White-capped Fujisan after the typhoon

Took this photo with my iPhone this morning after the 20th typhoon of the season cleared away.

Last time I saw it, there was no snow. Now it’s all white. See another beautiful photo made this morning from much closer.

I will try to update this post tonight with some photos I took with my DSLR in between brushing my teeth and putting my pants on – always in a rush in the mornings…

View from my new place

Last night was the first clear sky sunset I could catch since we moved in the new apartment in Ikebukuro. 梅雨 (the rainy season – literally rain like plums) is not over yet so it was a lucky day.

I can’t wait until the typhoon season – after a typhoon, the skies are like washed from any cloud or fog – when I should be able to see the Fujisan clearly from my window.

More photos in the flickr photoset…

Driving in Tokyo

A friend of mine received his new car last weekend and we went driving around town all saturday night and sunday afternoon.

Fun thing to do with a car in Tokyo: drive to Yokohama’s 中華街 to eat chinese food for lunch a Sunday afternoon after partying.

It really got me into thinking I need to get off my lazy ass and finally get my license. I never bothered getting it while a student living in Paris and now that I’m 27 years old living in Japan, I realize my mistake.

So I’ve been looking at driving schools around my place and found a nice one not to far. Prices are ¥291.000 for manual, ¥278.000 for automatic. I should have no problem taking the driving courses and test in Japanese and the written test is available in English in Saitama prefecture, but studying for the written test in Japanese might be a bit out of my league.

I’m going to see with the school if they can waiver the fees for the non-driving classes and let me study at home on my own with whatever english materials I can find.

Internet is almost void of any accounts of foreigners passing their driving license from scratch in Japan so I have no real idea of what I’m in for…

Daddy’s gift

Yesterday we received a Christmas present / New Year’s gift from 愛子’s father.

Around a Kg of 和牛 – Japanese beef from Yamanashi prefecture. If you’re thinking “meh, it’s just meat…”, stop right there, retail price must be over ¥30.000 (almost 300€).

Straight in the frying pan with some delicious garlic. Look at those beautiful nervings of fat permeating through the meat… *drool*

And a nice bottle of wine to complement the meal. You can’t eat meat like this with any little cheap bordeaux from the supermarket downstairs so we picked this up at Isetan Shinjuku.

All set (except the forks and knives, forgot to put them in before the photo…), thanks dad! The taste was incredible and you barely need to chew, it almost melts on your tongue.

PS: so that my parents don’t get jealous, I also received a huge pack full of foie gras, paté, rillettes, cassoulet, cuisses de canard confites from them and will post about it when I will eat it.

3-day weekend in Karuizawa

I spent last weekend, which was a 3-day holiday with 文化の日 on monday, in 軽井沢, which could be compared to the Gstaad or Courchevel of Japan. Of course, it’s a pretty far-fetched comparison: the ski-station could barely be called a hill, but anyways that’s where all the rich CEO’s buy fabulous chalets and come chill out in the weekends playing golf, tennis and splurging on designer clothes at the gigantic outlet mall that sits next to the Shinkansen station. That’s the Japanese way…

I was invited by a friend to his company’s country house. That’s one of the perks of working for a company that makes profits, unlike me and the automotive industry.

We spent the weekend contemplating the 紅葉 (and manically taking pictures) that has started already in the mountains of Nagano prefecture. Pictures are trickling down on my flickr photostream as I get to treat them from the RAW format of my new camera through Aperture. It’s a lot tougher than what I’m used to on my Ricoh GR Digital but the result is worth the effort.