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The Evolution Of The HoliDaze

This site has roots back to 2008, although at that time it was just a humble blog on my life in Japan called Shibuya Daze and hosted at, in honor of my favorite ward of Tokyo and where I called home during that period. While I have a love of traveling I also have a fascination with the history of Asia, that is part of what prompted my initial travels around the Orient. Ever since I have come to realize that I am happier traveling than at home and now know what I want to do with my life.

It all began, as most good things do, one drunken evening while BBQ'ing with some friends, in what would otherwise have been a perfectly ordinary night. My extended trip to Japan was less than two weeks away and I still had not decided how I wanted to share our daily pics / vids / stories with my friends back home.

The first thing I had planned to do off the plane was purchase a super bad-ass camera with the most megapixels that I could find. I planned on taking thousands upon thousands of pictures, and did not want to be hassling with memory sticks or having to post them all on Facebook. And then it hit me: why not just create my own web site, completely filled with anything and everything relevant to the trip...? I could post all the pictures, stories, even videos I wanted and no one could tell me otherwise or even complain of content or bandwidth or anything!

And So It Begins...

Shibuya Daze v1.0

There it was. As a group we all started pondering names, and this one I will admit I do remember it being Jared who thought up SHIBUYA DAZE. And I have to say it is fucking perfect. The next morning, still slightly drunk, I purchased the domain name as I was getting ready for work. And thus the site was born.

After a quick week I had slapped together a basic layout, using nothing but Notepad and Paint (yep, that's right, back then I still worked old school). And it turned out surprisingly good, as a matter of fact. The design was simple yet stylish, and with some nice JavaScript to give it a little life, it was perfect for our first trip. That is a screenshot of the old layout to the right, Shibuya Dave v1.0. Nothing fancy, but it got the job done.

Time For A Necessary Expansion...

Shibuya Daze v2.0

After returning to the States a few months later I began to crave a new layout, one that was a little more fancy. Making use of my Christmas vacation I commenced work on a new layout, Shibuya Daze v2.0 -- pictured to the right. I incorporated that one picture of Tokyo which I love so much into the template and expanded the overall site by creating a few new sections. While I also upgraded to the newest version of Adobe Photoshop, I still did all the HTML and JavaScript with nothing but notepad.

The only problem was by this point is was becoming obvious that I was going to be the one doing all the work on this site. As Jared is not fluent in scripting, he prefers Tumblr, where all the work is done for him. (Little did I know that was actually the end of his help on the site anyway.)

Shibuya Daze v3.0

This site is still a work in progress -- it always will be -- but let me know what you think or if you come across any issues, like missing images or pages.

To the right and continued below are the final evolutions of Shibuya Daze as it transformed into the HoliDaze. It was at this point that I went entirely with PHP and finally integrated our blog, which previously had been hosted on a third-party site.

At the same time I created a different section for each country, with each one having a different sub-domain: i.e. American Daze (, Canadian Daze (, Costa Rican Daze (, Filipino Daze (, etc.

One plus side was that I could easily make radically different layouts for each country, but the downside was all the separate databases made the tags and searching not quite as effective.

Needless to say it was not long before I decided to condense everything at and now here we are. ;)

And The Screenshots Continue