A Week in Tokyo 201401

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Mon 2014/02/17 20:05 JST in A Week in Tokyo

I've always made a point of trying to update the A Week in Tokyo category but what with having to manage the business and being very hands on with work, its difficult to make the time.

After sorting through photos over the years, I realise that so much has been happening that if I don't document it now then I'm going to regret it later.

So am going to try to start again (again?!) with this post which covers stuff that happened in January. I'm also renaming each installment to the time of posting instead of numbers.

First photo - filming in Akihabara with Mirai-chan.

We are going to start this installment in Malaysia which is where I spent the new year. Wifey and I have been spending the past couple of new years in Kuala Lumpur since we started to attend the most awesome Comic Fiesta.

Here Mirai is checking out the ALoft hotel (where we held CJ Night) to see if its big enough to host a Culture Japan Convention. This is most likely going to be the venue for CJC2 - will update you as soon as I can ><

Checking out the house of a comrade - its like a museum! Can you find Mirai?

Datuk Dinners. How many do you recognize?

Catching up with a couple of folks from the Japanese Consulate in Malaysia.

Dindins with the Malaysian branch of the logistics company Kuroneko Yamato.
I'm currently working on setting up our ecommerce solutions so that you can order our goodies from anywhere in the world.

Last dinner in Malaysia before heading back to Japan.

I'm very bad at remembering names of food - I think this is Lorbak?

Om nom nom.

Looks like Mirai likes JKT48 member Viviyona Apriani.
It also looks like Viviyona is a fan of Mirai - here she is in a Moekana Tora T-shirt ^o^

With Dad in the Star - an article about my Smart Dolls.

And here is the last brekkie before I go back to Japan - Roti Planta.

Thanks for all the goodies during my stay in Malaysia ^o^
If anything you gave me is not here then its already packed in my suitcase ><

Tis cold back in Japan - Mirai all wrapped up for the trip back home.

The morning view from our offices in KL.

Dad and wifey at the airport.

Time to think about how to achieve all my 2014 goals.

Back in Tokyo at our local shopping arcade Musashikoyama Palm. Cold! ><

Shortly after getting back to Tokyo I came down with some sort of virus/allergy that the doctor would not name because he didn't know what's wrong with me.
He then threw various types of antibiotics at me instead - its my 4th week taking them and still don't feel good ><

Have been working on a Mirai Bridal version.

The sign says "don't vomit (around this area) what you ate or drank."
Not sure if this means there is other stuff that one can vomit.

Paying our annual visit to Meiji Jingu to say a prayer and give thanks.

Japanese wedding ceremony at Meiji Jingu.

Even after a few weeks into January, there will still be many folks flocking to temples and shrines across Japan to pay their respects.

Bumped into a few readers from Singapore at Meiji Jingu.

Waiting for the Yamanote line train at Harajuku. If you are a train buff then you can probably name the one in the photo?

Together with the Bushiroad international team at our local shotengai.

Imagine coming home one day to find this in your house.
Most Japanese houses are not built to last - but built to be torn down easily. I owe you an extensive write up on Japanaese housing.

Off to a meeting in the Ginza area.

Gave a talk at the venture incubator J-Seed to a bunch of venture-type folks which then lead to an invite to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where I will be talking about Mirai Suenaga Smart Doll.

Nomnoms in Ginza.

Comrade and cosplayer Edojin with Mirai-chan.

Current drama season has Senryokugai Sousakan 戦力外捜査官].

You ready for the climax?

Continuing work on Smart Doll injection mold - here I'm inspecting various things for the head part including checking the placement of ejector pins/gate and areas which involve undercut.

Dindins at the newly opened Ootoya at our local shopping arcade.

Pre-filming meeting at the office with the TV crew of a new show called "Hello Tokyo" airing on Hello Japan in Singapore.

Out n about in Harajuku filming for Hello Tokyo.

Mirai-chan wrapped up warm - its freeeezing in Tokyo right now ><


Taking a look at the incredibly popular Zakka store ASOKO.

Catching up on mail while heading to the next filming location.
Still using the Xperia Z1 but its being flaky lately - an error about Google Play Services crashing keeps popping up. Probably switch back to the HTC ONE for my main device.

Mirai has a new ride.

Mirai taking in the sights at Sensoji temple in Asakusa.

Mirai-chan trying out a rickshaw.

Filming at Hanayashiki - a theme park owned by Bandai Namco located right in the middle of Asakusa and home to Japan's oldest running rollercoaster.

Filming at Noodol - a cafe where you get to chat with an idol for 3 mins while you wait for your cup noodle to brew.

Akihabara - full of cute girlies! The latest Akihabara Shops here.

Walking back to Akihabara station after a day filming at Harajuku, Asakusa and Akihabara ><

SKE48 want you to drink their Soup. Curry.

The Soup Curry at Cocoichi is just sooooo nice! But they only have this menu for a limited time in the Winter.
Whats your fave dish that you must have when visiting Japan?

Chinese New Year came and went.

Meeting with my printers regarding Moekana 2nd Edition and the box for Smart Doll.

Since I tried a different flavor at my fave Tsukemen place - I've been choosing it each time I go ^^

Lupin gets the slot machine treatment.

Backing up my Vita data to the Mac. How many of you bother to back up your handheld game data?

Taking time out at our local park Rinshinomori.

Checking out the Ema at our local temple Meguro Fudoson.

Apart from Meiji Jingu, we always visit Meguro Fudoson at the beginning of the year to give in our amulets from the previous year and get new ones.

Paper recycle day for our neck of the woods is on a Tuesday where folks would sometimes throw out their manga.
It is general knowledge that taking anything that others have put out on a recycle day is illegal - even though its unwanted. The understanding is that one puts out their unwanted stuff for the authorities to pick up and not just anybody.

Folks who don't mind their recyclables taken by anybody should leave a "help yourself!" note which is what we do from time to time.

Recycling is part of life in Japan and there are designated days for general rubbish, plastics, tins and so on. If stuff is thrown out on the wrong day then the folks collecting the recyclables will leave a note to let you know.

Is recycling a part of life in your neck of the woods too?

A view from our "second office."

Multiple meetings with our mold maker to slowly perfectionize the MiraiFrame.
There is so much one needs to know about Injection Molding and I've certainly learned a lot through the process.

One needs to take into consideration warpage, shrinkage, position and angle of piece in the mold, position of ejector pins, flow of material, undercuts, temperature/pressure/speed of material when it's injected into mold and so on - understanding all these factors is crucial into making decisions which affect the final product.

As I'm learning from scratch, I've made mistakes which has delayed the development time but those mistakes being valuable learnings which I would not have gained without tripping up in the first place.

As we ramp up to the launch of Smart Doll, I will be sharing more of my learnings on the production process.

After seeing the incredible quality of the Sony A7 through photos taken by Kodomut - I want one! But even though its an E-mount - I'd still need to get new E-mount lenses because if I use the ones I have for my NEX, all photos will be cropped.

What camera are you using?

Have you heard of PM2.5? Its a big thing over here - the media here basically say its pollution from China and that its affecting Japan - apparently so much that they now sell magical sprays which create a force field around your face to protect you from it.

Dindins at Lazona Kawasaki.

Catching up with Marc Perez - boss of Anime Expo - America's (and one of the worlds biggest) anime events - see you again this July in Los Angeles!

Sashimi for dindins.

Mirai-chan helping me to inspect the final production wigs for Smart Doll.

Evangelion Ningyo-Yaki cakes from the Evangelion store in Harajuku.

Together with comrades from Japan Tourism - our first project was Mirai's Map of Japan - now we are working on more cool stuff - keep em peeled!

Chicken Katsu for dindins.

Catching up with Shawn and Aiko at the office - they bring you Anime Festival Asia. The next AFA will be in...

Heading out to lunch with Mirai-chan in Shibuya.

Lunch with Mirai-chan ^o^

I've got a rather sweet tooth ><

Hunting for material at Nippori for the T-shirts that will come with the Smart Doll default set. Nippori has a load of shops that specialize in materials like Tomato.

Catching a nice view of Tokyo Tower while heading back to base.

Tokyo Sky Tree is nice but I really like the classic Tokyo Tower design.

T3 back from injection Molding. Back then the hands and head was not part of the mold but they are now.
"T3" is a term used to refer to "Try 3" after the mold has gone through modifications. We make more modifications and upgrade the level. We are currently at T4.

At the moment, I manage all aspects of Smart Doll production which includes the box design too. I need to make sure that it's sturdy, easy to assemble and look aesthetically good too. I chose to have the coating similar to Apple product boxes ^^;

Unlike other 60cm class doll boxes which are long - I wanted mine to be smaller by having the doll sit down inside. The doll would sit on a box that would contain accessories.

I also wanted the box to act like a case so I included a sheet of acrylic inside too. However, just like other 60cm tall dolls, Mirai would be sitting inside in her birthday suit - the wig, clothes and other accessories would be in the small box that she sits on.

Feast time at IKEA.

Picking up some tables (LINNMON) for the new doll studio that I'm building on the first floor of the office.

How many of you got IKEA stuff at home?

Mirai-chan has modestly sized oppai but when shes wearing a T-shirt, her oppai doesn't get squished accordingly and ends up looking a wee bit silly - so I went and made 3 different sizes.

Mirai-chan will actually come with "small" by default - medium and large sizes available to buy seperately.

And this is an example of how the soft vinyl would be pulled out of the mold.
More details in the posts available at smartdoll.jp

Trying to do too much at once - preparing equipment to start filming Culture Japan Season 3 - if you got any requests for what you want to see on the show then just lemme know ^o^

How many years will it be until wireless technology replaces all wiring?

Starting to clear out and prepare the doll studio on the first floor.

Working on data for Mirai-chan's hairclip - the recess is where the magnet goes so that it can be attached to Mirai's head.

Doing some work on the Automated version of Smart Doll for display at the Wonder Festival.

Doing a test run of how the girls are going to be displayed at the Wonfes - these are the actual tables that we will be using ><

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter - it was to be a special event for us being the first time - the weather made sure that it was to never be forgotten ^^

The Spinal Core part for MiraiFrame is ready and we currently have enough for the first 2000 units.

Meeting with Fukuoka Toshihiro at the office talking about the final small details for the Worldwide Otaku Report - we have not forgotten about it ><

All companies under the Kadokawa umbrella merged to form a single company.
What with various organizational changes and what with the stuff I had on my plate, we had to postpone the release of the book but plan to release it this year.

Morning meetings in Meguro about my talk at the Mobile World Congress.

Back at IKEA again to pick up more tables and lights for display at the Wonfes.

Also working on Moekana 2nd Edition. Just like there are 2nd editions of books like Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings which fix spelling mistakes and maybe change cover art - Moekana 2nd Edition is a revamp and not a completely different product.

We have included many changes though - we include Katakana and cards from the Booster Pack too. We have also revamped many of the cards to include Kizuna, Chitose, Eiji and Retrokyu too.

And this is what the office is looking like in January - more photos in the latest Desk Diary.

Thats it for now - will try to get the next installment of A Week in Tokyo out earlier.
In the meantime you can have a gander through past installments listed up below.