Ah, a few obligatory photos from the 10-day jaunt to Tokyo. Alas, alas, our highly anticipated stoner fantasy underwater scuba tour of Oshima was derailed by Mo Nature in the form of a vicious typhoon. Just days before, major earthquake hit Niigata (but we were totally oblivious and unscathed).

Met up with my best buddies Kimi and Anthony on this trip, for one blissful rainy afternoon of giant tvs, katsudon, soggy Harajuku chicks, and a stroll through Meijiniwa as the gardeners partook in their annual ripping up of the spent irises. Anthony kept asking, "why is he [the gardeners tending the royal grounds] so old?"

The inimitable, inscrutable Bamby Jonez in Saitama. The electricity in this joint kept going out, much to the consternation of the super fine bar guy, who confessed that it must have been our presence that kept shorting out the wires.

Kappa, one of my all time favorite pranksters of Japanese folklore. Somewhat innocent water imps, these guys do pack a punch when the going gets tough. They are equally well known for their great talent in farting contests as well as yanking out the intestines of an innocent by-stander through their anuses. Everyone knows that to beat a kappa, you must make them bow, thereby spilling the reserve of water they keep in the concave on top of their heads, thereby rendering them utterly powerless. This was a rather spectacular golden Olympic sized kappa, found in (of course) Kappabashi district of Tokyo. I went there specifically to buy $400 of super fancy knives for my chef brother, Doug.

Finally, since it was summer and the time of matsuri, I had plenty of opportunities to ogle the latest in yukata fashion. Here are a few lovely specimens wandering the streets of Zushi.

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One sad, down in the mouth obi bow. One perky, bright eyed and bushy tailed obi bow.

I want to eat this little girl, she is so cute. Plus, she has bags under her eyes! This child is what...four years old, and she has hard knock life bags! I love her.

How hot is this girl with her black yukata and the EYEPATCH?