Car Snaps: Delayed Sightings

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Been a little while since I put up some content, but that’s because I’ve been far too lazy to edit all my shots, and work them in. I’m actually going to join the motorsports club at my university here, so I’m sure I’ll be able to get even better pictures from now on.

But, I’ve finally done the batch that I’ve been meaning to get around to, so enjoy.

This mix is pretty varied, hope you like some of them. I do happen to run into a bunch of nicely modded Subaru Legacies though…

Heres a blue legacy that's usually parked close to where I live... It's a nice legacy, and I thought the shot came out pretty good.

Though it's no Legacy Day, heres another legacy that was parked in my neighborhood-around.

Return of the VIP? No, not really, but I did see this, and it struck me, so I shot it (yeah, there are puns).

Though this Merc isn't new to the Car Snaps section (it's been sideview shot before), I saw it again (the owner must work at or own the store it is close to), and it looks even better from behind. I guess I am a butt guy.

Another Subaru! This wagon, I thought was awesomely styled. Though I am not realy into wagons, I know this one is very well done. Picture came out alright, also.

One of my favorites pictures of the batch, this R32 I actually spotted out of the corner of my eye and had to go get a shot of. The rims are sick, low offset of course, and the car just has a great stance. Nothing too crazy, but definitely turned my head.

Not a car, but this is the kind of motorcycle I want to ride, if I ever get a license. I think theres something to that american freedom type of feeling bike. Dunno how to put in words, though.

Another motorcycle in the same area, also the kind I like (though there is nothing wrong with crotch rockets, I like them too)

I was really dissapointed with myself for not being able to get a good picture of this mini, but it was actually lowered, and had some other tidbits on the outside to oogle at. Unfortunately, by the time I decided it was worth shooting (it is getting harder to tell), and got my camera out, the light had turned green already, so I could only get this out of focus, garbage shot. Sorry...

I really cannot tell if Mercedes are rare in Japan anymore, because I just see so many, but I thought this one was worth shooting. Still an expensive, luxurious car. I tend to see less of these with low offset wheels added or anything. I guess it's better not to mess with the best?

Probably my favorite shot of the bunch (because I think the perspective is good, the car is nice, etc). I despise golf/rabbits because of how easy they are to make look nice (a slight drop and some meshes or any other nice rims), so I will not say much more...

A little random, but I thought this car might have been a drift victim. I guessed this because of how I could see the subframe at the back was dropped, and it looked like someone was working on it right before it started to rain.... Usually, people who own nice looking cars like that do not really drop subfames... Though I guess that is kind of a stereotype, I think it is true. So, as far as I know, this is a drift victim.

Ran into this Chaser (right?) on my way back home... Thought it was nicely done.

And I also ran into a stretched scooter. Yes, you have read correctly, a stretched scooter. If you can’t even imagine it, that is the sort of place Japan is. I wasn’t able to snap a picture, because I was coming back from the supermarket, but my eyes just about dropped out of my head.

Shinjuku, A Japanese Cell Phone, and Don Quixote

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Like you’ve probably guessed, I met someone named Don Quixote, found/stole a Japanese cell phone, and did all of this in Shinjuku.

That guess would be wrong. Here’s what really happened: I spent yesterday going to Shinjuku to finally have a Japanese phone, and start my actual assimilation in to Japanese culture (trust me, this is IMPOSSIBLE without a cellphone). Though it’s not my firs time in Shinjuku, some friends and I definitely did more exploring than I did last time. I also had no trouble finding things to shoot, since I lugged the DSLR with me, this time.

Though there’s a lot more to say about the Japanese cellphone, and all the things it can do, I’ll settle for posting pictures for now… I’m going to make another post for some of the other cool things I’ve found, maybe I’ll be able to get them all in one post…

For now, here are some pictures from my second adventure in this part of Tokyo that’s now a regular train stop for me on my way to school (which means I can get there for free, at least for the next month).

Though this was not taken outside the station, it is another random shot of the city.

I thought this building was weird, and I'm not quite sure if it's more a design or architectural marvel, but it was definitely an interesting building in Shinjuku.

A phone I could have gotten, if I was going for a contracted phone here in Japan. I only got a prepaid, so no dice, but I'm sure if I got that phone, I might be riding in a Gundam right now, on my way to a battle that decides the fate of the world.

Another better city shot, of Shinjuku. Maybe someone somewhere will use this as a wallpaper or something.

I call it the Love Monument, though I do not know what the real name of this thing is, I saw one in Shinjuku, thought it was cool.

Another angle of the Shinjuku Love Monument. Artsy? Maybe.

Another shot of the Shinjuku Love Monument. Tried to be even more artsy with this oe, since I saw what looked like a spade in the picture... Can you see it?

An Ad for a cell phone company here in Japan called Docomo. Yeah, that's darth vader... And possibly Ken Watanabe (unfortunately, I am not sure)

An Arcade entrance i passed by on the way to Don Quixote. I liked the sign. I call it an arcade, but I am sure, as with everything else in Japan, it is much more than just an arcade.

The Street crossing in front of Don Quixote.

From here on, this post comes DANGEROUSLY close to a JWeird post… Don Quixote was your average Japanese megastore, I guess, which meant for me, it was almost like nothing I’d ever seen before.

This pillow set the stage for the rest of the store. After going up just one floor, I saw this thing, and did not understand. What didn't I understand? What DID I understand, is the better question. That feeling only grew, as we went up more and more floors.

Who would not want an automated clock face waking them up in the morning? I know I would.

I don't know if this is a japanese phenomenon, but it looks like the premise of this design is putting those funny mouths on regular characters... Very strange, but interesting, and some of them are pretty funny. I hoped the resolution would allow you to see some of them.

I know some people that absolutely love Disney. I wonder if they love disney this much. I guess the good news is that the price is not $9,000USD. You can buy this oversized Stitch plush doll for just over $100USD (9999Yen). WHAT A STEAL!

I can not tell if there is even any sexual innuendo in this picture. Japan is such confusing place. Evidently it has taken a toll on me.

A shot of a metroid game that I do not think the US has... I'm sure the internet will correct me if I'm wrong.

There was not much space in the store. I pertty much took up the entire lane you see in this picture. Moving was difficult.

Definitely an adventure… This store was crazy, and navigating through it, with all the other Japanese-regular-sized people was more trouble than you will ever know.

Car Snaps: Wagons, VIP, and an exotic

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Quite a varied Car Snaps feature we have today. Finally, not just VIP cars, but the cars that I got a picture of yesterday were pretty varied. One I definitely DIDN’T expect to see in Japan, that was a treat.

Yesterday me and some friends went to Shinjuku to get phones (and do some other stuff, post on it is forthcoming), and that’s where these beauties were sighted.

A VIP Van I spotted on the way to our destination that day, note the balleroffset wheels!

Just a Dodge Dakota, so what? Well, I guess this Dakota in particular was surprising to me because I just did not think that Japanese people had American cars... And yet, here one is. I guess I need to broaden my horizons.

Though I kind of expected to see this SRX in Japan, since Escalade is pretty much World-class luxury, This is probably the first one I saw.

And with that, this post is finally free of VIP cars. Time for some of the DIFFERENT stuff I saw.

Yeah, a Ferrari Enzo. A Ferrari Enzo. I took the picture in real life, but you are seeing it on the web. So you still can't say you've seen one in real life. Sorry.

Another shot of the Enzo, a little magnified. Yeah, it is an Enzo. Wonder who in the world was driving it? A rich businessman? A spoiled kid? An old man who sold his house and spent all his savings on an italian supercar?

Yet another shot of the Enzo. I took a lot more, but only decided to post three... Is that too many shots? I thought that to myself, then realized, it is a Ferrari Enzo.

Note – There are no more Ferrari’s/Extremely rare cars in the rest of this post. I apologize.

I doubt this Mercedes wagon is really common, so I took a quick shot of it. Some might disagree though...

A Prius Taxi... I'm not sure I've seen any Prius taxis in the US (maybe some at LAX)... If they're common enough to be taxis, why is it so hard to get one in the states?

This type of Mercedes (sort of sport luxury) is actually really common in Tokyo, for some reason. I see a bunch of them... I guess Japanese people have a thing for luxury?

I'm not sure if this even exists in the state, but this WRX Wagon is pretty sweet. I guess I've just never seen one with 4 doors, if the states do have it. Maybe I should spend more time looking through Subaru's catalogs.

K for Kappuchino (Though I can't remember if it started with a C instead), but that's the type of car this is... realy small and light. I think it's really cute, in a sporty kind of way.

A very clean BMW Wagon. Man the germans are just spot on sometimes when it comes to styling.

Oh, and yes, I took that shot at eyesight height, and those are Japanese heads at the bottom of the picture. That’s just a tiny sliver of what my experience entails.

I was walking in a smaller tunnel through the town, when I saw some Japanese pondering out loud if I would hit my head on the ceiling, and touching it with their hands to get a feel for how far away it was for them versus how close it was to me. I was wondering too, I couldn’t blame them.

Well, that’s it for yesterday’s snaps… I still need to go to some shops/tracks, blah blah blah, stay tuned until then!

EDIT – Somehow, I forgot to include this IS wagon that I saw:

A Lexus wagon in Japan? Not the rarest thing. However I still think it's sweet.

EDIT 2 – Somehow, I ALSO forgot to include this Porsche I saw… Looks like my memory is going a little early. Maybe it’s because of that double down I had this year. The surgeon general should make KFC put some sort of warning on that thing.

A random porsche, rolling through the city. I guess my stereotype of the cars you could find in Japan have been blown out of the water.

Shinjuku!

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So, I headed out to Shinjuku today in search of about 5 things that I need to make my stay in Japan a little more comfortable.

A rough list:
1)Train Commuter Pass
2)Cell Phone
3)Watch
4)Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

These were listed in order of importance… somewhat.

Though number 4 isn’t very necessary, I’m using it to type right now, so it was a great buy… I’m not really a fan of laptop track pads and keyboards, so it’s a win for me.

First, I got my commuter pass, which is a monthly pass that basically makes it free for me to go to and from school for around a month. Though it’s convenient, it was expensive, and I found that out when I forked over the $70 it took to purchase. Not a fun purchase, but necessary to save money down the line. A plus of getting the commuter pass is that it gives me free access to the stops that I travel through on my way to school, which includes Shinjuku. So, for a month, I have free access to Shinjuku by train. That’s a pretty big deal.

As for the cell phone, I wasn’t quite as successful. Turns out there as been a large influx of exchange students, and the phones were replenished today (prepaid phones), and they’d already been all scooped up by the time my group got there. Though one person did get a phone, I learned of a cheaper phone that I could buy, and I’m just going to wait for that to come out. Since I have free access to Shinjuku now, I can check anytime.

I got a fancy new watch (well, not very fancy, I essentially went for the cheapest watch I could find), so that worked out well, and I finally know what time it is, constantly. Which is good, and bad. Good, because now I can coordinate meeting up with people. Bad, because now I am constantly aware of how much time I waste.

As far as the keyboard and mouse, I essentially got it for any coding/gaming I do while I’m here (oh, another tidbit about me, my major is computer science and I love technology, and making helpful programs, so I do it in my spare time), because of afore-mentioned dislikes.

All in all, a pretty productive day, compared to yesterday when it did nothing but rained, and I got a whole lot of nothing done (a whole, whole lot — though I did hang out and meet some other exchange students).

Picture time! (And look forward to a JStuff feature with all the cool stuff I’ve run/bought so far… they’re kind of piling up, but I’ll post a bunch at the same time).

This shot is of a building that I saw on the way... I've always thought it was pretty interesting, and this time I had a camera on me, so I took some shots (this was the best one). I don't know if I'm qualified to make comments on the Japanese as a whole yet, but it sure seems like they like to decorate things.

A simple shot of the hustle and bustle of the local train station.

All this machine does, 24/7 is advertize the new Pokemon game that's coming out. I feel like theres a small town somewhere with no power, and this machine is the reason.

A small shop, on the way to the train station

For some reason, there was some sort of food/item display in the middle of a station I was transferring at. I couldn't tell if it was a stand, or a store that was near it decided to extend itself into the public domain.

After arriving at Shinjuku, this is one of the first shots I took. A little under-impressive, but definitely interesting, as a shot of the city.

Another shot of Shinjuku I took after walking for a bit.

The Shinjuku Lion.... The first beer hall I've ever seen.

A store that a friend of mine wanted to go into to get some clothing items, this shop was an ultra chic shinjuku-like shop.... Pretty much as expected.

Another store for women in Shinjuku. There seemed to be a lot of them.

I guess this picture encapsulates how Japanese pop-culture portrays foreigners. Definitely not accurate, in my case.

Definietly not your mother's Jelly Beans. I want to know who in the world thought of this, and just how many hard substances they were abusing. And believe it or not, that box should contain a cell phone.

Note- Softbank is a phone carrier in Japan, one of the Big 3 (Softbank, Docomo, AU).

I don't know if I have already become used to seeing weird things in Japan, but this picture didn't warrant a JWeird feature, because I knew what it was. Though who, when, where, and why are still possibly unanswerable.

And of course, let us not forget about the Gundam in Odaiba (I still think it’s only a matter of time until the Japanese government decides to let the world know that it does indeed move and fire ballistic missiles).

Gundam in Odaiba - Taken from dannychoo.com

Gundam feature on dannychoo.com

I’m not affiliated with dannychoo in any way and I don’t even surf his blog. Google is what lead me to the beautiful picture you see there… Maybe I’ll have one of my own one day.

Car Snaps: VIP

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It seems like VIP cars are quite popular in japan. I’ve come across many of them, and I guess I should consider it interesting to say the least that people here buy expensive cars, and seem to make sure to put deep dish VIP wheels on them… Kind of different from America (with the exception of escalades, many luxury cars usually roll on nice looking stockies).

Though obviously it’s not every luxury car.

I haven’t yet planned some trips to shops (Autobacs, RE Amemiya, ETC), but maybe once I do, I’ll have some really awesome shots to share.

For now, you’ll have to settle for the cars I come across (while I have a camera in hand).

Another mildly styled VIP car. Offset isn't crazy, wheel gap is there, but the car definitely stands out, or at least looks interesting.

Another random Honda? Yeah... I know the feeling, I felt it too. But I took this picture because this Honda actually has a bunch of subtle (good) style flares and changes that I haven't seen before. Maybe it's a 2011 model and I just haven't seen the newer accords (which I'm guessing this is)... but it was kind of mean looking. For an Accord.

Though Japanese people like to support Japanese things, I guess top of the line is top of the line, no matter where you go, as far as luxury is concerned. This Mercedes was looking stunning... Though I wasn't quite able to capture it well.

Theres a slightly modded (outside at least) Evo right around my neighborhood, look forward to some snaps on that, it looks REALLY photogenic.

JWierd Feature: My Bomb

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Though this JWierd feature might be lacking on commentary, it’s definitely not lacking on wierd.

I was looking through a local store for some groceries when I came across this product. At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes, and after a couple takes, I realized that it kind of made sense, in a engrish sort of way (which means it makes no sense at all in any other reasonable way).

What I saw was this, a gas canister that was literally named “My Bomb(e)”.

I guess... It's exactly what it looks like?

And of course, I have no idea what casette gas is.

I know what a casette is. And I know what gas is. But I do not know what casette gas is.

Placement tests and mini-parties

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Yesterday, I got a chance to go to the university where I’ll be studying (Sophia University), and had to take a placement test, for the required Japanese class I’ll have to take. Though the test wasn’t a fun experience, it was fun getting to see where I’ll be probably a lot of times during the week, learning about the school, the people who attend it, and of course eating free food at the welcome party later that day.

The school is technically a catholic school, but I think it’s more catholic in word rather than practice (as mass or things like that aren’t required, and I don’t think they’re too pushy about it) — but it’s definitely going to be an interesting year. I saw two other guys my skin color, so I may not be as rare as I think I am… Maybe I should change my title to Just Another Big Black Man In Japan (they were also pretty tall).

I learned today though, that there were a TON of people studying abroad in Japan. I met people from the US, France, Germany, Finland, Japan (obviously), Spain, and I’m sure I’m leaving 5 other countries out. As for the states, there were people from colorado, kansas, Philadelphia, Connecticut, amongst others. There sure are a lot of us (foreigners, that is).

Also, the president of the university stopped by for a visit… He was old, as to be expected, but I was honored that he dropped by. I’m not sure I know what the president of the university at UT looks like… Either way, I’m relatively sure we should have been doing some super low bows and what not to him, but most didn’t. It was a sort of laid back meeting, and some school clubs introduced themselves. The karate club also did a live demonstration, which was pretty cool, and included a section where they let people come kick the bags.

I’ve got a pretty good idea which groups I want to join, but it was interesting watching some of the ones that showed up (like the flower arrangement club, who came and arranged some flowers in real time, as exciting as that sounds, it was pretty interesting).

Also, I got my point and shoot running/working/taking pictures, so now I’ll probably be able to take alot more without having to lug the DSLR around everywhere.

After all the hoopla of the test and welcome party, we had a little mini-party, at a local restaurant (izakaya), that we went to with some of the local students. Though I don’t have many pictures from that (I was a little busy eating, and doing some general jollymaking or whatever you’d call it), I’ve got some.

I was also going to go to Akihabara today, but it’s raining, so it looks like all the things I need to do will have to wait till another day. Unless I decide to go out in the rain…..

Well, picture time (Taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2 point and shoot that I got for $50 off of craigslist):

A small shot of the campus

A better view of the church and some of Sophia's campus, as well as Yotsuya in the background (The area that Sophia is in).

The area around Yotsuya, on the way to a local restaurant (izakaya).

I thought this picture sort of caught the overall feel of the place. It was a really low key, low lit, cozy restaurant type place. Food was really good, enjoyed everything that I ordered, whether or not I had eaten it before.

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