The responsible to declare the start of the sakura blossom season in Tokyo announced it last Sunday, just after 11:00 a.m. when he counted how many flowers had bloomed in the representative cherry tree that is checked every year at Yasukuni temple.
The man counted six flowers and the meteorological agency pronounced the official opening of the sakura blossoms in the city. It’s been 50 years since the sakura hadn’t blossomed so early in Tokyo, as the first cherry tree flowers at Yasukuni temple are usually not seen until the last week of March. This early blossom has confused some people, which are used to the sakura season starting timely every year. It was strange that the sakura blossomed before the end of the winter.
If you have Easter holidays in your country and are visiting Japan you are lucky! For us living here in Tokyo we have to bring forward our hanami plans.
If you are in Tokyo at the moment, there is a Hello Kitty show that can be seen every afternoon from the beach at Odaiba until the 22nd of this month. The show commemorates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Sanrio, the company that created Hello Kitty.
CGM = Consumer Generated Media and Tokyo CGM Night is an event dedicated to folks who truly understand and excel in CGM – the result being millions of unique users and page views per month. Apart from the most awesome bloggers and vloggers, the best in the IT, media and entertainment industry are also mixed in to form an incredible recipe of Bodacious Harmonious Awesomeness. My vision is for CGMers and Industry folks to seek ways to either work with each other or gain new friendships while having a groovesome time.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the Port of Yokohama. It is a pretty important event since it represents the opening of Japan to the world after many centuries of closeness during the Edo period. The Port of Yokohama was one of the first five ports of Japan that opened their traffic to international commerce in 1859.
The celebration is going to last for five months, there are going to be many events and temporary expositions around the port area in Yokohama. This is the website with all the scheduled events for the next months.
One of the first events of the 150th anniversary celebration was the arrival of two giant spiders from France created by the french group La Machine. The spiders have been walking around Yokohama during the last three days, it has been spectacular, these are some of my shots:
Two weeks ago I joined some friends and we went together to the “Asakusa Samba” festival. It is celebrated every year the last Saturday of August. It was interesting to see how Japanese people have adapted a Brazilian tradition. I’m always interested in how Japanese take foreign food, traditions, technology and adapt them to fit their necessities and to what they like.
The weather was really bad, we couldn’t take as many pictures as we wanted but maybe thanks to the rain we were able to take some interesting and unexpected pictures. For example, I took this picture when only one girl was coming towards me and all the other people on the horizon is watching the festival when a big balloon is passing by:
I went this morning with Dannychoo to check out the iPhone queue in the main Softbank store in Harajuku. It’s impressive, there is already people lining up for tomorrow! Did you get an iPhone today? will you wait? you don’t care about the iPhone? Here there are some pictures of the queue I took:
Aoki, Haruhiko and Akira from Sony were almost at the end of the queue, I wonder why they don’t get a Sony-Ericcson phone 😉
The party where we met a Steve Chen is calles Youtube Mix. I was expecting something similar to the Eyevio event but it was much more glamorous; champagne everywhere, nice Youtube girls, and there were even university models!
Just came from Eyevio presentation, a website that will start to work tomorrow. It is a Japanese Youtube clone made by Sony, they are not planning to launch it in other languages at the moment. Japan is the second country in the world after United States with more access to Youtube. But I’m pretty sure that if Japanese people have something similar to Youtube with a Japanese interface they will change fast. Let’s see if Sony can do it.
With Eyevio you can upload videos but you can also easily download them. They make it specially easy if you want to donwload videos into Sony gadgets like Walkman or PSP (Typical Sony strategy). Moreover, if we think from a general perspective, right now Sony will have a Youtube clone, an Ipod clone, an Itunes clone… They are cloners!
The event was full of Sony employees and IT people from Tokyo area. I suggested to one of the guys working at the PS3 department if they could make the PS3 cheaper, but he told me that right now they can’t do it ;). Another guy explained me the strategy they’re gonna follow in order to be legal, how are they gonna make sure that their videos do not violate copyrighted material. We all know Youtube’s passive strategy, they just wait untill companies/people complain and then delete the videos, at Eyevio they’re going to be active. That means, that from tomorrow there will be a bunch of Japanese “experts” reviewing user uploaded videos in “real time” and deleting those that they consider that are violating any kind of license. By default, all contents at Eyevio will be Creative Commons, that’s good! and it doesn’t look like a Sony idea, it’s not “typical Sony”.
Here there is a video and some pictures I took at the event.