Friday, June 11, 2021

Tagayama Fastwalk, part 1

Direct youtube link

First part of a visit to the old Tagayama castle site, across from Ishibashi (stone bridge) park, in Kagoshima city.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Ishibashi Fastwalk, part 2

Direct youtube link


Second part of a visit to Stone Bridge park, and the remains of the Gion no Su cannon battery in Kagoshima City.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Ishibashi Fastwalk, part 1

Direct youtube link

 

 First part of a visit to Stone Bridge park, and the remains of the Gion no Su cannon battery in Kagoshima City. Includes a brief side trip to the landing site of Saint Francis Xavier.

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Thinkrun




Japanese company names confuse me. I recently saw this truck with the "thinkrun" name on it. There's no company logo, and no indication as to what the product or service is. If they sold running shoes, I could accept this as a "Just Do It" thing. If they were a package delivery service, and the logo had the customer thinking and the product being immediately delivered, that would be ok. But, as it is, I'm just left thinking that someone picked random English words out of a dictionary, and that customers use the service because they're easily manipulated.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Shiro Chalk Art




New chalk from Shiro hair salon. I assume this one is a tie-in to Boy's Day (May 5th). Kintaro (Golden Boy) is a very famous folklore story, and some ukyou-e prints show him fighting giant carp. I think this one is just during a lunch break.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Black Ice

Thanks to ko-kun for suggesting imgur. It's clunky, but it works. Last week, I sent an email to MediaFire asking how to bypass their new stupid system, but there's still no reply. I tried using Photobucket again, but they've gone full-subscription, putting a 250 file total upper cap on their "free trial" service, which is useless.  There's no upper limit on the number of files total I can have on imgur, but there are limits on the sizes of the files themselves (fortunately, I resize my files to keep them under 250K, usually), and there's a limit of 50 files a day. This last limit might be a pain if I go to another free live concert, or do a photo montage of some scenic trip, but that's not likely right now (if I have to, I guess I can spread large batches of files over the course of a few days). And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post. Note: I only have 4 day's worth of posts backlogged right now, and it's been raining a lot the last couple of weeks. There aren't any events going on this month that I know of, so I may run into another dry spell here on the blog again soon, anyway.




There's a frozen snack bar called "Black Chocolate Ice Bar." It's basically just frozen chocolate ice. Not even ice milk. It's cheap, so I'll get it occasionally. This time, they're advertising a tie-in with Yu-gi-oh Sevens. But, the trading card can only be obtained on-line.



What happens when you don't practice safe temperature control.

Monday, May 31, 2021

No post today

Sorry, folks. 

MediaFire, the site I've been hosting my photos on, has changed they way they process and provide links to individual photos, and they aren't supplying direct links to the files for embedding in the blog anymore (apparently). I guess I need to start looking around for a new hosting site. In the meantime, this blog has gone on hold.

 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Marker Fish




A new bar-restaurant, Rega-ro, opened up in the old Miracle Chicken location. The boy is Yokanise, the girl is Ogojo.



I just really like the quality of the marker art on the sign.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

VS Chocolate Egg




I don't know this series. It's the third of the egg series I found at the supermarket for 210 yen ($2 USD). It seems to be a combat match-up between fantasy animal monsters. This one, a deer with wings.



10 monsters total, set up in "versus" pairs.



The actual toy is a floppy little 1" long glow-in-the-dark rubbery plastic thing. It glows just fine, but as a combat toy, it's down-right ridiculous. Again, the chocolate egg is good, but it's really not worth more than 75 cents.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Pokemon Chocolate Egg




The second Furuta egg series is Pokemon.



210 yen ($2 USD). 1" tall.



Head like ferro-fluid.
At least the chocolate is good. Worth half the price though.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Conan Chocolate Egg




I've seen these chocolate eggs from Furuta at konbini (the Japanese version of convenience stores), and Don Quixote (Donkey). But, I've never noticed them at supermarkets before. The local chain, Shiroyama, had three different series. The first was for Case Closed (Meitantei Shonan Conan).



The eggs are 210 yen each ($2 USD).



They're hollow milk chocolate eggs, with a small plastic capsule inside.



The capsules contain small toys that usually need to be assembled. This one I think is Gin (I don't follow the manga very closely). He's about 1.5" tall.



He's well-designed, but his hair looks like bad spaghetti.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Busking Bad




Usually, live music events are scheduled and held in the plaza in front of the main train station. However, there's a cross-under tunnel that runs under the main streets to the Aeon department store one block away, as well as to the bus circles in front of Amu Plaza. Occasionally, this guy, or someone similar, will set up a portable amplifier, and knock themselves out to anyone walking by. The problem is that generally, they're really, really bad.



This guy was horrible, accompanying himself on a tennis racket.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Trombone Spring Chalk




"Rain, rain, go away."



We've been getting a lot of heavy rain lately...

Monday, May 24, 2021

Real Gold - Touch




Coca-Cola Corp. owns the Real Gold "genki drink" brand. Genki drinks are essentially carbonated caffeine plus sugar and maybe some vitamins and minerals. A little while back, I was walking past a vending machine, and was surprised to see an empty can (used as an ash tray) sitting on the ground next to it, featuring Touch manga character artwork, since there's no advertising for it anywhere on the machine (or any other machine I've see so far). I bought a can right there, and it was also for Touch. I can't find anything on the Real Gold website announcing a manga campaign of any sort, but there is an ad on youtube showing characters from really old Shonen Jump manga.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Matcha Kitkats




I know I said I wasn't going to buy another bag of matcha Kitkats, because I've had them before and they weren't all that special. However, the Don Quijote shop I've been getting them from had two different-colored bags for the same flavor, which I thought was a bit strange. Anyway, I've been sharing them with some of my friends, so, why not?



Again, they're waxy, and the flavors are much weaker than the scents are. These Kitkat minis just barely taste like Japanese green tea, and aren't anywhere near bitter enough.

"Go-shujin-sama, break shimasen?" ("Master, won't you break do?")

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Heron Photos




Just a couple random heron photos taken in 2018 with the little pocket camera.
These are the last of the old photos from the "temp" directories.



Friday, May 21, 2021

2018 Dog Ema




2018 was the Chinese and Japanese Year of the Dog. The small shrine in Tenmonkan gave away free ema (wooden shrine plaques) for people to put their wishes on and put up next to the shrine.



Wishing for world peace.



There were 3 designs in total.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Parking Lot Pavers




About 3 years ago, I created a folder on my computer for holding photos that I wasn't prepared to post on my blog. For some, I was waiting for a second event to take place so I could post them all together. For others, I just didn't like the images as a whole, and hesitated on uploading them right away. Finally, I decided to go through the "temp" folders, and upload what I could, and delete the rest. Turns out that there's really no more than 10 usable photos from several different directories, And here are the first few.

Back in the Fall of 2018, the City tore down an old vending machine-style parking building, and replaced it with a more western-type parking lot. As they were finishing the driveway into and out of the building, they had the concrete polishers at work. It's clever, but I'm not sure how it compares to American practices.




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sling Shots - Kamikaze




I go to Donkey (Don Quijote) at least once a week, because they have discounts on tissue, toilet paper, paper towels and Doritos. They also have a large liquor section, some of which is right next to the door, where kids walk by to get into the shop (Japan isn't as stiff-necked about isolating minors from adult reality). A few months ago, I noticed these little cup cylinder packs on the shelf next to the snack chips, and eventually my curiosity got the best of me. They're mostly colorful cocktail shots, like Fuzzy Navel, Sex on the Beach, etc. This one is supposedly for the Kamizake.



The packaging is interesting, but also misleading. At least 30% of the cup is empty plastic. The drink itself also tastes a little like plastic. It's about 1 liquid ounce. It's not a true Kamikaze, either, since the classic recipe is equal parts vodka, Triple Sec and lime juice. This is just Triple Sec and some lime liquor. I guess the idea is to throw it into the freezer, take it out after a couple hours, take off the lid and then shoot it straight from the cup.

The thing about the cup is that it has a spiral separator in the middle keeping the two flavors apart. There are three cups for 600 yen (about $1.80 US apiece). I tried the first cup as a shooter, and the spiral shape always traps part of one flavor in the corner of the twist. So, I poured the other two cups into a larger glass, to get all the liquid out, and then drank that mixed together. Meh. Not that much alcohol, and it's really just cheap sugared syrup. Not worth the money. I'm better off getting the real liquors and making the drinks myself.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Doraemon Choco Cup




I found this chocolate-covered puffed corn snack in the discount section at Donkey for about 70 yen ($0.65 USD), and figured that I might as well get it for the blog.



The chocolate is just marginal, and the puffed corn snacks are mostly air. They're not bad, just not worth spending much money on.



Each cup comes with a small sticker from the TV anime. This one is the "Ai Ai Parasol," which makes anyone standing under it (or holding it) fall in love.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Ichioshi Chalk




There's a kind of Japanese chiropractic massage clinic near my apartment. I walk by it at least twice a day. Recently, the owner put out this sign. "Ichioshi" is "recommended." The rest of the sign talks about a new treatment, and a 500 yen discount. Appointments accepted. The thing is, I don't know why he has the picture of Conan from Case Closed on the sign, outside of the purely commercial reasons. It's drawn pretty well, in any case.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

New Kagoshima Streetcar Platform




The Kagoshima Tram station got rebuilt. I was down in that area a couple weeks ago, filming another fastwalk (this time for Stonebridge Park), and decided to take a couple photos.







This is the new Kagoshima train station, next door. The construction in the area isn't quite finished yet. They're putting in a new bus circle, and I expect there will also be some landscaping between the buildings.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Conan Poster




Big wall poster advertising the latest Conan movie. Given how much everyone gets banged up in this anime, it's amazing that they're not all just big balls of scar tissue.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Bamboo Display




Found this bamboo display in front of the Tenpara cineplex.



I assume they're the real thing, and that the roots get watered somehow.
Some people consider bamboo shoots to be a delicacy. Food for thought.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Baku Baku




Found this clinic recently. Seems to be for senior care.



"Don't be sad. Just sleep on it."

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Nezuko no Choco




Demon Sword snacks and candies have been really big around here for the last year or so, but this one is new to me. It's a puffed something (rice?) with chocolate, capped with green tea-flavored chocolate. I found this at a supermarket, along with some other, slightly more expensive cookie wafers and candy. About 120 yen ($1.10 USD). The bar is fairly dense, and not that bad. Comes with a tiny paper bookmark.



It's only 3 segments long, so I'm not going to waste money on this one again any time in the near future.



Only 2" long. Careful, tears easily.