David Bracey

David Bracey

A resident of Japan for two decades, David Bracey has worked in both education and journalism. He has held various positions in education, journalism, photojournalism, and business development. His jet setting lifestyle has him commuting to and contributing from Tokyo, Los Angeles, and numerous locations around the globe.

Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Big Hero 6

Japan-Influenced Big Hero 6 Scores Oscar for Best Animated Film

Voice Actor Ryan Potter and CG Animator Matsune Suzuki Talk about the Heart-Warming East-Meets-West Story of a Boy and his Robot

Big Hero 6 is a magnificent mashup of Marvel-based Disney animation, Eastern and Western cultures, and the cities of San Francisco and Tokyo. Set in “San Fransokyo,” Big Hero 6 is an action-packed animated comedy adventure that finds robotics whiz kid, Hiro Hamada, forming a special bond with his personal companion robot called Baymax, while his diverse group of science-geek friends forms a band of unlikely heroes. Japanese- American actor Ryan Potter and Japanese CG Animator Matsune (Matt) Suzuki talked to Tokyo Journal shortly after the movie won the 2015 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.

Saturday, 13 September 2014 00:00

Caroll Spinney

The Man Behind Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

“I Am Big Bird” screened at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival. Tokyo Journal talked with the co-director of the documentary, Dave LaMattina, and Caroll Spinney, the 80-year-old Emmy and Grammy Award-winning puppeteer behind the iconic “Sesame Street” characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. The two discussed the documentary as well as the legacy of the beloved TV program and its characters.

Monday, 16 September 2013 08:59

Sassy and Savvy Stay in U.S. Capital

Sassy and Savvy Stay in U.S. Capital

Aloft National Harbor & Aloft Dulles North

FOR a trendy stay while visiting the historic U.S. capital, consider the Aloft National Harbor or Aloft Dulles North hotels. The hotel chain’s core values are sassy, savvy and space. Sassy stands as a contrast to stuffy hotels. Savvy is because all the hotel staff (not just the bell captain or concierge) are knowledgeable of the hotel and city. Space? Well, the hotel’s public areas are just that: extremely spacious and not cramped. The hotel chain provides incentives to join in its sustainability practices. Guests who skip everyday room cleaning receive $5 towards the Re-Fuel station (food) or Starwood points. If you need a little extra motivation while on the go, stop by the Re:charge 24/7 fitness center and download easy-to-execute a-workouts onto your laptop, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, Treo or other handheld device.

Friday, 17 May 2013 10:25

Korean Band Fad Goes Global

Two of South Korea’s biggest bands, TVXQ! and Super Junior, have taken their tours global as demand for K-pop grows around the world.

K-Pop Continues to Go Global

TVXQ!

TVXQ!, known as Dong Bang Shin Ki in South Korea, Tong Vfang Xien Qi in China and Tohoshinki in Japan, has twice held the Guinness World Record for the largest fan club in the world, with more than 800,000 in South Korea alone. They hold the current Guinness World Record for being the Most Photographed Celebrities in the World with more than 500 million photos taken. TVXQ! launched their “TVXQ! Live World Tour ‘Catch Me’” in November 2012 in Seoul before heading to China, Taiwan and elsewhere around the world. They made history by touring 11 cities in Japan between January and April 2012, doing a total of 26 shows as part of their “TVXQ! Live Tour 2012 ~TONE” with more than 550,000 in attendance.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 05:43

Aloft is Alift for the Senses

AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I wasn’t expecting much out of the ordinary in this historic-looking, factory- type building in downtown Dallas.

AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I wasn’t expecting much out of the ordinary in this historic-looking, factory- type building in downtown Dallas. But I immediately did a double take. It looked like I’d wound up at a mixture of a hip nightclub, art gallery, and trendy café. Soon enough, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was where I wanted to be: the Aloft Downtown Dallas.

Owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the group that also has chains like Westin, Sheraton, W Group, Regis and Le Méridien, Aloft is an enjoyable change from the norm. I don’t usually wander hotel corridors to admire the interior design, but Aloft inspired me to do so. When I first checked into my room, I had to stroll around a few times to take it all in. After I sat down to relax, I walked around the room again just to see if I’d missed anything (which I had!). Then looking out my window across the street at the Dallas Convention Center, train station and City Hall, I was reminded how conveniently located the hotel is. For frequent travelers, hotels are a blur of similar designs. That’s not the case with Aloft. It is a lift for the senses.

Aloft is a “select” service hotel that does not have bellmen but caters to on-the- move business-savvy travelers who know what they want. The other primary segment of their clientele includes guests attending conferences at the convention center across the street.

AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I was not expecting much out of the ordinary in this historic-looking, factory- type building in downtown Dallas. But I immediately did a double take. It looked like I had wound up at a mixture of a hip nightclub, art gallery, and trendy cafe. Soon enough, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was where I wanted to be: the Aloft Downtown Dallas.

Aloft is a self service hotel that does not have bellmen but caters to on-the-move business-savvy travelers who know what they want. The other primary segment of their clientele includes guests attending conferences at the convention center across the street.

The lobby has different areas to relax in: a bar, lounge and a self-serve snack and coffee area that has a “build your own” fresh and hot breakfast and complimentary coffee in the morning. All of the decor appears out of the latest interior design magazine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen rocking chairs in a hotel lobby before, but the modern-retro design made the chairs fit right in. At night, the hotel is a great place to mix and mingle by enjoying a glass of vino at the w xyz bar, or a game of pool in their re:mix lounge. Both are located in the lobby area.

There are event and meeting spaces of various sizes throughout the building. The event facilities are extremely vibrant and trendy and have been used for After Parties; by celebrities such as Britney Spears and Jamie Foxx. The hotel is pet friendly and smoke-free. Free WiFi is available throughout the building. There are 24-hour business and fitness centers, an outdoor pool, onsite parking and Blink electric car charging stations. Rooms come with complimentary coffee, tea and bottled water. Standard rooms are 350 to 475 square feet with one TV. Suites are 450 to 775 square feet with a larger meeting and work area and two TVs, one in the work area and one for the bed and living area. The 42” LCD TVs have ports for connecting laptops or other electronic devices.

Aloft Hotels take part in adaptive reuse projects to provide benefits to communities in search of urban renewal opportunities, and the Aloft Downtown Dallas is no different. Built originally in 1925 as part of the Santa Fe Terminal Complex, then owned by the Haggar Clothing Co. which used the facilities to produce military uniforms during World War II, the building was renovated and opened as a hotel in 2009.

For the sustainability minded guest, there is plenty with re-used demolition debris, natural materials and built-in liquid soap and shampoo dispensers.

 
     
 
     
 
     
Saturday, 12 January 2013 11:28

Where to Stay in Tokyo

See TJ's recommendations on where to stay in Tokyo - ranging from the luxurious Westin Tokyo, to the affordable Nippon Seinankan Hotel to 'homestay' style accommodations through www.homerent.jp

Saturday, 12 January 2013 11:27

Tokyo Weekend Excursions

Take a weekend excursion outside of Tokyo at the haven for artists Art Biotop in Nasu, or see the beautiful Mt. Fuji near Seikai Yamanaka Lakeside Hotel or the Fuji-Hakone Guest House.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 06:49

WHERE TO STAY IN SEOUL

See TJ's top recommended places to stay in Seoul - a hot spot for foreign travelers, and a superior stay in Seoul!

A Superior Stay in Seoul

The Westin Chosun

The Westin Chosun Seoul is Korea’s first international hotel. This classic hotel was built in 1914 with the first running water, elevator and ice cream in the country, attracting celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope. Rebuilt in the 1960s and fully renovated since then, The Westin Chosun is within walking distance of the headquarters of major international banks, local government offices, historic landmarks and thriving shopping districts.

The hotel has 462 guest rooms and 40 suites with the Westin Heavenly Bed, anti-allergy carpets, self-serve espresso coffee machines, mobile phones and high-speed Internet access. Guests can access a business center with state-of-the-art conference rooms and a drug store, barbershop, beauty salon and souvenir shop as well as the City Athletic Club, a Pilates studio, a swimming pool, steam and dry saunas and whirlpools. For corporate events and weddings, there is the Grand Banquet Hall, six mid-sized banquet halls and conference rooms.

 

Friday, 11 May 2012 09:14

Korean Band Fad Goes Global

Asia’s Korean band fad is going global with top Western entertainment venues hosting performances by Korean dancers and musical artists.

K-Pop Goes the World

Surprising Attendance in California

The lights go on. The pounding dance beat starts. And 12,000 screaming fans rise to their feet in the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Acclaimed record producer Quincy Jones watches from his suite. Is this Beyonce? Rhianna? Lady Gaga? Nope. It’s an all-star concert featuring the likes of Girls Generation, Super Junior, BoA, TVXQ, f(x), EXO and SHINee. How can bands not played on American Top 40 radio fill a U.S. arena? Well, these are Korea’s top pop bands, and they played S.M. Entertainment’s third world tour on May 20, 2012. SME, a Seoul-based independent record producer, has held previous world tours with stops in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei. Yeah, but was Anaheim’s Honda Center filled with 12,000 Koreans and Korean Americans? Nope. Around two thirds of the fans were non- Korean, a sign of the spreading popularity of Korean pop.

Tokyo Journal

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