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X-E1@東京: Still Water · I bought a tick­et on the Tokyo air­port bus leav­ing from near the Google of­fice and thought my fun with the new cam­era was over; but I was wrong. A half-hour wait pro­voked a ran­dom stroll which brought me to a lit­tle tee­ny shrine down a lit­tle tee­ny al­ley ...
 
X-E1@東京: Wheels · Ah, the cam­era and the mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cle; both blos­somed last cen­tu­ry but are go­ing strong. Let’s ap­ply the first to the sec­ond and do it with a new cam­era in Toky­o. What’s not to like? Shame­less plug: In­cludes my per­son­al fa­vorite pic­ture in this se­ries ...
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X-E1@東京: Shades of Grey · I’m a col­or guy; but some pic­tures cry out for B&W. Th­ese are both from Ki­tanomaru Park, which I rec­om­mend to any­one for a walk, what­ev­er the weath­er. There are mu­se­ums about, and the Bu­dokan; if that name rings a bell in your head this is prob­a­bly why. Al­so it’s just a nice gar­den; the botanically-inclined will ap­pre­ci­ate the care­ful la­bel­ing ...
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X-E1@東京: Gates · The event that took me to Tokyo with a new cam­era was in Chiy­o­da, which is to say right next to the Im­pe­ri­al palace. On two suc­ces­sive days, I took the op­por­tu­ni­ty to go vis­it; once to Ki­tanomaru Park, and once to the East Gar­den it­self. Pic­tures to­day from the lat­ter ...
 
X-E1@東京: Cylinders · On Day Two of the new-camera-in-Tokyo trail let’s move grad­u­al­ly from peo­ple to ge­om­e­try. Be­cause any city has lots of that ...
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X-E1@東京: People · So, I took the new cam­era to Tokyo and came back with pic­tures, which will in­hab­it this space for the next few days. For most, I’m not gonna claim they’re “typical”; but these are. If you’re go­ing to show the truth about 東京, it has to be peo­ple. Be­cause its build­ings and cars and streets and so on are most­ly noth­ing spe­cial, but the peo­ple who live among them are ...
 
Fujifilm X-E1 · What hap­pened was, this month in­cludes trips to Tokyo and the Big Is­land. And late­ly I’ve been read­ing about cam­eras full of shiny new ideas. So I de­cid­ed to in­dulge my­self; here are way too many words about the state of cam­eras in gen­er­al and in par­tic­u­lar the one I bought ...
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GDD in Yokohama · I was part of the en­ter­tain­ment at the re­cent GDD Tokyo 2011; I guess nobody’s feel­ings are hurt if you hold a Tokyo-branded event down in Yoko­hama ...
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Bar Android & Twicca · On Mon­day night­s, this funky lit­tle tee­ny second-floor bar in Shibuya be­comes Bar An­droid, a gath­er­ing place for An­droid geek­s. This last Mon­day, which was Hallowe’en, I wen­t; what a blast, and I got a new Twit­ter clien­t ...
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Hills Tower · Rop­pon­gi is a dis­trict in Tokyo that I don’t much like; Rop­pon­gi Hills is a glis­ten­ing tem­ple of ul­tra­mod­ernism that I can’t avoid be­cause the Google of­fices are there. It’s all very nice­ly done but fla­vor­less in an in­ter­na­tion­al way. I will say that, par­tic­u­lar­ly now with the Tokyo In­ter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val in pro­gress, there are more drop-dead cool out­fits (for both gen­der­s) walk­ing around than I’ve seen in one place for a long time ...
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The Robot Road · In an epic travel-planning fail­ure, dur­ing the last 14 days I’ve found my­self in Tokyo and then Århus, Den­mark, to talk in pub­lic, most­ly about An­droid, but most­ly re­al­ly to learn things. Here are some of them ...
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Other Tokyo · Tokyo is one of the most glam­orous and in­tense places in the world. I’ve pho­tographed it a lot, and my pic­tures tend to re­flect that. But on re­turn­ing from my most re­cent trip, along with the usu­al stuff, there were some dis­tinct­ly unglam­orous pho­to­s. Not that good; but I thought they told in­ter­est­ing sto­ries ...
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Upcoming Gig — GDD Tokyo · GDD stands for Google Devel­op­er Day; since not ev­ery­one can come to Google I/O, we take I/O on the road to var­i­ous points in sev­er­al con­ti­nents and both hemi­spheres. GDD Tokyo, on Septem­ber 28th, is 2010’s first; I’ll be help­ing out there talk­ing An­droid in the keynote. I as­sume the Tokyo Googlers will find some­thing else use­ful to do while I’m there. Reg­u­lar read­ers here know that I have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with Tokyo — can’t wait to be back.
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Public Execution? · See, here they are, heads bowed to re­ceive the blow ...
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Dirty Rainbow · I snagged the front cen­ter seat on the Nari­ta bus so I had a panoram­ic view for­ward; the haze of jet­lag and post-speech let­down was bit­ing hard as the Nis­san Diesel grum­bled up on­to the Rain­bow Bridge. The ar­chi­tec­tural mad­ness around Tokyo Bay soars white on cream on beige on black in the fil­tered sun against the shit-coloured Tokyo Novem­ber af­ter­noon sky and when you’re weak­ened you can kid your­self that it all fits to­geth­er and makes sense some­how, but it doesn’t. It can’t be pho­tographed and it can’t be de­scribed, you have to see it and you still won’t be­lieve it. It’s just crazy, that’s al­l.
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Shinjuku Cameras · I didn’t have to take off for my first meet­ing till eleven, so I cruised in­to Shin­juku around 9:30 to see what I could do about the slow-camera prob­lem. Which turned out to be about per­fec­t, since it’s Yodabashi’s open­ing time; so I got a leisure­ly look at the stuff with help from the staff. I gath­er the nor­mal Yod­abashi ex­pe­ri­ence is wall-to-wall crush ...
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Narita T2 ANA Lounge · If you trav­el a lot on Star Al­liance and you’re head­ing out of Nar­i­ta, I’d like to rec­om­mend the ANA Lounge in Nari­ta Ter­mi­nal 2, out at the far end around Gate 44. It’s one of the nicest I’ve seen any­where. They have lots of space, com­fy chairs, se­clud­ed cu­bi­cles if you need to buck­le down, de­cent WiFi al­beit with slow DNS, ex­cel­lent draught beer from a way-cool au­to­mat­ed pour­ing ma­chine, a se­lec­tion of fine sakes, veg­e­tar­i­an sushi, and—this is just be­yond brilliant—an Udon/So­ba bar where a cou­ple of wrin­kled old guys will fix you a bowl on de­mand. There are few items I can think of that are more proac­tive­ly ther­a­peu­tic against a 10+-hour flight than a bel­ly­full of light warm salty Ja­panese soup and noodles. If you’re feel­ing burned out and have four or five fine sakes that tends to coun­ter­act the ben­e­fits though. Hm­m­m, up­stairs there’s an ANA “First Class” fa­cil­i­ty I didn’t have suf­fi­cient sta­tus to get in­to. The mind bog­gles at the de­lights that must lie in­sid­e.
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Immediately Upcoming Gig · My col­league & bud­dy Bob Brewin has been yanked away from his sched­uled gig at Web 2.0 Ex­po Tokyo and I was strong­ly kind­ly re­quest­ed to fill in. So, I show up in Tokyo Tues­day af­ter­noon and come home Thurs­day sup­per­time. Oh joy. I like Tokyo but this is sub­op­ti­mal.
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東京 XII: Changing · I’ve been com­ing to Tokyo since 1991 or so, and while Ja­panese cul­ture is of­ten called in­su­lar and set-in-its-ways, the changes have been dra­mat­ic ...
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東京 XI: Lounging · On the Tues­day evening be­fore I left, we had some pure fun, at­tend­ing the “Developer’s Lounge”, or­ga­nized by Sun but at­tend­ed by a menagerie of geek­s, ev­ery fla­vor. Think of a short un­con­fer­ence with free food and beer ...
 
東京 X: Researching · Last Mon­day, we spent some time at the Univer­si­ty of Tokyo, where we talked about Ru­by and so on; quite a change of pace from the rest of the vis­it ...
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東京 IX: Working · This is just a thank-you to a few of my Tokyo col­leagues, but it has my fa­vorite pic­ture from the whole trip ...
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東京 VIII: Shopping · What­ev­er you may say about Toky­o, whether you like it or not, it’s a great place to shop. For se­lec­tion not bar­gain­s; there is lots of stuff you just won’t find any­where else ...
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東京 VII: Drinking · The last cou­ple of months I’ve been in both Tokyo and Lon­don, and I vis­it Sil­i­con Val­ley all the time. Tokyo and Lon­don are like each oth­er, and un­like the Val­ley, in that they have a business-drinking cul­ture. Maybe it’s as sim­ple as the fact that in the Val­ley you have to drive ev­ery­where, and you’d have to be pret­ty booze-hungry, or just sui­ci­dal, to load up be­fore get­ting be­hind the wheel on 280 or 85 or 237 or 101 ...
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東京 VI: Recharging · Tokyo is big and fast and in­tense and it’ll make you tired. And, many months of the year, hot and sweaty too. For­tu­nate­ly, it of­fers a so­lu­tion for these prob­lem­s ...
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東京 V: Playing · I don’t know what Japan’s largest ex­port is, but I think its most im­por­tant ex­port is cul­ture. Pop cul­ture to be pre­cise; there are few places where as you walk the streets you see things you’ll see on fash­ion cat­walks and in TV-show back­drops and and Paper pages this time next year; and Tokyo is one of them ...
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東京 IV: Phoning · Here’s a trav­el tip: When you go to Ja­pan, rent a phone! It doesn’t cost too much mon­ey or time and it sim­pli­fies life in­cred­i­bly. With re­marks on Ja­panese phone cul­ture and a com­plete­ly un­re­lat­ed pic­ture ...
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東京 III: Traveling · Tokyo is huge any way you mea­sure; one of the world’s largest cities by pop­u­la­tion and not built up that high, so it sprawls for­ev­er across the Kantō plain. Even the city’s core, which I would rough­ly say is ev­ery­thing in­side the Ya­man­ote JR Line or walk­a­ble from one of its sta­tion­s, is pret­ty vast. Most times, though, you don’t no­tice be­cause ev­ery­where you go, you go by train, of­ten un­der­ground or with not much of a view ...
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東京 II: Eating · Among all the as­tound­ing things about Toky­o, for me the sin­gle most as­tound­ing is the food busi­ness. The num­ber of restau­rants and cafés and lunch coun­ters and bak­eries and bars and street ven­dors beg­gars de­scrip­tion. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, most of them are good ...
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東京 I: Visiting · Toky­o, you know, it’s like this. After I’ve been there 48 hours I start to go crazy, and there’s this ques­tion: how do the peo­ple man­age? I mean the lousy weath­er and the end­less con­crete and the ab­sence of si­lence, nev­er a rest for the eyes or ears ei­ther, and the crowds and the crowds and the crowd­s ...
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Tokyo · Here I am in su­pe­rul­tra­hy­per­me­gaToky­o. I’m tired ...
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The Ultra-Rare Breed of Chicken · Be­ing a com­pendi­um of im­pres­sions left dur­ing my re­cent short trip to Ja­pan, il­lus­trat­ed with pho­tographs of Makuhari Beach ...
 
People in Tokyo · Last Thurs­day and Fri­day I had a bunch of meet­ings with peo­ple in Tokyo and Chi­ba and thus there are sto­ries and pic­tures ...
 
Tokyo Maytime · I’m here in Tokyo to at­tend the WWW2005 show. I’d thought about try­ing for a geek­s/blog­gers gath­er­ing, but I’m on­ly here briefly and the Sun Ja­pan peo­ple have set me up with a bunch of meet­ings; most­ly with peo­ple who’d like to hear about blog­ging and syn­di­ca­tion. I thought it would be eas­i­er to show than talk, so here­with some words and pic­tures about this trip to Ja­pan ...
 
Asakusa · I just post­ed some old snaps of Japan’s #1 tourist at­trac­tion, and while I was dig­ging through the pix ran across the­se, of Asakusa, a Tokyo shop­ping dis­trict whose name writ­ten pho­net­i­cal­ly in English would be “Asaxa.” Ja­panese words tran­scribed in­to English con­tain many in­stances of the let­ter “u” which are not pro­nounced even though Ja­panese will in­sist fu­ri­ous­ly that they are there (a con­se­quence, I think, of us­ing syl­lab­ics for pho­net­ic read­ings). Asakusa is re­al­ly nice, a good place to shop, eat, and drink, and if you’ve ev­er seen anyone’s tourist snaps of Toky­o, you’ve prob­a­bly seen it; but per­haps not the­se. [Up­dat­ed: A note on Ja­panese pro­nun­ci­a­tion.] ...
 
Tokyo Transit Maps · I'll be go­ing to Tokyo for a W3C TAG meet­ing in Novem­ber, and we're do­ing some lo­gis­tics now months in ad­vance to nail down the meet­ing lo­ca­tion. I love the place, and a late-fall trip has the ad­van­tage that you can do some Christ­mas shop­ping, you just can't beat Tokyo for that. Any­how, this note is just to give you a look at some way-cool tran­sit maps I ran across ...
 
November Tokyo · The sci-fi analo­gies are over­whelm­ing, stream­ing in on 100 chan­nels la­beled "The Sprawl", "Blade Runner", "Fifth Element", you name it, Shibuya in the 8PM rush in the rain, neon ev­ery­thing flares bril­liant­ly off rain-drenched cars and awnings and street­s. Every­one (ev­ery­one, ev­ery­one) has an um­brel­la. I have a leather jack­et and a broad Aus­tralian Akubra and feel pret­ty im­mune to the rain and more ma­neu­ver­able than the umbrella'ed throngs but ev­ery Ja­panese and even ev­ery oth­er gai­jin, even the seedy street mer­chants and black dudes strik­ing homie pos­es out­side the gym-shoe store, has an um­brel­la. I re­solve not to mind stand­ing out ...
 
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