My first breakfast in Tokyo: ume jelly and yuzu juice at Chococro.
Tentacle porn! (For Watts.)
Clams, in the grocery department at Seibu Ikebukuro. I took these photos of seafood for my father, so he could weep at the low, low prices. (Y327 for clams!)
The Ghibli display at Seibu Ikebukuro.
Lunch, purchased from Seibu. As we ate, we saw an old homeless man masturbating as he walked down the street.
A statue at the Yoyogi Animation Gakuen.
Figures, probably based on characters animated at YAG. I think I recognize Kaneda's bike and the main character of Rozen Maiden.
The next time you're in Ikebukero, do everything you can to find this place. This will involve getting lost, and asking nice bartenders for help, as I did.
Jam night at MIles' Jazz Cafe.
My daily beverage.
The Modern Art Centre, Ikebukuro.
A store display in Ginza.
A selection of animals from an aquarium in Okinawa, transplanted to the Sony Building in Ginza.
The Uniqlo fitting room, Ginza. The fitting room attendant gave me this paper hood so that my sweat and makeup wouldn't smear across the nice new clothes.
An absinthe display at the Bic Camera Ginza store.
A ten thousand dollar bottle of single malt scotch.
A private room at the yakitori restaurant.
Potato croquettes garnished with bonito flakes that danced in the heat.
Specialty yakitori -- I enjoyed the bacon-wrapped tomatoes.
The Mikimoto windchime tree. These chimes are a summer tradition. The tree will be put away when autumn arrives.
The crowd at Comic Market.
These guys were very popular.
L and Misa from "Death Note."
A photo of photographers photographing bunny girls/Haruhi cosplayers.
Characters from "Kuroshitsuji," Sebastian, Elizabeth, and Ciel.
Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus.
Yachiru from "Bleach."
A nekomimi/"Loveless" cosplayer, being photographed by Lord Sesshoumaru.
I had never really understood the volume of food that each McDonald's processes until I took this picture.
A Delorean. A real one.
Sparkling sake, one a sake-and-yuzu and the other a sake-and-tonic, purchased from a specialty shop in Ginza.
The Family Mart breakfast: onigiri, jelly, and espresso.
Akihabara has several shops where one can purchase the raw materials necessary to construct dolls.
Tachikoma and the Major.
An empty manga shop, just before the opening bell rang.
The goddesses from "Ah! Megami-sama!"
The butler from "Kuroshitsuji."
Pre-fab maid, schoolgirl, nurse, and pirate loli cosplay.
Instructions on how to approach a shrine. Ritual hand-washing is important.
A shrine near the Suginami Animation Museum.
A reproduction of a desk at Production IG.
Character goods at 7&Holdings (7-11).
Tokyo's crows are massive, loud, and clever. They are completely unafraid of people, and engage in regular turf wars (shouting matches) between buildings and wires.
Japan is replete with PET bottles, because there are so many vending machines. This is a hobbycraft book with ideas on how to convert used PET bottles into toys or other gadgets.
Doraemon, the blue robot cat with no ears, appeared via Photoshop on this real estate ad.
A pavement caption which tells smokers not to smoke on the street, as their cigarettes are at the level of a child's face.
The face I made several times upon realizing how lost I was.
The tori gate Yoyogi Park.
Trees are often braced to encourage upright growth.
Casks of wine.
Near Yoyogi Park, the neighbourhood is so confusing that the residents have made their own participatory DIY map on a whiteboard.
One of Tokyo's fabled beer machines.
Jizo, the deity of lost children.
The shrine at Senno-ji Temple.
The swastika (or a symbol that looks like it) is still employed in certain spiritual contexts.
Senno-ji Temple is near both a shopping arcade and a theme park.
The film adaptation of my favourite Natsuo Kirino novel.
"Seirei no Moribito."
Shibuya by day.
One of the best doujinshi shops in the city.
Shibuya by night.
Our ryokan in Kyoto.
Our first breakfast in Kyoto.
A temple near our ryokan.
The handwashing station.
This temple kept both koi and swans.
Our first morning in Kyoto, we followed a nationalist protest. It sounded much larger than it was, because it featured a motorcade and loudspeakers.
The Kyoto International Manga Museum.
Like the animation museum featured earlier, the Ex Cafe allows manga-ka to draw their favourite or signature characters on the walls. Note the Gundams.
Sometimes, people are confused when I tell them that this is a carving, not a painting.
Nisho-jo does not allow photography inside the castle, so this is one of the last photos I could take before entering. (The gardens are fair game, of course.) I wanted to capture the detail in the gold work.
Japan's cicades are huge and their sound is overpowering. Here's a scale shot; they're about the size of a man's big toe.
The garden at Shinsen Heihachi, a relic of Kyoto's old Imperial Palace.
A turtle at the pond in Shinsen Heihachi.
A shrine to the koi and the turtle at Shinsen Heihachi.
It was just turning autumn.
Rental bikes, which are popular in Kyoto.
At Cafe Reims, we watched our pizza being made for us.
Our ryokan breakfast always involved salad.
It also always involved open flame.
This miso soup features yuba, a signature Kyoto dish of tofu "skin." It's surprisingly savoury.
Ueno, Mie Prefecture.
The ninjas help you find the ninja museum.
Iga-Ueno Castle, where portions of "Kagemusha" were filmed.
The view from Iga-Ueno Castle.
The Basho monument, Ueno Park.
The beauty of the countryside continually surprised me.
I asked in broken Japanese for the bartender at Cafe Reims to make me his favourite cocktail. I received a carrot, ginger, and orange something-or-other.
A spooky Kyoto restaurant. There are a lot of these near Rokkaku-dori.
Reims has a choose-your-own-adventure system of ordering pasta dishes, on a Japanese-only menu. I chose blindly, and lucked out.
The film adaptation of "20th Century Boys" had just entered theatres.
Takoyaki -- squid croquettes.
A crab restaurant on Teramachi-dori.
A Buddhist rectory.
The rectory graveyard.
The Kyoto Gyoen National Garden map. The garden dwarfs Central Park in both scale and history.
Kanji hewn into the landscape.
A homeless person's shanty.
Tetrapods which help prevent erosion in the river.
These fish may have leapt free of the river. Or they were simply discarded.
The Heian Jingu Shrine, Kyoto.
Byakko, the White Tiger, one of the four gods.
Stomach medicine -- digestive enzymes, I think. They come in a small packet whose contents are dissolved in a glass of water. They taste vaguely of copper and five-spice powder.
Iced coffee with simple syrup and milk, with a slice of cake. This is known as a cake set. It makes a nice breakfast.
Singers at the Chidori-cho Matsuri. They sounded like Hawaiian mariachis.
An impressive kitchen garden.
Fresh yakitori right off the street.
The best fried chicken I've ever eaten.
A demonstration from the neighbourhood hula studio.
Pineapple on a stick!
Even the manhole covers are pieces of art.
A rainy night in suburban Tokyo.
More matsuri loot: okonomiyaki, or savoury seafood pancake.
The Ghibli Museum garden.
Halloween preparations had already begun in department store bakeries.
I took this photo of a love hotel for Dave, who had recently written a story featuring a character by the name of N.
Comic Toranoana is a chain of doujinshi shops. This one features about four different floors of pornography. It and the love hotels clearly have a nice racket going -- the one inspires purchase of time at the other.
Our final dinner in Tokyo. Notice the tiny origami swan on the right side. The sushi chef folded it for me from my hashi wrapper. Watashi no chisai tomodachi desu.