Showing posts with label tokyo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tokyo. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Grand Sumo Tournament - Tokyo

On February 5th Sumo's Grand Champion Asashoryu resigned following a long line of sumo code transgressions culminating in a drunken assault outside a nightclub. (please stop for a minute and imagine defending yourself against a drunk sumo).

On Feb 7, 2010 there was a one day knock out sumo tournament held in Tokyo. After years of failing to make it to Sumo (including one set of unused tickets) we finally made arrangements to go. It was a fantastic event. We had high hopes and it was even better than expected.

We arrived at about 1:30 not long before the main event was to start. There were some lesser bouts and demonstrations before that. We saw some tiny kids from Tokyo International School fighting with sumos. Then there was a parade of the competitors. Then the knockout event started.

There were lots of great bouts. The we've always rather liked the Bulgarian sumo Kotooshu (yes, there are lots of foreign sumos). He made it to the final round. But our new favourite is Takamisakari from Aomori. He really wound the crowd up with lots of aggressive posturing before each fight. When he lost there were cushions thrown all over the place. The final winner was Goeido who knocked out the Mongolian favourite in the semifinal.

The Winner Receives his Ticket

We were seated in the outer ring in the downstairs section. Great seats I think. We paid about 6000 yen each in blocks of 4. They were more like 10,000 yen each, but we got a discount through our company. Imagine the size of cushions in a Japanese restaurant and then image a small section with 4 of those together for 4 people. It was a tight fit. Go with people you don't mind being jammed together with and/or get more than 1 seat each. On the other hand we weren't uncomfortable with 4 in our box.

Since it was our first time at sumo so I can't say how it compared with other sumo tournaments. My impression was that since this was not part of the regular tournament schedule the competitors were more relaxed and we saw some horsing around by the sumos that I don't normally see on TV.

There was one foreign guy with his girlfriend (Japanese, I guess) who were dressed in yokata. They looked really cool. That might be fun for next time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ueno Park Lotus Flowers- Tokyo

Map Location

Ueno Park is a beautiful park in Tokyo. Its a nice place to go at any time of year.

In July the Lotus flowers are blooming. This is my favorite time to be in the park (though Sakura is very good here too). This year they were at their best on or about the 25th of July.

More Pictures

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gonpachi Restaurant - Tokyo

Remember the Japanese restaurant in the movie Kill Bill? The one where Uma Thurman killed the Crazy 88? It was a bloodbath! The restaurant was a set, but it was modeled after a real restaurant in Tokyo. If you know the movie, I think its recognizable.

Its a party place. I recommend going with a group. We were there on a Friday night and the place was a blast. It was very crowded but we had a reservation. The food was good barfood. The atmosphere was great. Even if you don't like Kill Bill its a pretty cool looking restaurant. If you're a fan of the movie you really should go here.

Map Location

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Akihabara, Tokyo

Akihabara or Akihabara Electric Town is the area in Tokyo for electronics. Its especially great for computers. The prices are pretty reasonable. It, arguably, beats Guang Hua in Taipei, Golden Market in Hong Kong or Sim Lim in Singapore for computer part selection.

There are broadly 3 parts (that we found). There is the street area that has lots of little (and some not so little) shops, many of them with price lists outside.

The variety is better than most asian PC markets (imho). I found a store specialized in embedded stuff. It had a huge range of Via mini motherboards and associated parts.

Then there is the giant Yodabashi Camera Store. I suppose it was once a camera store. Now it sells anything with power socket. The camera selection is great and if you want to try out all the different cameras to see how they feel then this is the place. Basically you can find pretty much anything in there.

And finally there is the undercover area which is like a rabbit warren of little stalls selling all manner of electronics stuff.

If you have any interest in electronics stuff then Akakihaba is worth a look. And if you live in Tochigi and are sick of the, overpriced and limited range of PC stuff here then definitely pay it a visit.

The best way to get there is to take the JR Yamanote Line from Tokyo station to Akihabara. Its just a couple of stops. From the platform take the escalators down (not up) and you will be pretty much in the thick of it. (for the camera store take the up escalator).