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I didn't mess up the title right? Haha, anyway, I'd like to wish all my buddies and everyone else reading this a merry christmas and a great 2017! I guess it's on to more food, drinks, games, and trips. Just to name a few of the good things the new year is sure to bring! For now though, let's end this year accompanied with family & friends and again, best wishes to you all!

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Slaz · 12/27/16 1:37 PM)

As promised here is a picture log of my vacation to Japan. I know it's been several weeks since my return but I never found the time to sort out the pictures worth showing while preventing this blog from becoming too long. Also, there are some 'geeky' pictures too showing about 3 arcade trips that I may post in a different blog, as they don't represent Japan as a location.

 

So we arrived in Tokyo in a neighborhood called Tamashi. It's known for it's 'international offices' from overseas companies. But since public transport is so well organized in Japanese cities, we easely got to see the Ginza shopping district, Ueno park (where it looks like all of Tokyo's families are on Sundays!), Akihabara (entertainment and electronics district) and the artificial island Odaiba. The first and best hotel we stayed at, called JAL City Hotel, was the best one of the whole trip with a bath that I actually fit in (the average Japanese person is smaller than western average)! 

 

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Next are some random pictures from Odaiba. This artificial island was made around WW2 as an extra defense line for Tokyo, but was turned into a shopping/family district when peace was restored. The Joypolis pic shows an in-door amusement park complete with wild-water ride, and the balcony view shows the well-known Fuji-TV main office (the building with a ball-shaped room). Also shown are traditional meals and western McDonalds, though it has some Japanese variations too such as a Teriyaki burger.

 

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Kamakura is a small town that merged in with Tokyo over the years, but is something of it's own if you ask me. We had easely spent an entire day here! There are a lot of old buildings and buddhist temples, and a good view on the great ocean. A lot of people are surfing here.

 

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Next we moved out of Tokyo by bus, into the mountains of the main island. Our destination was Matsumoto, a smaller somewhat more traditional city known for it's national treasure Matsumoto Castle. Along the way we got a view of Mount Fuji (in the back of the first 2 pics), which is kind of special as a Japanese woman said it was only visible for about 30% of the year. Before heading directly to Matsumoto, we got to see the Daio Wasabi Farm, one of the larger suppliers of this spicy root that grows near water.

 

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Next up is Kyoto, the former capital. This is well known for old buildings merged in with new ones, giving a weird unique view. Most well known is the 'Golden Pavillon' temple, which is easely recognizable by it's gold plating reflecting sunlight.

 

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Then there's a one day trip to Shirakawago, a town left untouched from the moment it became recognized as a world heritage site. The town used to thrive due to it's clean and ready to use river water. One of the above pictures shows bottles of tea cooled by this water. The rest are old traditional homes (some are habited, and some aren't but will be kept in good condition) blended in with nature!

 

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Next up is Nara and the nearby town Inari. Nara is known for the deer that walk freely and the 'Great Buddha Hall' with huge monument centralizing buddhism in Japan. Also noticable is how well the Japanese take care of their gardens. Inari centralizes around the Shinto religion, and is known for these red shrines shown in one of the pictures and the statues of foxes near it's entrance gate. On the way to the main shrine on the mountain, there are about 2000 small gates (called torii) that form a tunnel, all good for a hour+ walk!

 

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Next we moved to Koyasan. Basically the Buddhist center of Japan, where the cementary buried hundreds of monks throughout the years, even the one who brought buddhism from China to Japan is still honored there! Best thing there was the hotel that took traditional style very serious, with floor 'Futon' instead of beds, and the sliding doors that separate rooms. They also served traditional food (which is all vegetarian because it's made by monks) and good tea. Don't mind the picture of the sky, haha. 

 

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And finally, we ended our trip at Osaka. The biggest truly modern city Japan has. It is mainly offices, making the day population way larger than at night. However, they try to bring that up by offering more and more entertainment to make people stay for the night. Best thing here may've been the Aquarium, which is apparently one of the more beautiful ones in the world. That may be something for another blog post someday, but for now you can see the halloween cakes (yes, the Japanese like to celebrate halloween nowadays) obviously served at the aquarium. Sorry for te lack of pictures here, I just noticed 3 of the 4 were food, haha. It was mostly entertainment stuff here, so most of Osaka may better be for another blog too.

 

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So there you have it, my farthest vacation trip so far. There may be a lack of good pictures, but I'm one of those that doesn't like viewing an entire trip through the lens, I want to view it with my own eyes! Some stuff I missed might be on 1 or 2 themed blogs sometime, but for now, enjoy and have a great day! 

 
 
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Slaz · 12/12/15 11:23 AM)

A little late, but I hope you all had a wonderful christmas and have a nice 2015 with everyone you know and love! Now, I'm looking forward to what this year will bring. 

 
 

Right now, I'm at a family member's 50th birthday party at a mini camping's cantina. That means more chit-chatting, beer, and foods. I also found this teared down children climbing-thing that was so shaky, I actually risked my life to take the 2nd picture.. 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Well, this may be a bit of a plain way of saying it, but here's my christmas card, photographed by me and animated thanks to Google+ new 'Auto Awesome' feature. Best wishes to Ted, Rosemary, LOM, James, Steven, MaryB, and everyone I may have forgotten! 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
Tonight we went to a party with the family (and a friend) to an American-style 2 hour AYCE buffet restaurant. It was like having 5 different restaurants under 1 roof. Which means it's BIG for Dutch standards. There's a steak house, pizza, a soft drink bar, and even some sushi and Chinese food.. But actually, I always get full really quickly so I took this one easy, 'spreading out' the different foods across the 2 hour visit. I ended the night with the holiday sweets pictured below. Sweet! I'm really up for the rest of the holiday season now!

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Last night 3 of us stayed up until like 3:00 AM for the occasional Mario Party. Basically, it's one of those videogames involving a board game with competitive minigames that are guaranteed to give a smile on everyone's face. Also, it's best played with a good amount of beer and tasty snacks. The picture was taken an hour before the 'Mario Party' ended. 

 

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Yesterday, I went to a fan meeting for Touhou fans in the Netherlands. Touhou is quite an 'otherworldly' occupation of mine, a Japanese shooting game series starring cute girls with a mythological atmosphere. It also spawned a tower-long list of fanmade music arranges and other oriental entertainment. Anyway, besides talking to people who share the same unusual interests, I primarily visited this conference to join the competitions and especially the one for 'Phantasmagoria of Flower View' which I never actually played together with other human players. Yes, finding other people to play obscure Japanese games is no easy job here in The Netherlands. That sure contributes to what makes these conferences and meetings so much fun! 

 

The picture below shows one of the tournaments in action, with faces made unrecognizable to respect privacy. That table full of laptops might indicate nerdiness, but we all talked open and the way we are and had a lot of fun, so I love talking nerd to that!

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 11 (Last: Slaz · 10/16/13 2:48 PM)

We just had another big barbeque as a followup to last one. Not much
has changed, but of course the meat and beer was just as enjoyable as
last time. And, of course, it was fun meeting some family you don't
see very often. Enjoy the meaty pic while it's still raw (not for
long!)..

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Slaz · 9/1/13 1:28 PM)
At the time of writing, this plate is empty. But my compliments go to this
oriental restaurant where they make such beautifull art with their food,
they take their time even though it's pretty crowded with customers. Enjoy
this kappa salad picture!

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Visited a german Aldi mart today. And going through the bakery part, I
can't leave my favorite snack behind which is.. DONUTS! So, I wonder how
german donuts taste. Guess I don't have to wonder for long!

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

I'm currently enjoying a nice, tasty barbeque with the family. As usual,
the beer is really good in combination with the meat. Let's do this again
soon, haha!

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

2 days ago, I went on a little trip to a swimming pool with some peepz I play games with (in a team). It's the first time I got to meet online friends in real life, I guess. But as far as I'm concerned, sometimes online friends are worth more than just text flying across an electical cable. 

 

Here's the group picture we made at the end.

From left to right: Laro, MS, Helga, Baja, and me:

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
Altrough I actually made this post for testing purposes only, I still found a good purpose for it. Yeah, just to welcome all the viewers to my channel! There still isn't much to view though, but that will come. I've also done a little theme for this, just for some eyecandy. Well, I'll have to find some more buddies to add and may add my friends and stuff. Have a great day!
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 8 (Last: Guest · 12/12/07 10:34 AM)
 
 
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