Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

Driving in Japan: Passing the Japanese Driver’s Test

Learning to drive is an expensive and time-consuming process in most countries, but perhaps especially so for the foreigner living in Japan. Many people visiting Japan will eventually find themselves needing to take a driving test in order to drive here – even if they already hold a valid licence from their home country. The […]
Posted in Japan | 52 Comments

The Winding Tower of Shime Coal Mine

Otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Zombie Fortress’ on the internet, this distinctive haikyo location can be found in Fukuoka. The Winding Tower is housed inside a public park and surrounded by a standard perimeter fence, so it’s easily accessible to everyone, including explorers.
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 10 Comments

Olympus Photo Festa 2012 Nagoya

Olympus is currently firing up consumer interest with its latest product, the OM-D E-M5. I wrote a brief preview when it was announced last week, after days of tantalising leaks and have found myself rather more interested in the camera than I first thought I would be. Today I went down to Nagoya where Olympus […]
Posted in Photography | 2 Comments

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Preview

The new Olympus OM-Digital EM-5 has just been officially announced. It hasn’t been long since I did a field test for the E-P3, but I’ve been following the rumours and leaks about the E-M5 for some time now, and the new micro 4/3 camera is shaping up to be quite a beast! I’ll be continually […]
Posted in Photography | 13 Comments

New Year’s Resolutions 2012

Although rather late, I’ve been quietly contemplating what I should aim for in the Year of the Dragon. I always set vague resolutions for the new year and never really accomplish much because of it. So, I figure making some sort of announcement and written record of my goals might help me to properly focus […]
Posted in Journal | 13 Comments

f11 Magazine: Urban Exploration Interview

The online photography magazine f11 contacted me recently requesting an interview about my haikyo travels and urban explorations. The article touches on some of the deeper, philosophical aspects of urbex as well as notes about how I post-process my images and the safety of visiting abandoned locations.
Posted in Haikyo / Ruins | 4 Comments

Top 60 Japanese Buzzwords of 2011

Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha is right on time with its annual release of the top 60 Japanese buzzwords. The words are listed in no set order, but aim to reflect the major trends and events that shaped 2011. A panel of judges will debate the top 10 keywords for this year and announce them on 1st […]
Posted in Japan, Marketing & Branding | 13 Comments

Post-Apocalyptic Images of Japan

The ruins and haikyo aficionado in me couldn’t resist making a post about Tokyo Genso‘s fabulous art depicting post-apocalyptic Japan. The illustrations have a breathtaking otherworldly quality that perfectly capture the sort of scenes I regularly come across while exploring ruins, albeit of course, on a much grander and majestic scale.
Posted in Japan | 61 Comments