My slice of America…

My slice of America…

I am packing this morning and heading off to Sydney for a few days of work.   I feel like I never seem to stop lately as I only got back from Las Vegas less than a week ago.

I can’t decide which cameras to pack.  I am going to be doing a few of my $10 Head Shots for Charity while in Sydney so I need to pack my M9.   Most people want a headshot in color but I want to explore a bit in the early morning if I have some time and I want to use my Leica Monochrom M to do that.   I haven’t updated in a while on this project but I have been able to raise $8,000USD taking head shots!   It is a great way to meet people and to raise money for a charity you care about.

I also donated 3 large prints for an auction they were holding to raise money to build a hospital and they sold for $5,000USD!  It is amazing that I have been able to raise $13,000 to help Cambodia.   A few people that lost at the auction actually contacted me to buy prints as well!

The first print I donated is one of my favoriate shots from last year.  I took this from my friend Richard’s apartment in NYC after we attended the Jay Maisel Workshop together.   One of the things Jay really  drilled into us was about working a shot and finding the shot that no one else is seeing.   Everyone was shooting the views of Central Park and missed the great reflections in the side of the building.   Richard said after all of the years living in the building he had never seen that view.  I am really proud of this shot.  I have it hanging in my office at home and I sent a print to Richard as well.

Reflections of Central Park West

The second print I donated was a shot of the Merlion in Singapore.  Since the auction was being held in Singapore I figured it was a good piece for the auction.   I really like this shot as well.  I took this on a business trip to Singapore.  I got up every morning and kept working the shot until I got what I was hoping for.  I actually sold a print of this the day I took it!

The Merlion and Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Last was a shot I took in London a bunch of years ago.  I don’t do much HDR but I think it really works in this shot.


Today’s configuration: Ricoh GR Digital IV

Me in the mirror

If I stand up from my desk this is what is directly behind me.   You can see Shinjuku off in the distance.  I love looking out this window and seeing how busy Tokyo is.  I can see helicopters landing at the US Army barracks below, cars racing down the express way and the occasional window washer goes.   The window washer usually scares the hell out of me if I am not expecting to see him when I turn around.

Tokyo Sky View

My company has the entire floor we I can get a 360 view of Tokyo!

Tokyo Sky View

It can be a bit creepy when it starts to rain and the sky whites out.  This example isn’t so bad but sometimes all you can see is white.  It reminds me of those Sci-Fi movies where you lose the alien and then he (it?) presses against the glass…

Out of my office window

Out of my office window

The sunsets are pretty amazing as well…

Tokyo Sky View Tokyo Sky View

Living overseas you often find yourself wanting or things from home.  Certain foods, magazines, TV shows, etc.   iTunes and my iPad has simplified at lot of this as you can get just about any magazine on your iPad and I download some shows on my iTunes.  Thankfully I am not a huge TV watcher.  I choose to use my time more productively…on the Internet.

Over time you lose the desire for a lot of things and pick up a desire for new things.  You celebrate some holidays and not others.  You kept true to some customs but have adopted new ones in your life.  You become a bit of a hybrid of both cultures.  You don’t feel 100% like the country where you come from but you also don’t fit in 100% in your adopted country either.   It is an interesting position to be in and one of the interesting things about living overseas.

I was very excited to find News Cafe just around the corner from my house.  I mentioned it in my last post and got a lot of questions so I thought I would share a little more.  It is a very small cafe that servers American cuisine.   It is run by a Japanese woman named Kayoko who seems to love all things American.   While she stays true to the menus she modifies them just a bit to make them not has heavy as their traditional American counterparts.    I leave very satisfied but without that very heavy feeling I get when I eat when I am in America.   It is my slice of America in the middle of Tokyo…

My wife Mayumi and I have gone here a few times and it has quickly become our favorite place.

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

A pretty typical menu…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

Documentation tools…

ShootTokyo's Leicas

She has one of those boards where people put pins to note where they are from… Clearly we need to drive some demand generation from Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador for her.

Where are you from?

You know you are getting old when you take pills before you eat…


She hed a kelp based vegetable soup.  I am not always a big fan of kelp but this was so good.   Huge cuts of onion in it…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

Home made potatoes chips… even these didn’t feel heavy.

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

I had a hot dog…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

With real American ‘Sugar Ketchup’…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

Mayumi had an incredible good burrito…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

I could spend hours looking at all of the things she has around the store…

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

…and since we are in America we need to eat a little bit of pie!

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

…Mayumi was so excited she didn’t even wait for me to take a photo of it!

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

News Cafe in Jiyugaoka

Random:  If you haven’t shot slide film you should give it a try!   Look how awesome the slides themselves look or go and check out how the photos came out.

Slide Film

Thanks for stopping by today…



  1. Great set of photos! Really interesting and inspiring. I’d love to wax on but I’m hungry……

  2. What!?!?! You’re going to Sydney as I’m going to Tokyo!!! I will be in Japan for a year so one day I’d love to join for a photo walk!!

  3. The corners of your Ricoh are very blurry. I noticed that in one of your previous posts as well. I am no expert when it comes to that particular Ricoh but I am positive that it can produce better results. Maybe it has a defect?

  4. Marcus – It is an effect being caused as I am shooting out a window. It isn’t being caused by the camera but rather the angle to the window.

  5. Okay then. I just never noticed that effect when you shot your M9 and there was another shot from your Ricoh where I noticed that which was not taken out your office window. Anyway I am sure everything works as intended.

  6. Still love the photo you took out the window at Richard’s apartment. Are these still for sale?? Have fun in Australia. ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ Mate!

  7. Really nice place, the food looks delicious. The prints that you sold are amazing, my favorite is the one by the window. Congratulations on being able to donate that much money.

  8. I haven’t shot film much, looking at your photographs it does inspire me to go ahead.

    The first shot is a smasher. Awesome shot that. How was it taken, could you share more on that.

  9. Correct Marcus… Thanks for asking for me. I was on a flight from Australia!

  10. Thanks Lucas. The food in that place is pretty yummy!

  11. Hi Dave
    Enjoyed the story today. I spent a number of years living away from home (in Bangkok) and always liked it when I could find a little slice of home. Keep up the great work on your blog- my wife and I both read it. For her it is a reminder of home as she left Tokyo to live here in Canada. For me, the blog shows me some different places to visit on our annual trips back Tokyo (and I enjoy your photo related stories as we’ll). We will be in Tokyo again next month so I will be doing another look through your blog for some new places to visit.

  12. Thanks for your kind words Stewart. Glad it brings you and your wife back home. Great website by the way. I really like the 2nd shot in the pattern series.


  1. Hello Ojisan | ShootTokyo - [...] I had lunch the other day at my favoriate News Cafe… [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Pin It on Pinterest