ICHIGO ICHIE, KYOTO
"Misutaa Supaakoru"

I want these.

"Misutaa Supaakoru"

I want these.

This video is part of VICE Japan’s series 密着24時 (micchaku nijuuyonji) or “A Day With…” series where they basically find someone interesting and follow them around for a day.

This particular video focuses on someone who might just be Hatsune Miku’s biggest fan.

Given his extreme interest in all things Miku, Gonta is a surprisingly sane, well adjusted person. Though the blue-haired character is a big part of his life, he sees her as a hobby or interest rather than a real person or substitute for a girlfriend.

Hopefully one day he can find a girl who loves Miku (almost) as much as he does, I’m sure they would be very happy!

So today at work I lost the key to my bike. I still don’t really know how this happened seeing as I had managed to go eight months without losing the key, and I always kept it in the same place, but this evening it seemed to just disappear off the face of the earth. Maybe I dropped it somewhere or something. Who knows. It might as well have been swallowed up by the earth.

A reasonable person, faced with this predicament, would probably cut their losses and walk home, bus to work the next day and see if the key turns up, then if not consider their options for replacing the lock.

I considered that, then decided that instead I would attempt carting the bike up the road to the nearest bike shop. The lock only stops the front wheel from turning, so it’s possible to move the bike if you just lift up the front part. It just makes you look like a strange, suspicious person trying to make off with a stolen bike.

These are just the kinds of things that I do.

I’m kind of small but stronger than I look, and I’ve moved a lot of furniture in my day, so I figured this made me qualified to carry a bicycle for the few blocks to the shop.

I probably could have done it, it just would have taken me a really long time. But I didn’t get far before I found myself being stared at by three new first-year students on their way to the bus stop after finishing their first day of classes, who insisted on helping after I explained what I was doing, red-faced.

So we all ended up carrying the bike up the hill together, garnering more than a few strange looks in the process. Bicycles are kind of heavy, but easier to carry with four people than to cart along by yourself. The shop was still open, and happy to replace the lock as long as I presented some ID.

And it turns out I’ll be seeing those students in class on Friday, so there’s that.

10-year illustrator Mondo Okumura has a talent for portraits. While, as you could expect from a 10-year old boy, he has a somewhat skewed sense of proportion, he still manages to capture the essence of his subject remarkably well.

Common subjects include older musicians, as Mondo often peruses his father’s record collection searching for ideas for who to draw.

The combination of Mondo’s obvious talent for caricature and sometimes jarring childish rendition of proportions makes for interesting results.

I couldn’t help but remember the Picasso quote:

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

See more here

Wise words from a hipster kitty.

Wise words from a hipster kitty.

It’s sakura (cherry blossom) season here in Japan. For many, this means having picnics under the trees and getting drunk in the middle of the day under the pretense of looking at flowers, in an event known as hanami (花見) - literally “flower viewing”.

For others it means heading to the nearest park or temple to admire (and snap countless photos of) the blossoms, something which I tried out myself and which you can see the results of here. Because everyone likes to think that they are a photographer sometimes.

If you want to take the perfect seasonally appropriate profile picture, you might even dress up in your favourite pastel pink outfit and head down to your nearest public garden to take a selfie in front of the trees. If you do this, you’re probably putting way too much thought into things.

I’d seen cherry blossoms before in New Zealand, but the sakura trees in Kyoto are a lot more numerous than those back in my home country. Some of the trees are huge, and they remind me of giant clouds of cotton candy.

Pretty as they are, the blossoms are notoriously short-lived. In full bloom last weekend, many of the trees have already shed most of their flowers. The petals flutter down softly like confetti. It’s really rather pleasant.

I personally like to view the short life of the blossoms as a reminder that everything beautiful dies.

This documentary from VICE Japan about hosts in Kabukicho is actually fascinating! Crazy stuff.

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