Tokyo German Village is a park in Chiba, located about two hours from central Tokyo. The park offers facilities for families, flower events, a souvenir shop and German food. It’s not an educational place meant to teach you German – in many ways it’s very much a Japanese park.
Winter is time for the illumination festival when the whole park turns into an LED wonderland. Illumination festivals at parks like Tokyo German Village (Tokyo Doitsu Mura 東京ドイツ村) are usually more impressive than the festivals in central Tokyo. The festival lights and motives also change every year, encouraging people to visit the park at least once a year.
This year’s Winter Illumination Shangri-La started on November 8 and will continue until March 31. The lights are switched on from 4 to 8 pm, last entrance is at 7.30 pm. Until early January, a shuttle bus will run from Sodegaura Station (Uchibo Line) to Tokyo German Village. The whole trip took me about two hours, but it was well worth it! Read the rest of this entry
How to find that store? Camera Cabaret is the main shop of SuperHeadz, a Japanese manufacturer of toy cameras. The craze about these cameras is largely fueled by Lomography and SuperHeadz. While they both try to create cameras that are beloved by their owners because of the camera’s deficiencies, Lomo is strictly analogue, while SuperHeadz has various digital cameras (Digital Harinezumi and others). SuperHeadz also takes a more creative approach when it comes to the design of the camera.
I’ve been to their main store in Shibuya before which is not very easy to find. It’s on the same side of the street as the Apple Store and in a small side street 100-200 meters after the Apple Store. The store’s sign is not very intrusive and the shop is on the second floor. Important rule in Japan: Don’t just look straight ahead, look up! Many interesting stores and restaurants are not on the first floor.
After a while, I found the Camera Cabaret store again and found out that it has been turned into a Lisa Larson store. But it’s still a SuperHeadz store! There is a connection between the Swedish artist and the toy camera manufacturer: She designed the Necono Digital Camera which is SuperHeadz’s first original digital camera after the Harinezumi. The Necono is even tinier and looks less like a camera than the Harinezumi and doesn’t even have a display. Magnets at the feet of the cat allow for creative shots without a tripod. The camera is very expensive (15750 Yen) and image quality seems to be similar to the Harinezumi 2 – rubbish in any situation other than sunlight. The Necono was the only camera that the old store sold besides various ceramics by Lisa Larson.
The “real” store is now somewhere else… Read the rest of this entry
Tokyo Midtown has a variety of events and for some of them, the nearby park is used. It has one of the best christmas illumination of Tokyo and the waterworks seem to be an annual event too. Today was the first time I watched this combination of lights, lasers and lots of water. Of course they marked the splash zone – the zone where you can expect to get very wet – and this zone naturally seemed to attract all the kids and their parents. Although I was sitting in the safe zone, the water did reach me and my camera but we both survived it 😉
This is the video I shot, Midtown Waterworks will be held until August 29th (Sunday).
The number of meetup groups grew considerably since I came to Tokyo in 2007. Mega Hanami was a meet-up organized by multiple groups and we all came together to Yoyogi Park, probably the best free hanami (cherry blossom watching) spot in west Tokyo. Since I had already had so many cherry blossom photos and videos, I decided to use my new Digital Harinezumi 2 camera to shoot the video. The video quality is pretty bad, and I’m not happy with the camera in color mode. The camera is however a real eye catcher – I’ve seen lots of Japanese taking a look at it because it’s so tiny.