Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Crow Suru Tai Figure

This is a toy that I had as a child which I bought from a model shop in Basingstoke. For many years now I have been trying to find it again but today I finally came across it in Mandarake.

I found it on top of a stack of other old model kits, as if it was waiting for me there, and I held it in my hands for some time as waves of nostalgia washed over me. I only had my memories to help me find this, not even knowing its name I couldn't find it on the internet or E-bay, the only record I had was an old xmas photo of me opening presents with the model sitting in the background.

The only question now is do I build the thing or leave it in the unwrapped condition it is currently in? I feel as if it is my duty to breath life into its plastic parts!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

New Work - Antler Town

Following on from my last illustration comes another piece exploring the lives of the tiny people that lead near invisible lives in the wild. Have you seen one?

(click to see larger image)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

D&Department Project

We visited the D&Department Project Osaka store this weekend. The store stocks classic design goods ranging from furniture and household goods to stationary and books. I bought a nice metal tool box and Aigen soap, although there was plenty of other temptations! They also publish a regular book called D Design Travel which looks at various areas in Japan and places of interest from a design perspective.

Their website can be seen here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Suma Aquarium

Over the weekend we paid a visit to Suma Aquarium near Kobe. The aquarium has a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, seals and sea otters (a personal favourite!). You can also see a dolphin show, just make sure you wear a raincoat if your planning on getting a front row seat!

A sea otter enjoying a snooze.

I was trying to take a picture of another fish when this guy swam along and sat right in front of the camera!

Some fish observing humans in captivity.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Overdue August / September Update!

Its been some time since I last posted an update on what I have been up to, mainly due to a trip to the UK, a wedding and having my arm in cast for months following a careless slip on our living room floor! The upside of this, I guess, is having had plenty of experience of the Japanese hospital system.

I also passed a milestone recently, having been in Osaka for just over a year, the time has just flown past! There have certainly been many ups and downs over the year, but overall its been an interesting experience and I look forward to seeing what the next year has in store.

Anyway, here is a selection of photos of various things of interest over the past couple of months:

Peaches kindly sent to us by my wife's grandparents.

A firework display held alongside Yodo river, this one is a Pokemon ball!

If you look closely you can see Doraemon's face.

A Zen garden in Kyoto, built by a poet.

Osaka Science Museum, they have a rather bad cockroach problem!

The Lotus pond outside the museum.

The museum also has this interesting tunnel of gourds!

An old electronics store in Nipponbashi.

A summer festival in Kyoto

Monday, 26 September 2011

Website Update

Just a quick message to say I have just updated my website with some new work. I have already posted links to most of the work here before but it is all now conveniently in one place, less scrolling involved! The site can be seen here . Thank you!

Monday, 19 September 2011

New Work - Fly the Coop!

Here is a new piece of work I have recently finished, about the little people we see living in the trees and forests around us. You know what I'm talking about, right? Those little folk? What do you mean you never see them? Your just not looking hard enough!

'Fly the Coop!' (click to enlarge)
To see more of my work, see my website here.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Kobe / Rokkosan

This week Monday was a national holiday so we decided to make the most of the extra day and take a trip to Kobe and Rokko to the north of Osaka, just around the bay.

Our first stop was in Rokko where we were staying in a hotel at the top of the mountain, Rokkosan. After a short train journey, we arrived at our destination and caught the hotel's bus up to the top of the mountain. The journey took around twenty minutes up a road that winds its way around the mountain, by the end I was glad I don't suffer from travel sickness! We were staying at Rokkosan Hotel, an old hotel that dates back to 1929, it was an interesting place to stay although some of the amenities were showing their age. The place reminded me a lot of the film 'The Shining' although luckily I didn't spot any creepy twins roaming the corridors!

On after we arrived we headed out iton the blazing sunshine to take a walk to an area called the 'Garden Terrace which I had read had great views. We had intended to stick to the road but on the way we stopped off at a tourist information spot where two old men were falling over themselves to give us advice on the best route to take. They showed us a route which headed off the main road and through the cool forest, it was nice just to get out of the heat. Along the way we a lot of interesting wildlife, and some which could only be heard, the cicadas were out in force and making an almost deafening racket.
The road heads off into the forest

A cafe, off the beaten track.

A discarded cicada skin.

A sign seen by a golf course. Boars are well known to enjoy a sneaky game of golf.

We eventually arrived at the top where there were some stunning views and a number of shops and restaurants, for some bizarre reason there is an English theme in this area, it seemed strange to travel across the world and 1000 meters up a mountain only to find a place with roast dinners and London Pride on the menu!
Enjoying lunch with a view.

The view from the 'Garden Terrace'

The views from the hotel were also stunning, especially by night where the lights of Kobe can be seen glowing far below.

The view from the top of the hotel by night.

The same view by day.

A panoramic view from the hotel.

The following day we headed into Kobe for a much more urban experience where we spent the day browsing small shops and drinking numerous cups of coffee. In the evening we visited a bar called Abuku which serves fantastic mediterranean dishes, we had been to this place during our last visit to Kobe and were eager to eat there again.

Our stay in Rokkosan and Kobe was very enjoyable, the weather was amazing apart from on the Monday when it decided to pour down with rain, luckily this was the day we were traveling home so didn't bother us so much. Now I can't wait for the next long weekend!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I just happened to look out my window a moment ago and saw an amazing double rainbow! You could see both sides of it but unfortunately I couldn't get a full shot of it. The cloud formations were pretty impressive as well. There was also another wonderful sunset the other side of the building.