Monday, February 9, 2015


February already. Time flies. Things aren't going to let up for a while, so long, coherent posts isn't happening. Let's just do some quick check-in style mini posts instead. And since there's no particular theme, I can also post recent(1) pictures that I happen to like.

A Cat's Life
A couple of cats in the morning sun on Nagahori street on my way to work.

I failed the JLPT as I expected, but with a better score than I thought (97/180). I'll try it again in July this time, and start studying for it in late March or so. Should give me a decent chance to take it this time. Just have to motivate myself to actually study grammar...

Autumn Wedding
A newlywed couple is enjoying the autumn sunset at Sōrakuen gardens in Kobe. This is a pleasant little garden just a few minutes from bustling Motomachi.

My passport expires this summer so I renewed it last weekend. Swedish passports are valid for only five years, and you have to apply in person at the embassy in Tokyo, on weekday mornings only. Which means I have to, at a minimum, take the train up from Osaka, spend a night in Tokyo, apply, then return back home. Between the train, the hotel, one unpaid vacation day and the steep 20k yen application fee it makes for a very expensive passport.

Since I have to go anyway we turned it into a fun weekend trip together. We browsed the used bookstores in Kanda, shopped for kitchen stuff in Kappabashi — I almost bought a small drum coffee roaster before I remembered I'd have to bring it on the train — and met a couple of old friends for dinner. One afternoon we split up, with Ritsuko in Ginza while I went looking for a used oscilloscope probe in Akihabara. I found the probe — along with a bag full of useful tools and components.

It was a fun trip. I brought the Minolta SRT 101, but when I loaded the camera I neglected to make sure that the film actually caught on the take-up spool properly. The result is a roll full of no Tokyo pictures. Oh well.

Crab Pot
We go eat crab hotpot once a year or so at the Kani Dōraku restaurant on Dōtonbori. For some reason, crab is insanely popular among Japanese; I like it too, certainly, so I enjoy this as much as Ritsuko.

Ebisubashi bridge, Dōtonbori, view from the restaurant. The bridge is a place to see and to be seen, especially during the warmer months.

Dōtonbori canal.

This is insanely cool: a home-built — as in built completely from scratch — 6502-based home computer. He even made the case by himself. And all of it, from the board layout to the software, is open source.

"Askul" is a Japanese office supply company. It's a portmanteau of "明日来る/Ashita kuru", "Arrives tomorrow". In Swedish it means "Damn fun!". Every time I see one of their boxes at the office my day brightens up a little.

Ritsukos cousin, Ide Teruko, is a ceramics artist (ceramicist?), and we try to go to her exhibitions when we can. This was in a gallery in Kyoto last October.

#1 "Recent" only as in recently processed and uploaded. These are all taken last autumn.


Jordi Pujol said...

Hi Jan,

Seemingly this year came strong and many share this busy state. I'm wishing for April already to send off the trimester away.

I applied for Erasmus and am going to Sweden, Linköping. This coming August until January.

I am accummulating the knowledge I've gathered through your snippets of Sweden and Swedish. I'm looking forward for my stay.

Sad to hear the incident with the film loading. I always try to lock in and wind a bit, the ncheck the tension of the film.
I want to bring my OM-1 to Sweden and been thinking a bit about the logistics of it. Perhaps will have to load up on ISO 400-800 film.

You got some nice shots in there, the Kobe Garden couple is a very special one.

Not Askul yet, lycka till with all the deadlines!

Jan Moren said...

Hi Jordi,

Congrats on going to Linköping! It's not a big town, but it's a nice place and the university is good. In fact, I applied there when I graduated high school but didn't get accepted.

The film thing is OK. That's part of the fun of film in a way. This just gives me an excuse to try to visit Tokyo again soon :)

Klaus Kettner said...

How funny! I just found your blog via one of your posts in the tt-rss forum (searched for "tt-rss ubuntu") and realized - after seeing your picture of Ebisubashi bridge - you are living in Osaka. I'm quite japanophile and Osaka is one of my favorite cities in Japan! Last time I walked through Dotonbori was last year, but my next flight to KIX will be in just 4 weeks!

The combination of Osaka, Ubuntu & TT-RSS, I just had to subscribe to your blog :)

Have a good time Osaka, I envy you!