Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Blind Japanese Riding a Bicycle Using Echolocation - 全盲でもエコーロケーションを使って、自転車に乗れた!

I wound never, ever thought I would ride a bicycle again! Since I started learning echolocation in 2011, I dreamed about riding a bicycle like I used to be able to. I've kept telling my dream to my instructors, Juan Ruiz, Brian Bushway and Daniel Kish, and finally the time has come!After a little bit of practise, I managed to ride a bike for about a block, with echolocation! Oh damn, I felt great! It was all possible after Brian gave me a training that I keep walking straight while turning my head around, searching for objects on my right or left, constantly scanning, and Daniel who helped me strengthening my tongue clicks by mirror exercising, brushing up echolocation skills! Now I'm one-step closer to the normal people! 全盲になってから夢見ていたこと、それは、一人で自転車に乗ること。それをエコーロケーションがかなえてくれました! アメリカの住宅街を、車をぬうようにして走れたのは、前方と横をスキャンするテクニックを教えてくれたブライアンと、クリック音をチューニングしてくれたダニエルのおかげで、エコロケーションにさらに磨きをかけることができました。 絶対日本ではできないことだけど、これで健常者の世界に、一歩近づくことができたような気がします。

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mirror Exercise

Along the regular echolocation training, Daniel give me a special training, noticing my tongue click can be keener and sharper. This is so-called Mirror Exercise, finding a surface, like a house, that gives good echo, then I click and walk backwards, walking away from the object. If I don't hear the echo, reposition myself and find the echo then keep backing up until I can't hear my click anymore, realising how far I could go.
Here's the photo of us clicking and backing up.


Panel Exercizing

Brian is giving the panel exercise to me, holding something around me, letting me where it is, what kind of material it is, and what it is!


Daniel Brian and Me

The echolocation training with Brian and Daniel.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reuniting with Daniel Kish

I managed to get to Daniel's house by myself! He and other coaches will work with me for follow-up echolocation and perceptual mobility training, and thank Daniel for hosting me for my stay in Long Beach!

Sleeping in Full Flat Seat in ANA Business Class Cabin

I'm not in a coffin, I'm just sleeping in a new ANA's business class Staggard seat with a large pillow and a pad! 今回は、ANAのビジネスクラスでロサンゼルスへ。スタッガードシートは千鳥配列で、全席窓側、全席通路側はいいのですが、ライフライフラットになると、必然的に後ろの人の足が、横のサイドテーブルの下に来る訳で。

Beef Steak Dinner in the Air

Cabin attendants gladly explained what's on table, so a full course meal in ANA Business Class is not difficult for a blind passenger.

ANA First Suite Lounge

I'm ready for an another Echolocation training in Long Beach this summer! Flying to Los Angeles with involuntarily upgrade to ANA business class.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Firefly Live in Akizuki ほたるライブ in 秋月

Darrell came to my hometown Akizuki to play some songs. A bunch of fireflies complimented the gig. Thanks for your wonderful music Darrell, and hope you'll come back again!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Me with Apple Pancake

It's huge!

Douglas College

This is where I started 20 years ago.


Me at Oceanside Pier

Visiting the world famous Oceanside pier before leaving.

Garrett's Popcorn

Since I could not get some in Harajuku, I went to Chicago to get some!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inviting Darrell to Akizuki Project

Darrell came to Akizuki, and we visited Mizunone Tsuchinone. Does anyone smell the sound of the gig here?

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Thank Brian for echolocation and perceptual mobility training, and thank Daniel for hosting me for a few nights! My 4th echolocation brush-up training is over, and I shall start rolling!
I'm releaved to hear my echolocation skill has improved over time, and I walk much faster than the first time 3 years ago!


Taking a Break, Having Lunch with Brian

Since it's past lunchtime while we are passing by Johnny Rebs, we decided to change our goal to "finding Johnny Rebs" instead of "Finding a Park" We went through how to find the entrance, feeling the surface while clicking my tongue and observe the echo, and finding the surface and echo change if I pass that place. The training with Brian involves more on cane technique, combined with echolocation, and he was great describing how totell what's around!

After successfully finding the entrance of Johnny Rebs, we deserve for some lunch!


Let's Go!

After ample amount of lecture, rather, talking, we started to head out. Brian is such an easy-going coach, and he repeatedly tells me to do the same task until I get better. After going through drills, my confidence builds up fairly quickly!


Brian Drawing a Map

What Daniel and Brian does and Juan doesn't do is drawing a map on my hand or on my back when describing the direction of streets and intersection. My mobility coach in Japan does the same, so this is pretty much a de facto standard for mobility coaches around the world to use this method.



Wonder what he's thinking... Wondering whether he successfully made me understand, or he was wondering how many photos I was taking while he was giving me a lecture??? I gave him a warning that I would take many pictures, though!

Perceptual Mobility and Echolocation Training with Brian

Brian is giving me an instruction of how to position myself on the street. He explained most paved streets have so-called "Street camber" that has elevated center and gradually goes down towards the edge of the street, which is useful for the blinds to keep on mind where on the street we are and how to straighten out way towards the curb.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Blind Selfy Photo with Daniel and Brian

I'm back in Long Beach for Spring 2014 for an another follow-up echolocation training! Since Juan is out of the country, I met up with an another echolocation and perceptual mobility coach at World Access for the Blind, Brian Bushway for the first time!

今回ロサンゼルスでのエコーロケーションのトレーニングは、Brian Bushwayに習うことになりました

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Age Ice Matcha at Japadog in Vancouver

It's a dessert with green tea flavour ice cream on top of fried hot dog bun!
バンクーバーで見つけた変な食べ物、Japadog! これは年とったアイスではなく、油であげたトドック万のバンズに、抹茶アイスクリームを載せたものです。

Reuniting with a Visually Impaired Friend in Vancouver

Reuniting with a visually impaired friend in Vancouver. It has been 2 years since we hang out last time! 春のバンクーバー、視覚障害者の友達、フランス系カナダ人のフィリップと再会。お互い目の症状が悪化したなあ。

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Wonderful Company at Daniel's House

A photo with Juan Daniel and Daniel's friend, Jules. It was so wonderful to spend some time together, for echolocation and MacOSX migration!
Looking forward to meeting again in future!

The Blind MacBook Pro User Trio

After a couple of days of echolocation brush-up training, I was showing how to use MacOSX with VoiceOver. Setting up the blind-unfriendly Mail app as well as finder settings. Still, they feel more comfortable with Windows 7 and JAWS, but their transition have just begun!

Dinner at Los Eduardos

Our favourite Mexican restaurant, to celebrate the echolocation training day is over!

Taking a Break at Johnny Rebbs

After some good tongue-clicking echolocation exercise, we went to Johnny Rebbs for a hearty breakfast!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Echolocation Training with Daniel and Juan

The echolocation Master, Daniel and Juan offered me a brush-up training. Right here, I was told to click at a building's alcove and walk backwards until I don't hear my click sound. I guess I was as far as 250 yards until I can't hear my click sound. Not too bad, but not strong and keen enough!

After this, we walked around the neighbourhood and they told me my perceptual mobility and echolocation has improved since I received my first training 2 years ago!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Daniel Juan and Me with MacBook in a Patio

Daniel Kish and Juan Ruiz exploring with Apple MacOS, I am help them make a transition. Though Windows and screen reader solution is good, I prefer MacOS X and its VoiceOver. Since Apple supports visually impaired and the blind with accessibility features. like VoiceOver, built right into MacOS, the environment for the blind computer users has improved dramatically!We hope Apple won't drop support for VoiceOver and many other accessibility features, even if Apple shareholders push Apple to pursuit the profitability over accessibility.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Juan Ruiz and Me

Juan is an another echolocation instructor of mine.
I tried to shoot our selfy shot with my iPhone's front camera. Did I get us in a frame?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Visiting Daniel Kish the Echolocationist

A Photo with Daniel Kish, one of my echolocation instructors in December 2013.
A couple of years ago, I visited him for echolocation training. This time, one day of echolocation brush-up training nad have fun for the rest of days. Thank Daniel for hosting me for several days!