Resident Evil Official Restaurant

On July 13th Capcom will inaugurate the first official restaurant based on the video game franchise Resident Evil – Bio Hazard. The restaurant will be located in the mall Parco 1 in Shibuya and will have a performance called “S.T.A.R.S. ANGELIQE”.

Resident Evil restaurant

Via: Famitsu.com

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Typhoon number 4 at Asakusa

“Typhoon” etymological origin is not clear, some say it comes from the Greek τυφων (typhon) meaning “whirlwind” and others say it comes from the Chinese táifēng 大風 (大 huge, big, 風 winds).

In Japanese, the word comes from Chinese but the way it is written changes a little bit. Taifuu is written as 台風 in Japanese, where the first kanji 台 is a simplification of 颱 that means typhoon itself and it is composed by 風 wind and 台 that means pedestal. I image pedestals on top of the wind to remember how taifuu 台風 is written and also the 颱風 version.

Every year the Japanese Meteorolgical Agency counts each taifuu 台風 hitting the Japanese territories numerating them starting with 1号. The most violent ones also get a name. This week, on Tuesday taifuu 4号 crossed Japan.

I checked and it was not hitting the Tokyo area directly, I did not considered it too dangerous and went to take pictures to Asakusa. The atmosphere was perfect to take pictures with my 50mm f1.2 and the abundant roofs at Asakusa’s streets allowed us to shoot pictures of rain without getting completely soaked.

I’ve been go Asakusa many times during the years but there is always so much people moving around that it makes it difficult to focus your mind on taking good pictures. Going at night and during a Typhoon was a great idea Carlos had and helped us to capture a different view of what we have always thought of Asakusa, the typical tourist destination in Tokyo. Although the Tokyo Sky Tree can now be seen from Asakusa adding por possibilities to the pictures that you can take from the Sensoji temple, this time it was raining so hard that we could barely see it.

I created a video using iMovie. I love how easy it is to put pictures together in a video using iMovie. For picture retouching I used Lightroom 4 using mainly the tone curve and temperature controls. The pictures where taken at f1.2 or f2 and ISO1600 or ISO2000 allowing me to move in a range of exposure times between 1/80 to 1/2000 depending on the situation, I made the decision mainly depending on how I wanted the rain drops to look like, what I wanted to have on focus and the available light in the scene. I had lots of fun playing with different exposure times to learn about the different “feeling” I can get depending on how I “freeze” the rain drops.

This is the result:


I uploaded it in HD, so full screen looks gorgeous! I used the music “Rain” by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

I uploaded full resolution pictures to my flickr (Around 40 megabytes each!).

Less mysterious - 神秘

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Rakugo 落語

Rakugo (落語, literally “fallen words”) is a form of entertainment based on monologues. The rakugoka (the person who does monologues) sits in a seiza position on a zabuton in front of the public and tells funny short stories. Normally the stories/jokes follow a similar patter in which two main characters go through an experience together or discuss/talk about some topic. The rakugoka changes the voice tone depending on the character he is interpreting. The stories usually end with an ochi, a culminating moment in which the moral of the story and the funny part of the joke is unveiled.

Last month I had the chance to attend a rakugo performance. The rakugoka made my imagination fly and he made me have an enjoyable and entertaining time, but for some reason I didn’t fully understand why the jokes were funny. Everybody was laughing but me!

落語


A video so you can have an idea of how a rakugo performance is.

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Thermae Romae

Thermae Romae (テルマエ・ロマエ) is one of the few manga that I am following at the moment; I read it as soon as new volumes are released. The good thing is that volumes are released months apart from each other, so it’s easy to follow. It started being only a single manga but lately anime adaptations and even a live-action movie have been released.

The main character is Lucius Modestus, a Roman architect that one day finds a thermae in which he can travel through time and appear in an ofuro in present day Japan. The plot plays with the different possibilities that Lucius has by bringing ideas and technologies back to ancient Rome. I love the kind of imagination that the mangaka Mari Yamazaki has and the funny situation that happen in the most appropriate times.

These are some photos of the invasion of merchandising based on the manga and the movie:

Termae Romae
Take a picture of yourself with Lucius body. Using the QR code you can get the first volume for free.

Bath salts
Bath salts

Termae Romae
The movie

Termae Romae

Termae Romae
T-shirts

Manga and books. Termae Romae
Manga volumes and books about the manga.

Termae Romae
Compilation of the 100 best ofuros in Japan according to Lucius.

Termae Romae

The main characters in the movie are played by Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. The movie is not bad but I was hoping more from Aya Ueto :)

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

Aya Ueto and Hiroshi Abe. Termae Romae

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7.25 Million iPhones Were Sold in Japan During 2011

The Apple iPhone strengthened last year its position as the best-selling smartphone in Japan. During 2011 7.25 million iPhones were sold, reaching a 30% of the smartphone market share. Approximately 5.7% of the Japanese population bought a new iPhone last year. Impressive numbers!

My iPhone

The iPhone is the best-selling smartphone but if you look at the data of which operating system is dominating the market you can see that 69% of Japanese smartphones uses Android. On the other hand, “traditional” Japanese keitai still control 43% of the general cell phone market in Japan, where Sharp and Fujitsu sell almost as many keitais as Apple sells smartphones.

Me and the iPhone 3G
It seems like yesterday when the first iPhone was launched in Japan but it’s been almost four years now.

Via: Engadget.

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Shikinaen garden in Okinawa

Shikinaen, constructed at the end of the 18th century, was the second largest residence for the Ryukyu royal families. The main residence of the Ryukyu kings was the Shuri Castle.

The Shikinaen installations were used to entertain royal family members and foreign guests, usually Chinese royal family delegations. The garden combines a unique mixture of Chinese and Japanese architectural design. The arched bridges are chinese style and also the hexagonal pavilion in the middle of the pond. I loved the hexagonal rest area, it kind of made me feel like I was visiting Beijing. On the other hand, the residence buildings are Japanese-Ryukyu style.

It was totally destroyed during the World War II, restored in 1976 and designated as World Heritage by the UNESCO in 2000. It’s worth visiting after the Shuri Castle (Shuri Station), it is a 25 minutes walk from there.

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Shikinaen

Other beautiful gardens worth visiting in Japan:

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