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Category: Travel

Shibuya Halloween 2021 is Virtual

Shibuya Halloween 2021 is Virtual

Shibuya is trying something interesting to deal with the annual gathering of Halloween revelers during COVID. They’re making the event, concerts, fan groups, color pages, and lots of other activities free online.

You can attend events for free online and even attend the festivities in VR:

Japan has never traditionally celebrated Halloween. During the 1990’s, a bunch of Halloween loving foreigners started wearing costumes and riding the ring trains around Tokyo. Unfortunately, drunken behavior cause the police to ask the riders to disembark (please don’t be one of these ugly tourists – I don’t care how cool you think you are. It’s rude to go to another country and act like that).

Revelers soon started gathering in the neighborhoods around the train stations and the street parties grew and grew. Shibuya soon became one of the major stops for these festivities – and has grown to be the focal point. Unfortunately large amounts of trash, drunken disturbances and destruction have become all too common. Which is really unfortunate since it could be such a good chance for people to have fun and share some cross-cultural exchange.

More links:

Fire Towers of the Northwest

Fire Towers of the Northwest

Staying at remote fire watch towers in the Pacific Northwest is kind of a thing for me. After getting lucky enough to land a near-impossible reservation, they usually require you to hike in to remote locations at the top of mountains. No power, no plumbing, and sometimes no cell service. You have to hike your own food and water into these remote locations – making them amazing experiences in living off the grid. The views, solitude, quiet, and beauty can be jaw dropping experiences for the lucky.

Keeping track of which ones are closed for repairs, inaccessible due to landslides, fires, blowdowns, snow, learning about new regulations and seasons of operation has never been easy.

Fortunately I’ve found another person with the same passion and she posts updates on some of these towers as well as her progress on visiting every one before they are gone.

Most unusual places to stay

Most unusual places to stay

Want to stay at some truly unique places around the world? How about an abandoned island fort off the coast of England, underwater rooms in the middle of a lake, drawbridge towers in Amsterdam, an oil rig turned into a dive center, an ice hotel, a harbor crane, a palace in Morocco, or over river bungalows in southeast Asia?

Go Unusual offers really unique stays and experiences all over the world.

https://www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/home

Infamous vending machines of Akihabara

Infamous vending machines of Akihabara

I come to these vending machines every time I get to Tokyo and buy at least one thing from them.

In the past, I have gotten a written story (in Japanese and I still need help translating it), a wind up giant stag beetle, and numerous other trinkets I keep on my desk to remind me of better days of travel.

Here’s are two pretty good write-ups on what to experience if you decide to go yourself. But do be aware of the uncharacteristic graphic warning signs posted there.

If these items aren’t your fare, maybe find some of the exclusive vending machines that sell one of a kind and delicious, products.

Peak Fall Foliage Tool

Peak Fall Foliage Tool

My favorite season is fall. The air turns cool, there are hay rides and pumpkin patches, one curls up with a good book in front of a fire, reading scary tales, and, of course, watching the leaves change.

Japan has some very good, live updating of fall colors on a few websites.

The folks over at this website have a nifty little tool that predicts when fall colors will change this year. How do they predict the trends this year? With a little bit of data (and possibly a touch of pretentiousness):

The company uses a model that ingests a multitude of data sources including historical precipitation, NOAA precipitation forecasts, elevation, actual temperatures, temperature forecasts, and average daylight exposure to develop a baseline fall date for each county in the continental United States. Next, the model consumes hundreds-of-thousands of additional data points from a variety of government and non-government sources and layers this data over its own historical data from past years and, finally, with a high degree of accuracy, the algorithm produces nearly 50,000 date outputs indicating the progression of fall for every county in a graphical presentation that is easy to digest.

Cool and Unusual London Attractions

Cool and Unusual London Attractions

Have you ever wanted to visit some of the more nerdy, local, and historical attractions around London and outlying areas of England? Perhaps visiting a abandoned postal rail network used during WW2, walk strange city alleys such as the Man in the Moon, or unusual art shows, talks, tours, or events?

Ian Visits lists many interesting local attractions in and around London that make for a fascinating addition to your next trip. It updates every day – so it’s a great way to catch short running attractions. Give it a look!

https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/

Movie locations, furniture, and props

Movie locations, furniture, and props

I love movies. When I travel, I often see if films were shot there and visit locations where films were shot. I also love movie props and the interesting furniture and sets. Did you know others have the same enjoyment?

Here’s some of the interesting resources if you’re interested your favorite movie locations and bits.

Finding were movies were shot:

Source and buy furniture used in movies:

Props:

Various famous props: