Monday, August 14, 2017

Our First Trip to Tokyo – Part 1

On our way to Tokyo for the first time, we stopped in California to visit with our daughter before heading to Japan.

Sebastian loved being back in California.  No doubt it doesn’t hurt that there’s a bear on the California flag and in this symbol of the City of Glendale.

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We stopped now and again for treats we don’t easily find at home.  Yum!

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After just a few short days, it was time to board the plane bound for Tokyo.  Jay was thrilled to find we would be flying on this BB8 decorated airplane.

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There was so much to see in Tokyo, I decided just to embrace whatever came along so you will see photos of some fairly random things in addition to city photos.

We came across this view on our way to a restaurant the first night.  Sebastian liked seeing all the city lights.

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A cool  looking McDonald’s delivery vehicle and a snapshot of fabrics in one of the shops we stopped in – and will visit again . . .

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There are no manhole covers like this on my street!  These stairs were pretty interesting too.

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Sebastian posing on a street sign near our hotel.

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Can you find Sebastian in this photo?  Sebastian is 6 inches tall so imagine  how big this bear was.  Floor to ceiling!

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This is Takeshita Street.  A terrific place with loads of tiny shops selling all kinds of  cute things.  I left a good chunk of my money here.

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This is a contrast of two streets at different times.  On the left is the famous Shibuya Crossing where throngs of people (I was one of them) cross the street in organized chaos.  One, two, three, go!  The other is a street that was closed to traffic on the weekend.  It was very cool to see it this way.

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When we were at EPCOT one time, we asked a Japanese cast member what one thing we should do as first time tourists in Japan and she said “Visit the Tokyo Tower at night.”  So we did.  It was magnificent.

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This young lady was so sweet and cute.  She greeted those coming in to purchase tickets to go up into the tower.

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Here is a photo I took from inside the tower.  You could see 360° of Tokyo.

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Just a random photo while walking the city streets at night.

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This was an incredible selection of beautiful handkerchiefs.

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We had fun seeing things we don’t see at home like these capsule machines that dispensed collectible things.  We had to try one!

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So that’s Part 1.  I hope you enjoyed these photos.  I’ll be back with Part 2 in a bit.

As always, Sebastian and I appreciate your visit!

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Monday, August 7, 2017

The 2017 Japan Teddy Bear with Friends Convention in Tokyo

In July, we attended the Japan Teddy Bear with Friends Convention in Tokyo. It was our first visit to Tokyo and we had an amazing time. The hall was filled with artists, tables full of teddy bears and many, many collectors. What follows are a few photos taken at while we were at the show.

This was taken on the way to the venue.  It was a very nice atmosphere.  Next year it will take place in a new location.

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A few animals were on display to greet the visitors to the show.

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The following photo shows just a small portion of the people waiting for the show to open. This line wrapped around the entire hall and then some.

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This is one view of the show from above.

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This is another.

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The arrow in this photo is pointing to me and my table.

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Here we are!  A few of the American contingent!  Sharon Barron, Dolores Austin, me and George Weber.  We had a great time together!

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Here are all the American artists together.

Left to right:  Bev White, Ginger Brame (me), Christy Firmage, Sharon Barron, George Weber, Dolores Austin and Maggie Anderson

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Sebastian had a great time too.  Here he is with the show mascot!

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He also met a fellow ‘Sebastian’ from Germany.  What a couple of charming guys!

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International artists were invited to a traditional Japanese pub meal.  This is the president of the Japan Teddy Bear Association, Mr. Takeshi Morii demonstrating the evening’s entertainment.  Fireworks!

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The long white tables at the front displayed the artist contest entries.
My little fairy bear won second place in its category.

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We also met the creator of these extremely tiny teddy bears.  So sweet – both the bears and the creator. You get an idea of how small they were next to one of my bears 5.5” (14cm) tall.

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Sebastian got into the spirit of things at the dinner.  He took quite a liking to the gift bag I won and turned it into his own personal sleeping bag.

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And finally a random photo of the showroom floor.

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While in Tokyo we took a ton of photos.  I hope to share a few here shortly.

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 TBAI Gallery Piece – The Story & Photos

The story is very brief. It is about a little bear, dressed as a green dragon on a scavenger hunt. He has a list of items he needs to collect. One item he has difficulty finding is a dragon egg. Where, oh where, does one go to get a dragon egg? He opts to visit the cottage of the most reputable dragon nurturer. He has heard that she is quite good at getting the dragon eggs to hatch and if he is lucky he might even see a baby dragon. Once at the cottage, he is invited in and is amazed by all the wonders, especially the baby dragons in their tiny houses and all the potions and concoctions. Will the witch help him procure the last item on his list?

Here are a few photos of “The Scavenger Hunt”.

A view of the piece with the bears in place but no lights on.

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With the lights on.

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Without the bears.

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And with the lights on.

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Here are the bears.  You can’t see the dragon spikes too well in this photo but he has some little ones and some cool dragon wings.  The witch has some concoctions dangling from her dress and wears a dragon charm necklace.

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A close-up of a few of the bottles on the table.

Doesn’t every witch’s cottage have a book like this?

Part of the library stacked on the floor.

One of two dragon sconces on the walls.

Some of the bottles and potions hanging from the ceiling.

One of the shelves.  I tried to make sure each individual shelf had at least one book.  After all, you don’t earn a good reputation as a dragon nurturer without being well read.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how this piece came together and that the final result was worth the wait!  Thank you for your patience while I gathered and edited photos for these posts.  I am nearly finished getting ready for our trip to the Japan Teddy Bear Show.  I’m hoping to get some good photos!  Wish us luck.  Each of us knows about two words of Japanese but I hear the people are lovely.  Sebastian is so excited he’s about to bust a seam. 

Thanks so much for reading!

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