BBMIJ On A Beach.

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As I go through some of the left over pictures from my trip to Japan, I came across a humongous batch of pictures from my trip to the sea with a club I was heavily involved with in my second semester at Sophia (called SISEC, basically a foreigners-meet-Japanese people club). The beach we went to certainly wasn’t a Sandals resort, but it was a lot of fun. We did some pretty stereotypical Japanese things on that beach (if you watch any Anime by any chance, or Japanese TV, you may know what I’m talking about).

We went to Enoshima beach (not to be confused with Hiroshima beach… which I have never been to and am not sure exists), and had a day full of fun and enjoyment safe for all ages (translation: there was no alcohol involved).

Here are some examples (shamelessly stolen from other websites/Google images):

This is a skill all Japanese children hone early.

Hello Kitty & Watermelon

Yeah, Hello Kitty's in on it too.

Slowly getting off track...

But anyway, you get the idea. There was a lot of stuff like this going on. Luckily I hid all my watermelons before going. Anyway, on to the picture roll:

This... Is a Japanese Beach.

The sand there was not white.

Not sure if this was the lifeguard's board... That or somebody has somehow lost their huge yellow longboard.

Took those shots as soon as I got there, trying to get a picture of what beaches were like, since I was relatively sure I hadn’t been there since I was less than 7 years old. The sea and I do not mix, as is possibly (but not necessarily true) of all black people everywhere, except that guy that swam with Phelps at the Olympics.

Aaaand since most of the pictures of what happened that day are inappropriate for posting on the Interwebs (just joking, they’re actually completely appropriate — 😦 ), I’m going to exclude ’em. BUT We did go explore Enoshima after the trip to the beach, and had some SUSHI (imagine that, sushi, near the ocean, in Japan…), and I got some great pictures. /nodisappoint

DRAGON!

Framing is terrible, but that is a pretty statue of a dragon... attacking a building?

So, the sun was setting, and it was pretty.

This guy is a boss of something. He has to be. He is making this picture.

This guy is not as boss as the last guy, but there's another cool statue in the background to help him out.

This is a bridge... To an island. Pretty islandy-looking island.

Some more sunset pictures!

The other side of the bridge... City life

Thats... A toothpick holder... So beautiful.

Real Japanese Sushi everybody!! Sorry for the slight blur

Better picture of just a quarter of what we ate at that sushi restaurant. So delicious. And possibly healthy?

Fireworks!

And of course, to round the night out, we set off fireworks. All in all an awesome ending to an awesome day. If you look closely, I’m actually in the last picture, off to the right.

Just kidding. I’m not. Or am I? BBMIJ super power #31, night-time invisibility.

BBMIJ

BBMIJs in Japan, -1.

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Ginkakuji
There was one there. About 1 months ago. (interesting note, I have actually been to the place in this picture… Would have preferred just looking at the picture)

That one is now in the USA.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the adventure has ended (for now… more on that later, and judging by my posting frequency, maybe next year), and we’re all left to deal with the consequences.

Well, not really. I’m sure some of you weren’t even phased by my overly dramatic statements of the facts. Well, here are are some more facts:

1. I am in the US, and probably the busiest I have ever been in my life so far (second probably to potty training), balancing work, school, and pretending to have a social life.

2. I am NOWHERE near done posting the content for this blog. I have over 2,000 pictures (closer to 3, but I don’t want to over state), that I have yet to look through, edit, post, etc. This blog is far from over. (Remember the Travel series? I thought I would get that done on time. Past me isn’t very smart).

3. I’ve grown a terrible addiction to powerful computers with dual monitors after using them for many years, and don’t feel like I can be productive without those two things. This is partly (you can make up the size of that part) why I have not been posting. Some of you will understand. The vast majority (you can also make up this part) will understand. The rest will still hate me for being so late with updates.

4. I’ve been back for maybe close to 3 weeks/1 month now, and I am posting this blog post from a lab at the university, when I should be doing a programming project that is due later tonight. You are my downfall (see: Matchbox Twenty)

5. This blog might take a turn (only a little, I promise) in the mechanic/automotively-inclined direction, as I am back in America… where I own vehicles (I wanted one bad in Japan, but it didn’t happen, as I was ridiculously poor in comparison to everyone else).

So, Until I have the free time to post again…

BBMIJ Out.

PS – I really need a cool catchphrase.

Where is BBMIJ?

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I’m still here. In Japan.

Basically, a lot of stuff has happened, and I’m way busier than I ever was when school was going, so I haven’t made a post yet, but posting is right up there next to sleeping, so I’ll get to it soon!

Over the last week, I have taken over 2,000 photographs. That’s how busy I’ve been. Events have been piling up (bye bye parties, something called Gasshuku which is something like a club camping trip that I’ll talk about later, etc etc), and I have been swamped in all of it.

Of course, this is nothing new, as I’m sure my excuses are wasted on the usuals, but for those of you who don’t yet know how slow I am to update sometimes… an update will come soon?

Either way, in the mean time, chew on some artsy (?) pictures I took recently.

I took a picture of this because although I'm not bald... It looks like me.

Friend of mine's bag... Saying is pretty interesting, and also pretty typical of Japanesey (British) english.. but it made for a nice picture!

Sunglasses, in focus.

This curry was delicious. Someone else ate it though.

BTW at Sophia University they serve curry everyday of the week. Japanese people love curry. Fact.

Smash Bros: N64.

This semester I joined (I say joined… but I should say actively participated in, since I joined last semester too) a club called SISEC (Sophia International Students Events Committee or something?), and I had a lot of fun with them. They made my second semester WAY better than my first, and some of it had to do with how much time I spent in the club room.

In Japan, there are two types of clubs: “club” clubs, and “circle” clubs. Circles,サークル(“saa-ku-ru”), are usually a little more laid back than clubs, and SISEC falls into that category. At Japanese universities, clubs can rent (I wonder if they paid for the rooms… I think they might have…?) rooms on campus, for members to hang out in. It’s an awesome system, and I visited my club room very often.

That’s all for now, really short update, I know, but right now I’m going through all the pictures I took, and I thought I found some I could upload so I did! I still have a ton waiting to be written on, like my adventures in Kyoto and Nara, as well as all the stuff that’s happened before school ended (little sneak peak: school was not a priority this semester), as well as all the stuff that has happened after, but for now, I venture to the world of dreams.

JPop: Perfume

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Since this isn’t a complete article on JPop (I don’t think I’m even qualified to write one), I’ll let the video do the talking …

Random activities in April/May (Photodump?)

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So, there are 2 places let in the Travel Features, but I’m going to take a little break to dump some photos from what my life has been like the last month or so…

So, school started up again, and I’m doing that… And there have also been a slew of birthday parties, outings, and whatever else you can imagine regular people do (though calling myself “regular” in Japan might be a stretch). I have some pictures, so I’ll post them.

Yeah, that’s about all the explanation I have… I guess I’ll jump right in:

A friend of a friend came to visit Japan (right before and during the earthquake), so we went to do some sight seeing… These pictures came of that trip:

It's a temple... Still pretty much done with seeing these for the rest of my life but thought others might want to see it.

A pretty awesome angle I shot of a temple in Asakusa.

...Pagoda?

The infamous Tokyo Sky Tree... Definitely does not look like a tree.

As I've previously said, my fascination with Japanese temples is just about gone...

Saw this primo-looking Civic after leaving the temple area, which happens to be right inside a bustling city.

I am sure the owners were nervous or curious as to why I was taking pictures, but I took another anyway

Oh, and this guy was also there. He was wearing a texan-like cowboy getup. No idea why, but I absolutely had to get a picture to prove he really existed, right then and there.

Yeah, he's wearing a cowboy hat.

Fast Forward to day xx of month… xx? And me and some friends travel to a restaurant in Kichijouji (a suburb of Tokyo), to a sort of anime/otaku themed restaurant… They had pictures and figurines of a ton of anime/manga/live action series everywhere. Evangelion, Dragon ball, Kamen Rider (like power rangers), you name it. At the entrance, they also had a huge display of a ton of figurines:

This restaurant had a really huge figurine selection... Wonder how they fared during the earthquake...

Aaand upon closer inspection:

.....

I sure hope that was the bad guys shelf.

Fast forward to some day of the same month (possibly?) and I am at Hanami (Lit: “Flower Viewing”) with some friends, and I take some shots. I unfortunately didn’t take many pictures, because I saw too many emerging on certain social websites that all looked just about the same, didn’t want to join that crowd too much.

We spent ALOT of time walking around this park. Way past my park walking comfort zone.

The most open space I've ever seen in japan.

They even had a Magic Garden... Japan spares no expense in making it's parks.

Cherry Blossom trees near a bridge... Pretty average picture.. Maybe even below average

Another view of the walking areas of the park, very colorful.

I guess a river used to be here, now it's empty, and I took a picture of that.

This picture made it into my favorites folder, and I still like it quite a bit.

No idea what these flowers are called, but they're pretty pretty.

Aaaand here is the kind of picture I did not want to take, super super average picture of a sakura tree.

A road made of flowers. Definitely not fit for walking on though.

I really could not take enough pictures of the flowers... I doubt that I have seen such a beautiful array of flowers before in my life

Once again, no idea what these are called, but they sure are pretty.

And to finish off the day, took some closeup shots of my backpack.

And if we go back in time to slightly before the earthquake, we have this:

At some point in the middle of everything that happened, I cooked myself what I thought was an outrageously delicious meal.

Back in the time machine, set the destination for last week, and we can visit the time when I went to Kichijouji for a weekend of hang-out walk-around drop-dead fun.

These handlebars are WAY TOO HIGH. Or just right, for an orangutan

Saw some mobile stores (?) that had some vehicles that looked like volkswagens, but were most likely not real volkswagens.

Got a pretty artsy picture in, at a restaurant we visited while we were in Kichijouji

Saw a Porsche, took a picture on instinct...

Went to starbucks, saw some glasses, took some pictures of those glasses.

I can’t say I’m the Starbucks “type”, but I guess I was hanging out with some.

And because I love repetition....

And that’s the end of my super random April/May adventures. Still have a ton of pictures to go through, as usual, for some of the more useful adventures (travel features), but who knows when those will be up.

For now, I’ve got to focus on work, school, and fun, and my hands are full with the last one alone.

Maybe I should start using some sort of closeout line like: “BBMIJ Out”. Nah.

BBMIJ Travel Series 2011: Osaka

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Despite how poor I was (and still am), I went on a trip around Japan with some friends of mine in March. In usual BBMIJ fashion, the posting of the pictures and experience are several months late, though this time, I think I might have some sort of excuse, with the whole earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown thing that happened and is still ongoing in Japan, as well as me starting up school again.

To get to our first destination, Osaka, we took a night bus (for around $30, pretty cheap) from Shinjuku station. As you can guess, me and Japanese buses don’t mix. However, luckily, for the trip there, I was sitting next to a friend of mine, so we just sat slanted the whole way there. As you have by now guessed, it was probably the same size if not smaller than coach on the smallest airliner you’ve ever been on. The part of the seat that was supposed to be behind my head was at the top of my shoulder. Though I’m sure it won’t be the worst ride I’ve ever been on (I know my future is full of all sorts of possibilities), it wasn’t very comfortable… For an 8 hour bus ride.

Because I jump at any opportunity to work on my camera skills, I also took pictures DURING the bus ride (More accurately, at a rest stop, also, didn’t see any hookers, if you were going to ask):

Took some random picture of some random sign at a random rest stop.

A better view of the whole rest stop we got to visit. For all your rest-stop lovers.

Upon arriving from the bus trip (we were literally stopped on some street corner… no idea where we were or what to do next), this was this first thing my friends and I saw:

Japan is nothing without electronics stores that are far too big.

Nice to know that though we were lost, we could easily buy the technology to get us found if we needed to.

Along the way, we found a patch of Chu-hi plants (Chu-hi are Japan’s alternative to beer, it’s kind of like a Smirnoff Ice):

Japanese technology is superb.

of course, I also made sure to take a picture of my important traveling companion: my scarf.

In actuality, this scarf was obtained from a friend.

Luckily, a friend of mine was also a fantastic ketchup artist, so we were never bored while we waited for the next adventure to start:

Not a waste of time, at all.

That particular day, my merry band of travelers and I visited a friend’s apartment, and got a good look at the rainy scenery of Osaka, for a total of 1 minute before proceeding to play Playstation.

A rainy day in Osaka.

Though I have tons of pictures (I took over 300 in Osaka alone, and it was just the beginning of our trip), I think the ones from Universal Studios Japan (USJ) are the most interesting, so here they are:

It all started with a trip to Cyberdyne systems, for the Terminator 3D Ride, which I thought was surprisingly well done.

Cyberdyne.... Building is pretty well-kept, not as big as I thought it would be.

Then my friends and I tried to ride this ride… but I could not, due to one of the Bs in BBMIJ. I’ll leave it to you to guess which it was.

I was too big for this ride. No joke.

Fortunately (?), this gave me a lot of time to wander the park alone and get great pictures of the rides and attractions. I was able to walk almost the entire park while my friends were on that hollywood whatever ride.

From the hollywood whatever ride... The roller coaster went right through the park

Woody the woodpecker was there... In statue form

Woody's wife was also present, alone... For some reason

Some penguin character I may never have known the name of...

Hard Rock Cafe, near the entrance to USJ

The boardwalk at USJ... Though I'm no longer sure what a boardwalk is...

Right after we left the turnstiles.

Interrupting real life, as well as movie introductions, it's the Universal Globe!

The unofficial creepy camera guy of USJ. This guy was way too excited to be there... He was also definitely creeping out this lady clown that was there

Afore mentioned lady clown, escaping.

And in my absolutely random random street wandering set of pictures:

This picture was quite literally named: random street shot. For good reason.

This was the street corner that led into the part of the park that seemed to be fashioned like 30s New York... No idea why it was there

Some random cool looking retro store fronts...

What could the purpose of this building possibly be.

A shot of the various widly colored streets and buildings at USJ

Another random street shot...

The last random street shot that was actually named accordingly.

Also, for some reason, there was some sort of Americana inspired diner in the middle of the park. Maybe this is normal for Universal Studios parks, but this was the first one I’d been to, so I didn’t quite understand. Was also a super weird sight to see in Japan…

Seems to have no association with the baseball team. Though the Mets do still suck.

Yellow Hot Rod, with extra hot.

A closeup of the tire of the hotrod, though I don't think that's what I meant to focus in on.

Also saw this white classic car... Pretty ashamed to say I have no idea what it is... Looks like it handles like a boat though.

Another car parked outside the diner... Beautiful.

The parade of classic cars never ends... Each one more amusing than the last?

Just in case you haven't had enough classic car pictures.

Low angle shot, just to make sure you've absolutely had enough.

After going by that diner, I took a stroll along the park and took some scenic shots:

A waterside view of USJ

Wide angle view of the water front at the park

Sigh, I take so many similar pictures but never want to delete any of them...

Time travel back to before I entered the park, and this is what I saw

Second shot of the skyline before I entered. Screw continuity.

A randomly placed pier at USJ... I really don't know what theme they were going for... Made for a good picture, though.

Some USJ Performing group... Marching toward the stage, and drumming up interest, though a picture was enough for me.

Another ride I couldn't ride because I was too Big. Go figure. Sounds lame anyway

A lot of the park was also themed or various movies (as is probably painfully obvious to people who have been there before… but was new to me) first was Jaws:

Nice truck? And really thorough-looking recreation of the set!

The Jaws picture area, complete with huge shark and retro pickup

This sign looks just like an American road traffic sign! Well done, USJ.

Jaws shop...

I want a statue just like this made of me. Though I do not want to fight a shark to do it.

Were there that many boats in the movie?

Aaand completely unrelated to Jaws...

Kind of related to Jaws, but this should be the office of a loan shark...

The entrance to the Jurassic Park themed area of the park

The car from Jurassic Park... well, it looks like it. Not 100% accurate

Jurassic Park Ride...

And since I’ve just about reached my limit for trying to organize the pictures in this post, I’m going to just start posting them at random.

That sign is for a japanese beer maker, but it's the US themed area...

Not sure if the park staff were cleaning or making art or goofing off. Either way, I got a picture

Snoopy Backlot...

A shop based on the Pink Panther? Cool in theory...

Movie Theatre... Way over the top

Louies. Maybe I should recognize it, but I definitely do not

No better way to end or begin than the delorean.

Explanation of the nuclear situation in Japan.

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Is that not the cutest nuclear disaster explanation thing you’ve ever seen in your life?

BTW, for people who want to know what’s really going on, and don’t want any spin or sensationalism (well, not much of it, anyway), check out these sources. Should put some people at ease.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nhk-world-tv

(A link to Japan’s primary news source, translated)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

(I have found the twitter feed on the left hand side of the BBC page to be really helpful and quick, and not too spun/exaggerated. The news coverage/video on the other hand, I dunno)

I’m still safe, and making more posts than ever.

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