Life-sized Gundam Model in Tokyo

I had a chance to go check out the life-sized Gundam Model in Tokyo this month!

I’m not gonna lie. I have never watched a full episode of Gundam. I am not a true Gundam fan. I do however appreciate a giant robot anime every now and then… So, I’m not a “true” Gundam fan… but I still enjoyed seeing this unbelievably huge and intricate model!

Boom. There it is. Look at the size of the people on the ground to get an idea of the scale. Apparently it’s 80 18 meters (60 feet) high.

Tokyo Gundam in Odaiba

  • harvey's photo
  • harvey's photo
  • harvey's photo

It was great seeing this Gundam. Not only is it technically cool, but it was a lot of fun seeing all the different people who enjoy it! There were all kinds of people there! I was most surprised to see how many young women were posing in front of the giant robot getting their picture taken. Yes… Japan really is a country where girl geeks exist. A little off topic, but when I was in Japan last year to see Evangelion 3.0, I was surprised to see how many twenty-something year old girls were in the theater watching it as well. It’s a wonderful thing.

If you visit the Gundam you can also shop at the Gundam Cafe and at Gundam Front Tokyo for some exclusive Gundam swag. If you’re in Odaiba for any reason during a trip to Japan, make a point to check out Gundam. It’s pretty amazing.

Anyway, you don’t need to read about Gundam here — I’m late to the show. This Gundam model has been covered to death.

Here is an older video that shows the Gundam in its previous location also in Odaiba.

Here is a video clip of it at night, showing it emitting exhaust, and also showing the head turning side to side and looking up.

Here they are lowering the hed onto the Gundam… in Shizouka. They move this Gundam around!

Here is a video of the Gundam in Shizouka holding a sword and lighting up at night. A sword?? Is this the same one? Epic.

Related Links:
Gundam Front Tokyo
Gundam Front Tokyo Site for the Gundam Statue

Evangellion makes Suizenji Kiyoko popular to a new audience

Thanks to geeking out on Evangellion I recently stumbled upon this classic Japanese song called 365-step March.

This song is appears in EVANGELION:2.0 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE when the new character Mari is fighting an Angel near the beginning of the movie. Being the crazy character that she is, Mari sings this song as she rides into battle.

三百六十五歩のマーチ by 水前寺清子
365-step March by Suizenji Kiyoko 水前寺清子 (すいぜんじ きよこ)

You can sing along by watching this video some people decided to take in a Karaoke bar.

Here is another clip from 2005.

This is one of those songs that literally everyone who grew up in Japan knows, so it’s a good chunk of knowledge to add to your Japanese culture database.


Shared my Japanese Anki Deck

I just shared my Japanese Anki Deck!

It’s very personal. Basically when I see something I don’t know, I write it down, and then some day I stuff it into Anki. I have been using Anki for years, so this deck is monsterous. It has like 700+ cards and they are of no particular difficulty level. You may find some of the cards useless, and others may be quite practical.

Let me know what you think. Also let me know if you find any typos and mistakes in the comments and I’ll go in and clean them up.


Japannewbie’s Japanese Deck

Shingo Nishinari – Osaka Local Rap

Looking for some fun Japanese music to listen to?


The video features all the famous places in Osaka. Dotonbori Bridge, Tsutenkaku, Taiyou no Tou, and the entire video is in Kansai dialect. What more could you ask for?

It also includes funny commentary on Osaka life, like Grandma’s who talk super fast and non-stop, and

Chorus so you can sing along:

誰が何と言おうと 大阪UP! (dare ga nanto iouto Osaka Up!)
地元LOVEやろ? 大阪UP! (jimoto Love uaro? Osaka Up!)

Osaka Up! x2
Whatever anyone says, OSAKA UP!
Osaka Up! x2
Hometown love right!? Osaka Up!

That was fun.

Catch the lyrics to Osaka Up! here – unofficial but they seem to be correct.

You can follow Shingo Nishinari on Twitter.


Japanese Tenugui in Tokyo

One of the stops on my trip to Tokyo with @GuideYu a few months ago was to a Tenugui shop in Harajuku called Kamawanu.

Tenugui are a traditional Japanese multipurpose cloth. To name just a few of the many uses for tenugui, back in the Edo period people would use tenugui as small towels, or wrap them around their heads to keep the sweat or hair out of their eyes. Tenugui are usually are decorated with traditional Japanese patterns and designs.

Tenugui that I bought at Kamawanu - Click for larger image

One of the tenugui I bought at Kamawanu depicts cats… I don’t like cats, but my wife does, and this was pretty cool artistically, so I grabbed it. It may seem a little weird to put a tenugui in a frame and hang it on the wall, but I swear I got this idea from the shop in Harajuku itself, and the art on this particular tenugui is a recreation of some traditional Japanese art from the 1800s, so I’m going to say that it’s wall worthy. To further justify my wall-hanging case I learned that one of my Japanese friends, @ukti2009, also has a tenugui framed and hanging on her wall. She has the 蚊取り線香 katori senkou pattern tenugui.

Kamawanu is a cool shop. If you are interested in Tenugui you should stop by. The shop name, Kamawanu, is a play on words. The first image is of a sickle, followed by a circle, and then the hiragana character nu. The following image explains everything, but basically in Japanese a sickle is “kama” 鎌, and a way to say a circle is “wa” 輪, and then you have the sound “nu.” In Japanese the phrase “KAMAWANU” means, “I don’t mind” and sort of expresses a feeling of indifference.

Kamawanu Logo

Kamawanu Logo

It seems that the original artwork for my “cat tenugui” was done around 1848 and is called 猫飼好五十三疋(みょうかいこうごじゅうさんびき)(Cats suggested as the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido). I didn’t realize this until I started writing this blog post, but it seems that the images of the cats are also a play on words.

The image on my Tenugui is a small slice of the original much larger image featuring more cats. You can see the entire image here in high resolution thanks to wikimedia commons.

(Click for larger image) 猫飼好五十三疋 Cats suggested as the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido

So, each cat and its pose are a play on words that describe one of the stations on the Tokaido train line.

This website gives some information about the images of the cats and their meaning.

For example…

The cat in the lower left of my tenugui is running away with a blue fish.
The blue fish he is running away with is called サバ SABA in Japanese.
The cat is a tabby cat. A tabby cat is called a ぶち猫 (BUCHI NEKO) in Japanese.
So, the train station the image is referring to is FUJISAWA train station! Because FUJI sounds like BUCHI and SAWA sounds like SABA.


What. Let’s do another!

So, in my tenugui there is a picture of a cat dragging away a huge red octopus.
A huge octopus in Japanese is 大ダコ (OODAKO).
Huge octopi are heavy. Really freakin heavy. “Really freakin’ heavy” in Japanese is おもいぞ OMOIZO.
So the station being referred to is 大磯(おおいそ)OOISO, because OMOIZO sounds like OOISO! And if you roll up OODAKO and stuff, I guess it’s even tighter?



These are really a stretch aren’t they? Memorize them all. Amaze Japanese people when out drinking. Good luck.

Related Links:
Tenugui on Wikipedia
Kamawanu shop official homepage
High-quality image of Cats suggested as the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido on Wikimedia Commons.
A Japanese blogger with an explanation

Kamawanu has shops in many other locations as well. Check this for a list of locations around Japan.

Kamawanu Shop Locations
Kamawanu Shop Locations