Friday, November 07, 2008

New Music Video

This is the second music video by a singer named Mori Daisuke and is shot by the same company that did the first. The director liked me so much in the first one that she wanted to use me again. Enjoy!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Wipe Out

It's official... I am in a Japanese music video. And boy is it something! See if you can find me... Though I don't think you'll have to try very hard.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


After my trip with Drew I still had another week to kill before the Gion Matsuri, Kyoto's largest festival. I decided in this interlude to travel Kansai and visit the places that I had yet to see.The first stop was Amanohashidatte, also know as the bridge to heaven. This remote location features a natural land bridge that when viewed between the legs appears to be a road to the heavens. It is also the third of Japan's three most beautiful locations and a necessary check off on my list of to do's.
Next was Himejijo, the castle acclaimed as Japan's most beautiful.I then made my way to Nara, a small city with a stunning 8 World Heritage sites and herds of tamed deers that bow when you feed them.
This is the second tallest pagoda in Japan.

Finally on the 17th the Gion festival where groups of men haul massive wooden floats on wheels through the streets in a day long parade.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Around Japan with Drew

Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting my friend Drew Sobey for almost a month. Though the times sometimes grew rough and I got upset at him for apologizing excessively, we had an amazing time together traveling to new parts of Japan. Here are some of the photo highlights.

Asakusa lights up at night.

Getta wish slippers on Mt. Takao.

The Eye at Shinjuku station.

Maiko-Chan in Kyoto.The forbidden picture of the 100 golden buddhas.Niko Temple in the Rain.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Climbing Mount Fuji

Despite what some people may tell you, climbing Mount Fuji is not a walk in the park. Drew and I began our upward battle from Fuji 5th station at 10pm after a grueling 2hour bus ride where the lights never went out. The plan was to ascend slowly and summit just before the sunrise as waiting at the top can get very cold. The climb up Fuji goes in segments dictated by the various stations one passes on the way up. From 5th to 6th is a no brainer up and down simple sloping terrain and lulls the climber into a false sense of security. From 6th to 7th is a rude awakening where climbers must shimmy up boulders, hand over foot. The difficulty of this is compounded by the fact that you are climbing at night with a headlamp as your only source of light. From 7th to the top is a slog of a trek along switchbacking trails of loose gravel. The climb is not a horrible difficult one technically, but its monotony and slow pace can be extremely taxing.
Just below the summit, light began to filter over the skyline and we passed the tori gate and plopped down just in time to see the first light.
Drew and I celebrate at the top of Japan as the Sun peeks over the clouds.
A view from above of the Fuji 10th station.
Mount Fuji's highest point and the tori gate that is filled with travelers' coins for good luck.
Hikers make their way around the Fuji Crater.

What many people forget is that what goes up must come down. If the climb up Fuji doesn't get you, the climb down just might. The steep and rugged trail with its loose footing can wreak havoc on the knees. Bring a walking stick and take it easy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

China Part 3: Drifting Down the Yangtze

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the whole world. Needless to say that it is an impressive sight and a power house that is not easily stopped. My trip down this natural behemoth began in the city of Chungching. Three lazy days on a cruise ship ahead and not a care in the world.

Here is a view of the mighty Yangtze as seen from above. It's width now is already impressive, but it is growing steadily due to the Three Gorges Dam Project.

Welcome to Hell! This is the temple at Fudong which rests on the top of a mountain and was believed in ancient times to be the physical resting place of Hell. Now however the town at the base of this mountain is being flooded and the inhabitants have been relocated to the other bank of the river.
Here we see guardians waiting to punish the evil souls which wander up to Hell.

This is a picture of a small cruise boat used for a side tour of the gorges, or walled valleys which wind off from the main river.

Maybe you can grasp the magnanimity of these gorges from this photo of the Little Gorge, one of the last ones that we toured.
And here is the ever controversial Three Gorges Dam, a project which was supposed to supply power to all of China, but which instead has sapped resources and put thousands upon millions of people out of their homes. I was unimpressed by the dam, especially as I wasn't allowed to walk upon it or inside.
A sunset on the Yangtze. Cross another must see place off the list.

Monday, May 05, 2008


My essay on the Fire Walking festival has been published on the InTravel magazine home page. If I receive enough votes then I can get paid, so everyone please go to the site and vote for me! You have to register and then go to the forum page and vote in the pole on this month's articles. Follow the link above to the home page.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

China Part 2: The People

This section is dedicated to the people in China, both those that were on the trip with me and those that inhabit the Middle Kingdom.

That's me. Contemplating the deep fried scorpions. They were so delicious that everyone tried them and went back for seconds.

Then comes Drew, another of my best friends and an actor in Chicago.

Here are the other Eisenstein brothers: TJ pictured above and Michael pictured below.

He's exploding out of the building.

And here are the locals. This man was in a park in Beijing. His specialty was to bounce balls and catch them in his funny hat.

A traditional Chinese baby found in the Forbidden Palace.

One of the Hello Women who sell things throughout China. This one was selling scarves on the Great Wall.

One of many guards throughout China who police the area looking for miscreants.

This woman was painting inside of glass bottles with a fine brush on the Great Wall.

"I'm Dancing!" this woman stated as she entered our dining area and began to perform a traditional Chinese dance.

And finally my favorite. This man was riding by when I was waiting outside the Silk factory and was very happy that I was interested enough to take his picture.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kanamara Matsuri

If I told you the premise of this festival, most of you would scoff and shake your heads in disbelief, but here it is with photographic proof to back it up. I present to you the Kanamara Matsuri, or Festival of the Steel Phallus. That's right, folks, it's the Giant Penis Festival dating back over a thousand years. Here prostitutes and transvestites pray to the gods of the penis for safe sex and fertility. Though the festival was populated more with gaijin, foreigners, than Japanese due to the spectacle of it, it was still a cultural experience in the extreme and one of the many reasons I love Japan so much.

Here, the local cross-dressers parade the giant pink phallus though a teeming crowd of onlookers, all trying to get the best photo possible.

A sexy woman rides one of the the giant wooden cock statues.

She's packing and she's bigger than me!

A baby sucks on a penis pop.

Old men carve penises out of radishes to be sold at auction later.
Flag wavers swing a massive flag, calling the festival to a close.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

China Part One: Quintessential China

With over 20gigs of photos from my recent two week jaunt in China, I have my hands full sorting and editing. Just starting this task seemed unsurmountable, but i decided I would begin with all the famous places I visited and things that would be recognizable as China to anyone who hasn't been there. We begin with the Great Wall and the Marble Boat and move on to the Teracotta Warriors. Next come foggy pagodas, acrobatics shows, and farmers with water buffalo. We then finish with busy cities and to offset that the beautiful Carst Formations of Guilin, my favorite place on the trip. This is only the tip of the iceberg of photos I took on this trip. I had a really amazing time. More to come.