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  1. Just sharing some Winter adventures. To be updated as I go along Part 1: https://garage36.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/japan-2020-winter-adventures/ Part 2: https://garage36.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/japan-2020-niseko-dreaming/
  2. https://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/In-Tokyo-public-toilets-are-works-of-art?utm_campaign=RN Subscriber newsletter&utm_medium=JP update newsletter&utm_source=NAR Newsletter&utm_content=article link&del_type=4&pub_date=20200910090000&seq_num=19&si=44594 In Tokyo, public toilets are works of art World-class architects design uniquely shaped and see-through park restrooms This public restroom in Tokyo's Jingudori Parkw was designed by world-class architect Tadao Ando. (Photo by Seiya Tsuji) Nikkei staff writersSeptember 10, 2020 06:22 JST TOKYO -- A project to transform public toilets in Tokyo's Shibuya district into art saw its latest addition this week, when one designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando opened in Jingudori Park. The prominent, umbrella-like eaves capping the structure inspired its name Amayadori, or "shelter from the rain." The latticework is designed to let wind and light pass through seamlessly. This is the seventh design completed in Shibuya under the Tokyo Toilet project run by the Nippon Foundation. Sixteen internationally renowned creators are participating in the initiative. The idea is that the beauty of the structure would encourage visitors to be clean when doing their thing. With an army of professional inspectors making frequent visits to ensure the best user experience, the planners hope to change the image of public restrooms as dark, dirty, smelly and scary. The first restroom, completed in August, came from another Pritzker-Prize winner -- Shigeru Ban. Located in Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park, the yellow, red and purple stalls have a transparent facade when open. But once the door is locked from the inside, the walls become opaque to provide privacy. Visitors try out transparent public toilets that become opaque when occupied, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, at Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park in Tokyo. © Reuters "There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park," Ban explained on the project's website. "The first is cleanliness, and the second is whether anyone is inside. Using the latest technology, the exterior glass turns opaque when locked. This allows users to check the cleanliness and whether anyone is using the toilet from the outside." It has a bonus function. At night, the facility lights up the park like a lantern. "We want to provide public restrooms that are not only accessible to all people, but also a pleasant experience for anyone to use," said a project manager at the Nippon Foundation. The plan is to install 17 of the artistic public restrooms by summer 2021. The structures are being built by construction company Daiwa House with Toto providing the cutting-edge toilets. Maintenance will be a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya government and the Shibuya City Tourism Association. "Wonderwall" is a toilet in Ebisu Park designed by architect Masamichi Katayama, whose works include the Uniqlo global flagship stores in New York, Paris and Ginza. The public toilet inside Ebisu Park by Masamichi Katayama is made from 15 slabs of concrete. (Photo courtesy of Nippon Foundation) Made from 15 slabs of concrete, it took inspiration from Neolithic times, when Japanese toilets were huts that stood over rivers. Users walk through the randomly combined slabs that lead to three different areas: toilets for men, women and everyone. New York-based designer Nao Tamura created a bright red toilet in Shibuya's Higashi Sanchome that was inspired by Origata, a traditional Japanese method of decorative wrapping. Comprised of three separately designed small cubicles, the toilet seeks to provide a safe and private space that envelopes all users. "Living in New York, I have been privileged to witness the LGBTQ+ community living in alignment with their sexual identities," she said on the website. "I envisioned a society that embraces the LGBTQ+ community and holds space for them to live their truth." Nao Tamura's decorative-wrapping inspired toilet in Shibuya's HIgashi sanchome. (Photo courtesy of the Nippon Foundation) In a separate project, the Tokyo metropolitan government and Tokyo University of the Arts opened a so-called art toilet in Ueno Park on Monday. The walls are decorated with pandas, elephants and other animals in a homage to the nearby zoo. The city recruited Tokyo University of the Arts in spring of last year to remodel a public restroom in the park in a way that reflects the cultured surroundings, which includes the National Museum of Western Art and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. About 40 university students took part in the remodeling project. "I hope the restroom becomes another museum," said one graduate student. The capital's Toshima Ward launched the "Toshima Public Toilet Project" in fiscal 2017 to add brightly colored artwork to restrooms in parks and playgrounds. Tokyo redesigned this public restroom in Ueno Park to reflect the museums in the area. (Photo by Seiya Tsuji) The ongoing project has reached 24 locations so far, and the organizers also created a map so visitors can check out each work of art. Toshima aims to have the restrooms play a role in local tourism. Japan has always been famous for its quirky innovative toilets, such as warm-water-squirting bidets, toilets with no tanks and Toto's Tornado Flush, which creates a powerful circulating whirlpool of water that cleans every part of the bowl. But the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to new demand outside of its home market. Lixil saw sales of its shower toilets grow 60% year-on-year in the April-May period. A lack of toilet paper at stores, as customers hoarded rolls, gave American consumers an opportunity to try the electric bidets. Many got hooked. That trend was helped by news out of China that the coronavirus could spread through the air when toilets are flushed. Japanese toilets with lids that lift automatically when approached and that flush when users stand up are seen as a fit for this age.
  3. Recommendations, suggestions, from accommodation to attractions to food, travel tips etc... The list goes on! I've filled up some information which I've picked up here and there. 1. Where to stay Shibuya / Shinjuku (Recommendations for affordable + clean hotels? I am also considering Airbnb again after my last two satisfied experience from my GC trip) 2. Places of interest / attractions Mount Fuji, Tokyo Tower, Sensōji Shrine (浅草寺), Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Ikebukuro, Meiji-Jingu Shrine, Cherry Blossom Festivals (Ueno Onshi Park, Asukayama Park, the Meguro River, Chidorigafuchi, Sumida River bank) 3. Shopping Centers / Night markets Shibuya 109 & Shibuya Crossing 4. Transportation 5. Cafe / Restaurants Cat Café Nekorobi 6. MUST BUY souvenirs / local food Tokyo banana, amulets 7. Travel tips Thank you in advance.
  4. Japan PM Abe says postponing Tokyo Olympics an option source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japan-pm-abe-says-postponing-tokyo-olympics-an-option TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday (March 23) that postponing the Tokyo Olympic Games may become an option if holding the event in "complete form" became impossible. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the Tokyo 2020 Games – including a possible postponement – as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Mr Abe said the IOC decision on Sunday was in line with the view that the Tokyo Games should be held in its complete form. “If that becomes difficult, we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games” given the Olympics’ principle of putting the health of athletes first, he told parliament. Mr Abe also said cancelling the Games was not an option. He said he had conveyed his views about the fate of the Olympics to Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori on Sunday evening, who then discussed the issue with IOC President Thomas Bach.
  5. Tokyo 2020 Olympics Using Cardboard Beds for Althetes source: https://hypebeast.com/2020/1/tokyo-2020-olympics-paralympics-cardboard-beds-althetes-recycled With the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games coming up this summer, host city Tokyo has just unveiled recycled cardboard beds that the althetes will be sleeping on. The bed frames have been crafted from recyclable cardboard, while the mattresses for the beds will be formed of polyethylene materials that will be reused for plastic products after the events. The beds will be 2.10 metres long and the manufacturers say they will be able to support a weight of about 200kg, which is more than any athlete weighed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 18,000 beds will be needed for the Olympics, and 8,000 for the Paralympics. Following the games, the mattresses will be recycled into plastics. The environmentally conscious sleeping arrangements were put on display for the media for the first time on Thursday at a mock apartment in the Tokyo 2020 headquarters. The apartment units, located in Tokyo Bay, will then be sold privately following the games, with prices starting at around ¥50 million JPY (approximately $456,000 USD). Check it out above. In addition to the cardboard beds, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals have also been fashioned entirely out of recycled consumer devices, while the Olympic torch is made from aluminium waste and the podiums from recycled household and marine plastic waste. Even the electricity used during the event will come from renewable sources. With people all over the world pushing for more sustainable efforts, the 2020 Tokyo Olympicslooks to be starting off on the right foot. The TokyoOlympics take place between July 24 and August 9 2020 and the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6.
  6. Discoburg

    Tokyo Auto Saloon 2020

    Anyone been to TAS or OAM before? Will tickets be available easily at the door? Any show merchandise available? Will it be as crowded as local IT/PC shows?
  7. kobayashiGT

    Tokyo Motor Show 2019 Highlights~!

    Hi guys! I have gathered some highlight of this year Tokyo Auto Show from various source. Enjoy! This is the Subaru Levorg Concept. No interior shot thou. You guys can watch the full video here. Honda Fit. The front sure looks a bit bland. But if you are a minimalist and like to shop at muji, I think you will appreciate this look. Here's the interior shot. I kinda like the 2 spoke steering wheel. Still, have the same practicality to it. And just look at the real estate of the screen! The gearstick has been revised too. No more handbrake lever. We still have the ultra seat that can fold upward and fully flat depends on what configarations you want it to be. The back now spotted a new taillight. Look really nice! Quite a decent boot space! And the commentator stated that there is no spare tyre. So means more storage and weight saving! By the look of the steering wheel control, I think this car will be equipped with honda sensing. The only thing that is lacking is a pedal shifter here. Does anyone know the engine is a 1 L, 3 cyl or a 1.5L 4 cyl engine? It is a hybrid version for this. I am waiting for the mugen and spoon to sport-tified this Fit.
  8. anyone can recommend me where to go for automotive paradise in tokyo or yokohama ?? Looking for a place where there are many accessories and automotive related items to shopping ( tokyo or yokohama area ) !!
  9. My 2nd trip to Tokyo! Via Delta Airline this time. Plane tix at $500+/pax. First meal after touching down at Harajuku vicinity: Ore-Ryu Shio Ramen. Nothing beats having a bowl of hot soup in cold weather as the saying goes: Life is hard, and winter is cold, but there's always ramen! Temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius, with slight drizzle. Lawson to start the day: Rainbow Pancake at Harajuku. We queued up for this under the rain simply because of the rainbow color decor. The Macadamia Nut Pancake is a must try. Better than the pancakes at Flippers! Sauce is deliciously good. My first trip to Tokyo I visited the Owl Cafe. This time round it was to Hedgehog Cafe & Pet Store HARRY. Per pax we paid about 1600Yen+ for 30 mins of playtime with the hedgehogs and some meal worms as their snacks. Hedgehogs sleep most of the day and these ones are so accustomed to sleeping in people's hands you don't really get to interact much with them other than them curling up in a ball to sleep on your hands. There's also a minder assigned to each table/group of customer to ensure customers don't mishandle them, for those concerned about the welfare of the animals in such cafes.
  10. steveluv

    Tokyo to Osaka

    Taking a break before I start my New Year. Just arrived at Narita
  11. So I recently went on a 7 days trip to Tokyo - my first ever visit to Japan and I thought I'll do some posts about it since it's been almost four years that I last did a travelogue style entry. This was back in 2014: http://www.mycarforum.com/topic/2694643-australia-gold-coast-experience-2014-with-pictures/?hl=%2Bgold+%2Bcoast I don't have much pictures because weather was pretty cold and rainy so I was reluctant to take my hands out of my jacket for phototaking. Pictures are all casually snapped using iPhone 8 Plus. Travel dates: 7th March to 15th March. I chose these dates because flight tix via Singapore Airlines cost me just SGD650 - this would also mean missing the Sakura bloom by just a week plus but I was cool with that. Day 1 here we go! Midnight flight via SQ. Some beer before resting and inflight breakfast before landing. When we touched down Tokyo at about 7am, it was about 3 to 4 degrees out there. For those who have not been to Tokyo, you will get confused with their transportation system! They have far too many different lines. So this was how I traveled from Narita Airport. I purchased tickets for the Keisei Skyliner (round trip) to downtown Tokyo and 72 hours Unlimited Metro Pass to travel around. Total cost was about 5000+Yen for the Skyliner and Metro package. Don't forget to exchange your Keisei Skyliner voucher for the actual tix before boarding. Found some pics online so you have an idea. I took the Skyliner to Nippori and changed to the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya. You can take the Skyliner to either Nippori or Ueno and change from there. To board the JR line you'll need a Pasmo or Suica card. It works just like our ezlink. Because it was so cold, first thing I did was to visit Lawson for hot coffee and fried chicken once I was at Shibuya. Pretty amazed with their selections of hot canned drinks. Never had anything like it in SG. Fried chicken also solid - crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. First proper meal upon settling down - lunch at the popular Ichiran Ramen at Shibuya. It's touted as having one of the best tonkotsu ramen in Japan if not the best out of the mass market selections. Honestly it was good! Very tasty, rich and thick pork based broth but nothing out of the ordinary. I think it's similar to Keisuke Tonkotsu King in SG. But it was damn enjoyable having a bowl of hot ramen soup while it's chilly and rainy outside. Took the JR Yamanote line to Takeshita Street at Harajuku. This youthful shopping district is located right outside the station. Angel's Heart crepe. Zaku Zaku - a bit like churros with Hokkaido Cream Fillings. This is very popular with the crowd over there. I find it too rich for my liking. Takoyaki at Harajuku. Dinner at Harajuku Gyozaro. One of Tokyo's best Gyoza eateries. Lucky me, didn't even have to queue to get in! Ordered both the steamed version and the panfried. I like both! Love the juicy pork fillings! Lots of walking around in Shibuya and Harajuku. Steep upslope and all. I conclude the Japanese people really love walking and there are no plus size Japanese out there. Maybe there are but few! Just the walking around to get from one train line to another is enough to make me pant. To be continued...!
  12. Have i ever told you how much i love going to Tokyo? I LOVE GOING TOKYO! Besides the obvious reasons (cars, cars, cars…), another aspect of travelling to Tokyo is the absolutely crazy amount of food available. When even just hitting up a local Matsuya for a quick bowl of Gyudon (i go for one with copious amounts of Negi) can be thoroughly enjoyable, Tokyo can be a true gastro-something-something’s delight. Which is why i implore you to please take whatever non-Japanese “foodie’s” blog recommendation with a big pinch of salt. Or shoyu if you prefer. If i ever hear someone mention Ichiran having the “best ramen ever”, imma gonna go all stabby stabby. Seriously, ichiran? All jokes aside, there are just so many great places to dine in this city that most foreign writers (me included) would really only have just scratched the surface on dining options. So, my friend, don’t take our word as Gospel, get out there, be brave, and explore. If all else fails, if there’s a line of locals out front, you’re in luch! Bonus points if the menu does not come in English! That’s half the fun no? There’s also Tabelog if you’re into researching beforehand, with most reviews written by Japanese, we think it shows up more interesting food options than tripadvisor or google. This brings me to my most recent trip just a couple of weeks back, we hit quite a number of new eateries and revisited some delightful familiar haunts and overall even though there were a few misses here and there (not my choices!), we had some pretty enjoyable meals during our week in Japan. While our trip this time took us over to Kanazawa, i figured i’ll do up a separate post for that leg. For now, here are some of the more memorable meals we had whilst in Tokyo. Our first night in Tokyo brought us over to a Horumon Yakimiku joint situated right next to our Airbnb. It was somewhat of a hit & miss, we actually visited this establishment twice and while our first visit was thoroughly enjoyable with a great service staff recommending some extremely choice cuts and delicious meats, our second visit (not my idea!) was a little disappointing as most of the tastier meats were sold out. Although they did have a super tasty TKG, JDM speak for rice with a raw egg on top. Theirs came with a special savoury and spicy sprinkle on top for some extra flavour. It was really good. But perhaps, not quite enough to make me want to go back. One place i will definitely return on a future trip though is Yakitori Tsukada. One word, Sublime. It’s a relatively new place that just opened a few months ago but boy was it memorable. This was one of the most memorable meals i’ve had for this vacation. I’ve never had chicken yakitori so good in my life ever. Just writing about it now makes me go all giddy with excitement. Best part about this restaurant besides the food? It was one of those accidental and unexpected finds. We somewhat walked by it the night before and were pretty impressed with the facade and made a mental note to return. Boy, was i grateful we did! Tsukada uses a special singular breed of chicken for their skewers and if you are the sort that loves meat and isn’t afraid to be a little adventurous with the doneness of your chicken, this place is perfection. And if you are really adventurous, try this one. Lightly seared with a dash of wasabi, shoyu and wrapped with a small piece of seaweed. JDM chicken goodness. I need one right now. So so very good. Having accommodations in Nakameguro was a real treat with numerous dining establishments to choose from in the evenings and in the morning, there’s a lovely cafe that opens rather early, Onibus. Having previously stayed in Shinjuku, Omotesando, Daikanyama and Ebisu, i think Nakameguro might have dethroned Daikanyama as my location of choice from now on. It really is a lovely neighbourhood to be in. If you prefer to have some pastries whilst sipping your cuppa, there’s a rather pleasant cafe just below Nakameguro station where you can people watch. Them Nakameguro locals sure dress well. Did we also mention Nakameguro station has a direct line to Tsukiji market? Nakameguro station has a direct line to Tsukiji market. It’s about a half hour ride but sure beats having to make a transfer. As you can possibly surmise, we returned to Tsukiji once again but have wisely decided to just grab some morning grub in the outer market and not entertain any thoughts of hitting Sushi Dai. The Uni was faboulous. As were these pieces of Chutoro and Ootoro on sale from a makeshift table hastily set up outside a store. It was super good and all the packs were sold out super quick. I wanted to get another pack but it was all gone. I mean, just look at it! Wouldn’t you? Speaking of revisits, we hit Rokurinsha once again for their fantastic Tsukemen. We sort of arrived really early for dinner and only had to wait 30 minutes, so it was all good. So so tasty. Personally i would have liked to try Afuri but with time not on our side during this vacation, that will have to be kept for a future trip. On our final leg of the trip, after we returned from Kanazawa, our accommodations shifted slightly towards Shibuya and on our first night back in the capital, we hit up a local Pork steak joint, Tokyo Tonteki. They only do pork, so… if you don’t like pork, better luck elsewhere. But if you do enjoy your pork, then you’re in luck! The servings are generous and yes, it’s good (Interestingly, my travel mates much preferred the Hamburg Steak variant, so perhaps you can go for that one if you are adverse to thick porky slabs). After navigating around in a rain soaked city, a delicious thick cut of pork loin and a cold glass of beer really lifts one’s spirits don’t you think? There’s just something about the beer here in Tokyo. Am i gushing already? Speaking of meats, we once again returned to Blacows for their World-class burgs. I was once again in my happy place. Unfortunately even though my Bacon Avacado Cheese Burger was sandwich perfection, my partner’s burger patty was slightly overdone and less enjoyable. Hopefully that was a one-off since we did have a rather large group of diners. We found ourselves back in Tsukiji on one of our last mornings in Tokyo because we were hungry for some Katsu from Yachiyo. (Or maybe that was just me). As expected, there was a line but nothing as crazy as Sushi Dai’s. We waiting roughly 40-45 minutes and considering it was a Saturday, i think we did good. Interestingly most of the people in the queue were local tourist, looks like we’re doing something right! Once inside, i went for my usual seafood katsu combo but my partner glanced a picture on the wall and enquired what it was. What THAT is, is a fried egg and char siew with rice meal that used to be prepared in rather limited quantities and only for breakfast. It was an interesting dish and somehow became a rather popular item, even making it to the local tabloids. No prizes for guessing what my partner ordered. (Psst, she LOVED it.) As for me? I was in Katsu heaven! Bring on Kanazawa!
  13. Finally come to an end after more than 2 decades. Japan executes AUM doomsday cult founder Asahara, 6 members https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2018/07/2f080e7e4f87-bulletin-aum-founder-asahara-mastermind-behind-1995-sarin-gas-attack-executed.html AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, who was convicted of numerous murders including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, was executed Friday along with six former senior members of the cult, the Justice Ministry said. Asahara, 63, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, was sentenced to death more than a decade ago for masterminding the subway attack and other acts that resulted in the deaths of 29 people among a total of over 6,500 victims. He was among 13 people placed on death row in connection with the string of crimes perpetrated by the doomsday cult. The six others executed on the same day are Yoshihiro Inoue, 48, Tomomitsu Niimi, 54, Tomomasa Nakagawa, 55, Kiyohide Hayakawa, 68, Masami Tsuchiya, 53, and Seiichi Endo, 58. Asahara was executed at a Tokyo detention center, while the others were hanged at the same detention center as well as those in Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. "Their death penalties had been finalized after sufficient deliberations at courts," Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said at a press conference in the afternoon, adding that she made careful considerations before ordering the executions on Tuesday. Kamikawa, however, declined to comment on how the seven were selected among the death row inmates. In March, seven of the 13 AUM death row inmates were transferred from the Tokyo detention center to other facilities across the country, fanning speculation they could be executed anytime. Some of those transferred were not among the seven hanged Friday. Inoue, who was among the transferred seven, filed for a retrial at the time. Japan usually does not execute people who are seeking retrial. The move drew sharp criticism from some lawmakers as well as Amnesty International, which called capital punishment "the ultimate denial of human rights." Kamikawa said that capital punishment is "unavoidable" for such heinous crimes. The following are brief descriptions of three major criminal cases involving the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult. Tokyo subway sarin gas attack Under instructions from AUM leader Shoko Asahara, 15 senior members conspired to take plastic bags containing sarin liquid onto five Tokyo subway trains and release the poison by puncturing the bags with umbrellas, vaporizing the nerve agent, during the morning rush hour on March 20, 1995. The attack, one of Japan's worst terrorism incidents, killed 13 people and injured over 6,200. Matsumoto sarin attack Under instructions from Asahara, several AUM members released sarin gas from a vehicle mounted with a spraying device at a parking lot in a residential district of the city of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, on the night of June 27, 1994. The attack killed eight people and injured more than 100. Lawyer Sakamoto murder Under instructions from Asahara, six AUM members strangled 33-year-old lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who had been helping parents seeking to free their children from the cult's control, as well as his 29-year-old wife Satoko and their 1-year-old son Tatsuhiko, after sneaking into the family's home in Yokohama, near Tokyo, in the early hours of Nov. 4, 1989. Victims of AUM crimes and their families largely welcomed the move, which came decades after the crimes were committed due to prolonged trials. Some said Japan has now lost a chance to hear an account of the crimes from Matsumoto, who had stopped making meaningful speeches from the middle of his first trial, which started in April 1996. "The time has come. That was my only thought," said Shizue Takahashi, 71, who lost her then-50-year-old husband, the assistant stationmaster Kazumasa, in the Tokyo subway sarin attack, adding many others had been waiting for the day. "A third of my life has been affected by AUM. Thinking that makes me feel frustrated," Takahashi said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said police have increased vigilance toward the cult's successor organization, Aleph, following the executions. "The police will take measures to be fully prepared," the top government spokesman said when asked by reporters about potential retaliation by people close to the cult. The Public Security Intelligence Agency on the same day inspected Aleph offices and other related sites nationwide. Asahara was arrested in May 1995, just under two months after the March 20 subway attack, which claimed the lives of 13 people and left more than 6,200 others injured. In a February 2004 ruling, the Tokyo District Court found Asahara guilty of all 13 charges and sentenced him to death, saying, "We cannot help saying that the motivation and purpose of the crimes were too outrageous and ridiculous, as he tried to control Japan in the name of salvation." Asahara was also convicted of masterminding a June 1994 sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, which killed eight people and injured more than 100. He was also convicted of the murders of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who had been helping parents seeking to free their children of the cult's control, and his wife and their 1-year-old son in November 1989. The death sentence against him was finalized in 2006. After his arrest and the start of his trial in April 1996, Asahara began exhibiting baffling behavior in the courtroom and detention facilities, often remaining silent or just mumbling. His execution came as a slew of trials involving AUM members came to an end after more than 20 years with the Supreme Court's decision on Jan. 18 to reject an appeal against a life sentence filed by Katsuya Takahashi, the last former member on trial. Japan forgoes executing death row inmates if an accomplice is still on trial. Around 190 people were indicted for crimes involving AUM Shinrikyo, and Asahara's first trial alone took seven years and 10 months to complete at the Tokyo District Court. AUM evolved from a yoga school established by Asahara in 1984 and had about 1,400 live-in followers and over 10,000 lay followers at one point. It renamed itself Aleph in 2000 and two splinter groups have been formed, including one established by high-profile former member Fumihiro Joyu. Following reports of the executions, Joyu reiterated his apology to people affected by AUM but said he is no longer part of the original cult. "As I also bear a heavy responsibility, I would like to apologize to the victims," he said, although adding, "I have left Aleph more than 10 years ago, and I don't have any special feelings (for Asahara)." The Public Security Intelligence Agency continued to monitor the groups, believing they were still under the influence of Asahara. The followers of the three groups total about 1,650 in Japan and about 460 in Russia, while the groups hold more than 1 billion yen ($9 million) in assets, according to the agency. Asahara told his followers he is the incarnation of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and regeneration, and urged them to entrust themselves and their assets to Shiva and himself for life, according to prosecutors who indicted him. After he and 24 other AUM members unsuccessfully ran in the House of Representatives election in 1990 in an attempt to take over the state, he started planning mass murders of members of the public in revenge, according to the prosecutors.
  14. Mockngbrd

    Cars & Coffee Tokyo, May 2018.

    Not allowed to post too many images so here's link instead Part I https://garage36.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/tokyo-auto-otaku-2018-daikanyama-morning-cruise-part-1-may-we-meet/ Part II https://garage36.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/tokyo-auto-otaku-2018-daikanyama-morning-cruise-part-2-tokyo-tokyo/
  15. Was back in Tokyo once more last week for a few days of crazy car culture! Prologue: http://wp.me/p1U4WH-27b The night before TAS: Super Street / Hardcore Tokyo Fresh meet in Odaiba. Part 1: http://wp.me/p1U4WH-28z
  16. Mockngbrd

    Pagani meet in Tokyo

    Happened just last week. Spot the SG car that most likely flew up.
  17. As part of our annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Century Tokyo Leasing is organizing a Charity Car Wash to support the daily needs and healthcare for the old folks. In the light of spreading care and warmth to our pioneers, all proceeds will be donated to Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home. Details of the event: Date: 16 July 2016, Saturday Time: 11am – 5pm Fee: Motorcycle - $10 Car - $15 Van (Light commercial) - $25 Join us in the fun of Sharing & Giving! http://www.leeahmooioldagehome.sg/ Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home 1 Thomson Lane, Singapore 297728
  18. Eventually the post and pictures will be wayyyyy too overwhelming for a thread so i hope it is OK to have links instead. I am doing this only as/when i have spare time, bz with work and new house stuff so just too many things to do elsewhere to keep updating on a daily basis. Apologies for that. With that out of the way, let's begin. Day 01 - Part 01: Liberty Walk »
  19. Mockngbrd

    Tokyo Citycam 360

    Just for fun... http://tokyo.in3sixty.com/2016/ no i couldn't find any sessi undies
  20. Picnic06-Biante15

    Tokyo Race Queen 2013

    Leave Punggol East BE aside, here comes Tokyo Auto Race Queens ......... 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon Race Queens. The Tokyo Auto Salon 2013, Asia's most popular automotive aftermarket parts and accessories exhibition, returned on 11-13 January bigger than before with more exhibitors across 11 halls of Makuhari Messe.
  21. I'll be posting food stuffs from my trip here, first off, 3 burger joints i hit while in Tokyo. Prease like my FB page, i still haven't got enough hits to get sponsorship from La Senza. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garage36/263822652100 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Original high res link: https://garage36.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/tokyo-food-otaku-the-great-tokyo-tri-burger-experiment/ Granted, I’m no food critic, nor a bonafide epicurean specialist. But i do enjoy some good eats every now and then. Good eats, good meats and especially a good burger. Having some of the best places to eat, i reckon it’s pretty hard to find a chow-down place in Tokyo that will disappoint, but when feeds of a certain Burger joint kept creeping up on my Facebook feed and subsequent Googling brought up some mad reviews. (Here, here and here) And with a food blog championing as the “Best in the World“, i knew i had to make a trip down. Truth be told, i didn’t exactly plan to hit 3 separate Burger joints during my short stay in Tokyo. Blacows was the pretty much the only one on my itinerary’s hit list. The 3rd Burger happened to just be there when i was hungry (haven’t had anything to eat the entire day prior) and i chomped down at The Great Burger because it was near the awesome Airbnb apartment i was staying at. But of course, I’m not complaining. All 3 Burger restaurants were fantastic in their own way they all added some wonderful flavor to my holiday. Getting things started, here’s The 3rd burger. It was on my first night in Tokyo when i stumbled upon this place in Roppongi. Like every bumbling tourist, i headed out the wrong exit in the train station but faced with a very inviting Burger cafe, i think i made a right mistake. They also have a main shop in Omotesando for those interested. Catering to the more health-conscientious-ish set, The 3rd Burger presents itself as a more “healthy alternative” to the regular sandwiches we are more accustomed to. According to Timeout, “The patties are minced from fresh meat (no freezing allowed), the buns are free from additives and preservatives, and each burger comes laden with organic veg.” It all sounds pretty good, they even serve smoothies with meals. But of course at that point in time, i had no idea what this place was about, it just looked like they served some pretty good burgers and there was a screen broadcasting how they made those yummy patties. I was not disappointed. I had the Marinated Burdock Burger and coupled it with fries and a beer. All in, it was about ¥1,400. Pretty good value if you hail from Singapore, the land of expensive. The burger was good and the sauce had a nice tangy bite. With lots of those organic veggies stuffed between two buns and a patty, it made for a very tasty meal. Especially when i swapped out my smoothie for a biru. In a nutshell, it’s like Freshness Burger, only fresher, and more tasty with a fantastic variation of Burgers in the menu. The fries were nothing to shout (especially without some hot sauce) about but they usually play supporting roles when it comes to burgers anyway, no biggie there. Now onto the main event, Blacows! I’ve heard some pretty good things about this place so expectations were of course, on the slightly high side. With memories of the previous night’s healthy burger still fresh in my mind i made the trek up to Ebisu straight from Makuhari Messe. My feet were busted from the day’s activities but with images of freshly ground up Japanese black cow wagyu beef floating in front of me, there was no stopping me! (Be damned you little upslope towards the restaurant!) I stepped into the discreet looking joint, was very politely made aware of their last order and closing times (i did reach a bit late) and was presented with their menu. Off the top of my head, i pointed to the Cheeseburger as i wanted to discover what Mr Food Critic had been raving about. (Reference to prices above, still totally reasonable for some top quality chow) Minutes (or maybe 10-15 minutes) later, this hit my table. It looked honest, no fancy accessories to the burger, only some melted cheese, a nice brown caramelized sauce on top and some tar tar sauce sitting beneath the beef patty of destiny. The moment of truth. You know the saying, “never meet your heroes”. Well, that does not apply here. I can’t tell you if it’s the Best in the World or the Best in Tokyo since i’m no “expert” food blogger, but it was pretty good indeed. Not it wasn’t good, it was great, i didn’t really care about the cheese, i didn’t really care about the tasty sauce, what i cared about, was that black cow beef patty. For meat lovers that patty takes total center stage in the midst of 2 buns tasty enough to eat on their own, it was thick, juicy and oozing with some fatty cow flavor. On hindsight, i should have ordered a biru. The last bite before i call it a day and head back to my hotel near Tokyo Station. Blacows was so very worth the trip up and i’ll make it a point to return once again. Maybe next time i’ll try the Big. (Or maybe not) The Great Burger happened to be nearby as i was heading out for lunch on my last day in Tokyo, located smack in Omotesando and just a short walk away from my apartment, it was time for Burger number 3. While The 3rd Burger prides itself on providing a fresh and healthy new-age take on a traditional favorite and Blacows going on the full-on high-quality gourmet route, The Great Burger sticks with the tried and tested formula of an American Diner style, fat juicy sandwich. Bacon, cheese, pineapple, whatever works, just stack it in and serve it up. The decor in this place is definitely casual and friendly. I had a counter seat and got to see my Bacon Cheeseburger being prepared on the griddle. I opted for smaller thin cut fries as a matter of preference, you can choose thicker cuts if you so choose. All in, it was just slightly above ¥1,000 for my set lunch that came with fries and a “home-made” ginger ale. Great value once again and for the quality of food you get, i’d even call it cheap. With nice big thick cuts on bacon slathered on top of the cheesed patty and topped off with a toast bun, it was chow time! On a nice winter afternoon, this sure hits the right spot, with those thick cuts of bacon slices really bringing it home. After washing it all down with a nice glass of Ginger Ale, it was time to hit the shopping trail for a full day before saying to Tokyo once again. So of all 3, which is the best? It really does boil down to how you like your burger. For those who crave the taste of meat and only want the very best cow in their sandwiches, a trip to Blacows is the only place to be, for those who insist the best burgers are American styled burgers, cheese, bacon and all things FREEDOM!, The Great Burger has got your back. And for those who much prefer a more Japanese take on an American favorite, The 3rd Burger might be something you should try. Many people come to Tokyo expecting to eat some top-notch JDM food, which of course can be easily found, but isn’t it a waste if they go all JDM food only and miss out on Japan’s amazing western style eateries. Personally, i think you cannot go wrong with any of these 3 places, they all served up some of the best Burgers i’ve ever had, but if you really want me to pick one, I’ll be tapping my Suica (or Pasmo) once again for the Yamanote line to Ebisu. (Sorry Fergburger, you have really strong competition now)
  22. Original article link for higher quality images: http://wp.me/p1U4WH-3C Prease sappork sappork and like my fb page so next time i can be celebrities blroggerls and eat free food at restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garage36/263822652100 Part 1: Odaiba Decks, my last stop for the cold cold night before the start of the Tokyo Auto Salon. This is real Tokyo street car culture, this is the Hardcore Tokyo Fresh Meet. Organised by Super Street magazine, Hardcore Tokyo and All That Low Japan. I have decided to split up this event’s writeup into two post as having every image i intend to show on one page might be overkill for those on mobile devices. With the Tokyo Auto Salon set to showcase some crazy machinery and amazing show cars, it’s still always fresh and interesting to see the vehicles real Tokyoites (& non Tokyoites) choose to roll in. And from the license plates we saw, plenty of attendees showed up from all nearby parts of Japan. Unicorns to all of pretty much everyone in Singapore, these two NSXs parked up early representing Honda’s finest efforts back in the early 90s. More VTEC love. There were also plenty of R32s lying in wait. With these becoming legal for import into the US, many of them were sporting “Y” (Yankee) plates. These vehicles belong to members of the U.S. military stationed in Japan and i’m guessing, they will be shipping those GTR32s back home once they’ve finished their tour. Those wheels. How do you like your San-ni? In a sea of modified cars, a stock looking R32 does garner quite a bit of attention. There’s that “Y” plate once again. Sigh… There were also many Hachirokus around. More Hachis than you can shake a stick at. All manner of shapes and shades… …Beat up or cleaned up, they are here.
  23. As some of you know, i have just returned from Tokyo after visiting the Tokyo Auto Salon and part of my visit, i dropped by a couple of Tokyo car meets as well as a very unique showroom. On the day i landed, the first location on my schedule was Bingo Sports. Original link (For better quality images because MCF does not allow me to use best quality image file extension): https://garage36.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/tokyo-auto-otaku-2015-bingo-sports-the-showroom-of-dreams/ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you have ever lusted over a Supercar, you’ll probably find it here one day or another. This is the showroom of dreams, this is Bingo Sports. I’ve been following Bingo Sports for a short while on Facebook and since i was in Tokyo, i decided to drop by for a visit. Little did i know what was to be in store for me after my trek there. (And getting slightly lost along the way after stepping onto the wrong train - you tend to do silly things with lack of sleep :P ) The showroom glowed red as i approached and the immediate sight of a Ferrari Daytona took my breath away for this Prancing Horse had always been one of my childhood crushes ever since i had a 1/24 scaled Bburago of one of these… …so the sight of not just one but two of these beautifully sculpted Ferraris totally floored me. Pictures totally fail to do justice to how lovely it is to behold. The long bonnet flowing down into the cabin and pulling up and curving inwards around the rear quarter panels. So very beautiful, so very exquisite. My heart palpitations becoming more and more noticeable as i soak in the atmosphere of this Italian beauty. Exposed rivets, leather tie-downs. Lovely. I think i can pretty much just cry right now just imagining how it must have sounded when it tore down racetracks generations ago. The Daytonas were in good company, paired with a 288 GTO Evoluzione, one of five Worldwide, and an F40 LM. Another unicorn of mine. A blue 512Bb also sat behind the four Redheads. These cars are what dreams are made of. Sharing space with the Ferraris that night was a Porsche Carrera GT and a Pagani Zonda R. Look at the gorgeous carbon weaving. An extremely special car, though i kept finding myself being drawn back to the 365 GTB/4s. I would have wished to have taken more pictures to share but i was advised to keep photography to a minimum. Personally, just seeing the Daytonas in the flesh was pure magic and something i will remember for years to come.
  24. Right after Bingo Sports i headed towards Roppongi for RWB. Oh yes, I am starting a new thread for each location because if i didn't, ppl's data plans will cheebaboom if everything was on a single thread due to the sheer number of images coming up in the upcoming posts. Prease understands. Thanks you. Original link for best quality images: https://garage36.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/tokyo-auto-otaku-2015-roppongiwb/ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With the Tokyo Auto Salon right around the corner, my first day upon landing into Tokyo turned out to be a rather busy and tiring day, with places to go and meets to attend packed so close together on my schedule, i really only had my first meal of the day during dinner time, at a lovely burger joint called, The 3rd Burger. I’ll go slightly more in depth on the burg later but let’s get back onto the auto-otaku track. Straight after grabbing a quick dinner and letting myself unwind for a few minutes with a cold biru, it was time to pound the pavement once again, this time towards Hard Rock Cafe Roppongi for Rauh-Welt Begriff’s yearly New Years meet & party. When i arrived, the meet was already in full swing with a number of cars parked up and Nakai unloading some coveted RWB merchandise onto his car. These pair of orange RWBs made for some nice pictures. Although i was sort of hoping for more to turn up, it is still always cool to see the tribe of RWB coming together in a single parking compound. With another meet lined up and a 45-minute journey in between, i headed back towards the train station (and out of the freezing cold) to conclude my rather intense first day of Speedhunting. Next stop, Odaiba. Something big is gonna come with the next post. Prease like my facebook page so i can one day be famous enough to have my face plastered on a gaudy teal Honda Freed with pink wheels: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garage36/263822652100
  25. On the advice of one of my firends, i am considering Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea over the HK one. Reason: 1) crime, 2) can visit 2 worldclass parks instead of 1 asia class park 3) not very much more expensive I have done some research: Disneyland and Disneysea combined website: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/index_e.html if one buys the 4 day trip ticket, it is 50 per head per entry Hotel solution: i am recommending a partner hotel known as: http://www.palmandfountainterracehotel.com...lish/index.html this hotel cost 210 for a family of 4 for super off peak. all partner hotels offer free bus ride to disneyland which takes about 15 mins. Airfare solution: I am recommending SIA direct from SG to Narita (850 per adult inclusive tax) http://www.singaporeair.com/saa/en_UK/cont...fares/index.jsp (must choose depart from SG and arrive at Tokyo) Origin Destination Price Travel Class Mileage Accruable Singapore Tokyo SGD600 Economy No Min. 4 to travel. Singapore Tokyo SGD750 Economy No Min. 2 to travel. Singapore Tokyo SGD1100 Economy Yes The airport transfer is $30 per head per trip. (i asked my japan king friend. He said it is damn bloody cheap. he say if you take the JR airport train, it would cost about 50) If you have better kang tao, i would be grateful if you can add on....