Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Osaka Fukushima 大阪 福島

Some photos from the area around Fukushima station near Umeda in Osaka.

The local 遊歩 yuuho (promenade) has a UFO and fortune telling theme.

The Osaka loop line, Fukushima station

I've never seen a train use these tracks, but I believe they are operational.

The elevated freeway from below.

Nice day. Nice smoking.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


HAT-APT-BLG-NTE, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

HAT KOBE - Hanshin Kasuganomichi St.
Unrealistic sky color. Having fun with Lightroom.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mirrorballs and Three Seven at TakuTaku



This was my first live show in a long time, and I made a good choice. It was my first time to see either band. A few months back a coworker lent me this comp CD from a Japanese indie label. One of the songs was by Mirrorballs. They are from Nagoya and said this was their first show in a long time. I would describe their sound like a combination of Julie Cruse, Mazzy Star with a touch of Asakawa Maki, a Japanese Jazz/Blues singer kinda like the Japanese version of Nico.

The Mirrorballs set was transportative. It was great to really watch a band a get into the music like I did. I will totally go see them again.


The second band was called Three Seven. It was the first time I heard them. They started with a very Ethiopiques style instrumental and moved on to do some great Cuban, Ska, and Big Band style numbers.

Although most of their set was instrumental, there were some vocals. The singers, who also played sax and guitar, sang in English and Japanese. The English songs were really good too. The whole 8 person band was filled with great musicians. A very cool band. The people there to see them were really into it to. It was a great live show. Sadly they didn't do an encore. Also I can't find much about them online. They have a BBS (in Japanese) and that seems to be about it. Their one CD "Homerun" was recorded in 2004. They mentioned they were recording over the last few months during the show so another disk might come out soon.


TakuTaku, the venue was great. Beside the mic feedback and the buzzing, the service and the 300 year old building great wood benches and tables was great.


Oh and remember to rock the door.

Here's a video for "Aoi Tori" (Blue Bird) by Mirrorballs that I found on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Botan Nabe - ボタン鍋

Japan is full of rare meats, and I've had my share of them. On of my favorites is wild boar, or inoshishi (猪) in Japanese. I had it the first time years ago in sukiyaki. Last night for my birthday I had it for the second time in a miso flavor nabe or hotpot. Nabe cooking is quite simple, we had it at a restaurant where they prepare the food and give it to us to cook in the pot. The meat was thick and red with wide white strips of fat on the out side. It looked like the smoked pork you get in ramen. After being boiled in the pot for a while it shrank a bit and turned a dark brown. The meat was tough, natural, but not so tough that it was hard to eat. It had the un-farmed taste and texture that makes botan nabe a real experience.

It cost ¥5,000 per person for the nabe. Pricy, but worth it!
Here's the restaurant's homepage: Momochan.co.jp
Here's a map to the restaurant: Google Maps