Ritz-Carlton Tokyo project: Suta-to!

Today was a very good day.

It started off as most Monday’s do – volunteer work at city hall. I went extra early today, in order to finish early and meet George an hour before our lunchtime appointment at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo re. Japan Podshow – George and I deserve a break at the end of our 6-month stint! It was about then that I posted this photo – note Tokyo tower in the background. I wrote a short blog to accompany this on dannychoo.com.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Lunch

I also briefly posted the following photo to this blog by mistake – I’m posting by email a lot of the time and made a little mistake with the email address, sending it here instead of just to Flickr.

Cleaning windows at Ritz Carlton Tokyo

I tell you, that place is incredible. Lunch is pretty reasonable too, starting at 3,500yen. We had the Chef’s special which would have been 4,500 yen (had we been paying 🙂 More info here. Mondays are Ladies Day – 4 for the price of 3.

I note from the site that dress is ‘Casual Elegance’ – George and I were there in our jeans and T-shirts!

The staff were extremely friendly. Linda, the pr manager whom we’re working with to make this happen, is very kind. The catering and restaurant managers knew that we’d be visiting and came out to say hello too, which was nice.

We have a preliminary date set to shoot the last episode of Japan Podshow for late next month – our venue may well be the most expensive suite in the whole of Tokyo (and possibly Japan?) – it’s 3,300 metres of floor space, over 50 floors up. Whilst we’re pencilled in, if someone books it, we’ll use another suite.

We’re thinking this will be something along the lines of Cirque du Soleil.

Following that I spent a few hours getting shots of the exterior of the hotel. I tell you, I am loving this camera, and the new wide angle lens is fabulous.

Sat down at starbucks, posted another live blog to Dannychoo – and then later got an email from a stranger – who turned out to be the person who sat at that table just prior to me, had read my post on DannyChoo.com and also coincidentally had discovered Japanpodshow, and had seem me walking around with a tripod – small world!

After doing a bit of podcast editing I met up with Kamasami Kong of the Metpod, and together we attended a Media Tectonics gig at which Twitter/real life friend 1rick was presenting. Great stuff. very sexy keynote.

Also bumped into Christine there who presented with me on our podcasts from Wireless Japan Expo. Oh, and Lem Fugitt of Robot Dreams – whom we’ll be working with to make some videos at the international robotics expo in November – very excited about that!!

Also met Ian Thomas Ash, producer / director of The Ballad of Vicki and Jake – a hard-hitting documentary which will have its Japanese premier this Sunday in Nakana Zero Hall. The second film in this series will be out in December.

Anyway, Ian, a very nice man, lives not all that far away, and could do with a hand getting his work out there, and we could learn a lot from him and possibly borrow some equipment, so I hope we’ll do some work together.

All in all it’s been a fabulous day. Opportunities are continuing to present themselves as and when needed. I think we’ll be able to do some fantastic stuff this autumn, and hopefully start to benefit financially from the effort too!

Anyway, back to the full time job in 8 hours!


(p.s. ‘Sutarto’ is japanese for ‘start’!)

The perils of being a techaholic

Yodobashi Akiba
I’m at the most dangerous shop in Tokyo – Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara.
Why is it so dangerous? Well, it’s one of Japan’s biggest electronic’s stores, and once you enter through it’s sliding doors you will be bombarded by so many sexy gadgets that it will be impossible to resist buying something, and before you know it your wallet will be empty!
You can try and fight the urge to buy – but it will be useless. The famous Yodobashi Camera song (which has verses sung in both Japanese and English) fills the aisles, brainwashing you – it’s said that if you play the song backwards there’s a message telling you that shopping there IS the meaning of life.
Walking past the E-Mobile-wifi-dongle-¥100-netbook displays you’ll be accosted by men standing on stepladders blasting out their special offers over loud speakers.
Even if you run out of the front door you won’t escape – there’s a cute girl doing an iPod demo who tells you, “if you stay until the end I’ll give you a free iTunes store card!” – Resistance is futile!
And even if you know all of these tricks and go in there like I do – with headphones and dark glasses – you will find youself going home with a Yodobashi Camera bag – as I have today. I bought a wide- angle lense for our video camera – we’ll be shooting our final podcast at the Ritz Carlton in Roppongi, and need to make sure we can get the high ceilings in.
Oh, and I seem to have a free iTunes Store card too…!
(the photo is two photos stitched together by the iphone – as you can see it’s not done a perfect job, but I quite like the effect! You can just see the Yodobashi maid on the wall at the very top …and a man picking his nose at the bottom – bonus!)
(This post first appeared on Dannychoo.com)

Out all hours

Out all hours, originally uploaded by Joseph Tame.

A couple of days back Danny blogged about leaving bags on chairs in restaurants to save a table whilst going to order. That reminded me of the practice of local plant shops, where they leave half of their stock outside every night, just protected by a net. I know of a couple that do it round here.

I like that. Shows that people can be trusted.

Having said that, when I attended the local park meeting there was talk of the newly-planted shrubs being stolen. I’m guessing it’s because there’s less chance of getting caught if you steal from a park vs. a shop.

The local toilet seat shop does the same. They leave a range of loo seats out overnight – the good ones with built in washlet (thing that squirts water at your bum after you’ve done your business).

Ho hum.