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Japan Photo Blog: May 2010

Reliving

Men behaving badly.

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Top Service

Prime Korean food and emergency massage treatment from pros, at the same time. Couldn’t ask for more!

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Mystery Drinker

Some Japanese girls can drink hard.

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Noodles anyone?

This isn’t even a supermarket.

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Style Wagon!

Don’t be a standard family. Turn your standard family people-mover into a STYLEWAGON! It’s how it’s done here.

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Bright Lights

Osaka from the top.

Can you see it?

Fictive pavement?

Outer Space?

This is actually the ground at night with glowing rocks.

Sky Biru

Osaka’s high-rise with a hole in it. It’s pretty high.

Hawaii in Osaka

Hawaiian imports in Osaka’s centre.

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Free Ride

Who needs a pram when you have a suitcase.

Ko-Oyaji

Aki-Chan impersonating Yakuza.

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Dry Throat

Another domestic critter I found today. Might be past his used-by date though.

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KI-CHIN

From the other side.

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Back Again

Esquina, the regular hang-out, is getting worked over!

English Study or Life Study?

Hanamary and Atomu ‘learning’ at Esquina.

Strawberry and Lemon

A good combination?

Spiderman

Daigorou’s Ayatori skills on display.

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Niku Ippai!

Nogu cranking the BBQ, Jap style, in a secret location.

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Real NZ

The RNZ party crew.

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Akamine & Osamu San

Akamine San the photographer and Osamu San the car body expert in Osaka.

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Balcony Bandits

The neighbours waving goodbye.

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Fuelling Up

Help me out Nilo?

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OK, get the car down.

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Japanese Bug #2

Another native critter. Apparently they bite.

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Galleria Again

Lupine know how to smash it. I wasn’t smiling after the ride.

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Lupine Express

It was great to be back to Kameoka with the boys, who are all going faster than ever.

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Antarctic News?

Konyo catching up on the latest.

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Mamushi Sake

Drinking this stuff wasn’t exactly pleasant on the palette.

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Okashi Akashi?

Akashi San and Akashi Chan preparing the snake and venom sake. It stunk like road kill and tasted as bad.

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Funny Discoveries

Finding Inari in our race shorts 😉

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Graveyard shift

Niki San doing the hard yards into the night.

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Canned goodness (or badness)

A cold can of weak coffee, crappy milk and loads of sugar. Just what you want 30mins before a race!

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Sizzling

The first hot day for summer was a bit of a shock to the system.

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Kamera Man

Shuhei doing what he does best.

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Wide enough Ken?

Ken’s about 3 foot tall, but his bars are about 3 foot wide.

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Tools of the trade

Niki San has it all and manages to always get our bikes running perfectly, on time every time!

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Turbo Shoe (Shu) Box

I won’t show you the car this was on. It resembles a tin box.

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Aftermath

It never ceases to amaze me how much the Japanese like their piles of tiny plates and bowls.

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Stamina!

‘Stamina Ramen’ – the dinner of champions (Shuhei our photographer needs his energy).

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Wheel Spin

Getting up to the race course was a challenge in the team van. Wheel spin for most of the way up, less rubber by the top.

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Daigorou Taxi

Watching a cycling anime movie in Daigorou’s van. Handy in traffic jams these things.

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La Esquina Otravez

Back at the spanish-cycling restaurant – Esquina, Osaka

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Warm vibe

Sachiko and Takeguchi working hard in the kitchen, while Motoji and Noguchi write dodgy emails.

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Smiles

All happy to be here for some gourmet dining and English-Japanese slang language exchange.

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Big Smoke

Back in the big smoke (smog). The bright lights and traffic of Osaka’s edge.

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Scootaaa

Heading down the shops on a scooter with dead suspension, down 25% roads. Good times!

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Piling them up

Nogu’s car park. It’s like a giant electronic puzzle getting the car out.

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Oishii Pan

100 yen per item, our local bakery does the trick at the end of a big ride.

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Rigs

A stable of damn expensive bikes.

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Toasted?

The boys already feeling it?

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Like a glove

Bike setup and tweaking complete.

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Massive Punku!

The biggest slice through a tyre I’ve ever seen. Lucky Bata San had a spare tyre. Who carries a spare tyre around!?

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Lawson Takarazuka Bunch

First ride back in the Takarazuka bunch.

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Jap Toast

Back into the thick white toast and drip coffee. Hmmm…

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Hanshin Tigers Bike

My new 6 Series roadie with new Dura-Ace. I didn’t think the Madones could get even better.

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Comedian Mechanics

Back in the comedy workshop with Motoji and Bata.

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Yawatahama 2010

I won here last year, with good form, nice weather, on a great track and big UCI points. This year was the same, except for the form. Fresh off the plane and a long drive, it was a bit of a grovel. But it was good to be racing here again!

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Bontrager’s new tyre range is way better in 2010.

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Mochi with my team mate. Unfortunately missing Takenouchi this year, as he’s in Belgium racing road.

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The early season setting up is always a chore.

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Group ride before the race day.

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A scary sight, heading into the steepness.

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Kicking back with the boys.

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Sharp new rigs for this year. Better than ever.

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The first-race tension on the start line is always there.

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I only led for a while, before my lack of fitness showed up.

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The crowd was massive at Yawatahama.

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My favourite berm.

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Manualling over the lumps to keep it down. There wasn’t much rest on this course.

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Lightening up for the steep climbs ahead.

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The camera isn’t tilted. This pinch is insanely steep.

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Cleanup operation. The Japanese make it easy.

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Talking Shop

Niki San and Shuhei talking shop in the cabin.

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Saru Poi!

Shuhei the monkey man photographer.

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Inari!!

I missed my inari. The best snack around.

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The Prod – Use #1

Our new prod, handy for passing drinks (in or out of races).

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The Prod – Use #2

Also good for prodding, of course.

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Back in the Konbini

Back at the Konbini for the first time in 6 months. Nothing’s changed. Still convenient.

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Ero Hon

And what do the boys go straight for every time?

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Spare Legs

Legs anyone? What the hell is this?

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Nogu’s View

From Nogu’s new place. The weather isn’t so inviting right now though.

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