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Something Old, Something New, Something Shinjuku

Every trip to Japan I’ve ever made (layovers in NRT not included) have been on corporate business, and looking through my pictures, I realize that I have remarkably few good photos from that amazing land. I found a shot from 2002 made on an old Nikon E5700, which was only 1.9 megapixels! A little different than today’s gear, no?

But there was this one shot I really liked, taken from the 48th floor of Opera City Tower (anyone know who’s offices are there? Hmmm?), and I figured I’d see what I could do with it in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro II.

View of Tokyo, Japan from the 48th floor of the Opera City Tokyo BuildingView of Tokyo, Japan from the 48th floor of the Opera City Tokyo Building @ Nov 2002 | Nikon E5700 @ ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/90

Not too bad, considering the source! Sure there’s not a lot of details in the highlights, but it’s still pretty cool.



Yakitori [update] (was: Teppanyaki)

One night in Harajuku we got a recommendation for a teppanyaki place (hey I can't keep all these names right… so sue me!). The map was scribbled by a guy in a store for us, and it wasn't much to go on, but we found it!

the "map"

Verdict? It was good -- real good. The fried chicken was to die for. The chicken and onion, delicious. A kind of korean beef/rice/kimchi bowl was amazing. And the fried squid balls… well… ok maybe not so much. But we tried whatever we could figure out from the menu! Delicious.

As you can see in the pictures, the place had a great atmosphere. The walls were wallpapered with menu items and descriptions, the tables low and the rickety stools even lower. It was packed with mostly young people, but also a few suits. Our waitress was very helpful and knew a few words in English; enough to help us figure out a few things to order. There was one very excitable server with enough metal in her face to trigger a TSA security alert, and she kept coming by yelling at us in Japanese. We never did figure out what she wanted.

Name: Unkown name… see the sign below and translate it for me!

Address: some side street in Harajuku

View Larger Map

rating: 4 feet

verdict: great food, fun ambiance, if you can find it and figure out what to order, do it!


I went back to Harajuku this morning and found the restaurant. I still have no idea where it is on the map, but here are some photos. It's still called "squiggle squiggle line" until I can get someone to translate for me.

yeah that's right… I had the picture upside-down before. Get over it.




Catching up a bit here… the other night in Harajuku, we arrived late and hungry, and the power of sweet things overtook the urge to shop. We saw dozens of girls running around with these delicious looking crêpes and decided we each needed one. We found the source of the sweet pancakey goodness, and got in line. We realized after a few moments that we were the only men standing in line of a cute little pink shack and wondered how long it'd be before we started getting looks. Answer: not long at all. The line was moving too slow and we did have shopping to do, so we vacated and kept moving. Fortunately we found another one down the road, no waiting.

OK this isn't France but these were still pretty good. Mmmmm…




This city is remarkably clean. There is virtually no litter, even in the subways. Which is really remarkable considering I couldn't find a trash can in the subway to discard of my Starbucks cup… I literally carried my empty cup across the city before I found somewhere to trash it! In most American cities, with no trash can in sight people would just throw their trash on the ground. Not here. It's wonderful to see.