Monthly Archives: September 2010

8-bit construction workers

Near my apartment I passed this construction site where an animated character is waving cars away from the construction. Declining population is another big topic in the news lately but I shudder to think of the number of jobs in Tokyo that can be replaced with a large tv screen.
This one is classic lo rez too making me wonder when the flag waver is going to get knocked over by a zooming turtle shell.

Unlocked iPhone 4 in Japan

So unlocked iPhone 4s are now available in Japan. In fact one small MVNO carrier has even teamed up with Expansys to provide a plan and an unlocked phone, but I think the appeal is very limited.
Basically it comes down to cost. The only reason to go with an unlocked iPhone in Japan us that for some reason or another, Softbank is not going to work for you. You certainly won’t be saving any money going this route. While there are a few plans for these unlocked phones, they are pretty much the same as Softbanks plan. Also with no official Docomo plan or iPhone, there’s no easy way to get the iPhone to work with unlimited data and get the in network calling discounts. Finally the coat of the phone is pretty outrageous. Without the carrier subsidy that Softbank gives for a 2 year contract, the more than double cost is boosted even higher by import and commodity fees that push the phone well over $1,100 USD.
It’s nice to see these grey market phones for security. There are a few cases where these phones really are the best option, but it’s not really helpful for most consumers interested in the iPhone and it’s pretty much never the cheapest option.

Burger King Bi:King. The end of the world as we know it

Almost fell down when I saw this sign. Through mid October, Burger King is offering an all you can eat deal for Whoppers.
This sign says that if you aren’t full after you finish your hamburger just ask for another one. Keep going until you are satisfied or your giant rotting corpse sloshes to the floor.
They use the “clever” slogan of Bi:King, or Viking, the Japanese loan word for all you can eat buffet (I know a few friends who find this highly insulting, but they bear no similarity to Haggar the Horrible).
Hesitant to try this out considering my failure to finish even half of my Windows 7 Whopper. Anyone want to go for a Burger challenge?

Culture:Japan filming

Got a call from comrade and Otaku superstar Danny Choo to stop by an open filming session for his new Tokyo MX TV series Culture:Japan.
Very cool studio located near the Imperial Palace in Kojimachi.
The show is very cool with Ninjas, High School girls, idols, and anime figures and dolls.
The show will be broadcast all through Asia this fall on Animax Asia. Highly recommend.

The new face of Akihabara Station

Construction of the building facade for the Electric Town exit of Akihabara is finally done. We are still months away from the completion of the two year project to rebuild the old Akiba Department Store, but at least it looks a lot better than the construction barriers covering the building.
Looks like the new shopping center will take the common station shopping mall brand of atre instead of using the old AkibaDepato name. It’s sad to see an old landmark replace with a modern steel and glass chain store mall, but time marches on.
I suppose this means the days are numbered for the old radio parts shops huddled together in the Radio Center next door.

End of an era?