Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized 0 Comments

BBC– A Florida couple pay $150,000 to clone their dog. Crazy. It’s really happening. Tokyo Otaku– Great post on the Tocho- government building in Shinjuku. I’ve got my own photos and post lined up, won’t post for a few weeks though now. Mike’s Blender– Crazy old Mike reviews chocolate-covered squid. He actually eats it. Respect. Youtube– Japanese TV show mime-attacks …

Memories of Nichitsu 4. The Dr.’s brain in a jar

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Hospitals, Saitama 26 Comments

Nichitsu is a tiny little village huddled in a chilly mountain pass, far from the nearest population center. Come an emergency the Doctor’s office would have been the only ER, so its few rooms were crammed full of equipment, now forgotten and lying in shadow: rusted iron operating tables, toppled X-ray machinery, birthing stirrups lying in puddles of water and …

Fortune City

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 2 Comments

I started talking out loud around 3, I think. It’s a sweltering day, but that’s no excuse. It’s more to do with the height, I think. The wind rushing in my ears and I couldn’t hear a damn thing I was thinking. What was I saying? Oh. I started saying things like this. “I really want a tuna sandwich, I …

Yoyogi Poodlers

MJG Japan, People / Culture 2 Comments

Yoyogi Park is the consummate Japanese melting pot- perhaps the most varied and vivid spot in the whole country. On any given weekend you’ll find Cosplayers and Rockabillies near the entrance, frisbee throwers and spinners, hula-hoopers, and dudes doing comedy in leather face masks in the first stretch, African drumming groups, badmintonners, the artist with the stereo, the cyclist with …

Nanchatte Orange Soy Sauce

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 5 Comments

Soy Sauce is ubiquitous in Japan- the Japanese splash it on everything with gay abandon: fried fish, chicken bones, california rolls, potatoes, ice cream, tea. You name it- they condimentize it with soy sauce. Some soy sauce companies- perhaps following their brethren in the candy and snack world- have taken to augmenting their soy with extra awesome flavors; in this …

DoCoMo Tower, Shinjuku

MJG Architecture 6 Comments

The Docomo Tower in Shinjuku soars over the Southern exit / Yoyogi area like a great pink middle finger, thumbing its nose at the graceless cluster-bomb mess of old-modern Shinjuku with its super-sleek lines, haute-couture design domination, and clean parallels to other auspicious buildings like Big Ben and the Empire State Building. At 492 feet high, it houses 28 stories …

Ikebukuro Jingle Key-Chain

MJG Japan, Toys / Games 18 Comments

Train Stations in Japan have jingles; at least the stations on the JR Yamanote line do- when the trains pull in and when they pull out. They’re bright, cheery, and last about 10 seconds. I suppose they let us know- OK, now it’s time to get on the train. Now it’s time to get off. Oops, mind the gap! Each …

Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized 0 Comments

Yoyogi Rockabillies – Excellent music video showing the Yoyogi Rockers teasing their hair, getting set, revving motorbikes, and of course- dancing. Tokyo Green Island– Tokyo Photo-shopped to be paved with grass. Nice- I saw these first at the National Art Museum’s ‘Media Arts Festival’ near Roppongi. Ugly Tokyo – Billy West takes shots of ugly city wires and bad city-planning. …

Nichitsu 3. A fire truck in the ghost town

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Saitama 5 Comments

Nichitsu Ghost Town stretches for around a kilometer, from the semi-functioning mine shacks at the mouth of the last tunnel, up past the Junior High School, the heavily dilapidated wooden apartments, and buildings stacked off the steep hillside on concrete supports, round a hill of white lime-chips, past the Doctor`s office hidden somewhere in the thicket of buildings, up to …

Universal Time

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 2 Comments

I’m working the deep 7 run again. Last time I was out here, must’ve been pre-schism. Before the split, and opinion divided the universe. -Blah blah. That’s what my mistress says, when I try to discuss politics. -All I can hear is blah blah. I suppose she reckons I don’t know more than anybody else, but maybe that’s not true …

Ryogoku Sumo

MJG Japan, People / Culture 12 Comments

Sumo is the traditional Japanese sport, beloved of retirees and tourists alike. On any tournament day at the Kokugikan in Ryogoku you can see them lining up for tickets at the single ticket box; the old folks nose-deep in their rikishi listings, the tourists in their guidebooks, coming up for air every now and then wide-eyed with anticipation, wondering if …

Kiwi Pocky

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 3 Comments

Pocky have been coming in a wild and weird range of souped-up flavors for decades- I myself have witnessed creme brulee, deep-sea tuna, cauliflower-mango, and flugelberry (oddly enough- a flavor pioneered by the Beatles!). But this new flavor- kiwi, that just takes the cake. Even better- this is tsubu tsubu kiwi- which translates roughly to- kiwi pocky like your mother …

Edo-Tokyo Museum, Ryogoku

MJG Architecture 13 Comments

The Edo-Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku is one of the ugliest and most pointless buildings I’ve yet seen in Tokyo. A giant clunky trapezoid on 4 legs in grey concrete, fissured with juts and wedges and all manner of go-faster stripes, layered with a shrine-like blocky hat, faced with a child-like mosaic paddling pool, dashed round with white umbrella-like gazebos, it …

Weekly Links

MJG Uncategorized 0 Comments

Every Saturday I’ll be posting a list of links I’ve enjoyed in the previous week (if I’ve found any, if I can be bothered): Something Wicked Zine – Buy a copy now! Colbert Report – Enjoy the satiric news comedy of Stephen Colbert via streaming. TOHO Cinemas Roppongi – Great resource for finding out movie times and booking tickets. Andrew …

Nichitsu 2. Elementary school in a Ghost Town

MJG Ghost Towns, Haikyo, Saitama, Schools 16 Comments

At the dead-end of a blast-hewn road snaking up through the mountains north of Tokyo, imprisoned by sheer moss-rocked walls looming overhead like rotting Gothic colonnades, the Nichitsu mine ghost town lies in wait, wreathed in a low mist and perennially dusk-lit by the overhanging crags. It hums with a crippling weight of nostalgia, of enfolded memories playing out again …