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  • 04/26/12--07:30: Tateshina

  • Located in Nagano about 200km North of Tokyo are the Tateshina Kougen Heights [蓼科高原[たてしなこうげん]] - this Google image search will give you an idea of the type of nature and scenery that can be enjoyed up there. Tateshina is where one would go for some skiing in the Winter or to get away from the heat in the hot seasons as its also a popular Summer resort too.

    Wifey and I went up for a couple of days to do some filming and try to relax for a wee bit at the same time.


    Just left base in Meguro Tokyo and set our car navi - 193km to go. Tateshina is not that accessible by public transport however - there are probably coach tours which go up there but once there its going to be a pain to get around. Rent a car if you dont have one and punch in the following address into the car navi.
    長野県茅野市北山蓼科4035
    [gmap=36.04946, 138.25386]


    Yuki-chan sitting quietly in the back munching on her melon-pan.


    Hitting the highways. The highways cost money to use and in return they are maintained regularly and provide the driver with a smooth ride. Occasionally, you even see highway workers running out to the middle to remove bits of tyre or wot not that has fallen off a vehicle.

    I found the highways of Los Angeles to provide the driver with a bumpy experience with bits of tyre and other stuff lying all over the gaff!
    What are the conditions of the highways in your neck of the woods?

    There is a poll embedded in this article.
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    Is that cloud, fog or some spirit?


    A lovely drive up North.



    Another 7.5 km to go. Most folks over here rely on the car navigation and ours is no exception - would be completely lost without it!
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    Stopping off for some grub - absolutely lovely bowl O ramen.


    Nankotsu [軟骨[なんこつ]] is chicken cartilage.


    Menma joins us for lunch.


    Now off to grab some snacks for the trip. Passing by the kids card game and gacha corner at a local supermarket.


    Miaw Miaw - me better not eat this unless I want to grow whiskers.


    Drinks are cheap here - 29 yen per can of Coke.


    Yum! Peach flavored Calpis.


    More snacks get desu.


    Mikiri Corner [見切りコーナー[みきりこーなー]] is the bargain corner where contents may be a little bit crushed or boxes damaged - but all of it seemed perfectly fine to me!
    Although some of the bargain corners that I saw in Seattle and the UK were like boxes with the contents actually spilling out @.@


    Soba Cha [そば茶[そばちゃ]] is soba tea and tastes gorgeous! Pick up some on your next trip to Japan!


    Our catch of the day.


    Self service checkout.


    On towards our destination. Still need to give you a review of our new company car - can you guess what car it is?
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    Arrival at the hotel counter to check in.


    I love Japanese ryokan style rooms - the tatami mats smell good too.


    There are usually some free snacks and tea on the table when you arrive at any Japanese style hotels - most of the time they taste good and are conveniently available at the hotel store.



    Tethering the iPhone to quickly get some work done - most Japanese style hotels dont have WiFi - if you are lucky then you may get some in the lounge.


    The tethering speed is good enough for Skype too.


    For those of you who are wondering - that melon-pan is a different one.


    Off to explore the rest of the hotel.


    A view from the hotel - looks like a painting.


    Many Japanese style hotels have hot spring onsen baths - some are public and some can be booked for an hour or so for couples or family.


    This is our private onsen. If you are shy of showing your mammaries or little soldier to strangers then you may want to consider booking a private onsen - does cost a few thousand yen though.
    There is a poll embedded in this article.
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    An open air bath is called a Rotenburo [露天風呂[ろてんぶろ]] which I love. The water is so hot however that it makes you drowsy and many people every year actually die from drowsing off and drowning. The Rotenburo ensures that the cold air from outside keeps your awake preventing you from doing a titanic.


    This is where you wash off first before you get in to the bath. All the body soaps and shampoo are also available at the hotel shop too ^^


    One important thing to remember - most hotels put the towels in your room which you need to remember to take to the baths - or it will be a trek back to your room to pick them up.




    Some toys for the boys at the arcade in the hotel.


    Yukata are the traditional Japanese garments that are worn in the hotel. There are usually some in your room but you can find some in the corridors too.


    On the way to get dinner - Yuki-chan already on her 3rd melon-pan.



    The presentation of a Japanese meal is exquisite.


    All tables will be served by a lady dressed in a traditional kimono.


    I need to pass on the alcohol however as I dont (cant) drink.


    Yuki-chan's dinner is Tamago Kake Gohan [たまごかけごはん] - egg on rice with a bottle of Oolong Cha.


    Tonight we are having some sukiyaki where you cook your own food in boiling water.


    It was only when I arrived in Japan when I discovered that I could eat a raw egg and that it tastes great - depending on what you are eating it with though.


    Cooked slices of beef tastes lovely after being dipped in egg.
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    Our meal tonight is an "eat as much meat as you want" - although we dont go overboard.



    Filling up with a generous serving of dessert.


    Nyan.


    When we go back to our hotel room - our beds have been already made for us. I was so surprised when I first came to Japan to discover that they did this for you. One thing you will notice here is that they place the beds apart for us - even though we are a couple. We just pull them together after ^^;

    Many couples in Japan actually sleep separately as you may have seen from Japanese films or drama or even some anime - is it like that in your culture too?
    There is a poll embedded in this article.


    Y U So cute lah Yuki-chan.


    I love this Japanese style light - must have one!


    Next day - brekkie is also Japanese style too.


    Front of the hotel.


    Unlike yesterday, its a sunny day today and the scenery looks lovely.


    Before heading out for the day, its time to check out the public baths.


    I love snow and blue skies.


    This is where you strip down to your birthday suit - stick your clothes in the baskets and if you have valuables then use the free lockers or try to hide them in crevasses in your body.


    Public baths are separated between men and women but are often swapped - for example in the morning public bath "A" may be mens while public bath "B" will be women's - then in the evening its the other way around - this is so that everybody gets to have a different bathing experience and view.


    I could have floated in these onsen all day long!


    You cant make it out in the photo but it was snowing lightly too.


    Do remember to wash your body before getting into the baths.



    Gorgeous scenery all round.



    No particular agenda today - just driving around filming and taking photos.


    Stop by at a lake to take in the sights.


    Yuki-chan joins us for a breath of fresh air too.



    Back in the car and drive for a bit to come across Tateshina Lake - this time its frozen over.
    [gmap=36.0496, 138.2563]






    Tis time for lunch and there just happens to be a nice Teishokuya [定食屋[ていしょくや]] restaurant where you see the orange flag. Teishoku is a set meal of something or other.



    A very traditional Japanese place we have here - while not in use at the moment, in the middle of the table is a pit where there will be some coal to heat a metal pot - the fish and hook would hold up the pot.


    Yuki-chan so cute!


    An interesting toy on the table - place a coin next to your zodiac sign and press the knob - a roulette spins around and the ball bearing goes round - when it lands on a number - nothing happens.
    Interesting right? ^^;


    Our lunch for the day.



    Then its a drive up to Ueda Shinshu - where the movie Summer Wars was based - I'm currently preparing a separate post on Ueda Shunshu now ^^;

    Check out more places to visit in Japan below.


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  • 04/26/12--07:30: Stinkorgate, Cont’d
  • UPDATE: That discussion got way out of hand way too fast. I welcome free speech and I want people to be able to express their opinion, no matter how I much I disagree with it, but I insist on civility. I will accept any and all criticisms about being a tyrant, bully, bad journalist, head-in-the-sand-ostrich [...]

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  • 04/26/12--07:32: Mr Toast is Going Mobile
  • Dan Goodsell, the man behind Mr Toast, has announced that the new Mr Toast game is now available for the iPhone and compatible IOS devices. In the game, you take control of Mr Toast and try to beat the clock while guiding him through his neighborhood. The game has 2 modes of play - Levels [...]

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    Spin Master Games and Imangi Studios have teamed up to deliver Temple Run, a popular app for iOS and Android phones, to mass retails stores this fall. As part of a global licensing agreement, initiated and brokered by Dimension Branding Group (DBG), Spin Master Games will capture the essence of Temple Run’s mobile gaming in [...]

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    “Planetary Resources Inc. intends on Tuesday to outline its plan to send an unmanned spacecraft to an asteroid and mine it for valuable metals and water that could be used in further space exploration or returned to earth.” There was also talk of bringing them in orbit with the moon … that should end well [...]

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    2012 JoeCon 3.75" Exclusive Boxset Reveal - Oktober Guard Brekhov

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    If you may be reading this text you is required to be suffering wartrol for free skin hpv warts. Over time they may become really painful since they are flattened through pressure interested in walking. So, keep relating to reading to realize the fact.. "Warts undoubtedly are a very healthy and prevalent skin infection as [...]

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  • 04/26/12--09:33: Ho No HD2
  • So...we received a cryptic email from Bob Conge (Plaseebo) with the above photo and the following text "Ho No HD2. He's coming !" So who is HD2? No clue! But I guess we'll find out soon.

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    Hard to believe YouTube has only been around since 2005 – it feels like it’s been around forever … this is THE FIRST video posted by one of the three co-founders … Good thing cats were discovered soon after – otherwise this YouTube thing might’ve gone nowhere … You can read more about this video [...]

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    The Yellow Dino is back and this time with his brand new all clear Mini Goji resin figure. Produced by MyTummyToys, Mini Goji stands 5” tall and will be produced in limited editions. They have plans on having a release with 5 colorways this Summer and will open Pre-Orders next...


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    “Tmrw..” he says.. and by he, we mean MAD. As he will be releasing his “Breaking Bad” Resin Mini Mad*L’s this Friday, April 27th. What time? We aren’t sure, but a good way of finding out is by following his Twitter, Facebook, and even his Instagram (@madtoydesign). So keep a...


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    Huck Gee gets airborne! Introducing his latest limited edition run coming from the Hotaru Copter Squad, Copter Boy! Featuring goggles, propeller, rockets, and very necessary scarf, Copter Boy comes signed and numbered in an edition of 10 pieces. He also comes packaged in in a laser etched wooden box and...


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    Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) has inked deals with multiple partners around the globe in time for the release of Men In Black 3 on May 25. For global deals, SPCP has teamed up with Activision for video games across multiple platforms; Gameloft for mobile games; SEE for an online game; and Sony Computer Entertainment [...]

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    Golf is Difficult. If you want to become a far better ball striker, you’ll want to do some golf swing action plane drills to be sure you come lower and into effect consistently for superior ball striking. A major fault of all amateur golfers is decreasing too steep; over the prime, and slicing the ball. [...]

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    ESC-Toy's new Chelly Chainsaw arrives Friday screenshot

    Fans of ESC-Toy should be familiar with the figure you see above, the not-so-cuddly Chelly Chainsaw. ut as you might have guessed, Chelly Chainsaw has a new colorway coming out this week that you can pick up, the Tears of Terror Blue edition. This blue and purple Chelly carries a golden chainsaw, just ready to rip apart whoatever (or whoever) is in her way!

    You'll be able to pick up one of the 10 resin pieces in this limited run on Friday for US$250. They'll be on sale starting at 11 a.m. Eastern (8 a.m. Pacific, 3 p.m. GMT) in the ESC-Toy shop.

    Photo


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    The third figure for the G.I. Joe Convention Exclusive box set has been revealed! Click the thumbnail above to get a closer look at the Oktober Guard Brekhov figure.

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    Yesterday on MattyCollector.com Mattel posted a rewording of what they have been saying for the past 2 weeks.   Some of this information has be trickling out different places such as the bi-monthly Q&As and their online forums.  None of this is new information, but it seems like a lot of fans and other sites just [...]

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    lt;img src=quot;http://tformers.net/i/a/clips/bay-screams-transformers-4.jpgquot; /gt;Paramount has once again hired Ehren Kruger to fly solo on his writing duties for the Transformers 4 script, Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman has confirmed. Mr. Kruger co-wrote Transformers Revenge of the Fallen with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and took over full duties for Transformers Dark of the Moon. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Goodman has also confirmed that Shia LaBeouf wil

older | 1 | .... | 258 | 259 | (Page 260) | 261 | 262 | .... | 4512 | newer