Namaste India 2008

Namaste India 2008

Neil attended the Vietnamese Festival the week before. You can read about this experience here. I had wanted to go, but when I had time, the weather decided otherwise… but last week was a different matter.

Last weekend there was an India festival. The whole section of Yoyogi Park right opposite NHK Studio Park was cornered off and dedicated to this event. Stores were set up and many were promoting tours to India, Indian wares, arts and craft etc. Basically almost everything Indian. There were also movies from Bollywood. I grew up in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic environment, so I’ve been exposed to Indian culture. Indian movies are quite interesting, provided they come with subtitles. ^^. Long movies though, with lots of singing and dancing. I find it fascinating that whenever a song starts, dancers just pop out from thin air. ^^.

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Please do it on the mountain

Please do it on the mountain

Found another one of these “Please do it at somewhere else” posters around Tokyo Metro. These posters are supposed to educate commuters on certain “do-s” and “do not-s” when using the trains. This particular one tells us to “please do it at the mountain”; be considerate of others when holding bulky belongings. Here’s another one “Please do it at the beach”.

I think posters like these are quite helpful. At least it helps raise awareness to certain issues. I would like to know how effective they are though.

Hachiko and Waiting Around Shibuya for Dinner

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If you know a little about Japan, I’m sure you’re heard of Shibuya. The place where just about every traveller to Japan will visit at least once. If you’ve been to Shibuya, you must have met “Faithful Hachiko”. Better yet, if you were meeting a Japanese friend (or one living in Japan), you must have been asked to meet up there. There is a rather touching story being “Faithful Hachiko”.

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Graduations in Japan

My graduation experience in Japan.

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Recently I’ve had the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony. A couple of my friends were graduating and I was there for the pics. ^^. Not to be in them, but to be the one behind the camera taking photos.

So. About graduation ceremonies in Japan. Graduations are held twice a year (at least for my university). In April during Spring and in September during Autumn. Always during the school holidays. I’ve been to 3 so far, 1 of them my own; all at the same university. There’s no real dress code. No academic dress, no graduation cap. You don’t get your degree in a roll, but rather in a booklet.

It starts off with a big ceremony. The president of the university will hand degrees out to representatives from each batch; he’s a busy person, can’t individually give out degrees to everyone. Once the main ceremony is over, graduates separate into different groups and head off to different halls to receive their respective degrees from the head of their respective schools. *phew*. Photos here are from the smaller ceremony which includes everyone… except that representative.

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Shibuya #1

Today’s stroll is through Shibuya. Sometimes I cringe at the thought of going to Shibuya. It’s swarmed with hordes of people and navigating through the crowd sometimes require the nimble reflexes of a Jedi pilot. I usually only go to Shibuya for 3 main reasons; for the Apple Store, Tokyu Hands (which is a great DIY shop) and Loft. Other reasons for heading to Shibuya usually include some form of social activity such as showing friends visiting Japan around, meeting friends up for food and drinks.

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The Beast in my Belly: Jiro ramen Mita (二郎ラーメン三田本店)

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The main Jiro ramen store is in Mita (二郎ラーメン三田本店). Yeap. The beast I’m talking about it none other than the infamous Jiro ramen. It’s not fine dining, but it will definitely fill you up in ways fine dining never can. ^^. The shop’s about the size of an average ramen store; seats about 12-15. It’s housed up in this tiny triangular shaped building right next to Keio University’s Mita campus. Guess where all the students go for lunch?

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Polar Bear Ramen

I love the interesting packaging of instant ramen in Japan. Sometimes the packaging is all that’s between me buying or not buying it. Do you have instant ramen where you are? Are there any factors which pull you from your usual pick to try an unfamiliar brand?

Polar Bear Ramen


That said, I was very intrigued when bears started appearing on the instant ramen packaging. This particular ramen is from the east gate of the Asahiyama Zoo way up north in Hokkaido. ^^.

Polar Bear Ramen

There are four main flavours of ramen in Japan; Tonkotsu (from boiling pork ribs), shio (salt), soy sauce and miso. I usually go for tonkotsu when I need an energy boost, shio when I’m looking for something light and simple. Miso and soy sauce flavoured ramen… usually depends on how adventurous I feel.

Polar Bear Ramen

This polar bear version is salt-flavoured. 白クマ塩ラーメン “White bear salt-flavoured ramen”. Noodles come wrapped too. Pretty nice packaging eh. Flavour’s not bad too. It leaves you full with a light salty taste. Doesn’t come with the bean sprouts topping, but that doesn’t require much work in front of the stove. I had a different “brown bear soy sauce ramen” much earlier when I replaced the hard disk for a mac mini. You enjoy ramen?

Polar Bear Ramen

Novelty Items

I have a weak spot for interesting gadgets and novelty items. It’s always fun finding out what creative solutions others have come up with. In many ways, it keeps me inspired. What about you? Do you have the same weak spot? What is your kryptonite? ^^

Ear Ring

Frozen Smiles

Thirst Aid

Thirst Aid

Akiba Stroll

I don’t go there quite often because it’s a little far north for me. Came across this AV factory. Seriously, AV factory?!? I don’t think the ‘A’ and ‘V’ mean ‘Audio’ and ‘Visual’… hmm… hey… Audio and visual isn’t wrong either if you think about it. ^^.

A walk in Akihabara


I believe it was a Saturday when I went (sorry for the late post). As you can see, there’s a police presence there. That white car on the right which is permanently parked there on the empty stretch of road. I like going for walks. It’s a good time to refresh my mind. I don’t really think of anything when I just stroll around. Blank. Just take in the sights and enjoy the surroundings around me. What about you? You like going for strolls?

A walk in Akihabara

Now we’re going to take a walk into the Kotobukiya store in Akiba. It’s right opposite the JR station in this building behind the jumping guy.

A walk in Akihabara

I was hoping to take a picture of the store but… “you can take photos freely! o only items. x not people!!!”. ^^. That was also the case when I visited some hobby stores in Sendai. Don’t mind don’t mind. ^^

A walk in Akihabara

I found this Cyclone going for ¥9900. Wonfes all black edition. Good thing I bought mine back at Wonfes for ¥6000. If you have limited edition items, they can fetch pretty high prices.

A walk in Akihabara

A walk in Akihabara

I thinking of getting Naomi (third from right). A little pricy though. But sukajan, short skirt, tank top and a katana… we’ll see. ^^. I’m a fan of Shunya Yamashita’s work. Mirei san (second from right) is also pretty nice. A got a different figure of her in a different color. Haven’t taken her out yet. ><. Will get to it soonish.

A walk in Akihabara

A walk in Akihabara

I did get a figure though. One of these in this picture below. Care to make a guess? I’ll give you a cookie. ^^.

A walk in Akihabara

You suppose this mousepad is comfy? I can’t imagine anyone using this at work… ok… maybe some of us will. ^^. Will you?

A walk in Akihabara

A walk in Akihabara

A walk in Akihabara

A walk in Akihabara