a The Transit Lounge: July 2009

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Friday, July 31

Costume Capers

This is what I get up to when my boyfriend isn't around...

I go to Tokyu Hands, one of my favourtie shops, and play in the costume department!






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Thursday, July 30

Sony & Marine Biol

Ginza never fails to surprise me. Walking through the area today, my friend and I passed the Sony Building's Sony Aquarium. The poor zebra shark....he was looking so bored - he did a couple of laps and then just lay down....to die I guess. Considering the tank was basically only 1.5 times his size, you can't blame him. Still, considering it was SO hot today in Tokyo, I would have given anything to be allowed to jump in.


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Wednesday, July 29

You Rittle Lipper!

I walked all over Tokyo-Town today looking for a set of flippers for my boy. I was not surprised when I didn't find any, but Tokyu Hands provided a chuckle with these:


Ahh - The joys of Engrish.

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Tuesday, July 28

Kawaii Kitsch

Last weekend, the Shin-Urayasu fireworks meant every man man and his dog were out. You can see for yourself.


The dogs were actually dressed in the traditional Japanese yukatta (summer kimono) and even though every bone in my body told me not to do it, I couldn't help but gush. They. Really. Were. That. Cute.

The dogs were actually dressed in the traditional Japanese yukatta (summer kimono) and even though every bone in my body told me not to do it, I couldn't help but gush. They. Really. Were. That. Cute


KAWAII NE!

Monday, July 27

Culinary Delights!

Introducing the チョコバナナ i.e. The Choco Banana!


And the name gives it all away. No surprises here, just a banana dipped in chocolate. Not quite what you imagine when you think of Japanese food, but nonetheless very popular and on sale most days in Ueno Park, as shown.

Looks very Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo to me. Actually, it just looks like poo to me. I can't bring myself to try one.

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Friday, July 24

Pair Rooku: BFFs 4 Eva!


In Japan, the Pair Rooky concept does not strictly stay within the confines of dating couples. It also spills out amongst friends and friendship circles, and obviously means you must share a hairdresser too.



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Tuesday, July 21

Bruce Lee Alive & Well in Shibuya


Just the norm for a Saturday night in Shibuya.


I chatted with him briefly and he does indeed call himself Bruce Lee. Well Bruce Ree anyway.


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Monday, July 20

Pimp My Tuk Tuk

Ok so not strictly Japan, but during my recent holiday in the Philippines, I came across many a pretty Tuk Tuk. Tuk Tuks are big business in the Philippines and most are have some sort of theme...


A Gift from God? The fact I walked away still alive after a ride in this Tuk Tuk was indeed a gift from God.


Chicks. Cool.


The food Tuk Tuk.


The way of the future?

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Sunday, July 19

Heart to Heart

My lovely boy proposed to me during our vacation in the Philippines.

And I said YES!!!

Weddding ETA: March 2010

So much love in the air, I loves it.

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Friday, July 17

Got It Maid?

My lovely boyfriend and I went to a Maid Cafe in Akihabara. It was really very uncomfortable. See for yourselves...


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Thursday, July 16

In Hot Water

Ohhh - I am a little bit excited because this is my first foray back into Kansai Scene since moving back to Japan (and yes I do live in Tokyo now, but we all know I secretly love Osaka more!). I wrote an article on onsen...the article was to be 2 pages but due to last minute editorial decisions was cut back to one. Click here to read.





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Wednesday, July 15

Monkey Business in Ginza

I love Ginza. Especially on weekends when the main roads are closed to traffic. You never know who you will meet - such as this monkey.





Notice he is even holding his own toy monkey? Kawaii ne!

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Tuesday, July 14

Space Utilisation

The Japanese deserve the Nobel Prize award for displaying excellence, genius and a genuine willingness towards outstanding space utilisation techniques.

Ok so the below is not an example of a capsule hotel or anything like that, but an example of how a disused area of land becomes alive on a sunny weekend.


This vacant lot is on the side of a disused road, which was the former border of the original shoreline (as I have said earlier, Shin-U is all reclaimed land). On one side of the road, that would be behind me as the photographer, you have the old, concrete barrier lining the length of the road. And on this side, on the grassy knoll, you can see cyclists, people walking their dogs, a grandma and her grandson looking for tadpoles and insects (to the left of the photo) and there was a father and son kicking a ball too.

Back home, this land would be left as is. Vacant, unfriendly, and a total wasteland.

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Sunday, July 12

I Heart Sumos

How could I not? Look at this guy!


He kept his keitai (phone), keys and money in the sleeve of his yukata. You can't see it in the photo but his hair was in the traditional knot, the chonmage.

I love when I see the old culture of Japan meshing with the modern world.

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Friday, July 10

Sunsets at Shin-U

Awwww. Look at the sunset outside my window!


It looks special in a Hawaii-5.0 kinda way doesn't it? Well let me set you straight.
1. Shin-U is made up entirely of reclamied land so
2. Any palms trees that are out here are definitely not native and
3. Therefore any ocean I am surrounded by (and I am surrounded) is preceded by a natural concrete shoreline.

Still I will take pretty when I see it in this urban jungle.

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Thursday, July 9

Are You Man Enough?

My beautiful boy was on Triple J radio last week talking about his experience with depression. This was in aid of the new campaign by Reach Out, which is targeting depression and suicide in males.

Click here to listen (scroll down, his is the 4th interview down).

Are you man enough to tell me how you feel?

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Wednesday, July 8

Um...What's That?


Who doesn't love a good white elephant story.

So take the Namba HIPS building at right. This building was under construction when I first left Osaka at the end of '06. When I went back to visit in August of last year, it had not long being unveiled.

The big structure down them middle was a ride. Yes WAS. Apparently not too long after it opened, someone was injured on the ride and was shut down immediately with no plans to fix it.

This building, with prime real-estate (pretty much on the corner of Sennichimae and Midosuji, as well as being VERY close to the start of the Dotonbori) would have cost trillions of yen.
I can imagine Mr Yamamoto is drowning his sorrows somewhere at one of the many hostess clubs in the surrounding area.

Namba HIPS RIP.

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Tuesday, July 7

On The Streets of Akihabara

Playing the part of tourists. Ben doing the Darwin classic, and me doing the Japanese classic.


And our friend in the middle? Just doing some costume-play and waiting for his coffee.

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Sunday, July 5

B-Kei: The Next Generation

Hanging out in Amemura, Osaka, last weekend. Have a look at this posse and a half!


These kids are all about the B-Kei, the Hip Hop influenced style genre in Japan. Am loving the attitude the two book-ends are giving. And what were they doing? Just hanging out, looking good which is what you are supposed to do on a Saturday night anyway.

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Saturday, July 4

In Transit Yet Again

...Well almost. I have barely stood still this year. In fact, I have barely stood still since the end of 2006. Who am I kidding?

Tomorrow, I am off for 2 weeks of RnR in the Philippines. Heading to Cebu first up, and then across to Bohol. I just checked the weather report and it is stinking hot and lots of humidity. Perfect tanning weather.

I am leaving you with some posts that will go up while I am gone. Yes, many are fashion-based at the moment, but cest la vie. I will get stuck into Crazy Japan upon my return.

But I will leave you with a very TJB vision. I went on a 10km run this morning, along the very urban shorelines of Shin-Urayasu. And by urban, I mean no sand and nothing natural. I saw Tanaka-san sunning himself on a deck chair in the middle of all that nothing and concrete, dressed only in a pair of lolly bags (Speedos for those in the un-know) and dark shades. If only I had my camera!

Ciao xx

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Friday, July 3

Diesel Knows How To Rock

Diesel Osaka always put on a good show...who can forget their Highway to Heaven launch in October of 2006? (Yes, the one where Peaches pulled ME up on stage). Anyway, it is hardly surprising I came across this in Amemura last weekend.




Oh MJ....I want you back!

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