Speed member Hiroko Shimabukuro (Hiro) married to Yuki Saotome

Actor Yuki Saotome has announced his marriage with Speed member Hiroko Shimabukuro on the 30th September 2016 during a production stage event called “Azumi-Sengoku series-“, and talked about their marriage registration as well.

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Yuki Saotomo (credit: http://goosle.whdnews.com/)

 

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Hiroko Shimabukuro (credit: aparelstar.jp)

The 20 year old male actor has been expressing his thanks towards those who congratulated him, and has mentioned that nothing has been changed, and his lifestyle will always remain as it is.

When asked about his 12 years age gap between the both of them, he mentioned he does not feel the gap at all. He has also appraised Hiro’s superb cooking skills.

As for their marriage registration, he has yet to decide anything however he believes that if the timing is right, he may probably hold it next year. In his state of mind, he also feels that both partners should give one another support to the best they can in order to be able to move on.

 

Kawayuka (Terrace Riverside Dining) 川床

In an episode of 乃木坂工事中 (Nogizaka Under Construction), a member of Nogizaka46 has mentioned about dating in Kyoto. One of the places that was mentioned

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乃木坂46 乃木坂工事中 橋本奈々美 (credit: Nogizaka46)

橋本奈々未

Pretty sure a lot of foreigners knew about Kyoto, but they prolly knew about castles and temples. There’s actually a type of traditional restaurant in Kyoto known as Kawayuka.

So what exactly is a Kawayuka?

Traditionally known as 納涼床 (pronounced as nou-ryou-yuka or nou-ryou-doko) since the period before Meiji Era. In 2010, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism held a growth strategy meeting in order to attract stronger tourism, changed the term from 河川敷地 (kasenshikichi) to now what is called as Kawayuka mainly by people in Osaka, in some places like Takao, people would call it Kawadoko, which either way is fine.

Kawayuka is basically a terrace riverside dining place, or teahouses that is built right above rivers, where visitors are able to view the scenery, nature, and river while dining in an outdoor terrace.

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Starbucks terrace along Kamogawa River (Credit: Wikipedia)

People can usually enjoy these dining experiences between May to September. These places are located on Kamogawa, Kibune, Takao, and Takagamine in Kyoto. Every terrace dining offer different relaxing and refreshing experiences.

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Kawadoko at Kibune (credit: Wikipedia)

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Ushinohone (credit: Tabelog)

Solo Trip 2015 (Japan)

This report is a summary of my solo trip to Japan in 2015, from Tokyo to Osaka and then to Hakata. I’ve actually been to Japan once 2 years ago for a business trip in Shinjuku, so I didn’t really get to experience as much fun as this solo trip.

(Off topic) I will be heading to Japan again sometime next week, prolly meeting some of my friends for a photoshoot event with AKB48 idols (well for me it’s HKT48). I’m having a photoshoot with 指原莉乃 (Sashihara Rino) and 兒玉遥 (Kodama Haruka).

Sashihara Rino (the girl you see in the youtube preview below) is the center for the famous 32nd single 恋するフォーチュンクッキー (Koisuru Fortune Cookie), below is the music video. 

I’ve always wanted to visit Japan after passing my JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), I took N2 but didn’t manage to score well, had an average pass anyway, in addition to that achieving 3rd place in Japanese Speech Contest gave me some confidence in Japanese conversation.

As I had planned to travel 3 different regions in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Hakata), I bought JR pass, apparently they changed the cover of the pass with photo of sakura because it was spring that time.

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TOKYO

My first stop was in Tokyo, met up with my colleague for lunch (her treat! LOL) we went shopping, sightseeing, eating e.t.c. (from Shibuya-Harajuku-Akihabara)

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We chanced upon this Nike store in Harajuku, where I remembered Oshima Yuko (former AKB48 member) used to shop, there was this section called NIKE iD, basically it allows us to customize Nike shoes from the range of existing sneakers they provided.

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*Note: Please make sure you have a valid address in Japan for the shoes to be delivered to, because unfortunately, NIKE iD’s sneakers customization is exclusive in selected regions only. 

So first we select the range of “customizable” sneakers they provided. I selected the Lebron James collection.

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Next, like any other shoe stores, we basically have to try on the size of the sneakers. Then, we proceeded to make customization, now here’s the fun part.

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The wide array of customization areas ranges from shoelaces colors, to lettering, to skinning e.t.c., so if you’re confused, please approach the staff, they will actually guide you through. There’re some templates where you can follow as well.

Once the customization is done, the processing (including delivery) will take about 3-6 weeks upon payment. I had set my address to my colleague’s place so I basically paid her once the goods have been delivered to my house in Singapore.

OSAKA

I bid farewell to my colleague in Tokyo and headed to Osaka via Shinkansen. Osaka gives a different vibe as compared to Tokyo, the one that I noticed after alighting the train was that people would line up on the right side of the escalator rather than the left like Tokyo. People were speaking Kansai dialect/Osaka-ben which I needed some time to get used to.

One of the few popular tourists’ attractions would be Osaka castle.

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But my favorite spot was the Universal Studios Japan, Harry Potter (BUTTERBEER!), Cool Japan theme (only for a limited time, consists of Evangelion, Attack on Titan, Monster Hunter and Biohazard Resident Evil), as well as 4D experience ride e.t.c.

Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) has also been featured in one of my favourite idols variety programme, “Nogizakatte Doko?”.

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So I was in Dotonbori for the night in Osaka, the streets were bustling with people in spite of the wet weather. Settled myself with okonomiyaki and takoyaki as well as the cheese cake from りくろーおじさん.

The trademark is old Uncle Rikuro wearing a chef’s hat. His fluffy soft cheesecake is very popular and well known to all and sundry in Osaka.

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I also went to the Umeda Sky Building, a spectacular high rise building in Osaka. Upon ascending the 39th floor, the observatory deck offers a great view of Osaka.

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Mini-scale Umeda Sky Building

HAKATA

My last stop. In comparison with Tokyo and Osaka, Hakata wasn’t filled with a lot of foreigners. It may be because the spots for tourism attraction are not as mainstream as those 2 cities mentioned earlier. When people mention about Hakata, the very first thing that rings a bell is probably Hakata Ramen. So I decided to give it a try if the rumours are true about the delicious Hakata Ramen.

The one thing that surprised me was the price, it was cheaper than the one I had in Singapore, but the taste was tremendously on a different level. It was definitely tasty, but the tonkotsu broth was just different, wasn’t too oily, wasn’t too bland. I tried out one in Ichiran Ramen and another in Ippudo. Taste is quite subjective so I’ll leave it up for you guys who are interested in going to Hakata, but one thing’s for sure, they’re all better than the ramen I had in Singapore.

There is also Yatai (屋台),  open air food stalls that are situated next to Canal City in Fukuoka. The food there is really affordable. And if you’re lucky, you can bargain 40% discount on ramen.

Aside from that, I visited Hot Springs in Fukuoka, and took a bus to Hawks Town, where Koisuru Fortune Cookie music video is filmed, and HKT48 theatre is located. Following that, since Fukuoka tower was nearby, I decided to go there too.

Fukuoka Tower has three observation decks:  one at 116 m, a café/lounge deck at 120 m, and the highest at 123 metres above the ground. During my visit, they made a theme specially for Valentines’ day,  so the displays inside are decorated with flowers, love and relationship fortune telling. Directly looking from the observation deck, at the front face of Fukuoka Tower, jutting out into the ocean, is Marizon, a waterfront promenade.

Marizon, also known as Wedding Island Marizon, is a romantic place where couples hold their wedding ceremony on the beach and/or inside the restaurant.

On the last day before leaving for Singapore, I went on to try Mizutaki. Mizutaki is a kind of hot pot dish (called Nabemono or simply Nabe) in which fish or other kinds of meat and vegetables are cooked in unseasoned fish broth and dipped in tangy Ponzu sauce.

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Mizutaki

To be honest, there are other places of interest where I had been to as well, but are not being mentioned. Nonetheless, I’d love to visit Japan again.

色鉛筆画 HKT48兒玉遥 完成までの一部始終早送り

Soundtrack:
( HD ) Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Sylvia Tosun – An Angel’s Love ( Vocal Mix ) Melodic Vocal Trance

– Armada Music –

こんにちは、ユエンジエです。シンガポールから参りました。

今回の絵はHKT48メンバー兒玉遥ですけど、色鉛筆で描いてみました。
是非リンクをシェアしてください。

This portrait drawing is still HKT48’s member Haruka Kodama, but I’ve used colored pencils this time round e.t.c.
Please feel free to share around.

乃木坂46 (Nogizaka 46)

Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46, Nogizaka Forty-six) is a Japanese female idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto, billed as the official rival (公式ライバル) of the group AKB48.

I got to know Nogizaka46 through Ikoma’s Seifuku no Mannequin MV. (The chorus got me interested)

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Ikoma Rina (生駒里奈) center for 制服のマネキン Courtesy of Sony Music Records

At that time, I wasn’t quite sure how the group actually works, then I noticed the image and style of Nogizaka46 is different from AKB48 and its sister groups. Their skirts are longer and their image is more on the conservative side, somewhat I would prefer. (only a few members do gravure shoots)

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Harujion ga Saku Koro (ハルジオンが咲く頃)Nogizaka46 14th single

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何度目の青空か (Nandome no Aozora Ka) Nogizaka46 10th Single 2014
I started liking “Nandome no Aozora Ka”, the song literally got me listening over and over again. Then I started watching Nogibingo (Ijiri would always take their belongings and tease them in a perverted manner, but Ijiri is a very nice and caring guy in irl tbh).

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It was then I continued watching 乃木坂って、どこ? (Nogizakatte Doko?) (gotta love Bananaman) all the way till they revamp and change it to 乃木坂工事中 (Nogizaka Kojichuu). (LOL members got tricked that it was the last episode, and the girls cried like there was no tml)

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乃木坂って、どこ? (Nogizakatte Doko?)

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乃木坂工事中 (Nogizaka Kojichuu)

I didn’t have a specific oshimen back then, I practically liked every member there, but the member that got the deepest impression was Shiraishi Mai and Ikoma Rina.

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Left: Shiraishi Mai       Right: Ikoma Rina

In fact, there are some members who are exclusive fashion magazine models.

  • Cancam exclusive fashion models: 橋本奈々未 (Hashimoto Nanami, right) and 松村 沙友理 (Matsumura Sayuri, left)40101195
  • Ray exclusive fashion model: 白石麻衣 (Shiraishi Mai)20141016_ninki_88
  • Nonno exclusive fashion model: 西野七瀬 (Nishino Nanase)nonno1506-nishino002
  • CUTiE exclusive fashion model: 齋藤飛鳥 (Saito Asuka)682faa696655e127309d54bc84104a1f

I noticed there has been increasing female fans in Nogizaka46 as well, compared to AKB48 groups.

I just hoped someday they can have 2 shot event like AKB48 groups.

So far my favorite members are 橋本奈々未 Hashimoto Nanami and 若月佑美 Wakatsuki Yumi, both are incredibly talented and beautiful. Somehow they give relaxing feel whenever I see them.

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Who’s your favourite Nogizaka46 member?

AKB48

I’ve always been a fan of Japanese pop/rock music, they were usually the most songs contained in my playlist, so I’m just going to introduce one of my fav groups so far, the all girls idol group AKB48.

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*image from tokyo-hive*

AKB48 (short for Akihabara48) is an Japanese Idol Group group produced by Akimoto Yasushi. The group have their own theater in Don Quixote, on Akihabara (Tokyo Prefecture). The 1st generation members were announced on October, 2005. The debut single of the group, Sakura no Hanabiratachi, was released on February 1, 2006. They are currently signed under King Records, originally from DefSTAR RECORDS/Sony Music Japan.

AKB48

AKB48 members are girls whose age ranges from 13 to mid-20s. They are recruited through auditions that are held regularly in Japan. Members of the group are not allowed to have boyfriends, and must be well-behaved. If they misbehave, they may be expelled from the group.When members get older, they “graduate” from the group and are replaced by new members.

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I always thought it might be 48 members in that group all the while, till i found out, there are like 100 over members (it is now the largest jpop group in Japan now, and also it is one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, with 2011 record sales of over US$200 million in Japan alone.), the turnover/transfer is also pretty high, so usually i’d just stick to one or two idols and move on to support them….lol (there’s actually affliated sister groups like SKE, NMB, JKT e.t.c., we actually made humour about their abbreviations though, cos’ they sound like…well, if you’re a Singaporean, you’d prolly have sort of figured out the joke.) XD

So far, my fav members are Mariko and Kojima.

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Left: Haruna Kojima

Right: Shinoda Mariko

I find them innocently pretty and cute, yet exhibiting elegance at the same time, maybe because of their height as well. (Although they aren’t the tallest in the group.)

Music/songs wise, to each its own, I wouldn’t say they’re much of a good vocals, though their looks and figure usually make up for their voices (that’s what idol groups are good at anyway). They have pretty good repertoire with the audience in live performances, here are some songs i’d personally recommend to listen to:

Namida Surprise

 

UZA

 

Beginner

 

Flying Get

 

Chanel’s Fashion Show Fall Winter 2011/2012

Lately I chanced upon a this video on youtube while i was watching the devil wears prada, Chanel Fashion Show Fall Winter 2011/2012 collection, it literally caught my attention on the design for that year, even though this year’s collection was already here..

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CREDITS –
Model:
Freja Beha Erichsen
Photographer:
Gianni Pucci

The fabulous stage set, accompanying the smoke and dark atmosphere, models exit to the runway in dark, monochromatic suits and accessories, filled with shining metallic flashes.

The music, ambience and all were just astounding yet retains the iconic appeal of Chanel’s identity. The approach seems to be like the late Grabrielle Chanel’s own fashion style, short hair, lower heels and boyish figure, it completely deviates the feminine norm figure, long hair, high heels and all, which was something i preferred.

*lol, ok maybe i do have a liking for girls with shorter hair though…haha*

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CREDITS –
Model:
Freja Beha Erichsen
Stella Tennant
Milou van Groesen
Ginta Lapina
Photographer:
Yannis Vlamos
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  Gabrielle Coco Chanel

Rurouni Kenshin るろうに剣心 Live Action! -etc-

Rejoice Kenshin fans! One of Japan’s best-selling manga, Rurouni Kenshin, is now officially a live action movie.

Produced by Warner Bros, (wait don’t be mistaken because of that name, this isn’t the lower-end movie with all the Hollywood celebs and poor acting…e.t.c), the movie stars Takeru Satoh (Kamen Rider Den-O) as Kenshin Himura,  Munetaka Aoki as Sanosuke Sagara and Emi Takei as Kaoru.

Other major casts appearing in the movie include Saito Hajime, Megumi Takani, Kurogasa a.k.a. Udo Jin-e. (I’m not sure about Shinomori Aoshi’s appearance, he’s one of my favourite characters as well…:D)

The trailer was also surprisingly impressive, the action/effects in the movie are made in a way that it is realistic, yet at the same time hitting the amount of exaggeration but not too much to the extent of a “dragonball live action hollywood movie” effect.., a style that the animation and manga had always achieved. The film is scheduled for a August 25, 2012 release.

You may want to skip to 0:45 if you just wanna watch the trailer alone.

The story will take place in the first few series of the manga, summarised into a movie. On a personal note, I actually liked the OVA – Tsuiokuhen storyline more, it talks about how Kenshin Himura is born with the scar, the OVA is it’s beautiful yet violent in nature, the plot is just made of pure awesomeness.

A fanart of Himura Kenshin I did years ago, glad i still keep it, done in pens and markers.:)

Just pray hard that the live action movie will show in Singapore too! 😀

The Dark Knight Rises

“When Gotham is…ashes, you’ll have my permission to die…” -Bane

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The widespread movie trailer has been up running online for several months now, a sequel to the Dark Knight and epic conclusion to one of finest Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking trilogy in film-making history.

Thank god there’s no Robin as always…hahaha:D

The story sets after the death of Harvey Dent, Batman (Christian Bale) assumes responsibility for Dent’s crimes to protect Dent’s reputation and is subsequently hunted by the Gotham City Police Department for almost eight years.

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Now Batman returns to Gotham, where he must discover the truth regarding the mysterious Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and stop the villain Bane’s (Tom Hardy) plans to destroy the city.

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Selena Kyle/ Catwoman in Batpod.

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In the trailer video, we could see Batman confronting against so many people, reminds me of what Ra’s al Ghul’s quote to Bruce, “if you can fight 6 men, we will teach you to fight 600..”

Christopher Nolan has an unique style in film-making, there’s always a play in lighting and dark settings, and very psychological, it leaves the audience a deep notion of what is the film trying to express, rather than cliche.

I haven’t seen the movie yet so i can’t give so much of rating and critic, but one thing’s for sure, this concluding film for the trilogy will be better than any batman movie franchises in the past.