Friday, 28 September 2012

T.G.I.F.: Get Your Otaku On In Kyoto!

T.G.I.F. indeed. It has been a long week for me and thank goodness it is over! Thankfully the weekend is here and this is what ALTs all over Japan wait for; the moment when you can clock off and go out and actually explore Japan. So what's on the card's this Saturday and Sunday?

Well, last weekend Kyoto kicked off Kyoto Cross Media Experience 2012, a 3-month-long celebration of all things anime, filmic and nerdy. It's Kyoto's fourth year to host the event and this year looks set to be just as satisfying as the last! The anime/media festival itself will run between September 21st and December 9th. Of particular note this weekend is a seminar titled "Kyoto Computer Gakuin," in which leading CG animators from Japan, Europe and Taiwan go head to head in what they are calling a "CG Animation Cup" tournament. This event starts at 3pm at the Great Hall of the main building of Kyoto University. It is open to the public to watch so come and help the judges decide who reigns supreme in the world of CG animation! Click here to visit the website and find out more about this tournamentDon't worry if you can't attend in person, you can watch the  official live streaming at Nico Video and YouTube

To find out more about the Kyoto Cross Media Experience festival and what kind of events you can attend, click the image below to visit the official website...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Travel Log: Roaming in Southeast Asia (Part 3)

Departing from Siem Reap at 7am brought us to our destination of Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh by nightfall. We were exhausted, sweaty and irritable (there is only so much listening to your ipod on repeat can do for your boredom). Dinner was served on the riverfront at the rooftop bar of the FCC (Foreign Correspondents' Club) where the geckos in plentiful droves watched us from the awnings and we could watch small fishing vessels chug lazily up the river. We would need energy and a good night's rest for what the following day held for us...

Friday, 21 September 2012

Travel Log: Sumo Matches at Ryogoku Stadium, Tokyo

Last weekend, and few friends and I headed out to the east side of Tokyo to catch some sumo matches at Ryogoku Stadium. It was a pretty amazing day with some stunning sights. Sumo really does incorporate and nurture its traditional Shinto roots. The pomp and pageantry of the whole day was just as exciting as the matches themselves. Check out some of my favourite snaps below!

T.G.I.F.: Shhhhh... "Niji Iro Ninja" Flash Mob

It's a secret! But word on the street is there will be a flash mob in Shibuya, Tokyo tomorrow Saturday the 22nd. The flash mob has been arranged to help promote the "Let's Dance Japan" movement, a group of people who oppose the Japanese government's recently strict enforcement of the dance ban in Japanese clubs. Yes, you read correctly, Japan has banned dancing. It's a complicated issue but you can get more information by reading this article at Stonewall AJET. Basically, during WWII the government brought into effect laws which prevented noisy and reckless behaviour in Japan's night-club districts and this included a ban on dancing. Japan's law enforcers have turned a blind eye to this law (largely due to its obvious ridiculousness) but lately, some have noticed that the dance ban is becoming increasingly and strictly enforced. It is thought that the clubs being targeted in particular are those which support the LGBT community.

If you want to participate in the flash mob and support this cause, here is what you need to know...

WHERE: Shibuya Station, Tokyo, near the Hachiko (dog) statue
TIME: 10pm
WHAT: Flash mob-style dance party!

As far as I know there is no choreography, just freestyle dancing. For more details on the event, click the image below...

P.S.: On a side note, apologies for the lack of posting lately. Work has been hectic and much more so than usual. I am contractually required to have one day a week without any lessons scheduled so I can do lesson planning and complete other jobs (I usually use this time for blogging too) but I haven't had a day off to do so for weeks. I will try harder to get back on track. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Travel Log: Roaming in Southeast Asia (Interlude)

Hello! I'm sorry for the lack of updates on this front. School started back this week and I am mysteriously busier than usual with teaching and helping kids with their college essays. I didn't get a chance to post last week so I will try extra hard to get an update in tomorrow on the 'Roaming in Southeast Asia' series. 

In the mean time, a friend of mine who also went on the same G Adventures tour has posted his super awesome pictures of our trip online in a public album and they so outshone any pictures I had taken previously that I felt like sharing his talent here with you guys. He is an amateur photographer but his photos are really good. Check out the online album by clicking here. Scroll down for a few of my favourite pics from his collection.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tops Tuesdays!

Have a Fast and Furious fetish? Check out this video of an awesome night drive through Tokyo. So awesome in fact, this video makes my 'Tops Tuesdays' post this week...

Friday, 7 September 2012

T.G.I.F.: Sumo Season Begins...

September 9th through 22nd is the official sumo wrestling season in Tokyo, Japan. If you have ever wanted to watch enormous Japanese men in nappies push each other around, now is the time to purchase some tickets and get yourself ringside. 

Click the image below for more information on sumo wrestling from the official website of the Sumo Association, or click here to purchase tickets. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tops Tuesdays!

So, I just found this on Tumblr and I have decided that it is officially the best thing ever. Foodies and wine buffs rejoice...

The "Wine Spa Pool" referred to in the image above is actually the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, a hotel and spa in Hakone, an area famous for onsens (hot springs) catered towards day-trippers from Tokyo. Onsens in Japan are pretty choice but when you consider the option of soaking in some hot mulled wine while knocking back a glass or two of the stuff, there is just no question. And that is real wine too those bathers are swimming in!

Further research revealed that the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun not only offers the option to soak in a wine onsen, but you can also choose from sake, coffee, and green tea options for your soak. Definitely worth a day-trip from Tokyo. Check out their website for more information. Happy Tuesday!

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