Apartments behind the barricade- abandoned

MJG Haikyo, Residential, Tokyo-to 11 Comments

The Osawa Apartments Haikyo in Sagamihara is a high-walled preserve for the recent past, shuttered in behind a plate-metal security fence 15 feet high. Outside the fence traffic races by on a highway slip road, and elementary school children play baseball in their school yard. Inside those sounds are deadened, and nothing moves but for the steady slow creep of vines, spreading like a green blanket over the cracked car parks and up the dusty building’s sides. Around the complex bicycles lie rusted in fallen racks, tangled through with weeds, and 6-mat rooms rest empty behind locked screen doors, their …

Red Blossom Restaurant

MJG Haikyo, Restaurants, Tokyo-to 9 Comments

The Red Blossom Restaurant Haikyo on the Lake Tama ring road rests as a peaceful shrine to the yin and yang of Nature, showing in gentle tones both her power to tear down the old, and raise up the new. The restaurant itself sits on a small hill like a rusted old tank, off-kilter, gap-toothed, and leering to the side. Numerous small wooden dining huts ring its sloping hillside like sleeping tors, marking out the seasons’ passage as they slowly slip from their struts and descend in arrested free-fall to the earth. At their center, a beautifully twisted cherry-tree blossoms, …

1st HDR photograph

MJG Uncategorized 8 Comments

HDR imaging is a fascinating sub-branch of photography that I just became aware of. HDR means High Dynamic Range, which basically means you have a photograph with a heck of a lot of information in it, spanning a range of lights through darks impossible to capture in a regular photograph. Here is my first HDR effort- taken from my 3rd floor balcony.

Sarah Jessica Parker Coke

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 6 Comments

They love Sarah Jessica Parker in Japan. When Sex and the City came out in Tokyo the city was fire-stormed with an advertising campaign pimping the four women and their lifestyle everywhere you looked, in fashion magazines, food magazines, on buses, on big LCD-and-loudspeaker-packing humvees parading around Shibuya, on TV shows, in books, everywhere. Did you see Sarah Jessica Parker on a Coke can though? The chances are you didn’t, as to my knowledge these cans were never released for commercial sale- only used as giveaways and incentives for raving Sex and the City fans.

Akasaka Love Hotel

MJG Haikyo, Sex Industry, Tokyo-to 26 Comments

The Akasaka Love Hotel Haikyo reminds us of the importance of that old adage: ‘location location location’. Situated at the far end of a strip of Love Hotels on the lake’s ring road, it’s clear this place suffered for lack of passing traffic. Now its forecourt and parking lot are bouldered with rotten 80’s styled furniture, burnt-out cars, and avalanches of mounded pillows. Inside, its gaudy rooms still sing of forbidden pleasures, the walls plastered with bright helios, lurking cheetahs, and naked Bathsheba’s, though I doubt any lusty couples have joined in their bawdy chorus for some time. Cheetahs slinking …

Superior Japanese Knives

MJG Ads / Signs, Japan 7 Comments

Sometimes you just have to know where the knives be at. Sometimes you’ll be cooking a goose, and need to trim that darn bird. Othertimes you need to sew your pants up and you need a darn knife to cut a thread. Other times you just need to stick a knife in a darn tomato and carve it like a jack-o-lantern. So when I saw this crazy ad in the Shimbashi Caretta mall tourist zone, alongside ads and directions for 100-yen stores, limousine buses, and foreign exchange spots, I knew that something had gone very right in the world. A …

Ruins of the US Air Force Base in Fuchu, Japan

MJG Haikyo, Military Installations, Tokyo-to

The abandoned US Air Force (USAF) base in Fuchu is a vine-slathered memento from the early days of Japanese/American war and peace, built shortly after World War II and abandoned in the 1980’s. Part of it was cut off and made into a public park, part cut out and transformed into the the still-active nearby Japan Self-Defence Force (SDF) Base, and part left behind, slowly falling into ruin, for nature to claim as her own. New antenna, old antenna in Fuchu Air Base. Fuchu was an Air Base vital for re-supply and communications during the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Two …