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Showing posts from January, 2015

FLYING TO SUMMER

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Flying from winter to summer on Garuda's A330.
ガルーダのA330で冬から夏へ飛ぶ。

Originally this flight was supposed to be delayed for about an hour and a half. However, Garuda made a ship-change from A330-300 to A330-200 for the inbound flight without notice and eventually my flight departed just 30 minutes or so late. Their operation is still a bit unpredictable, but I felt this was a sign of their effort to be an excellent airline as a new member of SkyTeam. And the quality of their cabin service is clearly stated on this plaque.
もともとこのフライトは1時間半ほど遅れる予定だったが、ガルーダは予告なしに到着機をA330-300からA330-200にシップチェンジし、結果的に30分程度の遅れだけで出発することができた。彼らのオペレーションはいまだに少々気まぐれだが、この運用にスカイチームの新メンバーとして優れたエアラインになろうとするガルーダの頑張りを感じた。そして、彼らのキャビンサービスの品質は、この銘板に明示されている。


Their Indonesian meals are pretty good, too. Garuda Indonesia A330-200 NRT-DPS. The 620th flight in my lifetime.
インドネシア料理もなかなか美味い。ガルーダ・インドネシア A330-200 NRT-DPS。生涯620フライト目。

MEN IN BLACK

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Team dinner at Roppongi Nouen (nouen means farm). This restaurant located in the back streets of Roppongi serves veggies and ingredients from innovative farmers across Japan and supports a new model of relationships between producers and markets. The architect who renovated the interior of this place and designed the outside farm part is Nishida-san, a member of Ishinomaki 2.0. From right: Yoshi, Kenya, and Sugiyama-kun who is a special guest from TBWA\HAKUHODO.
六本木農園でチームディナー。六本木の裏通りにあるこの店は、日本中の革新的な農家が作った野菜や素材を使ったメニューを提供しながら、生産者と消費地の新しい関係作りをサポートしている。店のリノベーション、そして外にある農場部分の設計を担当したのは、ISHINOMAKI 2.0のメンバーである建築家の西田さん。右から:ヨシ。ケンヤ。そして、TBWA\HAKUHODOからのスペシャルゲスト、杉山くん。

ISHINOMAKI AS A WISDOM

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Matsuzaki-san, President of Herman Miller Japan, Akio, one of founding members of Ishinomaki 2.0, and I were back in a talk session as evangelists of innovations happening in Ishinomaki. This session was organized by Next Wisdom Foundation who is looking for and archiving wisdoms for the future. Like the event by Freedom University we participated in last summer, we introduced a variety of future-oriented activities created in post-311 Ishinomaki and the similarity between Portland, Oregon, and Ishinomaki such as historical background, concentration of creativity, and community building through the power of individuals. At the end of the session, curry and rice from Kagikakko, a cafe operated by high school students in Ishinomaki, was served to everyone at the venue. And even while enjoying it, discussions between the audience and us went on. The event report is available here (in Japanese).
Photo: Yoshihiro Nakajima, Next Wisdom Foundation
ハーマンミラージャパン社長の松崎さん、ISHINOMAKI 2.0の創設メンバーの一人…

BULLET SUBWAY

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Going back to Tokyo on another E7 Shinkansen train Asama. Once the train leaves Karuizawa, it keeps running through long tunnels like a subway all the way to the vicinity of Takasaki. You can't enjoy a view but it's still a very comfortable ride thanks to a car with fully active suspension systems.
また別のE7系新幹線「あさま」で東京へ戻る。軽井沢を出たあとは高崎の近くまでずっと、長いトンネルを地下鉄のように走り続ける。景色を楽しむことはできないが、フルアクティブサスペンションがついた車両の乗り心地は実に快適。

KARUIZAWA WEEKEND

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Nice neighborhood to take a stroll. I wish they could impose a ban on motor vehicles from some streets.
この辺りを散歩するのは楽しい。一部の道では車の乗り入れを禁止すればいいのに。

HOTEL KAJIMA NO MORI

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Luckily I could get one last room for two nights over the weekend at Kajima No Mori. They have nothing fancy, but they offer sophisticated services and setting as a group hotel of Okura Hotels, and you can enjoy quiet time in the beautiful forest of Karuizawa. Smoked rainbow trout they serve at their restaurant is superb.
鹿島の森での週末。ラッキーなことに、連泊できる最後の一部屋を確保できた。豪華さのようなものはないが、オークラホテルズの一員なのでサービスや雰囲気は洗練されていて、軽井沢の美しい森の中で静かな時間を過ごせる。レストランのメニューにある虹鱒の燻製は素晴らしかった。

MY FIRST E7 RIDE

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Traveling to Karuizawa. This is my first ride on the newest Shinkansen model E7 developed for the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line which will be inaugurated this spring. The interior and seats are similar to E5 for Hayabusa and Yamabiko, but they are even more sophisticated.
軽井沢へ向かう。この春に開業する北陸新幹線向けに作られた新幹線の最新モデル、E7を初体験。インテリアやシートは、はやぶさ&やまびこのE5と似ているが、一段と洗練されたものになっている。


Mural decorations inspired by Japanese traditional arts and crafts are adding a nice touch to the vestibule area. Poor Tokaido Shinkansen. They need cars like this.
日本の伝統工芸からインスパイアされたミューラルがついたデッキエリアはなかなかの仕上がり。このような車両がない東海道新幹線はかわいそう。

GREEN TRAIN AND WHITE SNOW

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Returning to Tokyo on a Yamabiko bullet train viewing snow-covered fields of Tohoku.
雪に覆われた東北を眺めながら、新幹線やまびこで東京へ戻る。

SOUL FOOD OF ISHINOMAKI

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Trying out Taiseien's "Age-cheese" which is commonly known as soul food of Ishinomaki for the first time with Aikata, formerly known as Kotoba Juku, Team. Basically it's a taiyaki snack (a cake cooked in a fish-shaped pan), but it is fried, not baked, like a donut. And it is filled with melted cheese, not with usual red bean paste. Unique and yummy. Once you eat this, you are an Ishinomakian. From top: Hinako, Mitchey, and Yoshi.
アイカタ(以前の名前はコトバ塾)チームのみんなと、石巻のソウルフードとして知られる大成苑の「あげチーズ」を初めて食べてみる。基本はたい焼きなのだが、焼いてあるのではなくドーナツのように揚げてあり、中には餡の代わりに溶かしチーズが入っている。ユニークでうまい。これを食べたら、今日からあなたも石巻人。上から:ヒナコ。ミッチー。ヨシ。

KOTOBUKI DANCE HALL AND ISHINOMAKI 2.0 YEAREND PARTY 2014

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I attended a grand yearend party jointly organized by Kotobuki Dance Hall and Ishinomaki 2.0. Kotobuki brought Ishinomaki's all-star DJs including Adrian from La Havana, Cuba, to the party.
寿ダンスホールISHINOMAKI 2.0が共同で開催した大忘年会に出席した。寿がこのパーティのためにブッキングしたのは、キューバ・ハバナ出身のアドリアンを含む石巻のオールスターDJたち。

And Akio was selling local sake-steamed oysters under disco balls.
ミラーボールの下では、アキオが酒蒸しにした地元の牡蠣を売っている。

IRORI Ishinomaki, the global headquarters of ISHINOMAKI 2.0, became a food-focused venue and welcomed guests from all over the town.
ISHINOMAKI 2.0のグローバルヘッドクオーター、IRORI石巻はフード中心の会場になり、街じゅうから集まったゲストを迎えた。

Natsumi-san from ISHINOMAKI 2.0 (right) who is in charge of Fukko Bar and Mitchey from ITNAV and Aikata formerly known as Kotoba Juku.
ISHINOMAKi 2.0 で復興バーを担当する菜摘さん(右)と、イトナブ&以前はコトバ塾と呼ばれていた「アイカタ」のミッチー。

He is the Birthday Boy. Jojo from Berkeley, CA, who joined Ishinomaki 2.0 as a creative intern. I first met Jojo two years ago when author Ms. Maha Harada introduced his mother, Jane, to me.
こちらはバースデイボーイ。ISH…

ISHINOMAKI GRAND HOTEL (5)

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Checked into my regular room in Ishinomaki. In 2014, I stayed at Ishinomaki Grand more than any other hotels in Japan. I seriously wish this hotel would be a part of Starwood Hotels.
石巻のいつもの部屋にチェックイン。2014年、このホテルには日本にあるほかのどのホテルよりも多く泊まった。スターウッドホテルズの一員になってくれればいいのに、と真剣に思う。

THE WESTIN SENDAI (6)

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Checked in at midnight and checked out the next morning. Too bad I can't have enough time to enjoy this room.
真夜中にチェックインして、翌朝チェックアウト。この部屋を十分に楽しむ時間がないのは残念。

MY FINAL ISHINOMAKI TRIP OF 2014

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This is my 5th and final trip to Ishinomaki in 2014. After a year-end party, I could get the second to last Shinkansen train of the day to Sendai.
2014年5度目の、そして最後の石巻への旅。イヤーエンドパーティの後、最終の1本前の仙台行き新幹線に乗ることができた。

They don't offer meal service on this late night train. However, at least I could get a cup of coffee.
この深夜便はミールサービスがない。でも、少なくともコーヒーを頼むことはできる。


Heading north. The train arrives at Sendai around midnight.
北へ。仙台に到着するのは、真夜中近く。