So I’ll start with a couple of cars that made me blabber on like a gaijin car otaku…

I was all upset because Id missed getting a shot of a very nice Hakosuka Skyline as I had handed the camera to the missus for a moment, but 30 seconds later this F40 blasted by on Route 16. This location is smack bang (wallop?) between two closely situated Ferrari shops. So there you go.

Fortunately my dream car-isms are at a slightly more realistic fiscal level, although still wholly impractical for my current situation. This Nissan Gloria is kind of a chrome laden regression from my much missed A31 Cefiro. I.e. perfect.  And the colour is flash as. Dull mud perhaps? Anyway, moving right along…

As you may know, it doesnt take much to reduce me to slack jawed yokelism, and this has been happening more frequently since Ive been in Japan. But really. These trees are insanity plus. I saw them for the first time on Saturday, when it was as overcast as the Nissan Gloria’s paintjob, so when it dawned bright & cold on Sunday it was photo opportunity!!!! time. Without doubt. In case you had any.

Heh heh. Purdy.

Thats rustic, that is.

In a few weeks, all of these leaves will be gone! Then it will be winter! Of Doom!



I know. You wanted to see the shed again. Here you go. Caring and sharing. Thats the way.

Ok ok ok ok. Ok. One more of the shed. But please stop asking.

I thought that keeping the wall in the bottom (ha ha I said!) of the shot would make it look better. Seems I was wrong…

A cheesy through the hole (ha ha! I said) in the wall shot to finish.

Cheers Japanese Nature!

There are even more (Noooooooo!!!) photos in this flickr set:

Some look pretty flash in larger sizes.