The art of Gundam exhibition

If you are visiting Tokyo this summer and you love Gundam I recommend visiting the “The art of Gundam” exhibition at the Mori Arts Center Gallery (Roppongi Hills, direction and opening times ). It features Gundam art in a chronological order and there are tons of original drawings and sketches by Yoshiyuki Tomino.

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More photos from inside the exhibition at the official site

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Starbucks launches “kyan coffee” (Canned coffee 缶コーヒー) in Japan

Canned coffee ( 缶コーヒー 「キャンコーヒー, kyan kohi」) is a Japanese invention developed at the end of the sixties by the company UCC. Nowadays the canned coffee industry in Japan is huge, there are dozens of companies competing, the most well-known ones are Coca-Cola Japan (Georgia brand), Kirin, UCC, Boss and Nescafe. Last week Starbucks Japan launched their canned coffee version for the Japanese market. Today I found it for the first time on the nearest convenience store from my home, it is slightly more expensive than the competitors:

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Details at the
starbucks japan site

Canned coffee can be found almost anywhere in Japan, in supermarkets, at convenience stores (コンビニ kombini) or inside vending machines. This is how the canned coffee area usually looks like in a convenience store, all kinds of flavours :

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I don’t specially like canned coffee but I love the feeling of getting a hot can from a vending machine in winter when I’m walking in a very cold place. Can you imagine walking under the snow in a far a away street with not shops nearby and finding a vending machine with hot drinks? It’s like finding paradise :)

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These last two cans are from a limited version that UCC made in collaboration with Evangelion. I tried to collect all of them but I failed!

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Hayao Miyazaki designing a village for kids

Hayao Miyazaki has donated around 2,5 million dollars to an NPO to build a village for the kids of Kumejima island in Okinawa. Miyazaki will also be involved in the design of the installation. It will have 10,000 square meters and will aim to create a natural environment where rocks and trees feel integrated into the landscape.

The name of the project is “The forest where the wind comes back”, probably in contrast with his last movie title “The Wind Rises”. The objective is to give the kids of Kumejima a place where they can play and enjoy nature with freedom. This is the first design of the village made by Hayao:

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Via Okinawa Times

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Photographing Sakura

One of my favourite things to photograph is the sakura blossom, I took so many pictures of sakura this year that it took me a while to process them using Lightroom. One of the most difficult tasks after taking tons of pictures is the process of selecting the ones that you think are the “best”. It is very difficult for me to decide which ones to keep and which ones to delete. This is my final selection for this year!

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High resolution versions on my Flickr

More blogposts about sakura:

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TOTO opens toilet museum

TOTO, is the biggest company in Japan producing toilet equipment, their most successful product line is their washlets. They just opened a museum dedicated to the history and future of the toilet. In a lifetime we spent around 90 days of our precious time alive in the toilet, I guess it is important enough to have a museum dedicated to it :)

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toto4This room is dedicated to the honor the founders of TOTO

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Projection room with documentaries explaining the history and evolution of the toilet.

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Official website of the museum and the location of the museum in Kitakyushu here.

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Ghibli shop at Karuizawa

While exploring Karuizawa we found this little shop filled with Ghibli merchandising. The shop and the building itself has a look and feel very “ghiblish”. I recommend visiting Ghibli Museum if you are a fan, but if you never have enough of Ghibli you can keep spending money in shops like this one in Karuizawa: Google Maps

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mamatotoroMy mother with Totoro

 

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Howl’s moving castle cosplay

Elentari , a girl from the United States has created an amazing Howl’s moving castle cosplay. It looks so real that it could be used to make a movie. I love that in the pictures it looks like bigger than it really is, if you look carefully you will find out the real dimensions of it :)

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Getting lost in the forests of Karuizawa

One of the most valuable life lessons I learned from my parents is very simple: walk. They both love walking, it is probably one of the things that keeps them together after been married for 30 years. They came to Japan last March and I decided to organice a NOT very typical Japan trip for them: I just rented a place in Karuizawa for one week and made no plans at all.

Karuizawa is a very mysterious place, it feels like a portal to a different country. I’m sure Isao Takahata visited Karuizawa several times when he created the anime Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

After several days walking through the forests getting lost into the myst we kept discovering new places that would excite us. Every day we would venture farther away and we would get familiar with the surroundings of our area. The bridge we crossed on our last day stays in my memory, it is the farthest point we reached during our stay.

There is magic and wonder in those moments when we step into a location we have never been, it must be encoded in our genes. Life is about walking, exploring and when you get lost you will find new paths.

Keep walking.

Practical trick to get lost: put your phone in plane mode and of course don’t use google maps :)

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Dogs with fake smiles

I love starting my days with a smile :) , these pictures helped today. It is a meme with pictures of Shiba dogs being forced by their owners to smile. My favourite the first one, because the dog doesn’t seem to care at all.

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Via Hamusoku

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New magic tricks by Cyril Takayama

Cyril Takayama, probably my favorite magician has new magic tricks online. The most fascinating thing about Cyrcil is that he performs all his magic tricks while walking on the streets of Tokyo or inside restaurants an cafeterias where the environment is very difficult to control.

The trick that starts at minute 8:00 is just amazing!

If you love to be surprised by Cyril I’m sure you will also enjoy these two extra videos with two hours of footage filled with magic:

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