Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time Lapse Japan

I thought some of you might be interested to see some pictures from the Tokyo marathon last month. If you ever have the chance to run a 10k/half/full marathon, you may notice loads of very professional cameramen sitting on the sides of the road with high speed cameras. They make these very professional "action" photos. You can later go to their website and choose from about twenty pictures and then purchase them for a very high price. I simply copied and pasted a few of the preview shots (hence the All Sports watermark on the pictures). When I ran my first full marathon a year and a half ago in Osaka, I bought a few, but won't be doing that again for awhile!

Here I am running in the very wet and miserable conditions of Tokyo marathon 2010.

Still running. At the end of the race the sun came out and it ended up being a very beautiful afternoon.

A few days ago I posted my first attempt at time lapse video on You Tube. I was quite happy with the way it turned out, but learned a lot about how to improve on this style of video while editing it.

The final product and positive viewer feedback prompted me to go outside and film a lot more. i took some wonderful footage the other day in and around Kobe. I plan to post some more time lapse videos later on in April.

While standing under the Kobe Bridge (connecting Port Island to the mainland) I snapped this photo. I was filming various boats and ships sailing around Kobe Harbor. The footage I took was pretty good. Again, you can see the results later on in April.

I begin work tomorrow. The new school year officially begins next Monday, but I have been working a lot from home for the past few days preparing. Since I will be busy with work and am making more of an effort to study Japanese, I will take a little leave leave of absence from You Tube. Making videos for You Tube is a wonderful hobby and I really do love it, but it can be extremely time consuming. Creating and editing videos is one thing, but building and maintaining community with my viewers is the truly time consuming part (yet very rewarding). I will however, be back within a few weeks.

I plan to update my food blog Kansai Eats, regularly as well as this one.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Korean man Marries Japanese Pillow

So folks, it is a sunny and beautiful day here in Kobe, Japan. Last night I found out some great news. My "unedited/blog style" You Tube channel, JLandKev just got You Tube partnership. that basically means I can make about $2.00 a month from it and can brand it with my own banners and whatnot.

Korean Man Marries Pillow

This isn't new news, but it is so weird that I just have to share it.

I saw this story on Brian in Jeollanam-do's blog. It is by far one of the best blogs about Korea out there!

Lee Jin-gyu fell for his 'dakimakura' - a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side.

In Lee's case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the 'magical girl' anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha.

Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between 'obsessive' and 'nerd') has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.
Source: Brian in Jeollanam-do

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A lot of stuff about Japan

it is another rainy and cold day here in the Kansai. I am still on vacation, but as it draws to a close I find myself doing work at home. I just finished typing some reports and will soon head out and buy some new supplies for my new classroom. I have changed schools this year and will have a new role. I am quite excited to mix things up and work with new students and people.

I have sumo hands! these are two souvenirs i picked up while at the sumo tournament on the weekend in Osaka. The one on the left is Baruto's hand (he is an up and coming Estonian wrestler) and the one on the right belongs to Hakuho. Hakuho is the curent Grand Champion or Yokozuna. the hand prints were about three dollars each.

Random stuff I wanted to post:

Looks like South Korea and Japan are at it again....disagreeing with each other.
Japan, S Korean scholars again differ over history

it just isn't my home country of Canada that is having a doctor shortage. Japan is facing the same problem. I remember while living in Ottawa, seeing OC Transpo buses covered in advertisements about the medical professional shortage we were suffering from. Looks like that here in Japan, the government will make things easier for foreign doctors to practice here.

if you are in Tokyo this upcoming weekend you might want to take in the Tokyo You Tube Hanami party. You don't have to be a You Tube person to take part. It will be held in Yoyogi park on March 27th. Hanami means "cherry blossom viewing." Basically it is a great chance to drink under the blossoming cherry trees. For a lot more info, check out the Tokyo Cooney vid with all the details:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sumo Time in Osaka

On Sunday I went to the Osaka Sumo Tournament. It was my first time seeing live sumo wrestling and I seriously plan to do it again next year. It was simply that fun. The crowd was energetic and since I know a little about sumo and am familiar with many of the top division wrestlers, had a lot of fun watching.

It was a little pricey at 5,400 yen for the second cheapest tickets, but even in the "nosebleed" section, I still was able to see everything easily.

If you are ever visiting Japan during one of the six annual sumo tournaments, I would completely suggest taking one in.

This is the video I made about my sumo experience in Osaka.

You can see the Estonian wrestler, Baruto. he is rising through the ranks and having a great tournament. Many people are hoping he will soon be promoted.

Here is the Grad Champion (Yokozuna) Hakuho. He is a Mongolian fighter.

Here is the Grad Champion (Yokozuna) Hakuho. He is a Mongolian fighter. This is him performing a ritual before the top division fighters began to wrestle.

These are the top division fighter. BIG boys!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Magnolias in Kobe

Yet another sign of Spring in Japan. The magnolias are Blooming around Kobe. I took these pictures earlier in the week (I am vacation and have ample time to photograph flowers) in Motomachi.

I took this picture across the street from the Starbucks close to the entrance to Chinatown. In the background you can see the old American Consulate (I believe it is a big and tall clothing shop now).

It was an overcast and dreary day, but I was still happy to have the time to frolic through the streets, taking pictures of very "Un-masculine" things!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kansai Eats

I have a new blog. Kansai Eats is %100 dedicated to food. It is about restaurants here in japan as well as cooking and shopping.

Check it out here!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Going to Sumo!

I am excited! Why am I so excited? I'm so excited because I'm going to see live sumo wrestling for the first time. It is March which means that the annual Osaka Sumo Tournament is going on. In fact, it started today.

Next Sunday I will go and check it out for myself. It will be made even more cool due to the fact that an old friend from my days in Korea will be joining me. a great guy I knew from my days in Ilsan, South Korea (circa 2002) now lives in Japan and will spend the weekend at my place. He is a pretty big sumo fan.

Kevin....the proud owner of some sumo tickets!

I am really excited to see Hakuho (my favorite sumo wrestler and now the only Yokozuna).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yukinko Akira - Rhythm Painter

Last night, on my way home from work I accidentally stumbled upon this amazing performance in a park in Sannomiya (Kobe, Japan).

Yukinko Akira and is a "Rhythm painter" and he simply blew my mind away. Luckily, as usual, I had my camera with me and captured some for everyone to see. He and others will be performing live, March 13th in Sannomiya at Bar Trinity. The show is free and from 8pm-12am.

I am going to a You Tube met in Osaka the same night, but if I get back early enough I will try to swing by and check it out.

See the original video here.

Here is some more unedited footage of Yukinko Akira on my other channel. I would have recorded more, but my memory card was almost full.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Marathon Series Complete

Another rainy and cold weekend here in Japan Land. I have only one week of work left before school finishes for the year. I then have the luxury of having more than two weeks vacation. I plan to run, explore more of the Kansai and generally relax. I will also be preparing for a change in work venue. I will still be in the Kansai Region of Japan, but not the same city I have been in for the last two years. I am looking forward to the change. i think it will keep me fresh and on my toes as an educator!

Today I posted my last video in my Tokyo Marathon series. You can now follow me on my journey to Tokyo and the pain of the marathon.

Now it is time to focus on showing the world more of the Kansai Region and making some more creative and silly videos. A little break from vlogging might be in the near future as well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kevin Goes to Google

It was just a coincidence that I was in Tokyo last weekend. i went for the marathon, but there happened to be a seminar at Google Japan for You Tube partners. It was for Tokyo-based partners, but since I was in town, I got an invite.

It was very cool and I was finally able to meet some You Tubers I have been communicating with for years. It was a whos who of the You Tube Japan scene!

Ericsurf6, thatjapanesegirl, moi (busankevin)

Tolokyo, thatjapanesegirl, moi and Hikosaemon.

Moi (busankevin), runnyrunny999, StreetenglishTV, Tolokyo, thatjapanesegirl, ericsurf6, Hikosaemon.


There were many long weeks in the build up and last Sunday it all came to an end. I ran the Tokyo Marathon on what was the most miserable weather experience for me while on a run. It was pouring rain and at times the rain changed to snow and freezing rain. The wet and cold wreaked havoc on my knees. I normally never have knee issues, but they were aching and causing my problems by 15 km. I got through the experience though and am very glad I did it.

What got me were the thousands of people lining the entire marathon route cheering us all on. There was an energy and excitement in the air that I had never experienced before. When the pain felt like it was getting too much, the cheers and songs of people put a smile on my face and gave me a little extra kick to my stride.

There were so many people who had obviously made their own sweets, cookies and bread and brought them down to the race course just to give them to the tired runners. The stretch between kilometers 28-35 (the wall) were especially filled with kind people cheering extra hard and giving candy and chocolate to all the runners (especially the ones who looked like they were hitting the wall).

Would I run Tokyo again? Absolutely. I think it is a very worthwhile destination marathon for anyone!

Proud and tired runners just received their finisher towels. Everyone was very quiet and moving slowly.

The race finish was held at Tokyo Big Sight. Little did I know but as the marathon was finishing there was a tsunami warning for the same area as a result of the Chile earthquake.

As you can see, it was very wet at the beginning of the marathon. In fact, it was wet for the majority of it.

I plan to continue training. By Friday I should be ready to hit the road again. My goal is to run a marathon this Fall under 4 hours. Ideally around 3 hours 50 minutes. That's what i am shooting for! Expect my face to look slimmer in future pictures!

I will be posting a 5 part series of videos about my Tokyo Marathon experience on You Tube. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tokyo Marathon 2010

Tokyo Marathon 2010

I did it! 4 hours 23 minutes (by my stopwatch) Official time might be a couple of minutes more.

A lot more about the marathon to come very soon.