Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.

Welcome to Vancouver

A quick look at Vancouver

Perhaps you know the story behind Vancouver’s founding. How about the salty snack that ran for the mayor’s office? Or the only time that one of the city’s early hockey teams won the Stanley Cup? Read all about them and more in the Quick Facts of Vancouver.


New trailer for Boruto: Naruto the Movie with English subtitles

Naruto passes the torch to his son Boruto as he gets his own full-length animated movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie which is to be released in Japan August 7th, 2015. A new teaser for the upcoming film includes English subtitles to shed more light on the story.

Yes, Naruto is father to a child that is just as energetic and troublesome as he was at the beginning of the shinobi’s own titular anime series. Upon learning that his own dad achieved a lot to become hokage, Boruto seeks out Sasuke Uchiha in hopes that he will train him and thus eclipse Naruto’s own feats.

Source: Kotaku

Kintaro serves up authentic Japanese-style ramen

Kintaro Ramen

Kintaro Ramen on Denman Street.

The thought of ramen shouldn’t stir up memories of dried packets of noodles and boiling water from a kettle. It should be long noodles served in savoury broth with chunks of meat and real vegetables. Kintaro does just that and like a traditional Japanese noodle-house, specializing in tonkotsu, or pork-bone broth ramen.

Situated just off the corner of Robson and Denman Streets in Vancouver’s West End, Kintaro is as close to a traditional ramen shop without having to cross the Pacific. It’s small and almost always busy; a good sign. On some days it’s not surprising to see line-ups outside, occasionally stretching up to the Robson Street intersection. If there’s a line, the ever-attentive waitresses are out with menus and taking orders, so as soon as you’re seated there’s no additional waiting for the food.

The menu may seem limited, but its because it keeps the kitchen focused on providing a consistent and delicious product. The soups themselves are are all made with pork-bone stock and customizable with a rich, medium or light broth and fatty or lean pork cutlets. There’s four main bowls available: shoyu made with soy sauce, shio made with pork stocks and sea salt, miso with a combination of soybean pastes from around Japan and twelve different spices, and spicy garlic with a hot miso broth and ground garlic. Specialty soups are available, with a cold ramen available in summer (June-September), and a ramen with two kinds of cheese.

Shoyu Ramen

A bowl of fresh shoyu ramen.

I usually order the shoyu ramen in medium broth and fat barbecue pork; the fat has all the flavour. Garnished with a heaping pile of bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, diced green onion, a paper-thin square of dried seaweed and a tender slice of pork. The noodles themselves are thin and soft, but not mushy; the sprouts counter this with a bit of a crunch. With the soy sauce mixed in, the broth is a little salty yet not overpowering. The pork can be a little chewy, but that delicious flavour brought out by the barbecue makes up for it. The bowls are big and I’m left with a sea of broth that will slosh around inside me after all the noodles, meat and vegetables are gone. It’s not a bad feeling, it just leaves me full, satisfied and slow-moving.

In addition to ramen and should still be hungry, Kintaro also serves up gyoza (dumplings), hanpayaro (small pieces of barbecue pork), slices of pork meat, kimchi (spicy Korean-style vegetables) and rice.

Prices are relatively cheap – $8.95 for most bowls, increasing to $10.45 for specialty soups. Additional toppings are a dollar extra, with pop at $1.85, local beer at $4.75 and imported beer at $5.75.

Kintaro is located at 788 Denman Street in Vancouver, is open 11:30 am – 11:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday and closed Mondays. Methods of payment accepted are limited to cash and debit; no credit cards. Dine-in only.

New Attack on Titan live-action film trailer released

Hajime Isayama’s popular manga series Attack on Titan has been turned into an anime series and now includes a full-length live-action feature-film which will be screened August 1st, 2015 in Japan. A new trailer for the film, titled Attack on Titan, has been been uploaded to YouTube.

Much of the human population has been decimated by roving groups of titans that devour men, women and children indiscriminately. Forced to live behind massive stone walls to protect against these attacks, what’s left of the humans try to return to normal life. All that changes upon the arrival of the colossal titan whom damages a portion of the wall allowing other titans to enter and feast upon the frightened mortals. Relying on the military to protect the civilization, Eren Jaeger and his friends fight to stop the giants before they take away all that’s precious to them.

Adding to the experience, certain theatres showing the movie in IMAX format will have movable seats and special effects to simulate different smells and wind to immerse the audience; a first in Japan.

Attack on Titan is the first of two films by Toho Pictures; Attack on Titan: End of the World will be screened September 19th, 2015 in Japan.

Source: Comic Natalie

Decorate houses with Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer

Let your stylish side flourish by sprucing up homes of villagers in Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer. Not only will you be able to decorate the interior of homes, but the exterior as well.

Work with the raccoon businessman Tom Nook and his crew from the Happy Home Academy to make each house feel like a home for the animals that move into town. Select a plot of land and then choose where to place the home and outdoor ornaments and foliage; move inside to brighten it up based on the owner’s theme. In addition to working with individual residences, the school, hospital and other public buildings can be modified to make them more functional and attractive.

Collect amiibo cards of popular villagers to enlist their help and enjoy their company after a hard days work beautifying these cosy cottages.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer goes on sale September 25th, 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Source: Nintendo

24 nights of fireworks for 25 years of fireworks

Team USA's colourful performance in 2014

Team USA’s colourful performance in 2014

To celebrate 25 years of the Honda Celebration of Light, there will be 24 fireworks performances around Metro Vancouver leading up to the first night of the international pyrotechnics competition on Saturday, July 25th.

The short displays will take place in selected parks and public spaces and are meant to include people who might otherwise avoid the larger event because of distance or crowds.

Kicking off the first of the 25 nights are the Canada Day fireworks at Canada Place on Wednesday, July 1st and then finishing on Friday, July 24th. Team China is the first to take the stage at the Honda Celebration of Light on Saturday, July 25th.

  • July 1st at Canada Place, Vancouver
  • July 2nd in Langley*
  • July 3rd at Queens Park, New Westminster
  • July 4th in Surrey*
  • July 5th in North Vancouver*
  • July 6th in New Westminster*
  • July 7th in Burnaby*
  • July 8th at Blue Mountain Park, Coquitlam
  • July 9th in West Vancouver*
  • July 10th at Rocky Point Park, Port Moody
  • July 11th in Richmond*
  • July 12th in Burnaby*
  • July 13th at New Westminster City Hall, New Westminster
  • July 14th at Burrard Dry Dock Pier, North Vancouver
  • July 15th at Moody Park, New Westmisnter
  • July 16th in Langley*
  • July 17th at Victoria Park, Coquitlam
  • July 18th at Port Moody City Hall, Port Moody
  • July 19h at Holland Park, Surrey
  • July 20th in Burnaby*
  • July 21st in Richmond*
  • July 22nd in Port Coquitlam*
  • July 23rd in Langley*
  • July 24th at Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam

* denotes a location will be forthcoming

Sources: Vancity Buzz, Honda Celebration of Light

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes brings new cooperative play to 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

Use the new totem function to stack Link in order to reach high ledges and objects!

There’s a new multi-player Zelda game coming to the Nintendo 3DS handheld. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a new adventure that requires teamwork from all three players to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Nintendo announced the title as part of their press conference Tuesday morning at E3.

Three colourful variations of Link (Green, Red and Blue) in the visual style found in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds must partner up to overcome obstacles and bosses of dungeons to collect items. Some items can be used to create outfits that increase specific abilities to give the advantage in trickier levels or situations. Players share Link’s hearts to encourage cooperation, and a new “totem” feature allows each player to be stacked atop another to reach high ledges or objects.

Play with friends using the local wireless connection or over the Internet. Paper replicas of Link are available for rent to help complete the quests in single player mode.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is expected to be released in the fall of 2015.

Source: Nintendo

Square Enix shows new teaser from Kingdom Hearts III at E3

Square Enix tempted the world with amazing new footage from the still in progress Kingdom Hearts III as part of their press conference at this year’s E3.

The video revealed a new outfit for Sora, team attacks with Donald and Goofy, keyblades that can transform into projectile weapons, attacks based on Disney Parks rides — a train, pirate ship and teacups and a summon including Hercules’ winged horse Pegasus. Also included was a level from the Disney feature film Tangled, with the hidden valley sheltering the tower Rapunzel is locked away in.

Work on Kingdom Hearts III is still underway; no release date was mentioned and will be available for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Source: YouTube

Final Fantasy VII to be remade for PS4

Following years of rumours and speculation, Sony has finally answered the question “Will Final Fantasy VII be re-released?” And that answer is yes. Considered to be an icon in gaming, spinning off a number of prequel and sequel titles and even a movie, Square-Enix’s role-playing adventure will be remade for a release on the PlayStation 4.

At Sony’s pre-E3 2015 press conference, a short teaser toured the gritty city of Midgar, flying over the connecting highways, the busy trains that travel to the upper levels, and the dank slums that hide under the glitz and glamour of the world above. With a male voice announcing a reunion and a promise kept, the back of Cloud Strife with his Buster Sword becomes visible as the opening notes of the title’s original introduction begins. The demo finishes with a stylized rendition of the logo followed by the word “remake”.

No date for when this modernized version of Final Fantasy VII was mentioned.

Source: YouTube

Sony shows action-packed Uncharted 4 demo at E3 2015

Sony released an action-packed demo of the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End for the PlayStation 4 as part of their pre-E3 2015 press conference.

Everyman Nathan Drake and his father-like mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan are ambushed in a crowded marketplace before escalating into a destructive car-chase through the back alleyways and yards of a tropical city. While avoiding the machine gun from an armoured van, Drake and Sully engage in some hilarious banter over driving skills and adding it to their “list” of cities to avoid. In catching up to an armed convoy to save a member of his family, Drake makes a leap of faith before appearing to crash into some wooden scaffolding as the demo cuts to the game title.

The fourth in the popular action-adventure treasure-hunting series by Naughty Dog, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is expected for release in 2016.

Source: YouTube

Roy and Ryu to appear in Super Smash Bros.

Back in April when Mewtwo was made available as downloadable content in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, fans dissecting the data discovered hidden sound files for two characters: Fire Emblem‘s Roy and Street Fighter‘s Ryu. Now, two eight-second video clips leaked to the Internet unveil Roy and Ryu as characters in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.

Roy Ryu

Roy previously appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Nintendo GameCube in 2001 and hasn’t made appearance since. In that game, the red-headed swordsman was a clone of Marth from the same franchise, who has since been playable in subsequent Super Smash Bros. titles. To mark his return, Roy’s outfit has been upgraded, but he still wields the Sword of Seals.

Ryu is recognized the world over from the popular Street Fighter fighting game. Wearing his trademark sleeveless white dojo uniform, red headband and gloves, Ryu has been training to be a perfect addition to the Smash Bros. series. Don’t underestimate his Hadouken and Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku attacks.

Source: YouTube

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