Notes and photos from Tokyo, 2018

It’s a rare treat for me to be able to visit Japan two years in a row, but that happened last month after we realized my airline miles bank could handle it. Our time was largely planned around meals, exhibitions, and not a great deal else. Looking back, I should have spent a little more time making a good to-do list. As soon as we arrived home, I started hearing and reading about all sorts of other things we could have done. Maybe next year.

It became a bit of a tradition for me to make these konbini snack haul videos every night at the hotel, showing a camera all the native junk food and drinks I bought to eat while lazing around. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any this time around. Why? Leading up to the trip, I started eating less and being healthier so that I could pig out on holiday. Ironically, that had two effects: a smaller appetite, and a habit of reading nutritional info labels.

Once there, I was looking at the calorie counts on everything, and having more than a 400kcal sandwich and 150kcal milk coffee for breakfast seemed irresponsible. In the past, I was probably eating 1000kcals just at breakfast alone. Those colorful, convenient packages are more energy-dense than they look… like how a microwavable spaghetti ready meal from 7-Eleven will easily run you over 900kcals.

This trip will be remembered for having spent (too?) much of it in queues. Nearly straight off the plane, we stood three hours in line at Nakiryu waiting for their Michelin-starred take on Szechuan dan dan noodles. It was amazing but three hours is a little much. I’d do it again at twice the price and half the wait.

Another epic wait was at the fairly new “Borderless” exhibition by teamLab in Odaiba, where the line stretched as far as one could see, before extending around the corner for another equal length. You approach it from the head of the line, and then walk down the entire way to find the end, and it’s painfully demoralizing. We honestly considered skipping it and going home, but it moved quickly and only took an hour. Once in line, you will be kept entertained by the disbelieving faces of newbs going through the same rite of passage.

As an experience, I have to recommend it. teamLab pull off some amazing stuff both in terms of technical achievement and sheer conceptual audacity. I don’t know how many members they have, but I’ll bet they’re all overworked. This permanent exhibition is presented in conjunction with Epson, and when you look at the number of high resolution projectors employed to carve these interactive fantasy worlds out of the dark, it makes sense.

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Google Search Trends for Singapore, 14 May 2010, 2AM

Google publishes statistics on popular web searches the same way Twitter has its trending topics. Some of this stuff stays up on the charts for days, while other vague, ungrokkable keyword combinations burn brightly and then mysteriously slip away. Let’s have a look at what’s hot now:

Far as I can tell, Habib Ali is the name of a 96-year-old “shaman” who lives in Batu Pahat, Malaysia. Why his name is trending, I haven’t a clue. Either he did something awesome or he bought it. The top result is a site that tries to explain why he’s a shaman, but it’s just stuff like not turning his back on guests, to the point of shuffling backwards out of a room. To me, that just says he’s a respectful host or he’s had some valuables stolen in the past.
A local online shopping site that lets you set up a virtual store of your own, or subscribe to a list of your favorite merchants. The company calls it building your own virtual “mall”, but I refuse to acknowledge that kind of marketing BS until someone actually pays me rent. It does have some cool social features though, like showing your friends the stuff you want to buy and asking them repeatedly if you should get them. Should I, huh? But, if only, then again, maybe, how?! It’s just like shopping with me in the real world. The ever-sunny, floral-scented Sheylara has a blog post on it.
The MediaCorp Radio DJ has done something newsworthy, but I can’t figure out what that might be. A Twitter search didn’t turn up anything either, but did you know she was at Provence in Holland Village two nights ago and has really nice legs?? Alright, I’ll stop now. I feel like the AsiaOne home page.
This has something to do with a video of a male student from Siglap Secondary School repeatedly slapping a female student across the face. Some links suggest the male student has an association with a gay dance group I’d never heard of before, called Voguelicious. What a name! It conjures up images of Glee, Madonna, Beyonce, Women’s wear floors in major department stores, shoulder pads, patent leather, and that giant Sephora store in Paris! So gay.
The name of a hot Chinese girl, what else? I think she’s a forehead model.
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Okay, that’s all! Tune in next time for more insight into what Singaporeans use this internet thing for.
Update: I posted this last night, and now I have a Jibapan ad appearing on my site. So, uh, go get started on those virtual malls!