Now, at Murphy’s, anyone with the XR Master’s app can see these images “floating in space”, as well as a 3D model of a piece of soda bread. This would seem to be somewhat historic because, as far as I know, there are no public use cases of GeoPose AR in Japan.
This QR code will take to the XR masters app. The app is free. There is no data collection, no chance of spam or anything like that. (In tech terms, the app is OARC compliant.)

Soda Bread in Time and Space in Murphy’s Irish Bar in Akashi, Japan

Stephen Black
3 min readApr 17

The GeoPose ARu Tour of Japan has been fast paced; full of cherry blossoms, airplanes, long hikes and bullet trains. So much to write about, but for now I will jot down some notes about the unusual occurrence that took place very late the night of April 11, 2023: a Tuesday.

It started with the police.

A very pleasant time was had with the three Akashi police officers who first explained that the Akashi Castle is not really a castle. It ws also made clear to me that the Uononotana is not really a fish market, but a shotengai filled with seafood restaurants. Most importnaly for this story, I was told the location of a sent, a public bath. My Japanese is poor, but we were all enthusiastic. However, my plans to stay up all night and visit the “fish market” were shattered. I had imagined Uonotana to be like the Tsukiji of old, where the action started at 4AM, with a beer for breakfast at 8 when all was done.


Next: sushi

Then, off to the public bath.

Higashi yu, the public bath with the most beautiful neon sign in the world.


Before I progress, I should clarify a few things. First, Akashi is a very pleasant place, but I had never heard of it until a few hours before I arrived there. I found it purely because of logistics, as I was looking for an interesting place to photograph on my way to Kobe.

Secondly, I should explain that my first public GeoPose AR project was the creation of the Maith AR gallery, located in the Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans.

And, the first exhibition in Maith is entitled Soda Bread in Time and Space. The exhibition is also on display in New York City, at the amazing Mary O’s.

One of Mary O’s legendary scones.

SO… when my eyes fell upon the sign for Murphy’s Irish Bar… I felt it was both my duty and destiny to enter. Or maybe I just wanted a pint.

Dave, the owner made me feel welcome immediately. The Tuesday crowd was such that we could exchange stories nicely. I learned that Murphy’s is the oldest Irish bar in Japan that is actually owned by an Irishman. And Dave learned about my experiences as the spatial cinema artist of the OARC, the Open Augmented Reality Cloud.

Dave, of course, pronounced Maith in proper Gaelic; it should sound something like ‘moth’. However, my corrupted version, “Mayth” will likely be the pronunciation used outside of the hearing range of speakers of Gaelic. ( To keep the story short, ‘maith’ is a Gaelic word that means ‘nice’.)

The next thing you know we were making GeoPose AR history.

I was very concerned that the low light level of Murphy’s would be a challenge. I was also concerned about internet speed. No problem! The green banner was bright and contrasty enough for everything to work.
Soda Bread in Time and Space in Murphy’s Pub in Akashi Japan! Due to the late hour, there wasn’t time to do much besides a simple test. However, this moving 3D model was exciting to see, as it revolved perfectly. It would be nice to organize the exhibition more carefully. I’ll be back!
Flat (2D) imagery placed in Murphy’s.

On a technical level, I am extremely grateful to the following companies and organizations:

Augmented.City: scanning; the creation of a digital twin of Murphy’s wall.

XR Masters: model placement and model creation

Novaby: 3D model of Bubiko (on their website, check out the description of the Butterfly Project for the Strong National Museum of Play, which I was heavily involved with.)

Flamingo Filters: Facebook Spark for Bubiko

Area 505: Motion capture for Bubiko

Six Cats Studio: digital planning

My first NFT is now online, but that is a topic for another post.

Have a Maith day!



Stephen Black