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Friday 6 June 2008

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

I have been to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office at Shinjuku for several times due to the abundance of photography subjects, including the bird-eye city view from the observatories which I will post later.

It has got two towers, a ring-shape walkway connecting the buildings and a courtyard with statues crafted by some Japanese artists.

There were also some other abstract sculptures around the garden of the buildings.

When I first visited this place in early April, the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom.

The building with the twin towers is the main building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. The observatories are placed at 45th floor of one of the towers.

The ring-shape walkway connects the main building with the other part of the Office across the road.

I will be updating with the photos taken from the observatories at 45th floor, so please stay tuned.

Thursday 5 June 2008

Down the Automobile Memory Lane

Other than the Mega Web, Toyota has collected some classic cars and they are displayed at a section called History Garage at Odaiba. It took me quite a while to find it as the signage wasn't very clear due to the zig-zag indoor streets of the building called Venus Fort.

However, it was worth the effort searching up and down for this History Garage. The first car flanking the entrance is a Mazda Cosmosports.

The following car is also a Mazda. It seems that Mazda has been very active in producing high-performance cars since 1960s.

This is a very cute BMW. I think the present Smart cars were modeled after this Beemer.

There are many other high-performance cars of the old times on display, but I forgot what cars they are now.

The silver colour car below is a first-generation Nissan Skyline. The white one beside it is non other than the first-generation Toyota Celica with a shark-like front design.

There were not many Honda models around, except for this S800 in yellow colour.

This is a Dino, and probably I am too young to know Dino. It looks like a Ferrari to me, probably it was designed by Pininfarina as well.

There is a 1972 Lotus Elan S4 around for the Lotus lovers to appreciate as well.

Is this a Volkswagen? No way! It is a Porsche 356!

Is this an Alfa Romeo? Nuh! It is a Jaguar E Type!

As for the American super cars from the past, there are the legendary GM Corvette and Ford Mustang to be admired.

The History Garage is quite an eye-opener for car lovers. If you are visiting Tokyo, don't miss this at Odaiba.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Wordless Wednesday – Kinkakuji in Kyoto

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum is the one museum that you should never miss if you decide to visit just one museum in Tokyo. There are five main galleries inside the museum compound, namely: Honkan, Toyokan, Heiseikan, The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, and Hyokeikan. I visited four of the galleries as Heiseikan was holding a special exhibition which was too crowded for me to gain access.

The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures is more contemporary in term of architecture. It also houses many statues of Buddha which are the national treasures of Japan.

The side entrance of the museum which is not accessible to the public has something very interesting.

What does it resemble?

They are in fact just the door knobs! Gotcha!

I'll be updating on the treasures found in this museum, so please stay tuned.

Monday 2 June 2008

International Fellowship

From April 25th to 29th, 2008, the Matsumae International Foundation organised a study tour for all the scientists staying in Japan under the Matsumae International Foundation Research Fellowship. On this study tour, we visited Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima.

Our first site for this tour was the Todaiji at Nara. Nara is the ancient capital of Japan which is about 45 minutes by the Kintetsu train from Kyoto. When it came to the boarding time, it was easy to get all the scientists together.

All 13 of us scientists from all over the world, came from 13 different countries. We are from Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Croatia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Romania and Russia.

With different culture and living background in all of us, it was quite a task to organise us for a proper group photo at Todaiji.

Sometimes, with one or two missing persons was inevitable. Miss Armenia and Miss Russia (this was how we addressed each other during the tour) were missing in the photo below taken at Ryoanji.

Another missing person in the photo below was Mr. Ecuador at Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion).

Three were 3 missing scientists at Nijojo (Nijo Castle) in the photo below. Miss Kimura on the left from the Matsumae International Foundation was not counted.

I was caught in action while having the tofu meal for lunch at the foothill of Kiyomizu Dera (Kiyomizu Temple). Miss Brazil and Miss Kimura were sitting with me.

There were 4 missing persons again when we were at Kiyomizu Dera (Kiyomizu Temple).

We finally managed to get everybody together at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. We were there to contribute our orizuru (paper cranes) to wish for world peace. I have to emphasize that we folded all the paper cranes by ourselves.

We also managed to get everybody together at Kintaikyo, also in Hiroshima.

It was really a wonderful trip will all the research fellows from all over the world. We enjoyed the sight-seeing, food and fellowship together. On our last night in Hiroshima, we even hung out at a karaoke till midnight with everybody singing their lungs out!

We still keep in touch with each other by emails, and that reminds me that I have not sent out my photos to some of them. I better get back to it soon.

I'll update the sight-seeing and food that we had during this trip from time to time, so please stay tuned!

Sunday 1 June 2008









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