Mount Aso eruption

Mount Aso in Kyushu erupted yesterday. The smoke column reached today 4km into the sky! In one week we had weird earthquake in Tokyo, floods, typhoons and now a volcano erupting. Please, mother earth, give us a rest, the last thing we need is an alien invasion to feel like the people living in Sim City.

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Via Rt

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Mixing reality with fiction from the anime Free!

I love series of photos comparing real locations with Japanese manga or anime. My favourite is the The garden of words, the art of the movie is so good that if you don’t look carefully you might not be able to distinguish reality from fiction. This new series of pictures has been collected by @momo_hiki29 during a trip to Iwami, the town where the characters of the anime Free! live.

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Via Twitton.me

Other series of photos mixing reality and animation:

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Sand Godzilla at Shinjuku

The artist Toshihiko Hosaka has crafted a 3,6 meters tall Godzilla at the Chuo park in Shinjuku. The statue is part of the festival “Shinjuku Creators Festa 2015” that is celebrated every year at the end of summer. You can see the Godzilla until the end of this month here.

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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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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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