Fateful Encounters http://www.fabricerequin.com Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:11:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Elements of Culture at Gion Corner http://www.fabricerequin.com/elements-of-culture-at-gion-corner/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/elements-of-culture-at-gion-corner/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2013 14:53:20 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=11458

I like the idea of having this sort of ‘taster’ session for multiple aspects of Japanese culture, and so the performance at Gion Corner in Kyoto offers several vignettes of Japanese arts such as a tea ceremony, various dances and a puppet performance. I’m especially intrigued by the Maiko and Geisha culture so this was a great experience for me to learn a little bit about each area.

You are permitted to take pictures during the performance and I read about complaints from other reviews but I was near the front and didn’t have any problems – just try to be respectful of the other people viewing the show. There is a pamphlet in English so you can easily follow along with the performances even though they are in Japanese.

The show was an hour long & was about the changing of the seasons, starting in Spring. First is chado, the tea ceremony. The precise and graceful gestures, the elegance of the pottery, the fragrance of the tea are both beautiful and captivating. Second is the is the Kyo-mai Dance where beautiful Geisha & Maiko came out on to the stage in gorgeous, bright, patterned kimonos & danced with fans & cherry blossom flowers. All of the Geisha & Maiko danced in a lovely, careful, gentle manner & it was again fascinating to watch. Next, we are introduced to Koto, a thirteen-string instruments played in the Imperial Court, then kado (flower arrangement), gagaku, originally court music but which has evolved into a more popular form, kyogen, a comic play that used to be presented at the interlude of Noh plays, and finally Bunraku, a puppet play.

Seven traditional art forms in total are presented and this is a great way to get into the traditional spirit of Kyoto and get introduced to these fascinating art forms. Although Gion Corner is a bit of a tourist attraction, it still seems equally popular with Japanese and foreign visitors. It is nice to roll up to before heading out for a formal, traditional meal at one of the (many) local restaurants. Sit towards the front (seating not banked) and towards the right. Watch the precision of the movements carefully, it is all in the details.

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Caretta Christmas Illumination http://www.fabricerequin.com/caretta-christmas-illumination-2012/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/caretta-christmas-illumination-2012/#comments Sat, 01 Dec 2012 14:41:27 +0000 http://fabricerequin.com/?p=9021

Caretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoSeason Greeting’s to all, With Christmas round the corner, it’s that time of the year to be merry and joyous. Folks in Tokyo can enjoy the spirit of the season by seeing the multiple illumination events happening around town. I was lucky to have been able to see this years “Caretta Christmas Illumination 2012″ hosted at the basement plaza of Caretta Shiodome which features a vast ocean of LED lights, while 3D projectors are used to illuminate and animate the walls of the shopping center.

It is a mesmerizing show of light and music that symbolises the Christmas season making it probably the best show in Tokyo in my opinion. I managed to film some of the illumination light up event which happens every 15 or 30 minutes and lasts around 5 minutes+. Hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogICyIkSVM8

Caretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, TokyoCaretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, Tokyo

Access by JR Line : 5-minute walk from Shimbashi Station (There is a convenient underground passage connecting Caretta.)
Access by subways : One-minute walk from Oedo Line Shiodome Station;
3-minute walk from Asakusa Line Shimbashi Station;
5-minute walk from Ginza Line Shimbashi Station
Access by Yurikamome : 2-minute walk from Shiodome Station
Caretta Illumination: November 15, 2012 to December 25, 2012
17:00 to 21:30 (until 23:00 on December 21-25, 2012)

Caretta Christmas Illumination 2012 at Shiodome, Tokyo

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The Most Sophisticated Starbucks in Kobe http://www.fabricerequin.com/the-most-sophisticated-starbucks-in-kobe/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/the-most-sophisticated-starbucks-in-kobe/#comments Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:32:45 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=11160 The Most Sophisticated StarbucksBeing the Starbucks regular that I am, I was intrigued when a friend told me about this rumor going around that there is one store in Kobe to be perhaps the most sophisticated of them all. So when I visited Kobe during my holidays I made sure to check it out.

Making my way to Kitano, downtown Kobe as per the arrow pointing on my phone map showed I was met with this beautiful western styled House. First impression was wrong address but there was the clear Starbucks signs so I was left quite surprised in a good way as the curiosity to go in and have a look grew by the second. Starbucks is known worldwide for having stylish stores and this one surely is one of the most stylish Ive ever seen.

The Starbucks in question is the Kobe Kitano Ijinkan Store, It was originally built back in 1907 but was severely damaged by the Hanshin great earthquake in 1995. After that, it was dismantled and the Kobe city government conserved its materials. It was then rebuilt at today’s location, along the Kitanozaka street in 2001 which is now used as a shop of Starbucks Coffee since 2009. It also became one of Japan’s Tangible Cultural Properties. The house is painted in the same white and dark green colors of the Starbucks logo making it rather easily recognizable, and truly stands out against the surrounding buildings.

Once inside you feel as if youve stepped back in time in the 19th century to be precise where Western influence in Kobe was strong. There are a total of 7 rooms including a lounge, dining room and guest room, all fully furnished with goods from that time. After placing your order at the first floor bar, you can choose from a variety of rooms to enjoy your drink in. There’s a spacious lounge, a dining room complete with cupboards, and even a small studyroom that feels just like your own private refuge. Each room has its own charm and I had a hard time deciding which one to choose but in the end settled for the sun room on the second floor which offered a nice outside scenery to view.

It’s really an enjoyable and quiet place. I got to relax and think about life or whatever was on my mind while sipping my delicious Soy Chai Latte all at the same time. There was a nice Bossa Nova styled Christmas playlist playing in the background which was soothing and I stayed much longer than I had originally intended. This place really grew in me the more I savored the atmosphere. This is definitely the kind of store that makes you want to come back just for the ambiance.

There are many western style houses in the Kitano district. Many of them are used as galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Its Charming, Beautiful and Sophisticated which makes this district a must see if in town.

The Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated StarbucksThe Most Sophisticated Starbucks

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A Monthly Dose of G’s Magazine http://www.fabricerequin.com/dengeki-gs-magazine/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/dengeki-gs-magazine/#comments Mon, 09 Apr 2012 15:40:14 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=5646

Dengeki G's MagazineFor anime lovers, Japanese magazine publisher ASCII Media Works provide fans across the world a great monthly magazine to enjoy called Dengeki G’s Magazine which is loaded with information along with awesome pictures of all the cutest bishoujo anime and game characters in Japan. The “G’s” in the title stands for “Gals” and “Games”, the primary focus is on the girls, so expect each turn of the page to bring you more and more cute girls from Japan’s current hit anime, games, manga and novels. One significance of such is the cover issue for each months which would depict a heroine from a bishoujo game.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. I used to be a big collector of G’s Magazine, collecting all the issues from the year 2009 and 2010. However when shipping priced soared in 2011 I had to restrain myself. Turned out be a good idea as now I have absolutely no space whatsoever to put things in my room. Also managed to learn the definition of “keep your money” ^^. I still manage to buy an issue whenever I go back to Singapore at Kinokuniya. For more in depth look into the magazines, check out Nopy‘s variety of G’s related posts.

Dengeki G's Magazine

About half of the magazine pages are colored and contain information about games or anime. In this picture talks about Rewrite by key and the main heroine Kanbe Kotori.

Dengeki G's Magazine

The PSP and PS3 game of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Dengeki G's Magazine

An Eroge by Sprite called Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate with one the heroines.

Dengeki G's Magazine

Here it features Both Index and Biribiri for the anime series Toaru no Kagaku Index.

Dengeki G's Magazine

IdolM@ster which the anime series recently ended.

Dengeki G's Magazine

The magazine also include pages focused on merchandises such as figures, cd’s, dvd’s and so on so forth, keeping you up to date with the most anticipated releases.

Dengeki G's Magazine

The remaining pages, placed at the end of the magazine, are serialized manga series.

Dengeki G's MagazineUnlike typical Japanese publications, pages are turned from right to left for the first half of the magazine, but this is switched to the traditional left to right configuration when reading the manga series. The magazine also include pages focused on character designs which are excellent for reference and also contains a fan art section and more. Each issue comes with an omake bonus present!

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The Adventures of Travelling Holo http://www.fabricerequin.com/the-adventures-of-travelling-holo/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/the-adventures-of-travelling-holo/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2012 01:00:59 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=11187

Project Holo in China (Great Wall)
Suitcase Check! Passport Check! Visa Check! Holo Check! And off I went to China for my holiday. It was the 8th of September 2011 and the crazy thing is that this trip was so dis-organised I still wonder how I managed to pull this one off. I had to frantically renew my passport a month before as it didnt have a validity of 6 months in order to enter the country. Call it Fate or Luck I received my passport only 3 days before my fly out date, so yes pretty much on the borderline but hey that makes the trip more exciting! I ended up spending 10 wonderful days in Beijing with the sunny weather, visiting places from Forbidden City > Temple of Heaven > Confucius Temple > Tianaman Square > Summer Palace > The Great Wall and many more.

Im excited to say that my trip to China was also the start of the anticipated Project called “The Adventures of Travelling Holo” or simply “Project Holo” created by myself, my sister Kelsey and friend Wibi. We Follow the footsteps of Mr George Clooney from the movie “Up in the Air“, where our aim is to do just as George was tasked to do during his travels by taking photos of a cardboard cut-out in front of a landmark. This time around the cardboard in question will be of Holo, a character from a Japanese anime called Spice and Wolf. How all this came about is quite interesting to be honest, if you’re interested you can read up all about the project in its dedicated page – “Project Holo”. In the end who would have thought that we would then add Indonesia, Singapore and Japan into the countries visited for our Project. This post is all about telling you the story of Project in each of the countries visited and how everything unfolded!

The Beginning of something special

Choosing our first landmark to feature into Project Holo during my stay in Beijing was difficult as there are just so many of them but the one that stood out is obviously The Great Wall of China simply for its significance of being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is hard to imagine all the blood sweat and tears that went into the building of it over the centuries but it has turned out to be something beyond spectacular!

It was however not a walk in the park bringing a life size cardboard all the way up on the wall. There was the wobbly cable car, then it was the uneven steps, seriously It was all steps, up and down, big and small (Somehow I’d imagined it would be a flat, undulating walkway). But we managed thankfully and it’s just totally worth it! Once up on the Wall, you are rewarded with the most wonderful views, Horizon to horizon, you see the watchtowers on hills far away in the myst. We managed to take plenty of photos and had a really good time until my SD card got corrupted back at the hotel, only recovering like 25% of the pictures… I know.. It’s a shame because there were a few great photos like the one with a group of young Chinese backpackers who wanted to be a part of the photo and the other with two Chinesemen dressed as traditional guards. In any case Im glad to have retrieved some pictures with Holo in order to show our spectacular start to The Adventures of Travelling Holo!

Project Holo in China (Great Wall)Project Holo in China (Great Wall)

Bali, Singapore & Japan

Bali was our first stop during our long university break back in November 2011. “Om Swastiastu” is one of the first phrases I learned after arriving there and is one of the few I kept in my head to repeat as we interacted with the Balinese. This phrase, is always well received as it is a wonderful greeting of heartfelt respect. For those unaware, my friend Wibi is from Bali hometown and together with a couple of friends, he has been showing us around and could really be a great tour guide, we had a blast!

For our Project, Wibi brought us to a wonderful place that is considered one of the most monumental landmarks of the Island called Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. It’s an enjoyable ride of around 2 hours from the capital Denpasar that brings you across rice fields, jungles and hills until the road starts climbing and the scenery changes quite dramatically from the crowded sunburned street of Kuta to the fresh, often misty and mystical atmosphere over the volcanoes and their lakes, where this temple is located. It was stunning because of its location in the great lake with mountain of Batukaru as background. We arrived in the early morning when the air was still cold with little fog around the temple. The scenery around it made our photo with Holo together with friends very pleasant!

Project Holo in Bali, IndonesiaProject Holo in Bali, Indonesia

My heart will always be in Lion City and that is why I couldnt be more happier to include Singapore in our trip and this time be the tour guide for Wibi. Although our stay was short and that I was occupied with Anime Festival Asia 2011, we still made the most out of it!
Ive already chosen the landmarks I planned on featuring for Project Holo, so after AFA11 was done although exhausted from the concerts, we headed off to see the wonderful Merlion. The choice is pretty simple, The Merlion, a half-fish half-lion creature, symbolises Singapore’s great achievements just under 50 years and therefore is the country’s mascot. Many tourists who comes to Singapore will go and visit the Merlion. Now with the Sands hotel as the backdrop, people spend a lot more time here taking pictures!

Next, we decided to add something a little different into our plans for our next stop. That is Orchard road, spanning almost 2.2 km a swanky, tree-lined one-way boulevard flanked by distinctive shopping malls and hotels, It is Singapore’s retail and entertainment hub of the city-state and is regularly frequented by the local population as well as being a major tourist attraction. After lunch we strolled down the busy boulevard surroundings and take various shots from Takashiyama > Isetan > ION Orchard trying to capture as much as possible the magic and charms of the Yuletide on Orchard Road.

Project Holo in Singapore (Marina Sands)Project Holo in Singapore (Merlion)Project Holo in Singapore (Merlion)Project Holo in Singapore (Merlion)Project Holo in Singapore (Merlion)Project Holo in Singapore (Orchard Road)Project Holo in Singapore (Orchard Road)Project Holo in Singapore (Orchard Road)Project Holo in Singapore (Orchard Road)Project Holo in Singapore (Orchard Road)

Travelling to Japan is an amazing experience that I will always cherish. Ever since I was a youngster, I always aspired to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun. Although this is my second time, the excitement is still high and what probably tops this one is to finally do it with the company of Wibi and Kelsey. In the space of our 2 and a half week’s holiday we travelled from Osaka>Kyoto>Nara>Tokyo visiting and embracing each of its own culture of food, landmarks and more.

Project Holo on the other hand was covered in Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. Kyoto for me is one of the main reasons why I love the country; the vast history and long traditions still remains today giving you access to this “Old Japan” feeling. There is a vast library of places to visit, too many too cover in the space of our 1 week stay but the choice was made and the first landmark to feature into our project is the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine is as impressive as it cracks up to be, with its seemingly endless rows of red tori gates up the side of the mountain, Walking through all them makes you feel like you’re on a film set- it’s just so perfect for our project! There are also lovely fox statues everywhere which relates well with Holo. We spent a very pleasant afternoon walking up the mountain absorbing its surroundings although it was quite strenuous at times having to carry the cardboard! The highlight was definitely the group photo we did with the School girls. These girls appeared out of nowhere and since they seemed to recognise Holo, Wibi thought it would be a great opportunity to add this encounter in our photo catalogue.

The Next Landmark we chose to add to our project in Kyoto was the Golden Pavilion and I understand now why it’s so famous! this magnificent Golden Pavilion tucked away in a beautiful Japanese stroll garden where the sun shines, creating a shimmering golden reflection on the Mirror Pond has really become the reason for visitors especially photographers to come and adore that beautiful experience. We tried to take our time but the downside of this trip was that it was over crowded (and it was 9am!) It seemed like you were given a time limit before being ushered by some sort of traffic control policeman. With time at its limit we only managed a few quick photos and oh boy what an experience! Ive never been that nervous or possibly embarrassed compared to all the other places Ive done with Holo. It felt like paparazzi, once I positioned myself and opened Holo the amount of photo’s being taken by not only Wibi but all the other folks around him was incredible! Must be saying “Another crazy tourist!”

Project Holo in Japan (Fushimi Shrine)Project Holo in Japan (Fushimi Shrine)Project Holo in Japan (Fushimi Shrine)Project Holo in Japan (Fushimi Shrine)Project Holo in Japan (Kinkaku-ji))

The city of Nara is pretty unique so to say. We decided to do a day trip out of Kyoto and visit one of the main attractions being Todaiji Temple which houses Japan’s largest Buddha statue measuring about 15 meters tall also in the world’s largest wooden building! If you’ve never seen a massive statue up close and personal, it is pretty humbling. When you consider the work that went into making it, and then repairing it… amazing really. Taking a picture of Holo with the Buddha proved difficult as the angle was hard to find as well as the lighting inside the temple. I wasnt sure whether we successfully manage to capture the Buddha but thank god editing software like lightroom exists. Like any other places weve been we were the center of attention once Holo made her appearance!

After our visit to Todai-ji Temple, we headed out to the Park to connect more with nature. It was an excellent place to take pictures because of the beautifully maintained gardens and the abundance of natural light but most of all the many deers that surrounds the place.According to local folklore, deers from this area were considered divine and sacred. Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637, the last recorded date of that law having been enforced. During Post World War II the deers were officially stripped of their sacred/divine status, and were instead designated as National Treasures and are protected as such. They are quite tame and you can pat them too and one thing for sure is that they sure love their crackers! Visitors can purchase so called megadeer-crackers to feed the deers in the park. We really enjoyed the photo session with Holo and the deers, At first it was quite a challenge to get their attention but fortunately the numbers grew. One of the highlights for me was definitely the time when I ran out of crackers and while trying to find some more I had this adorable baby deer come up close to have its share of the crackers!

Project Holo in Japan (Todai-ji)Project Holo in Japan (Todai-ji)Project Holo in Japan (Nara Park)Project Holo in Japan (Nara Park)

Since Arriving in Tokyo, The three of us were too busy visiting the city that we didnt have the time to think through what exactly we were going to do concerning Project Holo. After a quick brainstorming of ideas we chose to feature both Ikebukuro and Shibuya. The former is significant as it is the main setting of the anime Durarara!! which is where Holo made her appearance!

The night was particularly cold and it was just past the rush hour time. It took me a while to get her ready out of the box; the difference that night was I would be walking and holding Holo completely opened up without being folded, just like in the anime. It was challenging, embarrassing but fun at the same time. We had quite a few passer-by who recognised Holo and yelled out “Holo, Holo!” or “Ookami!” One of them was a group of girls who were walking beside me which Wibi took a photo of us at the traffic light. In the end we finally managed to find the actual spot from that of the anime, the tall Cinema Sunshine building in the background!

After our escapade around Ikebukuro we channelled down for the last hurrah for Project Holo in Shibuya and what a way to do so! Shibuya is everything but boring, its always buzzing! A prominent landmark of Shibuya is its large intersection in front of the station. The intersection is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens and gets flooded by pedestrians each time the crossing light turns green, making it a popular photo and movie filming spot. There is a Starbucks which gives a great vintage point if a seat is open overlooking the crossing. After formulating a plan to best feature that crossing for our project, Wibi stayed with me with one camera while Kelsey with the other camera headed up to the second floor of the Starbucks and managed to find a decent spot to take photos…Its true It really looked like chaos. We did in total 2 rounds of the crossing trying to be as composed as we could. We had so many curious passer-by (obvious) and at one stage there was this group of salarymen who stopped while I was taking a photo to read the description of the Holo cardboard at the bottom which was funny because one of them actually said “I know her, she is from this novel (something like that)”. Anyway In the end we were stopped by two policemen as they were quite worried that the cardboard would be getting in peoples way, so we decided to wrap up for the night.

Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)Project Holo in Japan (Ikebukuro)

This concludes our holiday and project and I do hope you enjoyed our adventures with Holo in China, Bali, Singapore and Japan, taking note of the beautiful landmarks that were featured, There are so many of them which made it hard to choose! We had such an amazing time during those 4 weeks I wished It could last forever, as for Project Holo we are just proud at ourselves to have been able to do such a thing. It took courage, nerves and togetherness! Will there be more of Holo in the future? I dont know but if the time is right then sure why not, It all depends if we can afford to travel again!
More about the Project
http://www.fabricerequin.com/project-holo/
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Exploring the World of K-ON! at Toyosato Elementary School http://www.fabricerequin.com/toyosato-elementary-school/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/toyosato-elementary-school/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2011 09:30:42 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=5392 Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageDuring my 3-week stay in Japan, thanks to my prior thorough preparations, I was able to visit quite a few places that appeared in some anime series. Probably the most impressive experience was my visit to the real life model for Sakura High School from K-ON! located in the small rural town called Toyosato which I had to go a bit out of my way to check it out.

The town itself has a relatively low profile in terms of history compared to others, maybe It hasnt yet been translated into English. However few sources I dug out from the internet mentions that during the Medieval Period to the 20th century, Toyosato was one of the towns that was part of the Nakasendo route which connected at the time Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto which meant that many traveling merchants frequently stopped over. Interestingly this small rural Japanese town in the middle of nowhere with sweeping rice paddies started becoming popular with the traveling merchants for the quality of their rice and other agricultural products and henceforth started trading more often. Many local farmers prospered and as time past, they along with some of these merchants such as the founder of Itochu began contributing for the modernization of the town.

One of the most significant changes was the renovation of now the old Toyosato Elementary School. The school was funded by Tetsujiro Furukawa who donated ferrocement for various buildings in the town. Furukawa had gotten an American architect living in Japan called William Merrell Vories to re-design the school. The renovations finished in 1937 and since became the symbol of Toyosato.

In 2004, the school decided to move to a new building, and the old building was scheduled to be dismantled. However, with the townspeople recognizing the school building as the town’s symbol of sorts, they initiated a plan to save the school building from being demolished. The movement became successful, and the school remains standing up to the present, although selected areas of the school is recommended to be off-limits due to its old age.

Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! Pilgrimage In 2009, animation studio Kyoto Animation decided for their release of its anime series K-ON! to feature Toyosato Elementary School as the primary setting of the series called Sakuragaoka High School. The exposure of the school, and the town by extension, allowed the school to reopen to accept visitors who are interested to visit the campus. In the period between May 2009 and May 2010, there about 40,000 fans who visited the school building, and the fans soon began to donate K-ON! merchandise to convert the school building into a pilgrimage site to the fans such as myself of the series. Who would have thought I would have gone this far to do such a thing!

Within the school, the resemblances the anime shares with its real-world counterpart are impressive. Kyoto Animation’s pursuit for details has surely paid off. Almost every background images in the anime are nearly entirely modeled after the places and buildings, so you can actually visit there and re-experience the same story as did the girls. You might even feel as if the fictional characters of Yui, Mio, Ritsu, Tusumugi, Azusa and company actually existed.

Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! Pilgrimage Apart from the building itself, there are many other replica that fans will recognise such as the statue of Furukawa Tetsujiro standing next to the entrance of the main building, In the anime his statue is adorned with a diverse range of decorations. There is the stairwells too which are faithfully replicated right down to the turtle and rabbit ornaments. The original music room that inspired into being the well known Sakuragaoka High School Light Music Club room of the girls. Its layout and furnishings have been reorganised to match the one found within the anime, right down to the instruments. Due to reasons of practicality, Ton-chan’s tank was omitted owing to the inherent difficulty in caring for a soft-shell turtle. Local fans have replicated almost every detail found within the anime, from the cakes and tableware to the signs that each of the characters hold in the opening sequence. Another significant replica is the main hall located on the right of the main entrance which was used in the anime for the entrance ceremony as well as the place where the girls performed at the school festival.

Visitors will discover that most rooms and hallways are decorated heavily with K-On! memorabilia, although some parts of the school were restored to reflect the environment found within the show. One recommendation is to bring a camera with plenty of memory available because youll be clicking away that’s for sure but also to spend a few hours absorbing what the school is all about. The folks there are so kind and open to anyone, they even cater for them which is another bonus.

Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! Pilgrimage Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! Pilgrimage
In 2013, It was announced that Toyosato Elementary School has entered into the “Registered Tangible Cultural Properties” heritage list compiled by the Cultural Ministry of Japan. This goes to show how a strong impact an anime series can have on society! As for me I think this is great news and makes me feel happy being an fan!

Toyosato Elementary School is located in the Shiga Prefecture and is around 20 minutes walk from the Toyosato Station. From the JR Hikone Station, take the Ohmi Line. It takes 17 minutes. Ohmi line costs 400 yen one way. Very expensive, but worth taking.

Admission: Free
Hours: 08:30 to 17:10
Closed: No Closing days (except national holidays and seasonal holidays), New year’s holidays.
Url: http://www.town.toyosato.shiga.jp

Toyosato Elementary School - K-ON! PilgrimageToyosato Elementary School - K-ON! Pilgrimage

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A Mouthful of Demachi Futaba’s Authentic Mochi http://www.fabricerequin.com/a-mouthful-of-demachi-futabas-authentic-mochi/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/a-mouthful-of-demachi-futabas-authentic-mochi/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:39:55 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=4475 Demachi FutabaIn the quiet area of Demachiyanagi, north of Kyoto away from the busy tourist spots, there is a well established confectionery shop one ought to stop by. This Charming little shop is called Demachi Futaba and offers a variety of Japanese traditional sweets known as Mochi, cakes made of rice and bean paste. I’m attracted to sweet flavors so it’s no surprise that I decided to check it out having been recommended from the owner of the house my friends and I were renting.

Demachi Futaba was founded in 1899 and has been acclaimed by many food critics for its variety of Mochi which is now featured in many local guidebooks and TV shows throughout Japan. Therefore It wasnt surprising when my friends and I arrived even early morning and was greeted with a line as long as the river Nile leaving just enough room for pedestrians and bicyclist to squeeze pass through on the narrow sidewalk. Taking my place at the end of the long line of mochi enthusiasts you start to admire the hard work employees put in. In the rear of the store behind the glass window you have employees in spotless white aprons with matching hats and masks molding mochi with their fingers while others behind the counter were taking orders.

The shop’s best known and signature product is their daifuku mochi which is filled with a variety of red beans depending on the season. The shop also carries several other kinds of sweets throughout the year. This week, its seasonal offering is tsukimi or moon-viewing mochi shaped like a rabbit to mark the autumn full moon. Another don’t-miss-it this season is called kuri mochi, which is made of rice cake with newly picked chestnut. Of course Mochi and bean paste rice cakes can be bought in many other shops in Kyoto and other parts of Japan, but at Damachi Futaba everything is made on the premises and in front of customers’ eyes which is because of that authenticity and freshness that accounts for Futaba’s fame.

We took a whole variety of Mochi to try and all were delicious. Soft, chewy and lip-smacking. Just like the best home made you can imagine. But I have to say that the red bean had little beans studded inside that would burst with juicy goodness inside your mouth – perfectly complementing the mochi dough. Waiting 30 minutes is not too long knowing that what you get is worth every penny, while also experiencing the pleasure of being served at a famous Kyoto store.

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Life-size Anime Cardboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice & Wolf http://www.fabricerequin.com/holo-life-size-cardboard/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/holo-life-size-cardboard/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 07:05:02 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=2977

Life-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf was, to me, 2006′s biggest surprise and an instant favorite. Originally a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura it wasnt too long until the novel branched out into having both manga and anime adaptation in such a short timeframe (2007 and 2008). Its unique, charming, enjoyable, calm and beautiful in its manifold details, Spice and Wolf is simply a delight to sit down by after a long day and simply enjoy.

After its success in all department, it was announced that the series would be getting a dating and business simulation visual novel, a game to be precise which was subsequently released in the summer of 2008 under the title Spice and Wolf: Holo’s and My One Year, playable on the Nitendo DS (produced by ASCII Media Works). The player assumes the role of the protagonist Kraft Lawrence as he travels around with wise wolf Holo for a period of one year in the game. It is said that The story differs from that of the original novels, manga and anime and is presented as an additional Spice and Wolf world. Before its release, it was announced that the game will have 2 releases on the same day one in limited and the other in regular editions; the limited edition sold at a higher price, comes with a life-sized cardboard of Holo, among other things, to the delight of many Holo fans. By saying this, there was no surprise the limited edition was sold out on even the first day of release, Fans had the chance of having their very own Holo!

Having myself become a fan of the series especially of Holo, envious and frustration were the words that summed up what I was going through, I tried pre-ordering the game but it was impossible because the main website only shipped locally. Nevertheless It wasnt a few years after well until this year that I had the chance of actually getting myself the limited edition with that famous cardboard after stumbling on this what is called proxy services such as “noppin” which acts on your behalf and registers you to Yahoo Auction. Call it Fate but I was very lucky to have found one selling and I was quick to pounce.

And so I am absolutely delighted, I remember the day it got delivered i felt like a little kid during christmas day with a burst of energy and excitement. The cardboard cutout of Holo is really “life-size” measuring around 160cm x 60cm. Having her on display is weird but great, I guess you can call me what the japanese would say an Spice and Wolf Otaku (absolute fan!).

Life-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and WolfLife-size Anime Carboard Cut-out of Holo from Spice and Wolf

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Buying Anime Blu-ray’s http://www.fabricerequin.com/anime-bluray/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/anime-bluray/#comments Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:36:10 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=5748

Anime Blu-rayWatching anime in Blu-ray format sure is something really amazing. Given that Blu-ray’s awesome visuals are matched by the stunning depth and complexity of the surround-sound there’s no arguing that Blu-ray is the superior format when it comes to audio and video. It just is.

However the problem with buying bu-rays or even DVD’s from Japan is that the anime market there is so inflated that, really for us fans living overseas makes it really hard to buy them at such a ludicrous price. Sure thing Bakemonogatari wasnt a given, sometimes I wonder why the hell I would spend around 70$ to 90$ for two/tree episodes a Volume for the Japanese versions when I could wait and gotten the Licensed US version of It for twice less the amount, but I guess the answer is simply because I want to collect the original copy of a series that I really enjoyed.

Anime Blu-ray Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Anime Blu-rayI’m of the belief that if you like something, it doesn’t matter how much you have to go through to get it. Sure, people who want something but can’t afford it will just end up either pirating or skipping out entirely (much more unlikely when it comes to music/movies/etc.), but that goes for everything. On that note, I can’t necessarily have ill-feelings towards those who are getting the same thing as me for free, because it was my choice to pay in the first place. Really, it’s not my concern what other people do/don’t do with their money.

Anime Blu-rayIve liken my ridiculous spending to having a significant other. If I were dating, surely this money would be spent to spoil a loved one and myself. But since I’m not dating, the money goes towards indulging in the things that I love (I know, sounds kind of silly but its a valid point). Also, I don’t particularly enjoy as much the US or Aus releases of anime titles, Never mind the fact that US packaging is seriously rubbish.

What about you? What do you think about Blu-rays for anime and the market itself in Japan compared to overseas? Would you spend that high much to get something that you really like?

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My New AKG K701 Headphones http://www.fabricerequin.com/akg-k701-headphones/ http://www.fabricerequin.com/akg-k701-headphones/#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2011 05:14:40 +0000 http://www.fabricerequin.com/?p=2266

AKG K701 Headphones Hello all, It seems that the folks around my block dont like my loud music which is a shame because its good music what a shame but its okay I just purchased these beautiful AKG K701 headphones! It did take much consideration and deliberation given its my first time buying headphones but whats weird in a sense is that I have to thank the fictional character known as Akiyama Mio from the anime series K-ON! for making me choose the AKG K701 has it was Mio who wore those same AKG headphones for a couple of minutes in one episode. In any case I have to say after testing them out I’m impressed!

AKG K701 Headphones

So Alright guys, despite my obvious lack of better judgement im going to be doing a review of my new AKG K701. It has taken actually every ounce of my will power not to attack this package straightaway and rip it open and start yelling tunes, so appreciate this.

AKG K701 Headphones

Making surgical insition on the package and throws it at the side.

AKG K701 Headphones

Your met with the words Expect, and Discover, Perfection… Oh lord.. im guessing this is perfection.One of the most georgeous set of headphones ive seen in my entire life, nice as they call it. 3D foam padding with a valuer pad cover. On the inside it feels like a different sort of material so soft ^^ at the back we have the open section of the speaker or whatever you may call it, leather headbands mhmm kinda embossed, embaded with AKG written on top..nice stitching!

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The bumps on the back that everyone in reviews have been pissed about, apparently causing some type of cranial pain lol. Apparenty these are held on by some elastic bands which auto-adjust im guessing.

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All and all very beautiful headphone, oh and also the cord which cant remember i believe is 6 feet long..i know im going to get blasted in comments for this.. it comes with a quarter inch headphone jack and also with a nice gold platted color mini headphone jack .. in which you want to stick into an i-pod… ye ok.. ermm lol. You gonna need some type of amplification to try these.

AKG K701 Headphones

Im glad i bumped into these headphones which produce astonishingly accurate sound where you can literally analyze each musical element as it hits your eardrum. You get caught up in the moment. You might not hear every last tick and stroke but, I’d say it produces a more emotional experience.

AKG K701 HeadphonesMio akiyama akg k701 K-ON!
I just had to do a comparison with the picture of Mio and her headphones. Now i can listen to my music in peace, watch anime in peace. especially at night since i sometimes get complains from my sister that the sound is too loud. The headphones itself are of top quality. But it certainly uses a lot of power. It is very comfortable and is nice for stationary places. Its Perfect!

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