Nowday, people are obsessed with money, with the latest mobile and the fastest cars, with expensive clothes, jewels, luxury and exclusive restaurants. But in my opinion, life is not measured in dollars or euros, but in life experiences and friends. Therefore, I can say that my life is being a truly successful life even though I do not have too much money!
My trip to Japan has been one of those life experiences you´ll remember all your life. You find a new way of seeing and understanding the world. You find a new way of living your life.
But let’s not be so far-reaching and melodramatic! Let the adventure begins!
An obligatory picture from the airplane´s window, and my first photo in Japan!
My friend, a true gentleman, manager, cicerone, coach and my new family in Japan: Norio Takemura. During all this experience he was taking care of mine, making me fell at home and introducing me to Japanese modelers. Isn´t he handsome? So sorry ladies, he´s already happily married!
But my first experience in Japan was not very lucky indeed… I forget my passport in the train from the Narita airport! My God! I realize about this when I arrived to the Hotel for the checking… I felt dying …
Takemura-san kept calm, just looked at me an said:
– Do not worry, this is Japan (a sentence I´ll always remember….)
Just a phone call and al solved. My passport was safely waiting for me next day at the train station. So, now I can say …. This is Japan!!!!
After this … just good luck all the travel and my first dinner at Japan was just the beginning! There I met my very good friend Max Wang, from Diopark and a really special surprise was waiting for me: Masahiro Doi! Maybe some of you do not know him, but he´s one of the most mythical modelers in Japan: not only an excellent modeler, but a teacher, former editor of Armour Modelling and a real pioneer in Japan! Tears of joy! We had a really nice and interesting dinner, discussing and talking about modelling. I really felt impressed about the way of modelling in Japan. Quite a lot of things to learn from Japanese modelers!
… my first dish … typical Spanish “Gambas al ajillo”! … so funny!
The dinner was fantastic, but just the prelude!
I just had some other «technical» problems … what are those buttons for?
Next day, we visited Senso-ji sanctuary. I felt impressed of the so different and overwhelming Japanese culture. I was very lucky as there was a festival during that day, so I can experiment the pale in its full “tasty typical way”. Full of people, parades… unforgettable!
Thanks God, Max and Takemura-san were taking care of mine; it was so easy to get deliciously lost in that awesome place! With friends like them, you do not need anything else!
After having lunch in a nice Tempura restaurant, we went to the train station. Shinkansen was waiting for us! But not only the train, but also the really wonderful and nice “Taiwan Team”, that would be my colleagues and comrades throughout my stay in Japan. My family was growing and growing each day! In the picture, Chun , Chung-Fu Chang and his cute and nice wife at Shizuoka station.
And finally, we arrived to Shizuoka. The mythical Shizuoka. The dream. I was there! I felt like a baby during the Christmas Eve. The illusion overflowed me!
As we arrived Friday´s evening, we went to the hotel and then, we had a nice dinner in front of the Hotel, with excellent shusi! And there I met a new friend: Hong Hwan Jang. A really nice and talented airplane modeler from South Korea. Unfortunately, he was leaving Shizuoka next day! See you soon again, my friend! Keep in touch!
I must confess … it was not very easy for me to sleep that night. I was too excited!
Next morning, my first surprise was to find my family wearing my B&W T-Shirt! We seemed a modelling version of the Blues Brothers! Funny…. maybe the first time for Max wearing a T-Shirt!! Thank you soooooo much!
First, we prepared the table…
Chun and Chung-Fu´s excellent works were on the table … art work!
My kits in the show
And then … the shock: Shizuoka´s fair …. thousands of persons, dozens of stands … crazy, crazy, crazyyyy!!!
So sorry, but from this point, this relate will become a little bit confusing. Actually, even today I´m trying to believe that it was true! My brain is too little and awkward to assimilate all the information!
In another post I´ll show you just a minimum part of all the incredible works I saw in the show. Now, I´ll just show you some of the new friends I met at Shizuoka. I´m very sorry as I´ve not got pictures of all the modelers I met. Please, if one of those friends is looking at these pics and can´t see his picture (with or without me!), please, contact me and I´ll be very pleased to post it! Thanks and so sorry for the inconveniences!
Now … friends! My favorite moment!
Masanori Sato (1/48 fellow!!), Kazuya Murakami, Hiroshi Takashima, Shigehiro Yosihda … a great group of friends and excellent modelers
Takahiro Sumitomo …. What can I say? Just look at his stunning dioramas and enjoy ..
Tetsuya Okamura … his streetcar and the broken glasses are still in my brain!
Kazuya Yoshioka ….. my idol! … God! ….. haven´t you seen his book «diorama perfection»? What´re you waiting for!
Hiroyuki Takeuchi … really interesting subjects with a very particular way of modelling!
Asami Watanabe …. cute, professional and diligent … what else? … my new favorite shop: MS Models!
Tamaki Maekawa and Haruyo Shimoya …. Osaka´s Ladies! …. full of talent and sympathy!
Chun … a really lucky man! …. reenactor, works for a military museum, collaborate with magazines and modelling brands … what else!
Tserng Mi in-Horng … the dreams provider! Thank you so much!
Shimpei Nohara … a reason to believe in the future of our hobby!
Also a really nice surprise and happiness for me … meeting my very good friend Eric Philippe!
Takayuki Kawase … awesome work, nice scenes!
And many many others!: Nanakyuu Yumikon, Takashi Yamane, Hattori, Kazuhisa Shibata, Takayuki Kawase, Kuniyuki Takeuchi, Hiroyuki Takeuchi, Bitoh Mitsuru, Yotsuya Sembado, Hyun-jin Kim …. so sorry if any of the friends I met at Shizuoka is not in the list!
Who said that God is invisible? 🙂 Tamiya-san in action!
And who said that paradise doesn´t exist? It´s on earth! …. another trip to our history and memories! looking at all the models in the showcase was a travel to the past … and an open window for the future and the best to come!
I also met Eiji Ishii from Shinkigensha… but that´s another story! …. In less than 20 days you´ll understand why! 😉
…… mystery …. !!!
I took many pictures from the models at Shizuoka, but I´d include them in another post pretty soon, stay tuned!
But after the long weekend at the fair, there were many other exciting experiences waiting for me!
On Monday morning I´d the big privilege of visiting Armour Modelling / Modelkasten / Art Box offices. Thousands of books, magazines, living history of Japanese modelling during the last decades! Awesome models in the showcases… In that moment you feel the real meaning of dedication and devotion for a hobby of all the people working there. I also met some of the professionals who make all this possible: Yoshitaka Saito, Hiroshi Ichimura and another living legend of modelling: Tatsuya Kaneko (I´ve got most his diorama books at home!). I felt tremendously honored by their attention to my work and we´d a really interesting conversation about modelling in Europe, Japan, the past and the future. Just for the pleasure of talking with them was worth the trip!
After a nice lunch (because of Takemura-san perfect selection of restaurants I´ve become a Japanese food addict!), another exciting experience was waiting for me, a demo at the legendary Yellow Submarine, in Akihabara!
So sorry about this expression but…. Such a fucking incredible place! Paradise! All you need, even those things that you even didn´t know you could ever need were there! Several floors of hobby, fun and excitation.
For the demo, I used a 1/48 Cromwell from Tamiya and I painted a B&W base, using a dark green for the base color. But it was also a nice (and overwhelming) moment because some renowned and excellent Japanese modelers came to see me working. I managed to paint the kit and show them how the B&W Base work. Hope they found the demo and the technique useful! Takemura-san, a perfect translator! Thank you so much once again!
All this was possible thanks to Eiki Takuma. Thank you! Not only because the chance of making the demo in the shop, but also his warm welcome, his continuous care on me during my stay in the shop. And he also let me show my T-55 Enigma in his showcases!. But, believe me, not only incredible stuff at the shop, but also beautiful women everywhere!! Just look at us in the picture … 🙂 🙂
And right in this moment, this model is flying to The Yellow Submarine!! You´ll be able to find it in the shop soon!
My last night in Japan was also a memorable experience. With all my friends from the Taiwan´s team, Max Wang, Takemura-san, Doi-san, Kaneko-san and Takuma-san, Tserng Mi in-Horng, we had a delicious dinner in a German-Japanese excellent restaurant! Such a great night! And excellent Kirn beer!
My last day at Tokio was also exciting. Takemura-san showed me Yasukuny sanctuary and the Military Museum, recently refurbished and full of interesting stuff from Japanese´s army. Including a Zero, one of my favorite airplanes.
I spent my last hours in Japan visiting the Royal Palace… awesome and beautiful!.
Sad moment … goodbyes are never easy! But with sake and shusi are much more easier!!
Close to 24 hours of flight were waiting for me … but with a new family in my heart.
Many things have changed in my mind, in my modelling way …. I´m still trying to organize all!
Japan, thank you so much and see you really soon again! Maybe next year?
PS: What did I bought? 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!
Soon more from Shizuoka!