Tokyo Blog, Tokyo Story

The blog of Stephen David Smith, Tokyo, Japan 2014

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Happy 2012!

The dust has finally started to settle from the New Year’s and Christmas celebrations. I spent Christmas in the UK then flew back to Tokyo for New Year’s Eve. Didn’t go to a party as such this year, just ventured into the city and saw where things would lead. I ended up at the foot of Tokyo Tower for the countdown. Having been there just recently I was able to find my way back there despite the champagne and beer haze. That however probably explains why the picture above is so poor.

Fortunately, before I went out, I had lined my stomach with Toshi-koshi Soba (New Year’s soba, lit. year-change soba) as is customary. The only things I haven’t had yet is Osechi-ryouri (New Year’s Dishes), Oshiruko (sweet red bean soup), and Ozoni (savoury soup with Mochi rice cake floating in it). I managed to eat some crab at a sushi restaurant I went to after I finished at the shrine as crab is traditional and sushi is pretty popular to eat during new year in Japan also.

On New Year’s day I did the customary Hatsumode at Nishi-Arai Daishi Shrine. That went pretty smoothly as I was lucky enough to have a ¥5 coin in my pocket. After that, I bought an Omamori (lucky charm) / Omikuji (fortune) combo and got Daikichi (best possible outlook) and a Manniki-Neko (lucky cat) charm which is supposed to bring money and success in business. All-in-all, regardless of whether or not you choose to believe in such things, feeling very positive about 2012. I think it’s going to be an awesome year!

Here’s hoping you get everything you wish for in the coming year and best wishes for 2012, the year of the dragon!


Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Today is Christmas Day, and this year I’m spending it in Japan. This morning I watched Tom & Jerry’s The Night Before Christmas and Disney’s A Christmas Carol while eating one of the two Christmas cakes from the fridge, played the fresh copy of Super Mario Bros. Wii for an hour, then went to Tokyo Midtown for the illuminations and the Christmas market. The picture you can see at the top of this post was taken there. I’m about to have dinner, but unfortunately it won’t include roast turkey this year. That’s OK, it’s been a pretty good day!

Merry Christmas and a prosperous and productive New Year from Tokyo Story!


Back in Tokyo for 2009

What a crazy last few days that was. I’m struggling to stay awake as I write this post as it’s now after 6pm Tokyo time on Friday 2nd January 2009, and I haven’t slept properly since New Year’s Eve. In fact, I’ve been traveling for most of the last 24 hours with a nasty hangover and an even nastier cold. I was completely blocked up when I got on the plane which resulted in massive pressure building up in the tubes of my head and now my ears are blocked too. Just to top it off, I got my UK mobile phone nicked during the festivities of New Year’s Eve which I spent on the streets of London, something I won’t be doing again.

Anyway, it’s nice to get back to Tokyo and get set up ready to attack the coming year. I’ve got loads of exciting work coming up in the first quarter of this year, and I’ll be launching a major new flash site over the next week or so, so look out for that. Once I get some sleep and a bowl of rice I’ll be OK.


Coming Home

Coming Home

So here I am on a flight out of Tokyo, heading back to the UK for Christmas and New Year’s. I’ll be catching up with old colleagues and old friends, and seeing my family of course. It’s been an amazing year in Tokyo and I’ll be back January 2nd to tie up a few loose ends and meet some prospective clients before heading to Kores. Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thanks for reading Tokyo Story!

UPDATE: I just watched The Mongol starring Tadanobu Asano on the plane. It’s a really good movie.