Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pictures from my Tokyo trip

Tokyo - Feb 09 trip - Day THREE - 16.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Hello All -

I've posted a few pics from my first few days in Tokyo at the beginning of February.

I had a great time and I've posted lots of videos from the trip on my YouTube site.

Day One was Thursday the 5th.
I flew on JAL from Izumo to Haneda airport in Tokyo. Plane trip took about 90 minutes.
From the airport I got a few trains to my hotel near Ueno station and I dropped off my luggage.

I had a few hours to kill before my meeting with the folks that run the JET Programme, so I walked around a bit and had some lunch at an Irish Pub.

Our meeting started at about 1:00 and I met the other 9 ALTs invited to give their opinions to the JET staff and officials on how to improve the JET experience. My presentation wasn't until Friday, so I mostly relaxed and listened and commented on the other presentations.

The great, former ALTs and CIRs who now work in Tokyo for the JET ministries, like CLAIR, took us out-of-towners out for some excellent Indian food and a two hour nomihodai (all you can drink) dinner.
Then it was a few subway stops and I was back at my hotel - a little exhausted from the traveling so I was eager to just crash into bed.

Up early the next morning for our 2nd day of opinion sharing.

My presentation was the last of the day, so time got a little short and I wasn't able to cover all the points in my outline, but overall I think it went well and I enjoyed hearing other perspectives on the job I have and the "company" I work for.

We wrapped up, had a small pizza party for lunch and then I was free for the rest of Friday. I went back to my hotel to change out of my suit and then struck out on the town to explore Tokyo and eventually have dinner.

I ended up spending way too much time in the English book and magazine section of the Shibuya Tower Records, so I didn't look for a place to eat until about 10pm. I ended up going somewhere very familiar to all Californians - TGI Friday's.
It was overpriced and noisy, but I enjoyed it - a rare taste of "American" food for this rural boy.

Here is a picture from Shibuya at night:

Tokyo - Feb 09 trip - Shibuya Fri Night - 4.jpg

The picture at the top of this post is from my full day of sightseeing on Saturday.

I went to Harajuku and visited the nearby shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife. He was a key figure in the Meiji Restoration, an important time in Japanese history in the late 1800s.

It was a beautiful Shinto shrine and the weather was so nice, it was a pleasure to stroll around the grounds and escape the craziness of urban Tokyo if only for a short while.

After Harajuku I went to Akihabara - the famous geek Mecca filled with tons of small shops selling toys and electronics and everything associated with Anime (Japanese animation).
I walked around, bought a few gifts and had lunch at Burger King - another American fast food restaurant that they don't have in Shimane.

After Akiba, I was off to another Mecca - this one for fans of Sumo. The stadium where they hold the Grand Sumo tournaments three times a year in Tokyo is called the Kokugikan and it's a distinctive looking building I've seen on TV many times.

I was eager to explore the Sumo museum, but after making it out to the stadium, I found out that the museum was closed that day. I was so disappointed.

I explored a bit more and then it was back to the hotel to rest and change for my night out with some fellow YouTubers.

We all met near Ueno station at around 7pm and Hiko, who's lived in Tokyo for over 10 years, showed us around a bit before we settled on a pub-type place for drinks and food and conversation.
Later we ended up at TGIF (a different one) for dessert and we all got our cameras out and shot vlogs of each other. How geeky! :P

I'll post more pictures from Sunday - my last day in Tokyo - soon.

This weekend and next I'm super busy getting the graduation movies prepared for my soon-to-graduate 9th graders at both my Jr High schools. It takes me a long time to edit all my pictures and video footage together. But the kids really love the resulting movie each year.

Hope all is well with you.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Jason in Tokyo - Vlog #11 - Hiko, Cruxay, Atomicboyx - meeting Tokyo YouTubers

My version of the video posted somewhere below by my pal Hiko - I got out my camera and started interviewing the other J-vloggers I go to meet in Tokyo during my trip a few weeks ago.

We had a nice night out chatting and eating and bitching about YouTube. :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've lived in Japan for almost 5 years now, and it seems to me that no matter how long I lived here there are just some aspects of Japanese pop culture that I'll never understand. The above video is a perfect example. *shakes head* wakaranai :)

I found this, by the way, since I was checking out the "most discussed" sports videos in Japan today and this was on the list... Umm... sports? really?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Myargonauts Atomixboyx Radrey and Cruxay in Ueno! (英字幕)

I had the good fortune to meet up with some other YouTubers who live in Japan, and more specifically Tokyo.

I have some footage from this night as well, and I'll post it soon.

Cheers to Hiko for posting this vid and showing us around.


Monday, February 16, 2009

A years worth of Japanese Food in Tokyo

People often ask me what do you eat in Japan?

Well, here are some examples. While I wouldn't eat everything in this video, I have tried a bunch of new things while living here, and I enjoy some Japanese food very much.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The People vs George Lucas - Official Teaser Trailer 1 (HD)

Here is a documentary you know I'll be seeing if it's playing when I go home to America from August.

I should do my own vlog about Mr Lucas.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's on the menu at my Japanese school? Would you eat whale meat?

A little glimpse into my school lunch time at my smallest elementary school, which only has 10 students, up in the mountains above Taisha.

This day whale meat was on the menu for kyushoku (school lunch).

This vlog has been getting lots of comments on my YouTube page.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


something for my students - I wish I could get them to say something other than "how are you?" and respond with "I'm fine thank you and you?"

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Jason in Tokyo- Vlog #1 - Ueno eki

Hello -

I'm in Tokyo for 4 days on official JET business, but I also get a few days to sighsee and have fun.

This is my first vlog from the trip - I had just arrived on Thursday morning.

I stay until Sunday evening, and I hope to meet up with some other YouTubers tonight for some Tokyo evening fun.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Apply to JET - Vlog #105 - ALT interview roundtable

My friends here in the Izumo area of Shimane helped me make a vlog, offering advice to JET applicants about to take their interview for the 2009-2010 program.

So thanks to Eric, Ashley, Seth and Lauren for giving my subscribers a break from hearing me talk all the time. :)