Monday, April 28, 2008

Hair Dye

I'm thinking of maybe dying my hair again, so I decided to check out the selection of products at one of the big shopping centers. Most of the stuff was aimed at various fashion niches that I don't fully understand, but the two most curious where the following.

If you're a girl, maybe you might want to look like a little doll with large round eyes and a huge head. Well, if that's your situation, here's the product for you. This package is the lightest of the light. The color is called mega-mega bleach (メガメガブリーチ) . You know, 'cause it's like mega.

If you're a dude and you're into the doll look, you're out of luck. On the other hand, maybe you want to look like some guy from a manga. Check out these, yahoos. Those shades of brown were more or less as difficult to distinguish between in the store as they are in the photo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A 3Rensho mountain bike

Check it out! A San Renshou mountain bike (three straight victories, 三連勝). Maybe you're thinking, "Ah, that frame was probably made for a road bike and then somehow outfitted with those MB components."

But take a look at the clearance and the pegs for caliper breaks. It was definitely made as a mountain bike frame.

The Osaka History Museum (大阪歴史博物館)

The other day I met a guy named KSK riding a purple Vivalo on the quad of the Osaka History Museum near my place. KSK keeps a blog on some aspects of the bike scene in Osaka. Both liking purple bikes, we naturally hit it off and he told me to come by on Tuesday, when a bunch of guys hang out on the quad and practice tricks.

Actually, I'd seen them before, but the few times I had tried going by was no one there. Also, since I didn't know anyone, and my Japanese is such shit, I felt a bit weird about just showing up. But I had gotten by fine meeting KSK in Japanese, he invited me and then my other friend Ryouzou wrote me that he was also going.

It turned out to be cool. Everyone was chill, my Japanese was good enough to talk about bikes and make conversation about basic stuff, and I did my first weelie. Out of about 50 times getting the bike fully riding on one wheel, I was only stay up for about 10 feet at best. On the bright side, I also didn't fall down. Not that night.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Springtime in Japan

The thing to do in the spring in Japan is to go drink in a park somewhere and enjoy the return of the warm weather. This is called flower viewing (hanami, 花見), because the cherry trees (sakura, 桜) are in full blossom, and probably because this sounds more sophisticated than just coming straight out and saying that you're going to go sit in a park and get drunk.

Everyone has parties and sits on ubiquitous blue tarps and drinks all afternoon. On the weekends, they drink on the tarps all day. The company hanami parties start in the afternoon, so in order to get a good spot for viewing the sakura they send out a junior guy to sit on a tarp all day and wait for everyone else to show up. From what I could see, these guys don't do much drinking on their own.

Some friends and I went to Arashi-yama (嵐山), where I went in the fall to see the leaves change colors in the outskirts of Kyoto. Again it was absurdly busy, but we hiked in a short distance and suddenly it was very quite and absurdly beautiful. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This next one looks like something out of a movie, but when we were walking back, this dude just sitting there fishing in the early twilight. You can see where the old Japanese painters got their ideas.

When we got back to Osaka, it was just as loud and dirty as ever. When we were hanging out in Ame-mura (アメ村), I got a picture of this thing. I have no idea what it's called, but you can see it's like a cross between a transformer and a lowrider.