6 months

Tags: france, japan, life

After 6 months away from the blog, I was not sure where to start again. I'm going for the easy solution :  a summary of these 6 past months.
I use also this blog to remember what I've been up to and these past months were quite busy, so it's time to write it down before I forget...

France  :

For the first time in 4 years we went back to France to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve. A full month trip! I was very excited to go back to meet friends and family. 


Still over Japan, one girl behind me said "oh the Himalaya"...

First week in Normandy we had the surprise to find the area completely covered by the snow, I think it was the first time I saw so much snow at this time of the year in my homeland.


My dogs , yes they are badass!!

Then when the weather got better we visited the area including the most famous/touristic spots, some I did not know so well actually like Trouville-Deauville.
I also enjoyed to finally discover the latest changes of my city Le Havre. " L.H " (as it's called now, with the english accent to make it sounds closer of L.A...ha!) is getting better and better with new infrastructures. 


L.H Beach (yeah that sounds good :-)



Le Havre has now one oft the largest skate-park of France (I was dreaming of such a thing... 25 years ago...)


Views from a typical apartment in Le Havre, downtown.



City was quickly rebuilt after WW2. [flattened by US and Royal Airforce ... kind of ironic]

Rehabilitation of the warehouse (became a mall) where my dad as a docker used to work! Same kind of project as Akarenga in Yokohama.

The new swimming pool, great place but some choices were poorly made. (some bad materials and the worst toilets I've ever seen in a while)


Some students live in container box, an other good idea (I would build an office based an a container box) but poorly executed from what I understood (bad location and bad isolation... )


Ok something never badly executed, Mom's cuisine :-)


Paying tribute to the year of the rabbit in Japan : yammy !



Etretat, a most in Normandy. Almost always on my route when training on my bike for triathlon. 



Other side of the Seine river : the "glamorous" Deauville-Trouville.




Few people at this time of the year...especially during week days.




One thing I miss in Japan, second hand book stores... (obviously I am speaking of French books)

Many of these big house on sale ... Riche people moving away ?



Then we jumped to Paris for a couple of days at some friends place.


This is a French Android Tablet!


Very good and cheap restaurant just behind the gray car, people are queuing, no reservation possible! [can't remember the name...either the location ...]


If you know a Fallafel restaurant in Tokyo, please tell me!




And then it was time to move to Lyon to visit some familiar living there (or near) . 


Narrow passage built at the time Lyon was the main city for silk products. It was made to move the stuff from one street to an other protecting them from the rain (if I understood well)


The old Lyon.

and old motorbikes...


Beatlesque pause at the roman amphitheater,



We enjoyed Lyon, despite having family there I went few times and my memories of it were quite vague. 

One month spent so fast that I could not even met all the friends or family I wished I could meet! That's crazy... We will be back most certainly in 2012 (before the end of the world if possible).

Back in Tokyo  :

Work : 

It is now a year that I have been freelancing for UltraSuperNew and working on different Red Bull Japan projects. I had the opportunity to develop interesting technologies and improving my skills (more on my linkedin, linked at the bottom).

Working with USN I had also the nice surprise to meet Mr Perfect! If you know a little bit about K1 you know that I am talking about Mr Ernesto Hoost, multiple K1 World Grand Prix Champion, he was in town for a Reebok Zig campaign organized by USN. Some fun videos were shot by people to be selected in a training camp coached by Ernesto. 

Me and Ernesto

I was not working on this project, Zig Camp,  [https://zigcamp.jp/] as I was busy working for Red Bull on other projects.
In particular, I've been building a system to manage stickers campaign with USN and now is the second campaign that we run for Red Bull. 


Maybe I should explain what is a sticker campaign (or not...), it's simple : you buy a can on which there's a sticker, this sticker has a number, you go to the campaign site (we cover all handsets, PC/Japanese Keitai/Smartphones) enter the number and some data and then you know if you win or lose the prize you chose from the list.

First sticker campaign was last year in September and October for BC One (Break dancing contest), the world finale for B-boys that took place in Tokyo. This time the campaign is for Formula 1 fans. The campaign is still running at https://cp.redbull.jp 


Keitai Site.


PC site.

Smartphone site.

As always it has been a team work with a designer, a coder and an account director of USN.

This year I also started to work with AQ, a Tokyo-based, multilingual design office. I will start soon my third project with them. I can't say too much yet about all the projects but one of them is https://hillsbreakfast.roppongihills.com/. I've been in charge to build a plug-in using the Twitter and Flickr's API.



So I've been pretty much busy lately, but I am satisfied with that, as I feel lucky to have a job that I enjoy.

Actually I even started a personal mini project, (well in fact 2, but the first one I think I'll never have time to finish it...).

I launched https://instaramen.com


An exercise to play with Instagram API and Google Maps API. This project also was kind of put in a drawer for now (it works but I'd like to add so many features... and develop a mobile version of it... Can someone slow down time ?).


Tokyo Marathon 2011 : 

My friend Gaetano, came to Yokohama from Paris in order to run the marathon, we were fortunate to be both selected as it's getting more and more difficult (35000 participants selected but more than 350000 applicants). 

On the 27th of February we were very lucky to have a wonderful weather for the race. Gaetan managed to run in 3h15 for his second marathon! (previous time was 3h45!!). 




Myself, I terribly managed the race, especially did not have enough energy food with me during the first half of the race. So I kept losing time all along the way to finish in a very bad 3h52...

Marathon Tokyo

My race was almost a copy of the 2008 one, adding this energy problem... Anyway I was very happy to see my friend improving his time so well (He even ran Paris Marathon 6 weeks after in less than 3h30 in very tuff condition [too hot]). Our goal is to run one marathon each year together in a different place of the world!


My diploma where you can see how regularly I lost time...ha!


Welcoming a friend we took the opportunity for some site seeing.

Here, the Mount Fuji seen from Hakone.

where you can eat eggs cooked in sulfure (they have exactly the same taste as usual if you wonder).


And then Gaetano left us to go back to France...just 2 days before the earthquake I think...

Earthquake :

I haven't talked about it yet but the earthquake, followed by the tsunami in the Sendai area and the problems at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant was a stressful experience. (obviously I am not comparing my situation to the victims of the tsunami).

Few minutes after the quake : no more trains... 

Watching the tsunami arriving live on TV, terrible feeling...


People lining for public phones.

Trains had to stop wherever they were.


In Yokohama, old school phones were provided by volunteers.


Minor damages in Yokohama : all around this building the side walk was not usable.


Even if we were supposed to be safe in Tokyo/Yokohama, we moved at the time for few days in the West, in Tottori in the fear of what could happened at Fukushima (it was very uncertain).

I was over stressed not knowing and well understanding what was happening so few days far from Tokyo was good to get my mind clearer (well a bit more). Now the situation is stabilized, way of talking as we had quite some aftershocks in the following month. It's shaking less now but our "survival"  bags are still packed and we are ready to get out of the apartment in seconds if needed. It is said that the Big One has about 87% to happen in the next ten years in the Kanto areas... Definitely not cool. About Fukushima, radiation measures done show no problem whatsoever in the Tokyo area...


Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto was well packed.

Getting some peace of mind... and getting cold ... 


If you still don't know how to support Japan, some friends (working at UltraSuperNew) developed a side project in order to get donation in a cool way :  you buy music and the money goes to organizations that help to rebuild the devastated zones. It is called audiomovement.jp If you are an artist who want to be involved you can also contact them (through me if you wish).

Things don't change though and we enjoyed a [short] Hanami under the sakura (cherry blossom) back in Yokohama.


Weather was not great this year but we got one good day.

Tottori Prefecture :

Talking about Tottori we went their again in April for some real vacation (it was scheduled before the earthquake), that actually turned mainly in some remote work for me, ha!
Thing is, we've been talking already for 2 years with my wife to move permanently over there and even before the quake we were targeting this summer to move. 


Now we are decided and so next July we will be moving over there.

I hope I will be able to still do my work remotely for my current jobs and I will open a small development studio in the city of Kurayoshi. I aim at continuing to develop for the  web for its different platforms  (desktop/smartphone/ keitai (japanese mobile)) but also develop native applications for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android; recently I am testing Appcelerator with Titanium Studio and it looks we can do great things towards these platforms still coding in javascript.


Near my in-laws place, wind mills... better then a nuclear plant, I guess.


First meeting with some Tanuki, in Daisen just outside the hotel where we stayed for a night. They are from the family of the fox.
These 2 guys were waiting for food... 

Daisen is the mountain you see in the background.

Lots of challenges are waiting for us in Tottori but also I can't wait to getting closer of mother nature. Tottori does not have the best weather in Japan but it has the sea, the countryside and the mountain! All of these in the smallest prefecture of Japan, not bad I think.

Moreover there are 2 airports, Yonago and Tottori so I will be just at about 1h30 from Tokyo where I plan to go back regularly anyway. Also I should be able to rediscover the Kansai area. My first visit of Japan was over there and I keep some very good memories. (I always thought that Osaka Den Den Town was more interesting than Akihabara ;-)

Found on the beach, 300m from my future home.


Enjoying our last weeks in Yokohama before the move.

Wow this post got longer than I thought but as someone said "Sorry I did not have the time to make it shorter!".

Hopefully this article will be a new start for the blog with more frequent posts (with bike stuff of course)

A cat, it's always good to have a cat photo in a blog post, no ? 

Oh and a map so you can understand more the French trip...

Links :

My friend, Gaetano, marathon runner and painter : https://gaetano.fr/

Red Bull Racing, campaign site : https://cp.redbull.jp 

Tokyo Creative Agency : https://ultrasupernew.com

Hills Breakfast, event site : https://hillsbreakfast.roppongihills.com/

Tokyo Multilingual Design Office : https://www.aqworks.com

Helping natural disasters victims through music : https://audiomovement.jp

My professional profile : https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeromesadou

Personal project based on Instagram and Google Maps APIs : https://instaramen.com/jeromesadou


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