You know that feeling when you’re so immersed into whatever you’re doing that you don’t realize a week just passed? That was last week. Whew.
First, nothing delights me more than speaking to my girlfriend properly. Not just sending some random emoticons and late messages. I’m talking about real conversations in real time. Maybe I’ll do a piece on long-distance relationships some time in the future.
Second, as you might have suspected in this post’s title, I cannot wait for GoT to fully load. Given Japan’s internet, it should be over before I finish writing this post. And yes, *spoiler alert*, John Snow is alive! Ep 2’s ending was something else and a total rebound from the always-dismal season opener.
Third, I am still dumbfounded with how the Spurs lost to the Thunder. I know how damn good the Spurs are and losing the series in 6 games was really below expectations. No wonder Pop’s interview was so dry. But, it’s also exciting how the Thunder will size up against GSW.
This time lapse shows the Nishijin area of Kyoto where you the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) is located. This was shot for roughly 6 hours on a 5-second interval.
Should be a great week ahead! Hope you have an awesome week, too!
Found a way to break out of the apartment rooftop contraption. All it took was opening one of the laundry room windows. *insert clever laugh*
Golden Week went by really quick. Too quick. I’m still recovering from all the lost footage in Otsu but it is what it is.
Sunsets are always beautiful. The transition from various degrees of yellow to various shades of orange is a sight to behold. It is quite hard to use a negative word to describe a sunset. It’s one of the main reasons I jog in the afternoon. Lately, it’s been quite tricky to time them due to the longer daytime so I just tried to leave the camera shooting for a couple of hours while I went out for a jog.
E.M. Goldratt’s Critical Chain was a fantastic novel on business. It was a lot about what runs in the minds of different levels of managers across different institutions. Project management (and this does not only apply in business) is something that is dynamic. Not unlike what most business textbooks say.
And this is what really is exciting about testing assumptions. Assumptions make or break any mode of thinking.
Now I understand why one of my undergrad professors always nagged us about what our assumptions were.
My love for reading fiction is negatively correlated with my age. When I was a kid, I would remember bringing home shortened versions of classic novels from the bookstore. I had a ton of them. You name it and I’ve probably read it.
As I grew up, things became very different. Fiction became literally fiction to me. It was too out there. Too perfect. It’s just one of those moments where you don’t know how it happened.
But then now, reality isn’t really that different from fiction. There are only moments. And most of my cherished moments in Kyoto are spent with nature.
Haruki Murakami is the only Japanese writer I know, which makes him my favorite by default. I plant to read all his books while I’m here. I didn’t even know he was born in Kyoto until I searched him on Google. Anyway, I’ve just finished reading Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman about a couple of hours ago. It was a fascinating collection of moments. There’s still some beautiful weirdness in there, if you know what I mean.
Here’s this week’s time lapse. I tried something new today by splitting one sequence into different vibes.
I suddenly remembered that I have to write about the last leg of my quick Tokyo trip!
In case you missed out on the earlier posts, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.
The last part of our trip covered most of Central and Western areas of Tokyo: Akihabara, Harajuku, and Shinjuku. These are the busiest places in Tokyo (probably in Japan) and offer a lot in terms of things to do.
We started by visiting Tokyo Imperial Palace. The palace grounds alone will take you about 30 – 45 minutes to circumnavigate. One can really feel that this is the epicenter of the Japanese empire just by walking around. The attention given to the plants, flowers, trees, and structures cordially dial in majesty.
From there, we took the subway bound for Yoyogi Park. This is a massive and beautiful park that ends at Harajuku. At the middle, you can drop by Meiji Jingu to get a breather. It felt like a stretch of 2.5 kms. of gravel.
If you followed our route, this is what you should see:
We went crazy with all the shops from Harajuku to Roppongi. There were a lot of foreigners living here too. This area will gladly take your money. Name a brand and chances are, a flagship store will be in this area. So bring a lot of dough. Or don’t.
If you go left from here, you will arrive at another famous shopping destination, Takeshita Street where you could get a shot at one of the graffiti-lined walls. Each of us just had to take one.
According to my sister, this street is mostly kawaii girls stuff. But she was able to find this store, Monki. There’s a cool dessert place beside it if ever you are a guy shopping with a female.
The iconic Hachiko just near Shibuya Crossing!
Maybe it is just because off-season but I think Dotombori in Osaka is much busier than this one. If you are thinking about getting a nice view from the Starbucks joint you see in this picture, good luck getting in. The upper floors of the train station and malls are the best places to get a nice shot. I just wished I was into time lapse photography when I went here.
We had to double back to our hostel to get our bags and got lost. All the subway-switching can get really confusing. It really pays to know some kanji especially when the nearest map looks like this:
We had a great bowl of Seaweed Shio ramen after an exhausting day. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of this ramen place in Shinjuku.
While waiting for our midnight bus back to Kyoto, we checked our watches and realized that we had about 4 hours to kill. Luckily, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is still open! It has 2 observation decks: North (9:30-23:00) and South (9:30-17:30). It gives you a stunning 360-view of Tokyo for free! The elevator line might be long during the day so going at night is better (the night view is better too, I think). Oddly, the observation deck has a toy store and a coffee shop at the top. It even has complimentary Wi-Fi!
That’s all, folks! This series is done! I can’t wait to go back to Tokyo!
Here’s a video of the entire trip! I’m very sorry that the camera is shaky, the gimbal is broken. 😦
*This is quite a long post so if you just want to see the time lapse, scroll all the way down or click here. Always in HD!
When you’ve been living in a city pocket for a reasonable amount of time, there’s always going to be this longing to go somewhere else. Somewhere far. This is what I have been feeling lately.
About a couple of weeks ago, my good friend Michael and his wife invited the group to his new place in Mukaijima. However, we weren’t able to go last week due to unforeseen school events. Yesterday was a fantastic day and we were all able to go.
Mukaijima is very accessible from the center of Kyoto. From Karasuma-Imadegawa, we just took the subway and went all the way south and hopped off at Takeda to switch trains (Kintetsu). From Kyoto station, you can just use the Karasuma line and head south (there are many alternate routes). Ticket should set you back 500 Yen and about 45 minutes to get there.
Prior to heading there, I had trouble finding any bit of information about what to see and what to do. Good thing I knew someone there!
My first impression upon going down the train station was the abundance of apartment buildings and the endless rows of fields. It was very different from Kyoto (city center). But this is still part of Kyoto nonetheless.
Roads were wider and cars dominated the streets. Mukaijima Park was really nice and clean. I found it hard to imagine that there was a cleaner place than central Kyoto. Air quality is even better. Another surprising thing about this place was children. There were so many! Maybe because this part of the city was more family-oriented. Rent was a cheaper too, especially if you want to raise a family in a bigger place. Supermarkets had better selection too.
We were able to go the Gakusei (Student) Center where my friend lived. They made nabe (hot pot) for lunch and had some booze to spike the conversation. For dinner, we made some freestyle sushi out of pickles, egg, sausage, and cucumber. The combo was weird but it was delicious!
We got quite drunk due to the great bottle of sake that Michael had. I think I got too drunk and lost my phone when we were chilling by Uji River. BUT, we went back and found it (also chilling by the river). Nothing gets lost here. Except bikes and umbrellas!
It offers a different feel compared to the central Kyoto. It is more laid-back and will nag you to sit outside, drink a beer or two, and feel the breeze. Uji and Momoyama are also very accessible. These are places famous for authentic Japanese tea and shrines.
WHEW! I hope I didn’t bore you with that long post.
Thanks again, Michael and the wife for hosting! Until next time!
*Nico Rosberg had a great race in China. Things are looking good for Mercedes this season.
Hanami season has officially arrived. So if you’re in Japan now, you are in-the-money!
I did my usual weekend things which is mostly reading, biking, and hiking. But this weekend was something else! The whole of Kamogawa was glittering with two things: cherry blossoms and people. Therefore, I accomplished a substandard amount of vigorous physical activity.
The upside was I got to do more reading and shooting. This week, I aim to finish Peter Bernstein’s Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk which tells the story of none other than risk. Who would have thought to write a book about it? Risk is an inherent part of our lives. It’s what drives people to do or not to do.
Here’s what I got while reading the mammoth this morning: