Here’s a little progress shot from a series of 7 little alphabet pieces that I’ve created for a pop-up art show that is going on right now at Bird café in Daikanyama, Tokyo! I would have loved to have more pictures to show but damn, like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland: I have no time!!! Well, that’s only semi true: I have time but for some reason am having trouble fixing a couple of photos…
I’ve added a few photos in my Music portfolio section recently. Perhaps I’ve mentioned it before but I don’t update my work on this site as much as I should. I would invite you to follow me on instagram on either of these accounts: @justin_odderside and @tokyophototour
I’ve been very busy in the photography department as well…
I will be exposing some cool new works at a new group show: COHESION. Personally, I’ll be focusing on lettering and some illustration pieces mainly using india ink and spray paint. Most of the work is still in progress, that’s why I can’t be more descriptive about what I’ll be showing. If in Tokyo, stop by between the 18th and the 23rd or come by for the closing party on Sunday the 23rd!
It’s going to be fantastic: be there!
What can I say? Sumo is an amazing event and a very exciting sport!
Sumo is a very old tradition in Japan. When attending a grand tournament, you can feel it through the ceremony, etiquette and overall style of the event. There are too many things to cover so I’ll really encourage you to go read up on it because it’s quite fascinating, in my opinion. I suppose WIKIPEDIA is always a good place to start!
I eventually began filming the sumo bouts and once I began, I couldn’t stop. Here’s the compilation video I created of the Jury and Makuuchi division bouts:
And though I have many more, here are a few photos:
Well, it’s definitely not the legendary Blue Steel look from Zoolander but here’s a shot I took on an evening photo tour about 2 weeks back. Naming photographs is sometimes tricky and not altogether necessary but I decided to go ahead and give this one a stellar name!
The photo was tekan while I was out with a small group covering some basics in regards to long exposure photography during this particular Tokyo Photo Tour excursion. I’m happy to have finally gotten around to polishing off some images from that evening.
Be sure to check out my website and reserve a street tour with us if you’re planning on coming to Tokyo!
For more information: www.tokyophototour.com
We’ll have a great time and catch some amazing photos during our time together.
The Harajuku Omotesando genki matsuri Super Yosakoi is an annual festival in Tokyo. The festival lasts 2 days and takes place during the last weekend in the month of August. The festival itself is quite impressive and sees over 100 teams perform on stages set up in Tokyo’s famous Yoyogi park. Hidden among the massive trees, the teams, sometimes representing universities, perform dance choreographies accompanied by energetic music and usually an emcee or singer. The performances are thunderous, loud and totally awesome! Each team is compromised of anywhere between 30 and 60 odd performers who don extremely colourful and wonderfully confectioned costumes and proceed to blow your mind for about 5 to 10 minutes. Incredible!
It was very difficult for me to get good shots standing behind a hoard of umbrella brandishing onlookers. So all the shots of the stage were shot ”blindly” with a 100mm lens. By blind shooting, I refer to holding the camera up as high as I can, testing settings and camera angles in the hopes of capturing good shots. With this type of focal length, each degree of hand/camera inclination has an enormous impact on your end result and composition. It’s an exercise in visualisation and optical detachment: imagining that you are seeing through the camera even though your eye is not looking through the viewfinder. Just like a periscope. But without a periscope. Tough!
The diversity in terms of age representation is fantastic as well: children as young as 5 were waving flags alongside their elders. Between each set, a short 5 minute intermission padded the performances. And then it was on to the next group!
What really impressed me was the sheer number of costumes required to clothe an entire team; from my position, the amount of work that went into each group’s gear looked nothing short of staggering. The colors and the level of detail put into into each costume was a thing to be admired.
If you have a chance to be in Tokyo during the month of August, I highly recommend going to this festival. The truth is that there are so many things to do in Tokyo and one of the best ways to witness Japan is to attend a traditional event like this one. Personally, if I had to choose between this and some cliché tourist attraction in a guide book, there would be no hesitation: Super Yosakoi matsuri all the way!
I had heard of this show maybe 2 months ago when Montreal’s Parasytes announced their Japanese Total Infestation tour on facebook. I immediately began salivating at the opportunity to see this great band from my hometown play in Tokyo! This special evening was a celebration of LIFE‘s quarter of a century of ear shredding crust punk in Japan. Also and perhaps more importantly, this date coincided with the anniversary of the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Much of the imagery used in LIFE‘s promotional tools, flyers or merchandise refers to war and it’s atrocities, making this concert’s date no coincidence. Their message was clear and written on a sticker given to every one of the evening’s ticket holders: ”no peaceful purpose for nuclear weapons.”
A typical Tokyo punk show, it began early which is great. Japan is the only place I’ve personally been to where a headlining punk band will be done by midnight or 1am. I don’t see any particular reason or logic to justify why shows have to go on until 3am. It only forces you to take a night bus or invest a hefty sum of money in a taxi ride. Or stay out the entire night.
Parasytes consists of singer Janick Varning, guitarists Luke Nukem and Nick Mccracken, bassist Tom and last but not least, Sticker on drums. On a side note, I’ve always found the nicknames punks give themselves to be hilarious and wonderful; DJs aside, I think hip hop and punk have at least that much in common: colorful and inventive alter ego nicknames. Maybe some good Tokyo punk ones would be Yumiko Ya
aark or AmurØcoholik or maybe ÅnarcΚeikØVomit. Or maybe not.
This was the first stop on a 5 gig Japanese tour for PARASYTES and what can I say: they brought that Montreal A-game to the stage and played an amazing set! Vocalist Janick Varning was on fire and clearly honoured to be sharing the evening’s bill with Tokyo scene veterans LIFE. I would have liked to see more movement in the crowd but on the other hand I can’t complain too much: no pit equals better photos for me. As far as I’m concerned, all songs were tightly knit and woven into a fast paced set that tore through the crowd like lightning; this set will be engraved in my mind for years to come!
Next up: LIFE. I had missed their appearance at one of Montreal’s annual punk festivals A Varning from Montréal in 2014, so I was very hyped to see them play tonight. It’s a special thing to travel across the globe and witness a band play in their hometown on their 25th anniversary. As soon as the first riff was played, a connection formed between the band and the crowd. This connection was tangible, almost visible. Within moments, it was crowd surfing and people cheering, energy exploding across the auditive spectrum and a wall of sound that sliced it’s way across the venue, sparing none. Happy 25th anniversary LIFE!
Moonstep Nakano is a fine venue for Tokyo punk shows though I have a few critical opinions about the night’s sound which I’ll keep to myself. The bands killed it and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to see either of these bands and it goes without saying that if you have the chance, you too should jump on the opportunity to support them!
Also: cheers to all the nice people I met from Tokyo, the UK and Australia!
I have been taking a lot of food photos recently and I’d like to share this. I’ve been collaborating with Tokyo Foodie Tours by being their photographer and it’s been fun! It’s no secret to those that know me that I love to cook and eat and most everything that surrounds food. So combining photography and food was quite natural.
If you’re in Tokyo, do yourself a favour, avoid hours of research and wandering around: join a foodie tour!
It begins right here: www.tokyofoodietours.com
Not going to Tokyo? My photos are all over their instagram account @tokyofoodietours !
I have to say, this city never stops surprising me at every turn. The streets continuously smell of food being cooked, ramen broth being brewed, skewers being grilled and various goods being fried. It’s a little overwhelming because you just want to go all out and eat it all!
I’ve written a couple of small blurbs on a good friend’s blog; it’s a site that offers insight into expat life in Asia. I’ll be providing the occasional Tokyo vision. All this is going down on RoadBeer.
I’ll be back in a day or two with some fresh shots of some of the most delicious morsels I’ve laid hands on!
Tokyo Photo Tour is a brand new tour concept which I am proud to be founder of.
If you’re in Tokyo and want to visit the city with someone who is at home in it’s streets and visit creative concepts, techniques and take original shots of Tokyo, we have you covered! Tokyo is an enormous city with throngs of people flowing through it’s busy streets; to be blunt, there’s simply no time to waste when you’re in town for a few days before moving off to the next destination! Since you may not visit it more than once in a lifetime, I strongly suggest taking one of our Tokyo photo tours.
Admittedly, we are one of the newer tour experiences available but damn, we’ve spent the better part of the last year fine tuning our adventures! There is no way you are not going to be extremely glad you joined us on an urban expedition!
Please visit our website and check out the unique tours we offer:
We have something for everyone and will tailor our tours to your level of experience and gear.
And if photography is not your thing, we know what you’ll be wanting to do: eat and drink! A trip to Tokyo is a cultural odyssey in itself but is not complete without tasting the many tantalizing foods it has to offer. So much to eat, so little time!
Our partners at Tokyo Foodie Tours have eaten their way to becoming a driving force of culinary enjoyment in the towering mega city of Tokyo! This is a city that has more restaurants per citizen than any other on Earth; it’s not easy to know where to go. But Tokyo Foodie Tours has the experience and will guide you to the food and drinks you need to taste! And teach you a few things along the way!
Don’t settle for half of Tokyo when you can have it all!
Visit them at:
I’ll be posting some more updates shortly!
Thanks for indulging my moment of publicity…