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Old 8th October 2012, 09:40   #16
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Hi Everyone

I am back and have tons and tons of snaps to process. somewhere along the way I switched my camera to 5MP instead of computer size and now i have to downsize to upload

Anyone know how i can batch downsize the photos and save the original hi res snaps?

R
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Old 8th October 2012, 22:41   #17
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Right here is the run down on the gadgets in post 10

The the first photo you see the bed side panel incorporated in the bead head. This hotel is a typical Japanese business hotel with small small rooms, just enough space but very efficiently packed. The bedside panel is usually on the bedside table in larger more luxurious hotel rooms. Here it is on the head with very simple features like the alarm clock the master light and the footlight

There is also the shoe polisher and the other gadget is an omron blood pressure monitor. There is another device next to it but did not have enough time to figure it out. It looks like a play station controller. It would be nice if anyone could shed some light

The cool part of the electric kettle is that it has a built in humidifier. Very very handy in Japan when it gets very cold it also gets very dry so this must be used a lot

Top Tip: People not used to sleeping in a cold and dry air con environment usually wake up the next morning with a dry itchy throat and a dry nasal passage. I know i do. Its because the humidity has dropped due to the aircon running all night. I have a simple way of dealing with it. I fill up the bathtub a little bit and leave the water there to evaporate and humidify the room through the night

Then of course there are the ubiquitous beverage and snack dispensers:

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A typical truck stop in Japan and there are plenty of them on the highway. Trucks park themselves neatly in allocated slots and cars have a separate row. The toilets are cleaner than clean and there is always a little 7 11 or Lawson on the property. Many drivers had their engines running and were resting or getting some shut eye

This stop in particular was real cool because it was actually perched on top of the expressway and made use of the full width of the expressway. So there were actually vehicles passing under the whole establishment. Ingenious and this is something I noticed everywhere I went in Japan. Full use of the smallest of spaces available. They could easily have built it by the side of the road but then they would have to cut a lot of forest and trees. Gone forever

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All through my stay in Japan I was very drawn the the design of the Nissan Cube. I took too many snaps of it. Big hit in Japan too. The one above was pumped, lowered and looked really cool

Last edited by 53BHP : 8th October 2012 at 23:07.
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Old 8th October 2012, 23:33   #18
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Some pics from my walk down the street from the temple. Very touristy but still very quaint and not in your face. Then I reached the parking lot and clicked loads of snaps of cars, bikes and bicycles. Enjoy:
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By the time i got to the lot it was dusk already so all these pics are low light sorry. just a humble point and shoot. No DSLR

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A Week In Japan Technology, Food and All Things Automotive-dscn1318-large.jpgI flipped for this bicycle. The Panasonic electric bike. Went looking to buy it but it was costing close to 70k over there and then shipping and customs etc. What a pity

Dont miss the only Punto I ever saw in Japan in a week. Also if anyone could identify the Chuck box bike in the snaps above. The white one. I was stumped looking all over for clues of the original manufacturer

Last edited by 53BHP : 8th October 2012 at 23:55.
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Old 9th October 2012, 09:56   #19
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The two nights I spent in Kyoto were really super, especially gastronomically and culturally

The first night I went to this Ramen noodle place that is highly recommended on the net and very famous for its burnt ramen noodle soup. I was very impressed. The experience was way above expectations

These places are apparently very friendly lively and informal. The waiter shouts out your order to the kitchen which is a live open kitchen and the kitchen team shouts back in confirmation especially if you order the house special. In this case I did. The girl who came over to take my order already had an english menu on my bar counter before I was seated. She was friendly and enthusiastic. Got my food over and came over to chat. Cool

These places, I learnt later, always have handsome kitchen staff especially the head chef. In this case there was Mamolu. And then it struck me why there were some many girl customers at the counter and not at the tables

The ramen was to die for. I felt like fishing out every strand of noodle and eating it individually. The desert consisting of mascarpone and honey with some crackers was outstanding:

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In India, I think you can see the weirdest cars around. Because of people like DC etc. In Japan you can see the weirdest cars made by mainstream manufacturers

Have a good day you all. More to post tonight. I just managed to batch resize all my photos while keeping the originals too. Its a small app you can download from microsoft called powertoys for windows xp
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Old 9th October 2012, 11:19   #20
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Excellent travelogue there mate! I love Japan for everything techie.
One thing I noticed is every second car in your pictures is a box hatchback - what is with Japanese and brick shaped cars? Also, there are some cars/trucks with logos that are not known to us. Mind throwing some light on these? Name of the manufacturer, model etc?
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Old 9th October 2012, 12:31   #21
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excellent report 53 HP. Pity, i could not explore Tokyo much during my 2months stay there. it was too hectic to even take a breath leave alone roam around.

I am glad you tried Japanese cuisine. I got wary with all kind of smells coming out from their kitchen;s . having puked earlier in hong kong once, i just played safe and remain loyal to Mac D ;s & own cooked food .

I loved those Drinks vending machines . One can use the regular PASMO cards ( incase you don ;t have change ) to get your favorite drinks. good thing is it carries both hot as well as cold beverages .

Did you visited "Yadobashi" ??
@ 9thsphinx major trucks posted about in post 17 are "HINO" & " NISSAN" One. No idea what's the second truck in post 17 above.
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Old 9th October 2012, 13:03   #22
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Originally Posted by 53BHP View Post
Top Tip: People not used to sleeping in a cold and dry air con environment usually wake up the next morning with a dry itchy throat and a dry nasal passage. I know i do. Its because the humidity has dropped due to the aircon running all night. I have a simple way of dealing with it. I fill up the bathtub a little bit and leave the water there to evaporate and humidify the room through the night
It's not just us. The Japanese also face this problem. Their solution: soak a towel in water and leave it by your bedside. It works for me.

PS: Very nice photos and description. Mostly reading it passively.
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Old 9th October 2012, 15:14   #23
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Also if anyone could identify the Chuck box bike in the snaps above. The white one. I was stumped looking all over for clues of the original manufacturer
Could it be a Kawasaki Estrella?
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Old 11th October 2012, 23:49   #24
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Minor Scare: My laptop crashed. Luckily a connector on the HDD had come loose. Phew. Near miss

So here we go more on the trip:

The next day was spent looking around Kyoto. Beautiful city that. A must stop over for anyone travelling to Japan

I also remembered this TV episode with Merrilees Parker (food traveler) and her visit to Kyoto and to the world famous Kyoto knife store called Aritsugu. So a did some reading and figured out all the places I needed to go see to get myself a knife or two. I have been after a Global for the longest time so...

So this had a lot of stuff to do on the agenda. Nijo Castle, the Golden Pavillion and Nishiki market (one of the oldest markets in Japan and probably the world) and of course my mission to get meself a knife or two.

Started off with Nijo Castle. Typical Japanese, spartan, functional yet very very elegant:

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Then on to the Golden Pavillion. One of the most picturesque places I went to in Japan. Bit touristy though. But many local tourists as well

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Then for a bit of lunch. Any meal you have in Japan is always so good. And you dont have to go Michelin either. This straightforward hotel buffet restaurant we had was absolutely top notch and the steak I had here was probably the best I had on my entire trip. Yummy and enjoy:

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These traditional Japanese sorbets are really super. Very unique flavors, not too sweet, light and very nice. There are also a variety of green tea based foods, condiments and sweets. Nice


Post lunch and I was off to Nishiki market and knife hunting. Nishiki market dates back to the 12th century and actually started off as a fish market. Infact some of the original families are still there doing the same thing:

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I would like to devote a little more time to the knife shopping I did and although I dont know how many of you would be interested, I was fascinated. By the history, culture and skill and craftsmanship of knive making here in Kyoto. That post is for tomorrow.

I am sorry this thread is taking so long to unfold, what with the hard disc coming loose and all. But I will try to wrap everything up by this weekend

Good night and see you all tomorrow
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Old 17th October 2012, 23:04   #25
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Default Japanese Chef's Knives

Always been fascinated by these and considered getting one of those Global knives on the internet. So took the opportunity to do so in Japan

Combined this with my visit to the Nishiki market. Started originally in the 14th century and is there still. Originally a fresh fish market, now there is every kind of food item and condiment you could want if you are Japanese

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First stop after Nishiki was Aritsugu. World famous, great knives, very pricey and a super show and atmosphere. But they are only accepting of cold hard cash. No CC, no TC. So be warned. You have to head there with a lot of JPN Y


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Since I wasnt carrying too much cash, I set off in search of Kikuimochi, who I had heard accepted plastic and also managed decent English

Spent a bit of time with the friendly owner and selected the most economical Santoku I could afford. 4700 JPY

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That knife costs, hold your breath 231000 JPY
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So there I was pretty pleased with my acquisition and walking along Teramachi wondering what to do next when I came upon this shop:

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The gentleman owner spoke excellent english, was very polite and accomodating of all my questions even knowing that I had already bought and was just browsing. But hey you dont know when you are going back there again so I got myself another knife and this time I splurged 7800 JPY on a 16 layer chefs knife with a swedish steel core. Real beauty

He even let me video him giving me a demo of how to sharpen the knife

Absolutely fabulous way to end the afternoon
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Old 17th October 2012, 23:55   #26
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Whoops!! Looks like Delhi-6, but a lot cleaner though.

Thanks for sharing this travelogue.

Japanese are, I guess, the kings of quirkiness. It oozes in their car designs. I wouldn't want to be caught dead in one of those breadboxes .
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Old 18th October 2012, 09:03   #27
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Wow, those are some awesome pics. Looks like you have been having a great time.The photos have really brought the trip alive for us couch potatoes who have never been there and are following this online

The whole thing of boxy cars in Japan is born out of the statement "necessity is the mother of invention". They are a small over crowded country and land is at a serious premium. If they make a car bigger horizontally it will get expensive WRT parking space. Going vertically makes things easier there. Additionally, similar to our 4m and under 1.2/1.5 l engine, they had the K class rules long before we thought about it. That is how the tall boy design was invented.
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Old 18th October 2012, 21:12   #28
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Default Last evening in Kyoto: A Shabu Shabu meal in Gion District

My last evening in Kyoto I decided to spend with a visit to the Gion district for a meal and just to soak in the atmosphere of the place. Most famous for its Ochayas (tea houses) and Geisha girls.

The district itself is very pretty and a must see if you are in Kyoto:

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Some random snaps while walking down to Gion from my hotel. Just a few yards from the hotel is a motorcycle shop that seems to repair only BMW and Royal Enfield (someone said Japanese people are a bit quirky. This chap was that as well as really hard working. He would be open at 10am and I have seen him hard at work at 10pm too)

I really like the Daihatsu Mira (a car which I think Jeremy Clarkson flogged, literally). Simple and very original mini cooper lines

One of my most enjoyable meals at this traditional keiseki house. I shabu shabu meal, where they have a pot of boiling water on your table and your dip cook your meat and veggies in this pot and then dip in sauce and eat. Divine

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My hotel in Kyoto. The beautiful and historical Westin Miyako:
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