Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tokyo Skycrapper

Monday, December 29, 2008

Higashi Gyoen

The 21 hectares (53 acres) of the formal Higashi Gyoen -- once the main grounds of Edo Castle and located next to the Imperial Palace -- are a wonderful respite in the middle of the city. Yet surprisingly, this garden is hardly ever crowded. Ninomaru, my favorite part, is laid out in Japanese style with a pond, steppingstones, and winding paths; it's particularly beautiful when the wisteria, azaleas, irises, and other flowers are in bloom. Near Ninomaru is the Sannomaru Shozokan, with free changing exhibitions of art treasures belonging to the Imperial family.

On the highest spot of Higashi Gyoen is the Honmaru (inner citadel), where Tokugawa's main castle once stood. Built in the first half of the 1600s, the castle was massive, surrounded by a series of whirling moats and guarded by 23 watchtowers and 99 gates around its 16km (10-mile) perimeter. At its center was Japan's tallest building at the time, the five-story castle keep, soaring 50m (168 ft.) above its foundations and offering an expansive view over Edo. This is where Tokugawa Ieyasu would have taken refuge, had his empire ever been seriously threatened. Although most of the castle was a glimmering white, the keep was black with a gold roof, which must have been quite a sight in old Edo as it towered above the rest of the city. All that remains today of the shogun's castle are a few towers, gates, stone walls, moats, and the stone foundations of the keep.

(source: Frommers)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Statue in a park near Tokyo Imperial Palace

This is one of the statues found in a park near Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Tokyo Imperial Palace (皇居, kōkyo; literally Imperial Residence?) is the imperial main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in Chiyoda, Tokyo close to Tokyo Station and contains various buildings such as the main palace (Kyūden (宮殿, Kyūden?)) and the private residences of the imperial family. The total area including the gardens is 3.41 square kilometers. During the height of the 1980s Japanese property bubble, the palace grounds were valued by some as more than the value of all the real estate in the state of California.

(source: Wikipedia)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Annette Messager: The Messengers

“Annette Messager: The Messengers” is the first comprehensive solo exhibitionin Japan by one of France's leading artists. Annette Messager uses a wide rangeof materials to create objects and installations that draw viewers into strange andfantastical worlds. In some ways, her works are incarnations of her family name –messengers on a mission to communicate something directly to the depths ofthe human mind.

Messager uses many different media and materials, including painting, photography,found objects, words, stuffed toys, fabric, and knitting. From these she createsartwork that convey from an everyday perspective the conflicting sensationsthat lie deep inside us, such as the sacred and the profane, humor and fear, loveand sadness, exterior and interior. While the use of materials such as these havebecome common in contemporary art since the mid-1990s, Messager has beenusing them since the 1970s, in works deliberately seeking to draw out narratives found in the individual. Recently, she has produced enormous installations with mechanisms inspired by the complexity of human beings and their puzzling abilityto nurture conflicting elements within themselves. These works have been critically acclaimed, and in 2005, Messager won the Golden Lion for her exhibition at theFrench pavilion at the Venice Biennale – an honor that brought her much media attention as well. Much of Messager's work is on a large scale and is visually stimulating, and appeals strongly to a wide demographic, not just to the youngerg enerations.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Red Prawn

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tokyo City View

This is the 53rd floor of Mori Art Museum where you view the Tokyo skycrappers! I went there during sunset! Oh.. so romantic!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mori Art Museum

This museum is located in Roppongi Hills. You can go the 53rd floor for the Tokyo City View & Sky Aquarium. Very nice place!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ, Roppongi Hiruzu?) is one of Japan's largest integrated property developments, located in the Roppongi district of Minato, Tokyo.

Constructed by building tycoon Minoru Mori, the mega-complex incorporates office space, apartments, shops, restaurants, cafés, movie theaters, a museum, a hotel, a major TV studio, an outdoor amphitheater, and a few parks. The centerpiece is the 54-story Mori Tower. Mori's stated vision was to build an integrated development where high-rise inner-urban communities allow people to live, work, play, and shop in proximity to eliminate commuting time. He argued that this would increase leisure time, quality of life, and benefit Japan's national competitiveness. Seventeen years after the design's initial conception, the complex opened to the public on April 23, 2003.

Visit their website here.

(source: Wikipedia)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maman sculpture

This is the whole picture of "Maman". Very interesting artpiece!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spider Monster in Tokyo?? Help!

This is NOT a spider monster. It is "Maman", located at the Roppongi Hills Tokyo.

Maman (1999)[1] is a sculpture by the artist Louise Bourgeois. The sculpture, which resembles a spider, is over 30ft high, with a sac containing marble eggs. Besides the stainless steel version on long-term loan to the Tate Modern, London, there are several bronze casts, located at:

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Mori Art Museum, Roppongi, Tokyo
Samsung Museum of Modern Art (Leeum), Seoul
Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
Havana, Cuba[2]
Soon to be another in Des Moines, Iowa USA in August of 2009

(source: Wikipedia)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Japanese Mushrooms

I like this mushroom very much. Slighty grilled and dipped into the sweet sauce. It tastes like heaven!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Yakiniku (焼き肉 or 焼肉), meaning "grilled meat", is a Japanese term which, in its broadest sense, refers to grilled meat dishes.

Today, it commonly refers to a Japanese style of cooking bite-sized meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables on gridirons or griddles over flame of wood charcoals carbonized by dry distillation (sumibi, 炭火) or gas/electric grill. In North America, China and Taiwan, Yakiniku is also referred to as either "Japanese barbecue" or "Korean barbecue" [1][2] due to its Korean origins.

It is thought to have originated from horumonyaki, a dish of grilled offal, invented by Korean immigrants in the Kansai area after the Second World War.[3]

In a yakiniku restaurant, diners order several types of prepared raw ingredients (either individually or as a set) which are brought to the table. The ingredients are cooked by the diners on a grill built into the table throughout the duration of the meal, several pieces at a time. The ingredients are then dipped in sauces known as tare before being eaten. The most common sauce is made of Japanese soy sauce mixed with sake, mirin, sugar, garlic and sesame. Garlic-and-shallot or miso-based dips are sometimes used, and sometimes yakiniku is eaten seasoned only with salt. Soup, kimchi, nameul, bibimbap and other Korean-influenced dishes are often served alongside.

(source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ginza 9

Ginza 9 is one of the popular shopping centre in Ginza.

Ginza (銀座) is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaicho, and north of Shinbashi. It is known as an upmarket area of Tokyo with many department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. It is recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping destinations in the world. Many upscale designers' flagship stores are in Ginza, notably the Gucci Flagship Store.

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tsukiji Outer Market

Just outside of the wholesale market is a thriving "outside market" of small retail shops and restaurants that cater to the public. Here you can find all sorts of food related goods, knives, vegetables and fish for sale in smaller (than wholesale) portions.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Turret trucks (Daihachiguruma)

"Turret trucks" is the vehicle used for transporting goods around the market. Just watch your back for those Daihachiguruma (Turret Trucks) which scurry around in all directions carrying the fish to and from the stalls and larger trucks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Tsukiji fish market (築地市場, Tsukiji shijō?) is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo, and is a major attraction for foreign visitors.

When I reached there, it is already 11AM and all the fish auction have been completed. It is already too late to catch any interesting scenes.

I will visit this place sometime again and will post more pictures.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Shinjuku (新宿区, Shinjuku-ku?) is one of the 23 Special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.

Surrounding Shinjuku Station are department stores, specialist electronic and camera shops, cinemas, restaurants and bars. Many international hotels are located here.

As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population of 312,418 and a density of 17,140 persons per km². The total area is 18.23 km².

Shinjuku has the highest numbers of registered foreign nationals of any community in Tokyo. As of October 1, 2005, 29,353 non-Japanese with 107 different nationalities were registered in Shinjuku.

(source: Wikipedia)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kabukicho - Shinjuku

Kabukichō (歌舞伎町, Kabukichō?) is an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Kabukichō is the location of many hostess bars, host bars, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the "Sleepless Town" (眠らない街). The district's name comes from late-1940s plans to build a kabuki theater: although the theater was never built, the name stuck.

The area has many movie theaters, and because it is located near Shinjuku Station, Seibu Shinjuku Station, and several other major railway and subway stations, tickets to its top attractions can be scarce.

(source: Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Daiso Harajuku - 100 Yen shop

Daisō or The Daisō (ザ・ダイソー, Daisō or The Daisō?) is the largest franchise of 100-yen shops in Japan. Its parent company is Daiso Industry Corp. (株式会社大創産業, kabushika gaisha daisō sangyō?). Daiso has a range of over 90,000 goods, of which over 40 percent are imported goods, many of them from China.

Many of these are own-brand goods.Daiso sets itself apart from other 100 yen shops by choosing not to sell closeout or factory second merchandise. Instead ,they keep prices low by purchasing directly from manufacturers in very high volume, a strategy often compared to Wal-mart.

In 2004, Daiso also started selling items priced at multiples of 100 yen, such as 200, 300, 400 or 500 yen. Examples of such items would be children's clothing or large toys.

Visit Daiso website here:

(source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Takeshita Dori

Takeshita-dori - Opposite Harajuku Station, Takeshita-dori is a narrow pedestrian only street packed with young fashionable people and lined with fashion boutiques and cafes. Takeshita-dori is located within Harajuku Tokyo.

Takeshita-dori is definitely the place to be seen if you are young Tokyoite, but well worth visiting as a tourist. Takeshita-dori represents the cutting edge of fashion in Tokyo where you can see all the latest in Japanese street fashion and then buy in the boutiques.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meiji Jingu Jinza

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kakuun-Tei (Tea House)

The former building of Kakuun-tei was built by the order of His Majesty the Emperor Meiji for Her Majesty Her Empress Shoken in 1900. As the building was burnt down by the war damage, so in the autumn at 1958 the present building was reconstructed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bourgogne Wine at Meiji Jingu

Provenance of the Bourgogne Wine for Consecration at Meiji Jingu
"By gaining the good and rejecting what is wrong, it is our desire that we'll compare favourable with other lands abroad"... poem by Emperor Meiji

The Meiji period was an enlightened period during which a policy of "Japanese Spirit and Western Knowledge" was adopted, to learn from the best of Western culture and civilization while keeping Japan's age-old spirit and revered traditions. Emperor Meiji led the way in promoting modernization by embracing many features of western culture in his personal life, such as shearing his topknot and donning western attire, and in many other aspects of daily living. Among these departures, His Majesty set an example by taking western food and in particular by enjoying wine with it.

The barrels of wine to be consecrated at Meji Jingu have been offered by the celebrated wineries of Bourgogne in France on the initiative of Mr. Yasuhiko Sata, Representative, Hourse of Burgundy in Tokyo, Honorary Citizen of Bourgogne and owner of the Chateau de Chailly Hotel-Golf. Profound gratitude is due to the winemakers who have so generously contributed to this precious gift to be consecrated here to the spirit of world peave and amity, with the earnest prayer that France and Japan will enjoy many more fruitful years and friendship.

(text extracted from the photo for readability)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Statue with many faces

This is located somewhere in Omote sando stations, near the United Nations University.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

United Nations University

The United Nations University (国際連合大学, Kokusai Rengō Daigaku?) (UNU) is an agency of the United Nations established in Tokyo in 1973[1] to "research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations and its agencies".[2] Its creation was set in motion by the Secretary-General U Thant in 1969.[3]

The university motto is "Advancing knowledge for human security, peace, and development."

The United Nations University provides educational opportunities to researchers mainly at the graduate and post-graduate level through an extensive range of fellowship schemes. It operates through a number of research centres around the world, where research fellows or Ph.D. students from other universities can come to do research. It especially targets researchers and students from developing countries. UNU is headed by a Rector, and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It does not receive any funding from the regular UN budget; it relies instead upon voluntary contributions from member states and the return on its investments, which are currently valued at US$350 million. The budget of UNU is approximately US$37 million per annum. UNU relocated its Institute of Advanced Studies to the Minato Mirai 21 development in Yokohama, Japan in March 2004.

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Omote Sando Hills

Omotesando Hills (表参道ヒルズ, Omotesandō hiruzu) was built in 2005, in a series of Tokyo urban developments by Mori Building. It occupies a two hundred and fifty meter stretch of Omotesandō, a famous shopping and (previously) residential road in Aoyama sometimes termed Tokyo's Champs-Élysées. It was designed by Tadao Ando, and contains over 130 shops and 38 apartments.

The construction of Omotesando Hills, built at a cost of $330 million, has been marked by controversy.[1] The building replaced the Bauhaus-inspired Dōjunkai Aoyama Apartments, which had been built in 1927 after the 1923 Kantō earthquake.[2] The destruction of the apartments again raised questions about Japan's interest in preserving historic buildings. A small section of the old apartments is reconstructed in the South-East part of the new complex.[3]

Minoru Mori noted that there had been resistance from local landowners to the use of Ando as architect, saying that they were concerned that his buildings were too fashionable for the area.[4]

Regarding the construction, Ando said, "It's not Tadao Ando as an architect who has decided to rebuild and make shops, it was the owners themselves who wanted it to be new housing and to get some value with shops below. My task was how to do it in the best way.”[5]

(source: Wikipedia)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Children Playing in the Playground

This picture was taken at a park nearby River Sumida. Kawaii!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Say "Cheese"

Three young gorgeous ladies on a Japanese traditional rickshaw. Wow, such a beautiful sight in Tokyo!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sad and Happy

Are you currently sad or happy? Sadness or happiness is inevitable in life. Sometimes, when you feel sad, you feel like the world is gloomy, unfair, etc. You feel very restless. But, when you feel happy, you feel that the world is very nice to you.

Regardless of whether or not you are sad or happy, just remember one thing. Life is short. So, just enjoy it! Regardless of whether or not you are sad or happy, you need a friend. When you are sad, you need a friend to cheer you out. When you are happy, you need a friend to celebrate your happiness. No use of blaming others when you are sad. Don't let your emotion affect your relationship with others.

By the way, you can wear these masks to hide your current feeling. It is a good mask to wear in Halloween Party, too. ^_^

Thursday, November 20, 2008

River Sumida

The Sumida River (隅田川, Sumida-gawa) is a river which flows through Tokyo, Japan. It branches from the Arakawa River at Iwabuchi and flows into Tokyo Bay. Its tributaries include the Kanda and Shakujii rivers.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Asakusa Sensō-ji

Sensō-ji (金龍山浅草寺, Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji?) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a Shinto shrine, the Asakusa Shrine.

(source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Nakamise-dōri is a street on the approach to the temple. It is to have come about in the early 18th century. Neighbors of Sensō-ji were allowed to set up shops on the approach to the temple. In May of 1885 the government of Tokyo ordered all shop owners to leave. In December of that same year the area was reconstructed in Western-style brick. During the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake many of the shops were destroyed. They were rebuilt in 1925 using concrete, but destroyed again during the bombings of World War II.

The length of the street is approximately 250 meters and contains around 89 shops.

(source: Wikipedia)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ramen for 600 yen

This set costs you 600 yen. I think it is a very reasonable price. And the most important things of all, it tastes delicious! Oishii desu ne!

The ramen broth is made from pork. I can feel the chef's hard work in making the broth by tasting the rich soup.

And for the gyoza, it tastes superb! The juicy minced meat melts directly in my mouth after the first chew! Awesome!

I will definitely come back to this shop in Akihabara in future. Value-for-money!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Replica Ramen

This store specializes in Japanese Ramen. The display in front of the shop is NOT real, but it looks like real to me. The 'mock' or replia ramen is made of some acrylic, wax or other chemical substance.

Japan is one of the countries which is famous in this 'food display art' business. Japan began the practice of presenting menu offerings with plastic imitations, and the practice has spread somewhat to neighboring countries and -- of course -- is followed by Japanese eateries around the world. The concept is certainly tied to Japanese dining aesthetics, where items are arranged on the plate with beauty in mind.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Akihabara Electric Town

Akihabara (秋葉原, Akihabara?) ("Field of Autumn Leaves"), also known as Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原電気街, Akihabara Denki Gai?), is an area of Tokyo, Japan. It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station. Its name is frequently shortened to Akiba in Japan. While there is an official locality named Akihabara nearby, part of Taitō-ku, the area known to most people as Akihabara (including the railway station of the same name) is actually Soto-Kanda, a part of Chiyoda-ku.

Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, and otaku goods, including new and used items. New items are mostly to be found on the main street, Chūōdōri, with many kinds of used items found in the back streets of Soto Kanda 3-chōme. First-hand parts for PC-building are readily available from a variety of stores. Tools, electrical parts, wires, microsized cameras and similar items are found in the cramped passageways of Soto Kanda 1-chōme (near the station). Foreign tourists tend to visit the big name shops like Laox or other speciality shops near the station, though there is more variety and lower prices at locales a little further away. Akihabara gained some fame through being home to one of the first stores devoted to personal robots and robotics.

(source: Wikipedia)