All posts tagged: Tokyo

LASIK Update

This is a compilation of blog posts about my experience getting laser eye surgery in Japan. Short Version: I used glasses and contact lenses for 20 years. In 2013, I decided to get Laser Eye Surgery. I had iDesign iLASIK at the Kobe Kanagawa Clinic in Shinjuku, Tokyo.  Procedure went great. I now have excellent vision, better than 20/20. Hoorah. In 2020 the Kobe Kanagawa Clinic changed ownership and the clinic is now focused on other procedures. Richard, who helped me now works at the Shinagawa LASIK center which is a great option for English speakers in Japan. Shinagawa LASIK Center Richard set me up with a referral system for the Shinkawa LASIK Center  so readers of my blog can get up to 50,000 yen off.  Just message me and I’ll send you a referral discount coupon. Long Version: I got my first pair of glasses when I was about 13. At age 16, I started wearing contact lenses, and glasses became a last resort. For the next 20 years I used contact lenses pretty much …

Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Looking for a surreal experience that combines J-pop, anime,  taiko drummers,  carnivale, and robots. Of course you are. The Robot Restaurant is located in Kabukicho, the entertainment district in Shinjuku. The target audience was once the salarymen, but now it’s packed with international tourists. There are four  90 minute shows every evening. It begins with guests gathering together in the bar area, where a “robot” band plays Michael Jackson, The Eagles and Sting. My guess is that they originally played the themes from Astro Boy, Gundam  or Doraemon. After all the guests have arrived you are ushered into the theatre. The main performance takes place in four 20 minute segments with  10 minutes breaks  which allow the cast to change, and the robots to reset. The guests meanwhile can refill on drinks and popcorn. The show itself is a bit like watching a live action mixture of Power Rangers, Transformers,  and Japanese music video. It should have been moronic, but everyone was having a great time. It doesn’t seem odd that you’re waving glow stick and booing …

Pentax K-1 Exhibition, Tokyo

Today, September 14th, the Pentax K-1 photo exhibition begins at the Ricoh Imaging Square in Shinjuku Tokyo.  The staff at the gallery just sent me some pics of the images on the wall including my photograph of Sam wearing a suit and tie. The exhibition runs until September 26th so if you’re in Tokyo please stop by and check it out. The Ricoh Imaging Square is in the Shinjuku Center Building just west of the (world’s busiest) train station. Shinjuku Center Building is a pretty generic skyscraper but it’s right next to the far more recognizable Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower モード学園コクーンタワー. A huge thanks to the people at Pentax and Ricoh Imaging for selecting me to produce work for their exhibition. Thanks also to the model Samantha Armistead and makeup by Audra Pesicka. For those interested here’s the technical details: Pentax K-1 with at 28-105 lens at 105mm ISO100 f8.0 1/200 sec Main light Profoto softlight reflector white powered by Profoto 7a 1200w generator. Fill light Profoto medium softbox 2 rim lights – 30x120cm strip boxes …

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree, at 634m the world’s tallest free-standing broadcasting tower. At least it was in 2011, but no doubt it will not keep the position for long. After taking the shinkansen from Nagaoka to Ueno I had intended on having a relaxing lunch, before taking the train to Narita. However on arrival at Ueno Station. the sky was crystal clear, and I could clearly see the Skytree. I ignored the hunger pangs and jumped on the Ginza line to Asakusa. Spent 20 minutes shooting on the banks of the Sumida River, then jumped back on the metro to Ueno.

Koenji Awa Odori, Tokyo

Koenji Awa Odori, held in Koenji at the end of August, is Tokyo’s version of the Tokushima City Awa Odori dance festival. The dances are similar, but the overall feeling is very different. The performers at the Koenji Awa Odori  wind their way along narrow streets, the sidewalks packed with spectators. Only in certain section are they on larger roads where they can spread out. Taking photographs was easy enough as the dancers awaited the start. Things were trickier when the dancing began as the number of spectators make it difficult to move from one position to another. Overall, an interesting event, especially for those who can’t make it all the way to Shikoku.