They Don't Serve Ketchup
I have been doing a little osouji, or year end cleaning, on ShootTokyo. I created a Start Here page that lists out all that makes up ShootTokyo. I have been working on ShootTokyo for more than 5 years now so there is a lot to it. More than 750 posts, many tutorials, and even an eBook. It is easy for a lot of this to get lots in the blog format or for new people to struggle to find it. Hopefully this gives it a little order and helps new readers here to get started. Let me know if you find anything major I missed. I have been working on my video skills over the past month. I have managed to put up a few videos on my YouTube channel. Learning how to use Adobe Premiere has been something on my list of things to learn for a while and happy I am getting some time with it. Like all Adobe products it just takes time and you really need to dig into it.
Below is a pretty compelling before and after.
Today's Configuration: Leica M9-P with a Summilux 50mm f/1.4
I went out for a late night walk in Jiyugaoka the other night. I haven't had much time for getting out lately aside from work so it was nice to clear my mind even for a few minutes.
I like this shop. You can check out the produce prior to entering…
I love the thought of ramen much more than actually eating it. I just feel awful after everytime I eat it. I just feel way too full. It so satisfying to eat so I wish this wasn't the case.
Don't litter the don't litter sign…
I feel like I haven't washed my car for months. I really hate driving a dirty car. I have to park my car outside each night so it isn't always shiny and clean as I like but lately it has been pretty bad. I dropped my car off at the gas station to get detailed while Mayumi and I had lunch. Detailing cars is another thing Japan excels at. The car and to attention to detail is amazing. I have never seen my car this shiny. I could see myself clearly in the hood when I stood in front of my car.
It is interesting that in Japan most of the gas stations also have little detailing shops at them. For about $80 they will wash and wax your car and about $100 clean the inside as well. If you are in an area that doesn't have any parking available dropping off your car to get detailed is a good way to not need a parking space.
Mayumi needed to renew her license. She is what you call in Japan a 'Paper Driver'. Flawless driving record driven by the fact that she doesn't drive.
We walked a few blocks and stumbled upon Hara Kara. What a find this turned out to be.
The menu looked very interesting. A really interesting mix of hamburgers so we decided to check it out. They had a lot of standard burgers such as Avocado, Bacon, and Cheddar. They also had some pretty interesting looking ones from looking at the photos outside. If you haven't been to Tokyo before it is actually well known for some pretty amazing burgers.
It was a pretty low key place. They market themselves as being 100% organic. I ordered a Bacon Burger and Mayumi ordered an Avocado Burger. We also ordered a plate of French Fries to share. When the fries arrived I asked for ketchup as I didn't see any on the table. The waitress replied they didn't serve ketchup and walked away. I was a bit confused as everywhere serves ketchup in Japan especially burger places.
When the waitress came back I asked her why they didn't serve ketchup. She said this isn't junk food and offered us some rock salt instead. I thought to myself this place isn't fancy enough to be pretentious. It's a $10 hamburger place. Anyways, the salty fries without ketchup were pretty amazing and growing on me with each bite.
Soon our burgers arrived. With one bite I was hooked. Easily the best burger I have ever eaten in Tokyo. I have eaten a lot from $40 burgers at expensive steak houses and too many $10 burgers at various Americana style burger shacks across Tokyo. This one was the best by far.
You can check out my burger on Instagram. It was simple but bursting with flavor. It had a flavor that just stayed in your mouth. Even for a long time after we left the restaurant. We are going back for lunch soon just to come it was a good as we remembered.
A tired version of me after a long year. It has been a difficult year for me personally. I am continuing to deal with family health issues. I hope 2016 will shine a bit brighter for us.
I finally picked up an electric guitar. Learning to play guitar is something I have always wanted to do but haven't found the time or a system that works for me. I finally worked it out and have a pretty steady rhythm of practicing 20-30 minutes a day.
I picked up an Eric Clapton Stratocaster from Fender's Custom Shop. It was built by Todd Krause who builds Eric Clapton's guitars. It is totally overkill for a beginner like me but I figured it would keep me motivated. There is something about having something really nice that motivates me to use it. My Leica 21mm 1.4 has appreciated dramatically since I got it and I never shoot it so I used it to fund the new hobby.
The neatest thing I got with the Guitar is the Line 6 Amplify. It's a bluetooth enabled modeling amp. This means it can replicate the sound of many different amps electronically. Because it is bluetooth enabled I can stream my lessons from YouTube or Music from Google Music and play along through the amp. The amp is controlled through an app on your phone or tablet. It can listen to the music and then come back with a set of recommend settings for your amp if you want to play along with that song. It's a very cool technology and removes a lot of the frustration of matching sound when you are getting started.
I settled on taking free online lessons on Justin Guitar. It is a really well structured set of lessons for beginners and more. He has more than 900 lessons on the site. I picked up the tab books that go with the lessons. The best advice he has was that no one really has time to practice so you need to be very efficient when you practice. He also recommends that you keep your guitar out and on a stand. When you don't think you have time to practice you at least have 5 or 10 minutes so make them count. Somethings aren't so different to photography.
Tokyo is as plentiful for guitars as it is for cameras. I'm scared of what future window shopping will result in. Unfortunately mine wasn't on sale.
Thanks for being a reader of ShootTokyo. I hope you spend quality time with your family and loved ones over the holidays and recharge before 2016 starts. Happy New Year!