Saturday, November 29, 2008

TOKYO | Walking Along the Street..

Just random photos while walking along the busy street of Tokyo Metropolitan.

A typical scene in the subway of any major cities, people exhausted after a long day at work, or even after a long trip from home to the office.

Then above ground, the younger generations are full of energy. Entertaining themselves, and entertaining the passer by with their antiques.

Whilst some trying to feed themselves with more knowledge, a different type of peddlers, not the usual fruits or food sellers, but instead selling "food for the mind", for those who are hunger for more information and knowledge.

Or otherwise, one can go to the real knowledge bank, The Asahi Shimbun, one of the major newspaper agency in Japan.

Then perhaps, you can go here, the Tokyo Central Post Office, tell me which country have no post office?

On the opposite site of the city, walking under the bright neon lights, the busy traffic, the noise of people chit-chatting, and various other noises within.

I thought she was turning around to have a second look at me, but I was wrong, she was just doing it to exercise her hip, coz her hips don't lie.

These type of name are not uncommon in the fashion street of Tokyo.

Monday, November 24, 2008

SEOUL | The Walkabout Extended ...

Just walking ahead, and stopping only at the designated area.

Which otherwise, it would be a non-stop journey.

Journey through a sometimes twisted narrow alleys.

Or even coming across a guy with a huge head staring right into your eyes.

Well, not really, it was just a sculpture of two men, or two head eating a biscuit, i.e. Eating a Biscuit Together, which was built strategically in front of an art gallery.

Locals passing-by the out of the city centre area.

Friday, November 21, 2008

SEOUL | The Walkabout Continues...

Still doing my walkabout, away from the city centre, trying to walk along the locals, and be amongst the locals, (well some locals do speak Korean to me, thinking that I was one of them).

Perhaps a typical scene in the daily life, and that guy on the right, is just enjoying himself, dancing with the sound of "nature".

The route that I walked thru was at time empty.

And sometime, I have to climb quite a long and steep gradient of road.

But I managed to see many local and traditional architectures, which otherwise I would miss, if did not venture out of the city centre.

Local people and the local grocery shops.

Just some pipes and their meter box.

Their local brews.

But there are still a pinch of urbanization within the surburbs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SEOUL | The Walkabout I

I have mentioned in earlier posts that, one of the best ways to explore a city is to walk the not so routine or touristy route.

So I decided to venture out of the way of the busy downtown area, and moved out of the city centre.

A human powered cart is one of the signs that you are beginning to get away from the heavily traffic city centre.

A typical housing area outside the city centre.

A sight of relief, seeing a cafe within the suburb, Cafe Julie, unfortunately there was no sexy Julie in-sight, perhaps I was not looking thorough enough. But the view from here was breathless.

Walking pass the narrow alleys, remind you of those traditional Korea movie/drama, I was informed that, some of the infrastructures within these area were left untouched, and some even goes back to about 100 years old!

Walking thru these "ancient" route, I passed by numerous museums, The Han Sang Soo Embroidery Museum is one of them, they do have museums for everything I presumed, even for embroidery. I think Brunei should also have these kind of museum, Baju Manik Gallery, Baju Katok Museum, Nasi Katok Museum, Gallery of Unclaimed Baju Raya or some sort.

Gahoe Museum, where you can find load of artworks of the everyday life of Seoul in yester years.

And there is also the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine, with a short inside story of their works, if you want to know more.

A glimpse of the inside of the institute.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SEOUL | Thomas the Tank Engine for Real?

On my way out of the Yongsan Station to the Electromart, I happened to see the railway tracks and the train depot, which reminds me of Thomas the Tank Engine.

There you go, Thomas and his friends, and what I found interesting is that, if you try to search for Thomas in YouTube, you will be amazed at the numerous remixes there are, which includes remixes with, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and the others!

Up close of one of the railway signal. During the old days, where no electronic signals nor communication was the easily available, the Railway Master will pass some sort of a railtrack baton/switch to the train driver, which means that, only a single train can pass thru the railway track, and if another train wanted to pass/ use the railtrack, the driver will then hand over the baton/switch stick to the other driver via the Railway Master!

Also in the ol' days, in order to signal the other station, a signal was then passed thru the wire, thus the invention of the telegraf, and to switch the railtrack, a huge lever will then be operated in sequence, and if it was to be done not in sequence, then it will not work, and only now everything can be done electronically, via computer and real time tracking, thus eliminating or at least reducing human error.

Oh by the way, along the way on the street, I saw this "Thomas the Tank Engine" tricycle, for those who don't really know who Thomas was.

Monday, November 17, 2008

JAPAN | Ameyayokocho II

So moving alone the busy alley, came to a point I need some direction, but finally decided not to, because, even the local are lost!

Guy 1: We are here, are we?
Guy 2: No we are not, why is this map upside down?
Guy 3: Let us ask that guy with the big camera.
Guy 1: No, real man don't ask for direction.
Me: No wonder man always lost in woman's heart!

Trying to figure out where they are, despite the modern time, with the advancement of hi-tech compass and GPS, the good ol' fashion map reading is still a favourite.

So what to do? Just move ahead, and follow the flow, go where the crowds are going.

Golf is one of the favourite hobbies in Japan, I was told that, one need to book up to 6 months in advance just to play on the green, otherwise you can just indulge yourself at the driving range, which can be found almost at every corner, even on the rooftop of the high rise building! So it is not surprising to find golf shops at every other block of shops.

Unfortunately, I'm not a great big fan of golf, despite many people have persuaded me to be on the green, thou we've managed to swing some balls on the driving range yet I've not set foot to play on the actual green. Oh, I think the guy is kinda famous, no not golfer, but a well-known sumo wrestler, I think, because, many people then to stop, and react excitedly seeing him.

Fish, one of the ingredients for sushi, fresh fish are in abundance in Japan, a good way for a healthy diet. No wonder it sounds so fishy.

Then I was caught by surprised by this handsome gentlemen, (no, stop staring at his mustache, something fishy is going on here), me staring at him, him staring at him, just as reflex as it may seems, clicking my camera seems the way to be, sumimasen, lauk masin, bau ikan masin.

Wakasaya, the real sushi eateries, just look at the huge menus. This is a common sight in Japan, even along the alley there were countless such eateries.

But even the elegantness of indoor dining cannot beat the beauty of outdoor eating style, or those gerai style, eating along the walkway is here to stay, no matter where you are, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even in Japan!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

JAPEN | Ameyayokocho I

Ameyayokocho, or Ameyoko for short, is a shopping alley in Ueno, which is quite a awalk from Ueno Park. Situated along the underside of the railway track, it is one of the popular outdoor shopping markets.

The main gate of Ameyoko, on the left is the railway track.

A local walking pass by the local shop selling variety of items.

Just a simple reflection on the glass facade.

I am not sure what they call it, but an interesting sight.

Walking along, I came across this intersection, an intriguing diversion, going left will be walking thru the colours and glory, and walking right will be a mystical experience.

Another local shop, selling the spices of life.

And at a side alley, saw this tourist, a local tourist perhaps, trying to adjust his camera, well one of his cameras in fact, nice.

After the long and winding walk, one can have their quick pit stop at the ubiquitous vending machines, where one will be spoilt for choices, just prepare with your small change.

Which reminds me of this dumb joke, ( no I don't wanna associate it with blondes), anyway, this dumb guy keeps on putting his change in the vending machine, because he thought that he his winning his jackpot!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

JAPAN | Ueno Park II

Moving along within the vicinity, there are still acres and acres of greens yet to be explore, but I don't have the privilege to explore each and every bit of 'em.

Saw this bicycle, wanted to borrow them, but no one was near it, I can't just ride it off, I might be accused of stealing, it's a no no.

So moving on, saw this thingy, kinda like some sort of wishes, or greeting or something, but looking at that one on the right, it looks like a heart break because it is between a line, or even their heart is within a very thin line, oh I dunno.

The vast area, can inspire the artist in a person, just like this "artist". Just look at those painting, brilliant isn't it? Unfortunately, I don't have the patient to wait til it is completed, I would assume, even that piece alone might have taken the artist half a day to compose and such. Looking at the sketch, it looks like the Phone Booth of Dr. Who, and the green domes are of the museum near-by.

At the other corner of the park, there is this large pond, one side filled with this sort of plant, what ever they call it now. I bet that sign says, No Fishing or even No Swimming, oh well, who would ever want to have a dip at those kind of water, might have some herbal effect on you, but heck no, I don't wanna even dip my feet in it. There was even no frog to be seen, perhaps, some dumb ladies had kiss them and turned them into their prince charming.

There on the other side of the lake, I saw these blue white like creatures, floating on the water, unlively, lifeless.

But looking at the wide angle view, it represent a different thing, the blue white creatures were in fact rowing boats, yet another artist found this interesting, in fact there were a number of artist doing their stuff within the park, so if you think you are an artist yourself, you can join them there.