Morning at the Tokyo American Club

Morning at the Tokyo American Club

After eating lunch at the Tokyo American Club on Sunday I was thinking I really need to start to leverage my club membership much more.    I have locked into my calendar going to the gym twice a week early in the morning.   I got up early at 6AM and was out the door at 6:20…I learnt I need to pack the night before so I can get out the door quickly with my gym and work clothes.

I love that the roads in Tokyo are empty at this hour.  It actually cuts a significant amount of time off of my commute.

Today’s Configuration: FujiFilm x100.   One side note on processing…I adjusted the tonal curve in Lightroom to give it a slight s curve to give me a little more contrast like I get with my Leica.  It can get over done a bit but I think it makes the images look less flat.

Empty Streets in Tokyo

Empty Streets in Tokyo

While there are a few cars on the roads it’s nothing like you usually see in Tokyo…it’s very Vanilla Skyish…

Empty Streets in Tokyo

Empty Streets in Tokyo

Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

I love the views from the gym at the American Club.

Gym at Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

This was the view from my treadmill.   I hit it for 45 minutes and worked up a great sweat.   It was an awesome after Typhoon sky.

View from the Gym at Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

Gym at Tokyo American Club

I really like the locker rooms as well.   They have great steam rooms and sauna that are great to finish your sweat before a shower.

Gym at Tokyo American Club

Tokyo American Club

I stopped off to pick up a coffee… I skipped the donuts but you should expect to see these, it is the American Club after all.

Donuts at Tokyo American Club

The Japan Times at Tokyo American Club

It was nice to skip the massive crowded commute and hit the gym.   I look forward to this a few days a week.

Crowds in Tokyo

View of Tokyo from Maynds Tower

I picked up a some new Japanese study books this week.  I really want to improve my Japanese.   This series is very controversial as in series #1 he only teaches how to write the Kanji and what it’s English meaning is but never explains how to pronounce it.    He teaches this in #2 after you have learnt more than 2,000 Kanji.   The concept being that people get overwhelmed learning all of the various meanings, pronunciations and end up not remembering what they mean or how to write them.   I did a little research before buying and was surprised people reactions on this method.  It was like entering a religious war with people standing on completely opposite sides.

If you haven’t studied Japanese before, it is painstaking.   It takes people years and years to learn the 2,000 Kanji required for daily fluency.    This method is suppose to significantly reduce this amount of time.   Now there is no such thing as a short cut to really learn a language but this basically cuts out the noise and the unproductive times.

Remembering the Kanji

View of Tokyo from Maynds Tower

View of Tokyo from Maynds Tower

If you like what you saw today, please share it by clicking one of the links below.   Thanks and see you tomorrow!

 

14 Comments

  1. Dave, I have been looking for ways to improve upon my Japanese, so i would love to hear your impressions of the Remembering Kanji series. After looking it up, your right on point to say how polarized people are on his method for learning Kanji. I suppose we all learn a little differently, just like photographers are shoot a little differently. Best of luck with your studies.

  2. Anyone can learn 2,000 kanji in 112 weeks. It’s especially easy if you are living in Japan. You don’t have to spend all day studying. You don’t need certain books either. Here is how to do it.

    Study three kanji a day. Use flash cards or not, it doesn’t matter; just focus on those three for a day. Like learning three words a day, it isn’t difficult to do so. After six days, spend day seven reviewing the 18 you have learned. Once a month, review the prior 75 you have learned for the month.

    After you know a few hundred kanji, start reading kids books in Japanese. Read for at least 30 minutes a day in addition to continuing three new ones a day. After you know about a thousand kanji, read regular books in Japanese for 30 minutes a day.

    After 112 weeks you will be able to read 2,000 Japanese kanji, much more than enough to read nearly everything. You’ll also pick up many new Japanese words along the way.

  3. great ariel shots of tokyo, how bad was the typhoon we hardly heard of it on the canadain news…

  4. speaking of japanese. what ever happened to the ‘japanese word of the day’??? 超楽しかったので、 はやく返してください!
    後、漢字は そんなに難しくないので、 頑張ってくれ!

    いつも素敵な写真をありがとう!
    これからも よろしく!

  5. My favorite Tokyo shots tend to be evening/night photos and cityscapes – like the last few pics. Very nice!
    I recently got RtK 1 too. Haven’t gotten too far into it yet though.

  6. Thanks Darren..

  7. HI Henrik – It became a chore for me and wasn’t really serving the purpose I wanted. I am going to focus on studying a bit and then might add it back in at a later date…

  8. The Typhoon wasn’t bad in Tokyo…

  9. That’s a neat approach Al. Whatever works is best for the student. I found myself bored a bit and needed a change in my studying. So far I am amused by Remembering the Kanji and the little stories associated with it. I also round a companion iPhone App where you can practice stroke order and flash cards on the go. Hopefully it will continue to amuse me and keep me motivated.

  10. Awesome post man! I am a Beginning Photographer myself and I really enjoy your work. Very inspiring. I am also moving to Japan to apply at TAC soon so maybe I’ll see you there! Take Care!

  11. Heisig is The Man. I know, you would either love it or hate it, but I personally swear by his name after studying both Chinese and Japanese. Blindly memorizing characters without any system just does not cut it, even if a student does it every day. Having a system like Heisig’s actually explains to a student the logic behind characters, and after you learn the basic elements, sky is the limit… I hope you like this system.

  12. Celesta – I really like the system so far as I am so surprised the ones and amount I am remembering. Like you said, people love it or hate it. It seems to work for my learning style.

  13. Personally, I prefer learning the Kanji through the Japanese school system method (grade 1, grade 2, etc.) It requires a bit more patience, but I find that it really makes sense (simple to complex) and it is very well though out, and structured. Heisig’s method is more “in your face,” but it is effective if you have a more hectic or busy lifestyle, it is kind of like a crash-course. But whatever method works for you… If it’s good enough for Japanese schoolchildren, it’s good enough for me. ;)

  14. Marisa – As you say, whatever works for you. I tried the grade 1 and 2 and it didn’t really work fo me. I get bored quickly so I find this method keeps my attention and I am surprised what I can recall and write in such a short amount of time. I like that I can focus only 30 minutes a day or so and make visual progress. I’ll post from time to time on my progress and see if it maintains. Glad to hear that the school method works for you.

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