Video of a cool old Tokyo neighborhood slated for redevelopment

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Nippon Wandering TV, in which a guy walks and bikes around Japanese streets with a GoPro camera. In his latest video he bikes around Keisei Tateishi station in northeast Tokyo. and takes a look at an old neighborhood that is going to be plowed to make way for redevelopment. "Tokyo plans to redevelop this neighborhood and the retro street, old hidden bar izakaya will be all gone in the near future," he writes. "I miss these old alleys, but it can’t be avoided."

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First person video of a bike ride through Shinjuku, Tokyo

I love watching Nippon Wandering TV (NWT), where a guy straps on a GoPro and walks and bikes around Japan. I often run the videos on a second screen while I work just to listen to the ambient sounds of traffic, footsteps, and pedestrian chatter. In this video, NWT hops on a bike and pedals around Shinjuku, a lively ward in Tokyo.

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Olympics warns athletes that kneeling, fist-raising and other political actions will be banned at the Tokyo 2020 games

The International Olympic Committee -- long a swirling cesspool of corruption, censorship, and reputation-laundering for repressive regimes -- has attained a new low, issuing guidance to athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that no political protests will be tolerated, specifically banning kneeling or raising fists. Read the rest

A day in the life of a 23-year-old Tokyo game programmer

Masa is a 23-year-old game programmer at Bandai Namco Studios in Tokyo. In this 13-minute-video made by Paolo From Tokyo, we see what Masa's life is like, from the moment his alarm goes off in the morning until he is back at home making a Gundam model before he goes to sleep.

From the YouTube description:

We'll even interact with directors from popular Japanese video game titles such as Tekken and CodeVein. Plus we'll get to see what a Japanese programmer from one of the large Video Game companies in Japan does after work with friends. This look inside a Japanese game dev's life is pretty unique and should provide some insight for those people who want to work in Japan as a game developer or game programmer. Also, this day in the life of a Japanese programmer will show you what it takes to be a Japanese programmer. As you would expect, most of the work day is spent programming and coding, but there are other unique aspects of the Japanese programmers life we are able to see in this video.

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Tokyo Disneyland's new vinyl LP is AMAZING

Tokyo Disneyland is a curious beast: it's owned by a Japanese company (the "Oriental Land Company") but the company is contractually obligated to use Disney as its sole supplier of rides and designs; historically, TDL has expanded by ordering the very best, most popular rides and shows from other Disney parks, and then paying to have them built to the very highest possible specification -- it's a kind of global best-of Disney park, gold plated and buffed to a high finish. Read the rest

This guy walks around Tokyo with a GoPro strapped on

One of my family's favorite things to do is wander the neighborhoods of Tokyo. The narrow streets, filled with colorful visual, olfactory, and aural details, never fail to fill me with a sense of wonder.  Yesterday one of my daughters showed me a YouTube Channel called Nippon Wandering TV. The person who runs the channel uses a high resolution GoPro (strapped to his chest or head, I guess) and walks through different Tokyo neighborhoods at different times of the day. He doesn't narrate the videos, and I'm glad he doesn't, because it's nice to hear the sounds of the streets -- talking, cars, music, etc. Each video is about 30 minutes long.

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My new fave Instagram account: miniature models of old Tokyo storefronts

Christopher Robin is a Stockholm designer who makes realistic miniature models of aged Tokyo storefronts. He's got an Instagram account with photos of his work.

 

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Panic working here, lots of stuff left to do and aprox one week left until deadline. Working on the vending machine, added the glass and did some weathering. A real mental workout to figure out how to build this one in the best way, and I can only blame my self since it is I who designed the kit... Also been working on adding more wiring and electric stuff. Also did the roof. Used a very fine grit sandpaper cut into strips and glued and folder. Think it worked out ok. These flat roofs are tricky to get interesting. Now back to work. Stay tuned. #artwork #art #artist #sculpture #mini #miniature #miniartmodels #tokyo #tokyohouse #japanhouse #instaart #pic #picoftheday #progress #scratchbuild #scalemodel #modelhouse #modelhouses #aircondition #rust #hobby #workshop #handmade #handtool #weatheredmodels #weathering

A post shared by TokyoBuild (@tokyobuild) on Sep 29, 2019 at 8:14am PDT

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Five favorite street foods in Tokyo

Great Big Story went to Tokyo to visit five small restaurants that make different kinds of popular street foods: takoyaki (pieces of octopus in griddle-cooked balls of dough, yakisoba (fried noodles, meat, and vegetables), gyoza (Chinese dumplings), okonomiyaki (crepes with noodles, cabbage, pork, and egg), and taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes with sweet fillings). My mouth was watering as I watched this.

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It's hard to find public trash cans in Tokyo

It's not easy to find public trash cans in Tokyo (other than bottle-and-can recycling bins next to drink vending machines). Even so, there's hardly any litter on the ground. When I travel to Japan, I always keep a plastic bag in my knapsack to store trash until I come across a rare public gomibako (Tip: There's one in front of the Kiddy Land toy store in Harajuku). In this video, That Japanese Man Yuta challenges tourists to find a trash can in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Read the rest

A cafe where the robot waiters are remote-piloted by paralyzed people

Dawn ver.β is a Tokyo cafe in Akasaka where all the table service is performed by 120 cm tall OriHime-D robots that are piloted by people who are paralyzed and work from home; it was inspired by a fictional cafe in the 2008 anime Time of Eve. Read the rest

Scotty of Strange Parts takes a tour of Akihabara, Tokyo's geek culture headquarters

Akihabara got its reputation for being Tokyo's "Electric City" -- both for its consumer electronics as well as for its electronics components stalls. In more recent years, it's become more well-known for anime, manga, claw machines, game arcades, capsule toy shops, maid cafes, unusual vending machines, and vintage video game gear stores. Scotty of Strange Parts took a tour of Akihabara with Only in Japan's John Daub.

My daughter and I love Akihabara. Here's a few photos and a video from our last visit:

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Trippy shots of Asian cities with a fractal lens

Steve Roe is a street photographer who specializes in stylized shots of Asian cities at night. He's been experimenting with some crowdfunded fractal lenses that add neat effects. Read the rest

Review of a cool Arduino-compatible prototyping platform: M5Stack

This summer, I am working as an intern at the company Switch Science in Tokyo, Japan. Switch Science creates electronics kits for people to build and learn from. They produce products that are enjoyable for kids in elementary school all the way up to adults interested in electronics. Read the rest

Hollow bookends that contain dioramae of Tokyo's narrow alleyways

Tokyo artist Monde created a set of bookends for last week's Tokyo Design Festa that are tall, narrow dioramae containing detailed miniatures of the narrow laneways of Tokyo, with street furniture, signage and cobblestones; alas, these don't appear to be production items (and would need some kind of weight or underbook tongues to serve as effective bookends), but they're lovely to look at! Read the rest

Gorgeous scrap-electronics wearable cyberpunk assemblages from Hiroto Ikeuchi

Tokyo designer Hiroto Ikeuchi creates amazing wearable cyberpunk assemblages out of scrap electronics and other odds and sods. Read the rest

Behold this beautiful interactive lighted greenhouse

Digital Vegetables is an installation by PARTY that was part of the 2017 Tokyo Midtown Design Touch event. Read the rest

Easter Magic at the Tokyo Disney Resort

My friend Yasuo Amano, whose themed magic I've posted here before, visited The Tokyo Disney Resort for two days and sampled their seasonal Easter events. If you've only been to a Disney park in the United States, the incredible theming they do at the two parks in Tokyo will blow you away. There are Easter decorations everywhere at Tokyo Disneyland, a full Easter parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a special show at Tokyo DisneySea, hundreds of pieces of Easter merchandise, and even special food for the event. 

Amano not only shot a great montage of the Easter festivities (which continue for three months), but he also created some special Easter-themed magic and incorporated it into his visit.

Above, an official video showing the Easter celebrations at the parks. Below is Amano's video of his personal visit and Easter-themed magic tricks.

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