Friends and Food in Tokyo - Posted by BOB

The best thing about Japan was the chance to see a bunch of friends I have not seen in years and make new ones. Of course the food was amazing and I had the chance to eat things that you can only get in Japan.

There is this little bar that is right around the corner from Jason's apartment and we decided to stop by one night to see what was happening. This place was super cool and Jason knew the owner a little bit. This place is only open a few days a week. While we were there we meet a nice couple that lived near by and it was a lot of fun to talk to them. They had a chance to practice their English and we got to learn a lot about Japan. The dish right there was something that the owner brought us. We did not order it and I do not remember if we had to pay for it or if he gave it to us on the house. Either way it was a good night.

I have posted about my love of Tonkatsu, which is the world's most delicious porkchop. This is a pretty big meal for Japan, but the large number of side dishes can be misleading because most of the side dishes are only two or three bites. I ate these every chance I got and I even got a souvenir from one of the restaurants we ate at to symbolize my love for Tonkastsu.

More Tonkatsu. This one is miso katsu from Nagoya covered with delicious miso sauce

This is at some famous Sushi restaurant. We had to wait probably close to 2 hours to get in. We went with Jason's roommates and their significant others. The food was so good. There was an awesome soup and just lots of delicious sushi.

This is all of the damage that we did. The waitress has this scanner that they use to scan the stack of plates and then it charges us based on that. Even if there are only 2 or 4 pieces of sushi per plate it still adds up in the tummy.

This is Katsuya. We had a little adventure with him wandering around Tokyo. Jason and I both tried Pachinko for the first time which was massively confusing. I spent $10 dollars to push buttons and turn levers for 3 minutes while there was loud noises and have no idea what was happening. If you asked me what Pachinko is I would not know. All I know is that Pachinko is super popular in Japan for some reason.

This is okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. We went to this all you can eat place where you make your own. Somehow Japanese mayo is better than American mayo. I just think it is sweeter or something.

Here is Marco as we tried to find some restaurant to eat at. It can be hard to find a restaurant to eat at with Jason. He has these things that he look for when trying to find restaurants, but he never tells anyone what he is looking for. So what ends up happening is you walk past dozens of restaurants until something passes his qualifications and we finally get to eat.

This is some delicious friend chicken. We took a special train and trick just to get it. I do not know what makes it so delicious, but boy was it good.

This is Hikari. I wish this picture wasn't so blurry, but it is the best shot of her that I have. I remember meeting her in NY once, but it was nice to see her again in Tokyo. We ended up going to one of these micro bars. There was only enough room of 6 of us in the entire bar. These are pretty popular in Japan, but I am not sure how stay in business. They are really popular, but still. It was really hard to find an empty one when we were looking for them.

This is yakitori, which is really just meat on a stick. You can get them with salt or some sort of sauce. They always ask you, which way you want it. You can get some pretty weird stuff here that you cannot get in any normal American restaurant. They have tongue, intestine, heart, liver and every other organ. Japanese do not waste their animal by products.

I do not know what this is, but it is some sort of sushi bowl. They had some delicious sauce on top. I think this was one of the last meals that I got to eat in Japan and it definitely unique and super delicious.

Here is John Rubario, or at least his body. He was a friend of Jason's at Albany and John taught me all types of things that my mom does not want to hear about. John is now an international lawyer (or something like that) and is super successful. This restaurant only has a half door for some reason. This is not the only restaurant in Tokyo with a door like this.

More food.

Here is the lovely Vivian. She was Jason's roommate in NY for a while and it was really nice seeing her. I had not seen her in a while. Plus our glasses match. So in summery Japan is full of good people and good food.

Boat Ride With Marco - Posted by BOB

Jason, Marco and I want on this awesome boat ride up the Sumida river in Tokyo and it definitely was a highlight of my Tokyo stay.

This is not the boat that we rode. This boat is just a futuristic looking boat that I wish we rode because it had an upper deck. The boat we rode was just a boat.

Here is a picture of Jason and I just bro-ing it up.

Here is part of the canal and boating system that Tokyo uses. These are huge gates that lead into various parts of the city.

This the Rainbow bridge that Jason ran over. In the background you can see some huge cranes that are either used for construction, but I am guessing that they were just used to get cargo off from boats.

Doesn't that park look awesome. I would love to sit on that grass and read. Look how immaculate those hedges are kept.

Here is another super futuristic boat. I am not sure what they are for, but the future is here and it is in Japan.

This boat ride was an awesome opportunity to see lots of the city and it was just really relaxing.

I have no idea what this is, but it looked extra glamorous in the setting sun.

Raish brother's just lounging. I will point out here that Jason is wearing the shoes that he makes because he destroy his other shoes and I am wearing my socks with sandals that people hate so much.

The coolest thing about this dragon is that this is just a cover for construction that they are doing. In the States they just put up tarps or nothing at all. This is just another little thing that Japan does to keep the city looking nice.

After our boat ride we went to Sensoji and got some fortunes. Here you have to shake a stick out of this metal thing and then you match the symbol with a symbol on the drawers you can see up there.

I got a bad fortune. There is no always getting a nice horoscope everyday like we get in the paper in the states. My says that my "request will not be granted," but at least I will have "employment and marraige". Unfortunately they will be bad.

If you get a bad fortune you are supposed to tie it this in order to leave the bad fortune behind. If you get a good one then you take it with you.

This is a giant Sandal. I do not know it's significance, but it is huge and does not look very comfortable.

This is Sensoji temple in Asakusa. Jason has pictures of me underneath this and on the back side of those statues are a giant pair of sandals. This day was an awesome day. It was relaxing and I got to see so a lot of the city. I highly recommend doing this boat ride if in Tokyo no matter how long you have in the city.

Country Christmas

It's been 2.5 years since i've been the US. A lot has changed I hear but i haven't seen it yet because I went straight to my hometown from JFK and not a lot changes in, Canisteo, NY. It is super country. But before that I had an epic 22 hours of travel ahead of me.

leading up to my return visit home i had to analyze everything i own to determine if i would need it in the coming years, because who knows when i will be back in the US again. I have accumulated a bunch of precious and priceless Japanese and Chinese stuff in my travels and can't keep moving it to the new places I live so i have to store it at my parents house. I had to do my usual travelling with way too much stuff that was way too heavy and deal with various airport and weight limit crap. first leg, 12 hr flight to JFK

at JFK, a shot of the guys that don't give two shats about your precious and priceless artifacts. second leg, 4 hour layover, 45 min flight to rochester, NY.

My goal on this US visit is to eat all the rib stickin' food i have been missing because i've been eating rice and noodles for 2.5 years in Beijing and Tokyo and they are not rib stickin'. Straight from the airport we went to Dinosaur BBQ and i got this pulled pork, brisket, ribs, baked mac and cheese, chili, and cornbread platter. My pathetic little Japanese sized tummy couldn't take it all. 3rd leg, 1 hr drive from Rochester to Canisteo, NY.

My parents have a new puppy. This is Brody and he is 11 months old and 130 pounds. he is the biggest newfoundland in the history of them owning newfoundlands that they've ever had. He's going to get bigger. There isn't really a good shot here of how massive he is. Newfoundlands are famous for being super gentle and little kids ride on them and stuff. This guy has tons of energy and is as tall as me when he jumps up and puts his paws on my shoulders.

this is the their other newfoundland named Angus. he is a lot smaller, 110 pounds, and he just gets raped and beat up on by the new, young, energetic dog everyday so now he is a super gentle pacifist. I liken him to bob and me to the other dog, same rape and get raped daily thing basically.

super dog hair, super slobber, super dirty, but super cute

bob with the parents ipad. he needs this to fufill his photo assistant duties. We planned a family portrait photoshoot so bob is my photo assistant/assistant. He is also in charge of catering services, and wardrobe assist. Our tight schedule lies within that digital clipboard. Bob is on the edge of being let go because of various scheduling blunders and tasks not completed.

eggs over easy and corned beef hash and cheddar. i've missed it.

hashbrowns and eggs over easy and cheese. i've missed it.

daruma on the right is my dad's, his goal was to win a medal at a shooting competition and he did so he got is other eyeball. daruma on the left is my mom's and her goal is to complete her japanese garden which is in progress.

bonus points for anyone who knows what this is. I found it in our attic when i was poking around. A clue is that it's kind of Japanese related yet totally American.

Met our grandfather for lunch at a local place and had a steak bomber. All the food portions in America are at least 2 times more food than Japan if not 3 times. One of the biggest differences are the fries. you def get 3x more fries than you get in Japan with everything. seriously, at least in upstate NY, it's almost all big boys and big girls here, compared to Asia.

Me and bob at salvation army on a wardrobe hunt for the photoshoot.

the heart of towns across America. If you go here you will see people you know from highschool and so on so me and bob are always a little weary being in here.

the vast lands of upstate NY

2.5 years of magazines that my illustrations have been in that have been mailed to my parents house. this is probably only 5% of the jobs i have done though because usually the clients don't mail me anything.

Who's that i spy betwixt the evergreen boughs? Someone got lucky for Xmas, santa brought a Bob.

the photo things that my mom and I made in tokyo at the top of the Shinjuku metropolitan building. every year we have a new ornament for that year but this year its these things.

this was made a few years ago. it's baby jesus bob with realistic detailing underneath that loincloth that my mom made me sew on because she thought it was inappropriate to have little bobby showing.

a sampling of our wardrobe hunt

mine has shoulder pads. A post with the photoshoot results is coming up soon. stay tuned.