Japantown is pretty much an outdoor mall (Japanese Village Plaza) and its surrounding streets. The plaza has a good mix of the stores you’d expect. Sanrio (Hello Kitty), traditional style souvenirs and apparel, authentic cuisines, bakeries and grocery markets. Sneakers are covered with Footland Sports. They stock a good range of current items including colourways and styles that you’d expect from a much larger store. Very few of the items have prices, when asked, they’re all around standard RRP but with a “I give you a special price” post-fix, so there’s a bit of bargaining to had if you’re purchasing a few items. There’s also a sale wall at the back with old season stock.

Sanrio - Japantown LA

Outside the mall the sneaker fun continues with RIF LA, the downtown consignment answer to West Hollywood’s Flightclub. Similar range, though the prices were higher. As with any bricks and mortar store, the benefit would be being able to go in, handle the shoe and try it on rather than taking your chances on ebay and the like.

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On the northern side of the plaza is easily one of LA biggest and best anime stores, Anime Jungle (second store on the southern side). Huge selection of Manga, cosplay outfits, Gundam model kits, tees and anime related merch. The store itself isn’t very obvious with “Cure shop” on its front window but its unmistakable once you walk in.

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A block to the west you have Weller Court, a small mall with a nature strip and Japanese gardens, perfect for taking a rest from all that walking! The last stop is Q Pop, a mid size store with a good selection of vinyl collectibles, clothing and books. It differs from the usual with a more advent guarde approach to the clothing and artworks, a bit more twisted and a little less cute, there’s also a selection of finer arts like paintings and sculptures. They of course still have the cheek squeezing super cute stuff if that’s more to your liking.

Q Pop LA

Q Pop LA

Next up, we ditch the shopping bags and hit up a string of sight seeing and entertainment!

Los Angeles 2011 part #1 – Arrival, Melrose Trading Post
Los Angeles 2011 part #2 – West Hollywood shopping, Mulholland Drive
Los Angeles 2011 part #3 – Downtown shopping – Fashion District
Los Angeles 2011 part #4 – Downtown shopping – Japantown
Los Angeles 2011 part #5 – Steel Panther @ The House of Blues 17/5/11
Los Angeles 2011 part #6 – Hollywood sign, Farmer’s Market
Los Angeles 2011 part #7 – Peterson Automotive Museum
Los Angeles 2011 part #8 – Greater LA area shopping
Los Angeles 2011 part #9 – Hollywood sight seeing with Orbic Air
Los Angeles 2011 part #10 – Driving in Los Angeles/California

Complete Los Angeles 2011 photo gallery here

02.21.2016

Best of 2015

by admin

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Its been awhile since we’ve done one of these but “new year, new me” right?? Yea I want to punch myself in the face too, but here goes anyway, a bit of a run down of our fave photos and gigs from last year.

2015 saw a big shift in the live music scene, namely the fall of music festivals. The first year without Big Day Out and the last year for Future Music Festival (which I incidentally thought was one of the best in the way of general production and logistics) and finally confirmed, the last year for Soundwave – going out on a massive 2 dayer binge and then unfortunately leaving quite a few workers and punters with a bad taste in their mouths.

Closer to home, our editor (The Music magazine, Brisbane) and all round top bloke moved on from the top dog position to the lucrative world of vinyl record sales…. beginning to think he’s a glutton for punishment! After many years of chasing deadlines and wrangling bands and gigs together it was sad to have to part ways but on the plus side his replacement has been going great guns to fill (or is that empty?) the big pint glasses left before him 😉 The magazine, and print media in general, wasn’t immune to the shift away from physical publications and has since gone from a weekly to a fortnightly issue. Our southern counterparts however are still lucky enough to get their music news weekly.

On the travel front, it was a painfully long year of minimal travel bar a couple trips to Melbourne. All this lack of international travel makes me something something! Thankfully we’ll be rectifying that in a couple months time with a return to Japan, can not come soon enough! Anyways, on with the show!

We kicked the year off with one of our fave drink and dance your ass off DJ’s, Krafty Kuts.

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Like previous years the highlight of festival season is with its two stellar closing events, Soundwave and Future Music Festival and they didn’t disappoint.

Soundwave Day 1 and Day 2

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Future Music Festival

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Our buds The Iron Eye smashed out their first gig at The Triffid then followed it up later in the year at the Foundry.

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We got asked to write an article for G-Street for those who use and abuse their G-Shocks (or are just grots).

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2015 was also the year of weddings with a few great couples getting together and tying the knot. We were lucky enough to photograph two of them.

Lauren and James

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Rani and Eugene

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Motion City Soundtrack always has the perfect amount of wit, sarcasm and angst.  Standing ovation on top of your mates kinda stuff.

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We got together with some lovely models and mocked up some ads for G-Shock

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Us old foagies like a boogie too and the Candee Flip gang continued to provide the nights and the tunes. 1 2

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Our love for G-Shocks and Halloween came together in a spooky late night photo sesh

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Two of our fave bands of all time came head to head in a night of ska punk awesomeness. Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish

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90s hip hop legends Naughty by Nature still have plenty of energy and gusto putting a lot of current hiphop to shame.

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Years in the making, two of our favourite things, G-Shocks and sneakers came together and gave birth to the G-Shock x Sneaker Freaker “Nightowl” collab …then had a party to celebrate.

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Just when we thought 2015 was over, two concerts came in to finish the year off strong, Rise Against and a double header with A Day To Remember and The Amity Affliction.

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The Amity Affliction
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And finally it would’nt be us if there wasn’t a peppering of random G-Shocks, sneakers and a spot of scenic travel 😀
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So that was the year in a pretty damn big nutshell, looking forward to just as much fun and craziness in 2016! 😀

Two of our good friends, essentially “The cat” and “The bat” on the day, were married long before James popped the question. This day was more of a formality to make it official as they are pretty much two peas in a pod with excellent taste in cars and footwear 😉

Congrats to the couple and all the best for their honeymoon trip to Japan later in the year!

Venue: Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens

Here are a bunch of our faves from the day…

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We don’t photograph cars that often but when the mighty Godzilla menaces over your suburb, you make like a terrified Japanese business man and do what it says!

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Well it started here and now we’ve finally gotten around to finishing off the 30 days of our fave time keeping piece (ok, so there’s more than 30 and we even threw in a couple Protreks/Pathfinders for good measure 😉 ). We included a nice variety of models with a generous helping from the late 90’s/early 2000’s for those new to G land, a couple Japan only releases and the “Heavy Metal”/”Stargate” that started it all for me back in 1997! Respect RDA! 😀

Here’s to another 30 years!

Enjoy!

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Head on over to our Facebook page to check out the full gallery!

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Did they just skip a whole entry and jumped straight to #2? You betcha. You’re not going crazy, we’ve had a few requests for a review of this event so we’re skipping the prelims and are jumping straight into it!

Getting there: The website for the Tokyo Big Sight venue has quite clear instuctions and caters towards foreigners well with detailed maps and directions in English. Even without a major event on, when you arrive at Kokusai-Tenjijo station (Rinkai line) its pretty much a straight run to the venue. There’s a lot of open space and the unique architecture of the building makes it hard to miss (keep walking past maccas), but with something like the Toy Expo on the cards it was as simple as following the slews of scantily clad cosplayers. Done and I mean done!

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Travel tip: The event is a trade expo which goes for 4 days, first 2 are for resellers and the second 2 are for the general public. Getting there before doors open and beating some of the crowd is the key to maximising your viewing time.

Travel tip: Lockers – Having jumped straight off the shinkansen at Tokyo Station with all our luggage, the choice was either to spend time looking for our hotel to ditch our bags or head straight there to try and beat -some- of the people that slept in. We were already on the run so we decided to just take our luggage with us. In hindsight we probably should have just left them at Tokyo station but of course there’s never a locker when you need one! (or one big enough for our 30kg suitcases!). Not to worry, the venue has plenty in various sizes, as long as you get there before lunch you shouldn’t have too much problem scoring your choice. There is a change machine nearby in case you havent stocked up on Y100 coins.

Travel tip: Plan ahead – head to the event website before hand and find out which exhibits you want to see first. I recommend doing the big ones first then back track through the smaller vendors that don’t have any queues.

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First thing to keep in mind is that this is a trade expo, a lot of stuff you see is not for sale (yea, bunch of dirty teasers they are!) but where you cant buy, you can try. At least half the items are out of their cardboard prisons and are available for you to add your grubby fingerprints to. Ever wanted to see how that RC controller fits in your hands? Go for it, grab your fave car and take it for a spin while you’re at it. Or how about what you’d look like with a giant inflatable hat and dreadlocks? Throw it on and take a tote of your imaginery spliff, Cypress Hill style. Best of all you don’t need feel guilty or rude and you definitely wont get “the look”, in fact its quite the opposite, you’ll have someone on hand to show you how it works so you can nag your mum for it for xmas 😉

The major draw card AND biggest downside of the event is that its free. This means every man and his cosplaying kid dressed as a dog is there. Think of it like Disneyland or any major theme park for that matter, you will spend the majority of your time queuing…and queuing and just when you think you’re on the final stretch… some more queuing. The plus side is, unlike park rides, once you get in, the “ride” lasts longer than 5min! So back to the queuing, you thought Londoners knew how to queue? You havent seen anything till you add Japanese effeciency to the mix.

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Welcome to Line Town, population, you. First queue is to get in, these were reasonably short as there were several halls to enter. We enter the downstairs one first, simply put, if you’ve ever been to Japan before, its like entering a Pachinko slot arcade for the first time, or for the less initiated, think of hearing every radio station and seeing every TV channel all at once to a backdrop of a 1000 fireworks while drowning in skittles and you’ll be getting close. Take it in for a moment but don’t let it consume you, and it will, find your bearings then make a bee line to… the line.

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One of the main attractions for us and just about everyone else was the Bandai exhibit occuping the most real estate of the whole event and this is where the real queuing starts. Don’t be misled by thinking you can just waltz in the exit, even by accident, security are quite strict (it was an accident, I swear!). Tour group style signs and town criers on megaphones are most likely giving clues as to where the queues start and how long the waits are but that wont help for a second if you don’t understand Japanese, following the branding is much easier. A bit of pre-trip research found the wait was about 30-45min but finding the end of the queue with a mere 10-15m from the entrance I thought we were in luck but then the queue started to zig zag like a bank queue. No problem, 15min in and we were on the last “zag”, but …hang on why are we turning away from the entrance?? Dishearteningly the line took a tangent and headed off behind the vendor stalls and just kept going.

The distracting and time passing sights of people watching and spotting stalls to add to the “must see” list disappeared and we were left with the cold white walls of an event hall and rabbit runs for staff. Like the speeding up and changing into third of a traffic jam there’s glimpses of hope as you spot the entrance and try to estimate the amount of time left but its as much a mirage as a handicap carpark at the shops. Unless you arrived as the doors opened, save yourself a trip on the emotional rollercoaster and just go by your watch. 30-45min is a pretty good time estimate, we took around 40min, however the wait is well and truly worth it starting with a sample bag on entry, perhaps a “thank you, for not slapping the parent of that screaming kid or punching out the guy dragging his feet and staring at you the whole time” more than anything else but like a kid with ADD you’ll quickly forget those woes as the complete Bandai catalogue comes alive and tries to eat you.

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The first half of the display is targetted mostly to the younger kids, especially girls (and the occassional business man) with classics like Sailor Moon, Anpanman, Power Rangers (and other local tokusatsu style shows), Tamagotchi (and its spin offs like Dream Coffret Salon) to favourites like Monsters Inc. A lot of these sections included make and create tables for the little ones. Continuing around we crossed what you could loosely call the sporting section which housed a variety of weapons that shot, darts, water, pellets or paintballs but what I was interested in was the last sections, namely the very extensive Space cruiser Yamanto and Gundam sections. Basically if it was released or going to be released, you’d more than likely find it here from out of the box kit builds to full weathering and detailed dioramas, its all covered.

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Just off to the side of the exit there was one of our fave artists, Mr. Knucklebear himself Touma putting brush to canvas for a piece that was to be a lucky door prized. The cuter than cute Milky girl had her own section as did our favourite way of getting rid of coins, the toy equivalent of the pokies – gashapon! Just remember, a lot of items are display only so try not to get your hopes up too much if you spot that chaser you’ve been after for months!

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The rest of the event which included kids faves from My Little Pony, Mario characters, Lego and those creepy people-like mice Sylvannian Family (complete with their own stage show for the IRL creeps) to big boys toys and collectibles with air rifles, RC of any imaginable vehicle, Nanoblocks, exquisitely detailed movie characters from Hot Toys and even a stand of musical equipment from KORG all required little to no waiting. Unless of course you head upstairs to the Tomy stall, which of course had a line for the escalator, a line to get in to the exhibition hall, THEN a line for the stall. Needless to say we cut our losses and saved some time, more so because Gotemba outlet mall was calling! That’s up next…

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Travel tip: Exhibition eats: there are several “food court” areas essentially selling the carni’ equivalent Japanese food. Plenty of fried items and traditional event food like hotdogs but they also had rice dishes along the lines of teriyaki beef with kewpi and cabbage and gyozas which definitely left our stomachs with a much less weighed down feeling. Perfect to keep on running!

Tokyo International Toy Expo 2013 highlight photos

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Complete Tokyo Toy Expo 2013 gallery here

If you have any questions on our travels, where to buy, what to do or just want to share your own stories, hit us up on the Soulbridge media facebook page.

Japan 2013 part #1 – Arrival
Japan 2013 part #2 – Tokyo International Toy Expo
Japan 2013 part #3 – Gotemba – Premium Outlets mall
Japan 2013 part #4 – Tokyo – Studio Ghibli Museum
Japan 2013 part #5 – Tokyo – Kichijoji and Nakano
Japan 2013 part #6 – Tokyo – Akihabara
Japan 2013 part #7 – Tokyo – Tamiya HQ, Diver City
Japan 2013 part #8 – Yokohama – Zoorasia
Japan 2013 part #9 – Yokohama – Ramen Museum
Japan 2013 part #10 – Nissan HQ and Yokohama
Japan 2013 part #11 – Osaka – Nanba Shopping
Japan 2013 part #12 – Kyoto
Japan 2013 part #13 – Tokyo – Harajuku, Shibuya
Japan 2013 part #14 – Osaka castle, Umeda Sky building
Japan 2013 part #15 – Osaka Aquarium and Tempozan wheel
Japan 2013 part #16 – Osaka Universal Studios

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For our final day, we wound things down starting with a relaxing drive out to Hanauma bay.

From Honolulu we took the Lunalilo Fwy to the Kalanianaole Hwy, it’s the most direct route and also runs through Kaimuki. Pretty much a blip on the map but it is home to Toys and Joys’ main store which if you had to make only one stop at a toy shop, this would probably be it. Prices were on the high side but the range and quantity of stock makes it a worthy stop for figures, games and RC gear along with the standard cutesy fair.

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A block or two away there’s also Gecko Books and Comics (surprisingly pretty much no web presence!) which would definitely be up there as Oahu’s most extensive range of comics. They also have an eclectic range of collectibles, toys and games.

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A few minutes down the road is the Kahala Mall. It’s a decent sized mall in a regional sense but nothing really of much note apart from Champs… and Pretzelmaker 😉

Onward along the Kalanianaole Hwy there are plenty of coves, boat ramps and sand bar lagoon areas, any of which would make a more than nice spot to stop for a cuppa, picnic or spot of sunning.

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You know you’re getting close to the entry to Hanauma Bay when the traffic grinds to a halt and you guessed it, you see paid parking. The parking is up the top at the lookout, which if you want to venture down to the beach is quite a hike but thankfully there are (paid) shuttle buses to spare your legs.

The beach itself is actually a private beach so you will have to pay to play. Going by recent reviews, it used to be the place to go to for amateur snorkelling but now (no thanks to its popularity) the natural reef is almost none existent till a lot further out. Closer in, they have tried to regrow sections by mounting coral to plastic frames, not quite the same ambiance.

For us the best spot was up on the lookout points. There are several around the top of the bay all with its own merits but the center point to fully take in the bay’s horse shoe shape was a clear stand out. Add it to your list of things to do before or after bumping shoulders with other greased up tourists down on the beach.

Photo tip: online reports mention its well worth your while getting there for a sun rise… but of course that would mean getting up early. No easy feat when you’re on island time!

You can pretty much continue along the highway to explore more of the coastline which gives way to specklings of hidden secluded beaches and sweeping golden sand.

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Diamondhead Crater
The crater is definitely one of the biggest landmarks on that side of the island. It’s clearly visible on take off or landing at HNL airport and always looming on the southern horizon. Its a short drive from Waikiki so it wouldn’t be a stretch to head out on a moped if that was your only mode of transport. The parking is, you guessed it, paid, $5 per car but this is entry to the park as well. You can avoid the fee by parking in the lower carpark but only if you’re prepared for a long uphill walk BEFORE you even get to the foot of the crater and you will still have to pay $1 per person if you arrive on foot.

The upper carpark is actually on the crater floor, here you’ll find restrooms, vending machines and the odd food truck. The hike to the lookout takes you up the inner wall of the crater to a south west point. If you’re reasonably fit and don’t dawdle it takes about 45min to get to the top (about 30min coming down).

Travel tip: Like any hike, make sure you have sturdy shoes, if you’re wearing heals, dressy shoes or thongs (flip flops) save yourself the blisters, stubbed toes, rolled ankles and whinging and just wait down the bottom. A fair portion of the track is very uneven with loose and jagged rocks, it would be even more treacherous in the wet. Depending on the time of day there is little to no shade so water and sunscreen is a also must.

Photo tip: There are a few places on the way up to take photos but they all pale in comparison once you reach the top. Save unpacking and repacking the slr till then.

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The “top” is actually one of a few large battlements which line the crater top. Being an outpost and early warning location for the USA you can just imagine the kind of artillery they would’ve had up here during the World Wars.

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The view to say the least is well worth the climb. You can see the whole breadth of the island from Waikiki and Honolulu in the west through the central mountain range to off shore islands in the east. Get there at the right time and you’ll even catch the scheduled afternoon rain shower rolling in and an obligatory rainbows.

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After some view savouring we took an alternate route and ventured down through the internal stairwell of the battlement, a little creepy but a lot cool. I’ll leave you to explore the area to find the entrance 😉

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For those that are a gluten for punishment or want the ultimate downhill mountain biking rush, there’s THAT “hill” nearby.

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And with that, another one of our adventures comes to a close further cementing our motto, overseas holidays are for doing stuff, relax when you get home!

ALOHA!

 

…and, Moshi moshi!
Yes I know its taken some time to get through these, more than a year again! Hopefully I’ll be able to find the time so you don’t need to wait as long for the next batch! Coming soon, Japan 2013! Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto – highlights include the Tokyo International Toy Expo, Studio Ghibli, the Ramen Museum, Universal Studios Japan, outlet malls and more toy shopping than you can poke a 1:1 scale Gundam at!!

 

As always, if you have any questions about our adventures or where to buy something, just hit us up on the Soulbridge Media facebook page.

Hawaii 2012 part #1 – Arrival
Hawaii 2012 part #2 – Waikiki
Hawaii 2012 part #3 – Honolulu shopping – Part A
Hawaii 2012 part #4 – The Big Island – Volcano tour
Hawaii 2012 part #5 – Shopping Honolulu – part B
Hawaii 2012 part #6 – Tattoo Honolulu / Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit art exhibits
Hawaii 2012 part #7 – Pearl City area
Hawaii 2012 part #8 – Swap meets and Made in Hawaii festival
Hawaii 2012 part #9 – Cook offs and Car shows
Hawaii 2012 part #10 – North shore
Hawaii 2012 part #11 – Windward shore and Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #12 – Chief’s Luau at Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #13 – South shore – Diamondhead crater, Hanauma bay

For most, the main reason to head over to the East coast aka the Windward shore is the Kualoa Ranch movie site tour, which is a famous location for movies such as Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates. While some of the off road activities are appealing, its essentially just rain forest and grass with a few pieces of memorabilia, a far cry from a working production set some may be hoping for. There are however, plenty of other things to see and do, along with kilometers of beaches fair less busy than those on the west coast.

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Nuuanu Pali lookout

On the way to the east coast via the winding forest roads of the cross country Pali Highway, take a quick stop at the Nuuanu Pali lookout. This will help you understand why they call it the Windward shore, windward being a severe understatement! Even on an otherwise quite warm day of mid to high 20s weather it was quite cold thanks to the wind chill factor dropping temps easily by 10-15C! Needless to say, a jacket is a must, ideally a softshell will give you the most comfort and protection.

The view however is worth a short bit of discomfort overlooking the valleys towards Kaneohe and the ocean.

There is no cost for entry but there is also no free parking for tourists (locals just need to show proof of residency). The $3 fee apparently has only come about in the last couple years, its a bit of a greedyy since there’s no facilities or anything else justifying the cost for a short 15-30min visit but worth it none the less.

If you have time to kill there is a hiking path leading down from the lookout point or to make a day of it, head to near by Manoa Falls. Just be warned that the falls aren’t really falls any more after a landslide a couple years back but terrain may have once again changed since this was written.

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Byodo-in Temple

The Byodo-in Temple is a little north of Kaneohe nestled in lush rolling foothills. It is a commemorative replica of the same temple in Japan and features Japanese gardens, bridge and koi pond with literally thousands of koi carp. The place also lays its claims to fame with appearances in Hawaii 5-0 and Lost.

The grounds aren’t overly big so you wont need more than an hour of slow strolling to cover it.

Entrance fee is $3 for adults but at least here you know that money is going to the maintenance of the grounds and not pocket lining!

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Windward mall
Image courtesy of Oahu Paradise Homes

Windward mall

On the way down to Sealife park the only major shopping stop is the Windward mall. While quite sizable, there is little variation in the stores and probably for the most part can be skipped over if you already hit the big centers on the west coast. One store however that made the stop more than worthy was Sears. Normally it falls into the “killing time” category for us with its Myer/David Jones assortment of stock but this particular store was more like an outlet version with almost everything on sale or at clearance prices. Brands and content read more like parts of a Karmaloop catalogue with Dickies, Southpole, Zoo York, Levis, Lee, Carhartt and a bunch of business attire basics undoubtedly from their incorporated chain, KMart. A great stop for the ladies as well with heavily discounted underwear and swimwear.

Oh, I lied when I said there was no reason to stop.. they have a Wetzel’s Pretzels 😉

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Sea Life Park

Sea Life Park made the list for two main reasons, swimming with the dolphins and the Chief’s Luau.

The almost obligatory claim to fame is 50 First Dates – seriously that movie is like a walking billboard for Tourism Hawaii! There were no penguins in Hawaiian shirts but the dolphin we swam with was in the movie! Real down to earth guy too, you wouldn’t pick it from the obnoxious character he plays on screen 😉

– Dolphin swimming
Want to mingle with celebrities? Well you know you gotta drop some coin to let them know how you roll! Luckily costs are available on their website and you don’t need to leave a Benjamin for the “help”. Take your swim wear, cos, you know, you’ll be swimming (more like wading and fighting the powerful currents stirred up from the dophin’s wake). There are a couple change room areas, there’s even one in the briefing area so you don’t have to arrive in your swim gear. The staff along with a short video will explain everything pretty clearly and there’s really not much else to it.

Travel tip: A note to those with piercings, you will be asked to remove them so if you have a face full of metal you may want to get a start on that before hand. Girls, if you have something like a belly button ring, wearing a one piece may help you avoid having to remove it, but they are very strict and rightly so to protect ocean friends.

Photo tip: since you cant take anything into the pool, let alone a camera, photos are taken by staff and sold at the usual exuberant theme park prices. The shots look like they’re taken on full auto, with no colour correction which leaves you looking a nice shade of sea sick green! So its best to get someone in your group that isn’t swimming to snap some shots for you (or maybe sweet talk a stranger into emailing some to you). Spectators are free to move around outside of the barrier so a good angle wont be too hard to find.

The rest of the park houses the usual aquatic life from small tanked fish and sea life to large compounds with seals and penguins.

If you purchased one of the value combo deals which includes the Chief’s Luau, its just a short walk from the gift shop. Those hip shaking good times are up next!

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As always, if you have any questions about our adventures or where to buy something, just hit us up on the Soulbridge Media facebook page.

Hawaii 2012 part #1 – Arrival
Hawaii 2012 part #2 – Waikiki
Hawaii 2012 part #3 – Honolulu shopping – Part A
Hawaii 2012 part #4 – The Big Island – Volcano tour
Hawaii 2012 part #5 – Shopping Honolulu – part B
Hawaii 2012 part #6 – Tattoo Honolulu / Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit art exhibits
Hawaii 2012 part #7 – Pearl City area
Hawaii 2012 part #8 – Swap meets and Made in Hawaii festival
Hawaii 2012 part #9 – Cook offs and Car shows
Hawaii 2012 part #10 – North shore
Hawaii 2012 part #11 – Windward shore and Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #12 – Chief’s Luau at Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #13 – South shore – Diamondhead crater, Hanauma bay

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We were very excited to realise our travel dates coincided with this exhibition which incorporated two things that are very Hawaii, tattoos and board shorts!

Getting there
The Honolulu Museum of Arts is roughly between downtown Honolulu and Waikiki on S Beretania St which makes it pretty accessible by car or public transport. If you’re coming by car, watch for all the one way streets and if you go a block too far north you will end up on the freeway!

There are a few choices for parking with the cheapest being $3 for up to 4 hours at the Art school. Metered street parking is also an option for shorter stays, only slightly more expensive.

Full details of directions and parking can be found here.

The building itself is rather unassuming but the large cane artworks and swinging metal objet d’art at the front are hard to miss.

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Travel tip: Remember this is America and they can “never be too careful” when it comes to tourist spots ie. you will not be allowed to take in bags or liquids. They do however have lockers for hire at the main entrance.

Tattoo Honolulu
Being the featured exhibit, the displays extended over several buildings covering the history of tattooing from style to application with an abundance of examples and a strong lean towards the locals with traditional tribal, islander and Japanese stylings. There’s also a bunch of traditional artwork, vintage designs and equipment on display.

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As much as douche bags acros the globe have tainted his name by sporting his gaudish and over the top print designs, Ed Hardy was a pioneer in the tattooing world and has a whole section, along with the official event logo dedicated to him.

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Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit – The history of boardshorts
This small novel exhibit in a dedicated room was a little light in content but it did well in focusing on the major style changes and brands of everyone’s favourite non offensive swimming attire from its humble beginnings as short shorts to the quick dry knee length velcro’d numbers that we have today. You might even spot a couple pairs you used to own!

There was also some local history on life saving and the Baywatch styled outfits that came with the job and champion surfers contributions with their boards and their actual boardies on display.

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Also during our visit, the museum was featuring a section dedicated to Japanese traditional artist, Hiroshige. The artist responsible for some of Japans most well known images this side of The Great Wave.

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The rest of the museum is divided up with mostly Asian history and artifacts. Some of the carvings and sculptures are extremely detailed. The mind boggles at the time it would have taken to construct such complex pieces with only primitive tools!

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Modern conceptual art also gets its chance to shine along with local paintings of volcanoes, even the courtyards through out the grounds are individually landscaped and decorated to a specific theme.

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Travel Tip: There’s not much else in this area for sight seeing but there is a Safeway supermarket which is open 24 hours. Definitely the place to stop in if your hotel room has a kitchenette, just remember most portion sizes range from “bulk” to “giant”! Though it does have its perks, a 1.5L bottle of vodka will set you back only $25US! (even less if you’re part of the members shopping).

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Check out the full gallery of photos with the links below

Tattoo Honolulu 2013 exhibit
Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit – History of Boardshorts exhibit 2013
Honolulu Museum of Art

Hawaii 2012 part #1 – Arrival
Hawaii 2012 part #2 – Waikiki
Hawaii 2012 part #3 – Honolulu shopping – Part A
Hawaii 2012 part #4 – The Big Island – Volcano tour
Hawaii 2012 part #5 – Shopping Honolulu – part B
Hawaii 2012 part #6 – Tattoo Honolulu / Boardshorts: A Perfect Fit art exhibits
Hawaii 2012 part #7 – Pearl City area
Hawaii 2012 part #8 – Swap meets and Made in Hawaii festival
Hawaii 2012 part #9 – Cook offs and Car shows
Hawaii 2012 part #10 – North shore
Hawaii 2012 part #11 – Windward shore and Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #12 – Chief’s Luau at Sealife Park
Hawaii 2012 part #13 – South shore – Diamondhead crater, Hanauma bay

1631 cover

1632 cover

1633 cover

Moshi moshi! You’ve probably noiticed we’ve been quiet for the last couple weeks, that’s because we were off on another trip to the land of endless Ramen and gashapon! Reviews and photos will come (after I get through the ones from Hawaii!) from our many stops including the Tokyo International Toy Expo, Studio Ghibli Museum, Universal Studios Japan, Zoorasia, the Osaka Aquairum and a whole host of shopping spots so stay tuned! In the meantime….

While we were away the Time Off magazine machine kept rolling on with bands from our Time Off Magazine – “The Guide” section cover shoot photos. Holding down the fort were – RVLR, Ironside, Multiple Man.

Read about them in their respecitve issues #1631, 1632, 1633.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane

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