In many stores in Tokyo you find cute hand drawn signs and tags, even in the big chains like Matsumoto Kiyoshi where I found this. It seems like there is normally at least one staff member talented enough. The cute toast people are promoting ready-made toast-in-the-bag.
These are the only mobile phones I have wanted to own since iPhone came in to my life. But I’d probably need them as a set and pick a different one each day to match equivalent Uniqlo socks.
Softbank’s Pantone keitai series also has pretty cute campaign graphics to accompany.
They are also running a Disney series, which is nowhere near as cool, but it does have something for the Alice in Wonderland junkies. I think I will post that for the readers at Tokyo Textiles.
As an afterthought, the reason I had time to hang out in Softbank taking pictures of phones is because I was queuing to buy this. It is the most cool mobile internet device ever – a pocket sized router that supplies all my devices with limitless high-speed wifi all the time, pretty much anywhere in Japan.
After a week in the UK, I got back on the aeroplane to Tokyo. Aside from the daily earthquakes/aftershocks (including the particularly violent M7.4 the night I got back) I was also greeted by cherry blossom.
And no hanami session is complete without getting very drunk on umeshu and befriending strangers in the park.
Since the 8.7 earthquake on Friday 11th March 2011, I have been living in Tokyo. Here are some images, materials and thoughts collected in that time.
Despite the funny photo, we were actually scared shitless. When the earthquake struck Tokyo I was in my office. The walls shook, the ground tilted and it was the most surreal thing I have experienced, but my colleagues and I survived, unscathed. The recording studio was left running and we have a 12 minute recording of the sounds here. It is a little bone chilling. Click here to listen.
We stood on the streets for the next hour, unsure what to do, whilst violent aftershocks moved buildings before our eyes and people gathered in the middle of busy roads.
Finally a group of us from west Tokyo walked to our homes amongst scenes of intense traffic build up, both human and automotive. Tokyo has a massive population but you never see everybody on the streets at once like this.
Some friends and I got together to put on a fundraising gig with arts and music. It is available here, I am onstage around 35 minutes in.
Since the tsunami, two subsequent earthquakes and various radioactive leaks, the one understated sign of panic in the city is empty shelves in supermarkets and convenience stores. Train delays notwithstanding, you wouldn’t really know anything has happened from the way Tokyoites keep calm and carry on.
Groups of kids seem to have been told to stick together, here in Saitama where I am at the moment, flocks of youngsters are roaming the streets on bikes in good spirits.
Many foreigners have fled Tokyo either for the south, their homes or elsewhere in East Asia. Today I am doing the same and heading to Hiroshima with a view to flying to Vietnam. You can throw caution to the wind, but not to a tsunami.
My favourite Tokyo information graphics to date. Getting across a similar point to the London bus manners campaign that I remember from my Brixton days, only with much quirkier sequential illustrations that leave plenty of room for misinterpretation. How did that old lady get her bag up there to begin with anyway? Loneleeplanet did an awesome job re-captioning last year’s campaign.
“Sword fighting with bees while being watched by a pervert is twice as dangerous as regular sword fighting with bees.”
“When you are picking up chicks on the train watch out for one-legged perverts spying on you.”
I am particularly interested in this item, which seems to encourage you to slap your wife about whilst your daughter looks on and cries, at home albeit.