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Writings and musings on the latest web trends and life, advertising, design, projects, and news from an avid and prolific web designer.
Up and about since 2003.
In which I discover a minor taxi racket in Akasaka, ogle taxis from the top of Tokyo station, go taxi hunting, and end up calling myself an otakushii. You can get descriptions to all these photos by reading the alt text (hover) or by looking through this imgur album.
New York City has, for all intents and purposes, just two kinds of taxi cabs: yellow (medallion) and green, both managed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Transport for London licenses taxicabs, all of which are black. In Tokyo — population 13 million — no fewer than 10 large companies operate taxis across town, and they’re each a bit different. Uber is trying to make inroads here, but it’ll be a while before the taxis of Tokyo become replaced — if ever.
Four major companies operate as part an organized entity (Tokyo Yonsha) established in 1963, all with either lemon yellow and red stripe or black vehicles and globes for lights. These are:
If you rearrange the first characters of each (大和自動車交通, 日本交通, 帝都自動車, 国際自動車) you get 大日本帝国, or Empire of Japan. There’s strong historic underpinnings to the usage of the name, however.
There are at least 5 smaller associations:
Here are some bite-sized interesting facts:
In Japanese there’s a term called otaku which generally equates to obsession or deep fascination with a specific topic (generally things like anime or manga). As part of my quest to find out everything and anything about Tokyo’s taxis, I ended up buying these diecast models from a company called Targa, which 6 years ago released minatures of taxis. It turns out it’s not the only company to stock these sorts of model vehicles: Gulliver and Tomica have them as well, though Tomica’s are always out of stock.
Part 2 will cover the taxi racket in Akasaka.
In which I sleep walk 20km across an island 120km away from Tokyo, while taking weird photos and searching for warm drinks in the freezing cold. Samyang 14mm f/2.8, 15 second exposure on 5D Mark III, Magic Lantern, shooting once every 1 second at ISO 3200 with mirror lockup to prevent shaking It’s 6:57 when […]
I’m a photographer based in Tokyo. I collect film Canon SLRs too, though my current bag setup is not built around showing off my cameras! The key components are a Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon A-1, with a Samyang 14mm wide angle lens. I’m chiefly a landscape photographer stuck in an hyper-urban jungle, […]
It turns out there is a Star Wars train in Japan. Unfortunately, it isn’t the interstellar kind. At least not for now. The train, which runs on the Nankai Railway line between Namba station and the Kansai Airport (KIX), had been painted black with Star Wars characters emblazoned on its side, in anticipation of the […]
Follow my adventures on YouTube at the CanonFilmGuy or see the entire catalogue at canonfd.org This is the 31-page Canon Reflex sales brochure from 1980, and lists information about the Canon F-1, AE-1, AV-1, AT-1 and the A-1. The full version can be downloaded here. A stamp at the back identifies as the store it […]
Follow my adventures on YouTube at the CanonFilmGuy or see the entire catalogue at canonfd.org The view within a viewfinder has always been an opportunity to display additional information to the user. In the photos below I go over 8 film SLR and rangefinder camera viewfinders. Canonet 19 (1961) The Canonet’s viewfinder, which sported what […]
Follow my adventures on YouTube at the CanonFilmGuy or see the entire catalogue at canonfd.org Update 12/24: Mike Santos from the Canon FD group on YouTube kindly suggested corrections. Thank you! In the late 1970s and early 1980s Canon released two different 35mm film SLRs: the A-1 and the F-1. They were targeting different buyers: […]