27 March 2014

卒業生代表 答辞

 春の始まりを告げる、桜を咲かせる季節となりました。 



本日、私たち卒業生のために、このような盛大な卒業式を挙行して頂き、誠にありがとうございます。ご臨席を賜りました学長先生をはじめ、ご多忙にもかかわらず、ご出席下さった皆様に、卒業生一同、心よりお礼申し上げます。

4年前、この尚美学園大学に入学した時は、今までとは異なる環境で、慣れるまで少し時間がかかりました。不安もありましたが、今日この日を、共に歩んできた仲間たちと迎えられたことを、とても幸せに思います。

大学生活は、あっという間に過ぎました。しかし、一瞬一瞬を大切にし、新境地に挑戦する機会が増え、充実した日々を送ることが出来たと確信しております。

また、学業とサークル活動、アルバイトなどを両立させながら過ごした日々の中で、一緒に学び、悩み、励まし合って困難を乗り越えてきた仲間、先輩、後輩との出会いは、一生に繋がる絆になると信じております。

そして、私たちが安心して大学生活を送ることができたのも、職員の皆様、家族、多くの方々のお力添えがあって実現したことと感じております。お世話になった方々に心より感謝申しあげます。

本日、私たちは尚美学園大学を卒業し、4月からそれぞれの道に歩み出します。

卒業生の皆様にとって、今年お花見の雰囲気は少し違うのでしょう。大学入学式の時に、ワクワクの気持ちがあったのでしょうが、今年の桜はある意味では新たな一歩を踏み出すことになります。

いよいよ私達が社会に登場します。学生としての学習を終え、これから社会人としての自覚と責任を持ち、頼るのではなく頼られる人間へと成長していかなければなりません。険しく厳しい出来事に対しても、最後まで諦めずに、本学で学び得たことを生かし、努力することを惜しまず、自分が信じ歩んだ道に、いつか、自分なりの花を咲かせたいと思います。

最後になりましたが、未熟な私たちを温かく励まし、ご指導下さいました諸先生方、様々な場面で私たちを支えて下さった職員の皆様、そして大学卒業を迎えた今日まで私たちの成長を見守り続けてくださった家族、その他多くの方々に重ねて心よりお礼申しあげると共に、後輩の皆様方のご活躍を祈り、尚美学園大学のより一層の発展を願って、答辞とさせていただきます。


平成26年3月22日
卒業生代表 
芸術情報学部 情報表現学科
チェン リン ファン 

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こちらの原稿は、実際に卒業式に読み上げたものとは若干異なっています。

17 March 2014

Malaysia's Foreign Policy (East Asia)

In the first part of the topic of Malaysia's foreign policy, I've covered the links with fellow South East Asia nations. Now, it's time to look at fellow nations further north-eastern from SEA.

Let's start up with the big one.

1) China


The relation with the big nation has started centuries ago, one of the notable occasions being the delegate from Ming dynasty visited Melaka to further strengthen the commercial trades.

However, the darker side of the history would be the involvement of communist during and after the World War II. Influenced by the movement in the China mainland, the original purpose of the Chinese communist was to oppose the Japanese military's control, and soon after the Japanese left, the communist tried to take over the country. That idea of course, didn't went well with the others.

The bitter conflict between the Chinese communist and local Malaysians had caused frictions between the Chinese villagers and other local residents. Even today, some of the elders still have bitter stories to share what happened back in those days. The conflict eventually ended with a peace treaty in the 80's.

On the bigger picture, (if I'm not mistaken) the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Razak decided to change the approach by embracing China. This move was welcomed by the chairman Mao Tzedong of China. Malaysia is said to be one of the earlier nations to re-establish a formal political tie with the People's Republic of China (another similar name, the Republic of China is actually Taiwan).

Today, both nations maintain strong relationship, creating a valuable partnership across the region.

2) Japan


When it comes to this nation, it is a bittersweet issue, due to the infamous past during the Japanese military rule over the country for 3 years and 8 months. Though it was just a rather short period of time, it was devastating nevertheless. The Japanese left Malaysia when they surrendered in the war.

Years later, Japan's rapid revitalization and modernization become the role model for other SEA nations to look upon in developing the nation. While Japan may have caused damage during the war, they did contributed and supported the development of the SEA nations. That could be the reason eventhough the nations had suffered during the war, but they chose to forgave the Japanese and moved on.
(Good read here explaining why China's general dislike towards Japan.)

Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad's "Look East Policy" initiative of sending students to study in Japan & Korea also helped to cement a solid diplomatic relationship between the 2 nations. I for one, would say that I'm benefiting from this policy indirectly (as I wasn't sponsored by the government via the LEP).

It's not just Malaysia only, as Japan is also maintaining close ties with other SEA nations. I would say that Japan is much closer to the SEA nations than it's direct neighbours, ironically.

3) South Korea


Surprisingly, I don't really have in-depth knowledge the diplomatic relation between Malaysia and South Korea. But South Korea is making a huge impact in Malaysia in recent years, with the dominance of Samsung, LG & Hyundai lurching away the lucrative market shares of Japanese brands like Sony & Honda.

4) North Korea


OK, to mention this notorious North Korea nation here is rather odd perhaps, but Malaysia is one of the very few nations that has an official diplomatic tie with this misunderstood country.

One of my friend traveled to North Korea some time ago and was surprised to see this Proton Wira around. It seems that some of Malaysia's products has made into the country.
Photo credit: Wan KH

And I was being told that, it's rather easy for Malaysians to get into that country too.

On the next chapter, let's look into the Western nations, namely the UK, USA, Australia, and one country that Malaysian's passport are barred from entering.

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It's been almost 10 days since flight MH 370 went missing.
The current update says the plane may have headed to the west towards the Indian Ocean, and the communication was deliberately cut off. Further investigation and search operations are still underway....
Let's hope we'll have a brighter update when the next blogpost is published...



10 March 2014

Malaysia's Foreign Policy (South East Asia)

Sombre & anxious are the words to describe the current atmosphere of Malaysia's public. The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing mysteriously between the east coast of Malaysia and southern Vietnam.

At this moment no official report of what exactly happened has been announced yet, while eventually it may not be a good news at all, given the current circumstances, there's still a slight hope for miracle.

Until the plane has been found, people can only speculate and guess.



Soon after the news broke out, neighbouring countries around the region has joined in for the search & rescue operation. Countries that may not see eye to eye with each others, are currently working together to figure out what had happened.

Malaysia is not alone in dealing this unexpected crisis.

From a different perspective of the incident, many nations are willing to help Malaysia in the times of trouble, could be credited to the good diplomatic relations Malaysia has maintained with other nations.

Here I'd like to focus on the closest nations surrounding Malaysia, starting of with the SEA region.

South East Asia


Malaysia plays a vital role in setting up the regional association of ASEAN back in the early days.

Geographically, Malaysia is located at the very center of SEA. That could explain why Malaysia is a popular flight transfer hub to other SEA nations (partially also thanks to AirAsia too).

Historically, Malaysia started formal diplomatic ties with most of the regional nations since hundreds of years ago. Though sometimes there may have been disagreements here and there, but generally speaking Malaysia is on friendly terms with the other nations. I would describe it like siblings, whom may argue from time to time, but nevertheless stand together at times of trouble.

Among the SEA nations, Malaysia is known for it's relatively stable politics & social, enjoying a pretty good economic growth, and the mediator for troubles around the region. Overall, Malaysia is a respective figure in the region.

However, things weren't that stable in the earlier days. Just to recap a few historical events of Malaysia with neighbourhood nations in the past century....

1) Singapore

The island nation at the southern tip of Malaysia was originally part of Malaya when we gained independence from the British in 1957. Singapore however, declared their own independence in 1965 due to certain circumstances. It was a mutual consent, and not a drop of blood was wasted. It was a peaceful transaction.

2) Indonesia 

In our school's history lesson, we learn that one of the founder of Malaysia, Parameswara, was originally a prince of an Indonesian empire from Sumatra.

Indonesia & Malaysia both shares similar culture and language, and being a larger nation, Indonesia exerts a great influence on Malaysia's affairs in the earlier days.

One of the notable clashes in the modern times would be the Confrontation of the formation of Malaysia in the 60's. Together with the Philippines, Indonesia strongly opposed the formation of Malaysia, claiming that part of Malaysia is rightfully Indonesia's. They even sent elite commando troops into Malaysia in order to sabotage the formation. Eventually, the nations agreed on the terms and peace was restored.

3) Philippines

As mentioned in the Indonesia's side, the Philippines was involved with the confrontation, but their claims are directed at East Malaysia, specifically the state of Sabah. Likewise, eventually it went on smoothly, but the shadow of the past continued to haunt Malaysia even in present days.

The southern part of the Philippines are consist of thousands of archipelago islands, which house the radical movements that continuing to claim that the Sabah is the land of the now-defunct Sulu sultanate.

Those radical groups carried out skirmish attacks on Sabah from time to time, namely the Sipadan island kidnap case and the most recent Lahad Datu assault last year. These however, do not represent the stance of the government in Manila, as the Pinoy government too, have trouble trying to deal with the radical groups.

4) Thailand

Perhaps the younger generation of Malaysians may not know that, the northern states of Perlis and Kedah were once under Thailand's control during the World War II. It was given as a gratitude for assisting the Japanese army during the war. After the war, the states are returned to Malaysia.

In recent days, Malaysia has been helping the Siamese to broker deal between the separatist group in southern Thailand and the Bangkok government.

5) Brunei

Similar to Singapore's case, Brunei was once part of Malaysia during the formation of the nation. However, there were strong protest lead by the Bruneian to force the then-Sultan of Brunei to reconsider and eventually declined the offer of joining Malaysia.

Today, Brunei still maintain a close relationship with Malaysia, as the Brunei's ruling royal family is closely linked to the various Sultan's families.

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Here I've covered almost half of the SEA nations around us. There are of course, other nations as well like Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar etc. However, as I don't have enough resources to write about it I'll just leave it here.

In Japan I'm getting involved with ASEAN Youth Network in Japan too. From this involvement I noticed that SEAsians can work pretty good together and the committee members are rather close to each others. It seems that we just "click" into each others naturally.

If you would like to add a word or two, feel free to comment.
Next time, I'd like to talk about Malaysia's relations with the East Asia nations...

08 March 2014

The First Quarter

Just a few days ago on 6th of March, I've celebrated my 25th birthday.
The first quarter of the century, hopefully I'll have at least 2 more quarters to go ahead!

If we breakdown life this way, I'd say the 1st quarter is essential as one learns most of the skills and experiences at this period before proceeding to the next stages, which our mind kinda "solidifies" and may not be able to absorb knowledges as good as we were before we hit the 20's.

Having great time with friends at one of my favourite restaurant in Tokyo.


So today, I'd like to reflect upon some of the principles and values that become my way of life.

1) Stand by your own decisions with no regrets
At times I wonder, what I will be doing now, should I didn't chose to came to Japan almost 6 years ago.

And sometimes, I do wonder what sort of position I'll be in right now, should I chose another university instead of my current one (which I'll be graduating soon in 2 weeks' time).

In life we do have doubts over decisions that we've made. Often we do not know about the outcome until we've gone through it thoroughly. Naturally, no one likes to fail, so people would try to choose the path with less risk.

For me, I stand by my decisions, because I dislike the feeling of regretting over things. Part of me tends to dwell over things that isn't under my control, so I'll try to realign myself to get over the feeling of guilt of not making the correct decision at the first place.

Once you've decided something, stick to it and allocate full commitment for it 'til the end.

2) Timing is crucial
At times we get to know someone new, or given the chance to explore something unfamiliar. These experiences could be the 'something' that may change your life.

Given such opportunity, one has to seize the chance, at the correct timing.

Few days ago, I had a conversation with a close friend and it sort of struck me as if I were to take action during last summer, something could be brewing up right now. But then, my aim in last summer was something very much different, and therefore I didn't considered it at all.

Sticking to the 1st value, what's done is done, and there's nothing to regret, though I may need a few more days to ponder and move on.

3) Accept failure as part of learning process
Failure is a bitter pill to swallow, but that's part of life, whether you like it or not.

From my few years experience here in Japan, it isn't as successful as I appears to be in public profile (Facebook, for example). I mean, no one likes to make failures public, right?

For example, I didn't did well in the few interviews that I had so far. I thought I was confident enough and answered pretty well, but eventually the result suggested otherwise, which of course, can really make a hit on one's morale.

Nevertheless, I'll try to recall what had happened and try to be mentally more prepared for it, to do a better job during the next interview.

I used to take it hardly, and the downtime really affects me a lot. But now, I'll try to be more flexible with it....
It's OK to make mistakes, as long as it doesn't blow up the entire plan to smithereens.


"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." - Batman Begins


4) Stop blaming others
When I'm working in a team with others, inevitably things may be messed up due to human error. When that something happened, it's important not to point the finger to the particular individual who messed things up.

From my relatively shallow experiences, I can understand that sometimes it's too harsh to put the blame on someone only. Instead, I'll usually analyze the case and if it's just an unfortunate accident, what we have to focus is trying to fix things up, instead of putting pressure on someone to make him/her even more guilty.

However, there's this someone that I'd blame when things don't go as well as I initially planned. That someone is none other than myself. While I can be kind to others, I can be harsh towards myself.

Whenever something doesn't go on my way, I'd try to figure out what's wrong on my side and how can I fix it up.... but sometimes I'm putting too much pressure on myself.
Luckily after a few days, I'm up and ready to move on as usual.

5) Cherish the friendship
I managed to made it through today without any major problems, for a large part of the credits I'd gave to the friends around me. Without you all, I may not be able to achieve what I had today.

During the 1st year in the university, I wasn't in the best position as I'm trying to adapt myself into a totally new environment where most people spoke in a language which back then, my Japanese proficiency level wasn't that good enough to blend in well.

Slowly and steadily, I built up the network of friends over the past few years. I always like the fact that in the school, walking pass a few corridors and you'll be greeted by other students or maybe lecturers. I felt at ease whenever someone I know is closeby.

As I'll be graduating soon, so do some of my friends as well. Some, will be leaving Japan and going back for good. To be frank, farewells isn't my cup of tea. Parting has always been something troubling to me.

Slowly, the end of March is getting closer, I got a feeling that I'll be attending a few farewell parties to come in these few weeks. :(

Group pic with lecturers and fellow coursemates in the recording studio.


6) Pay attention to the inner voice
I'm not sure about other people, but sometimes I felt like I'm having an inner conversation with the other "me" residing in my mind.

It's some sort of like the angel and devil figure pops out together, suggesting different views at the same time. One speaks of practicality, while another speaks of ideals.

This is especially true when I'm buying stuffs.
Sometimes I'd consider a few times whether I should get it or not, and often, I step out of the shop empty handed. My argument is that since I can make do without that thing, so I'm not losing anything even if I don't buy it.

I believe the inner voice represents the dormant thoughts that do not manifest itself on the surface. Some said, follow the lead of your inner voice as it will lead you to the answer of your question.

When hesitating over something, try to calm down and stay focus on what's inside you is trying to tell you.

7) Make peace with the past
This is a problem that I have yet to overcome so far.
One particular scenario that still affects me a lot, is something to do with my 'home' back in Malaysia.

Our family moved to a new place few years back while I'm still in Japan. When I went back to our new home for the first time, everything seems familiar and yet, so unfamiliar.

The place where I once called home, is no longer ours.
It upsets me when I went back to the old house and found out that the new owner has taken a drastic step to renovate the entire house that effectively erased almost every bits of my memory of that place where I lived for almost 20 years.

Even today, once in awhile in my dream the location will set at the old house. Everything seems to be great until I woke up, forcing myself to accept the fact that now it only exists in the memories or dreams.

Whenever I had the chance to go back, I'll try to make some time to revisit the old place, trying to reconcile my past and present. At least, once I've made peace with it, I can move on and look forward for the world that lies ahead of me.

Before the transformation, as how I remembered it.
IMG_5795

I know, my past actions affects my present, and my present actions will manifest in the future. 

8) In search of true happiness
This could be the ultimate aim for everyone, to be happy in life, genuinely.

For me, I'm still in the process of achieving it.
How do I do it? I'll do it my way.
It takes time.... but have faith in oneself, I strongly believe that I can achieve it one day. ;)

Happiness is.... having your favourite food done correctly! One of the best chicken rice in Tokyo!























There are still somethings that I want to achieve here in Tokyo.
In the meantime.... I will continue to work hard to achieve it!

日本で、まだやらなければならないことがあるから、暫く残っていくつもりだ!

18 February 2014

4年間の大学

随分長い間ブログを更新していなく、自分には申し訳ないな気持ちは多少あるけど、まあ言い訳はこれだけにしておこう。

日本語でブログ記事を書くのは初めてではないが、このブログは99%は英語でずっと書かれてきたので、今回は初めて全ては日本語で書きたい。

さて、本日のテーマは4年間の大学生活について正直な感想を述べたい。

2009年に来日、1年間日本語学校を通い、2010年に埼玉県川越市にある尚美学園大学に入学、2014年3月に卒業予定。と、簡単な日本にいる履歴である。

学園祭

IMG_4662

それでは、一番最近の出来事から書こう。

卒業決まりの制作

4年生は卒業できるかどうかは、卒業制作発表で指導教員の先生たちによって決定される。
既に2月上旬に終了したが、よくできたとは言えない。
他人を納得させたような作品にはならず、むしろ「一体何なんだこれ」と自分にも質疑を出した。

発表終了後、いつも丁寧に教えて下さった先生からかなり厳しいコメントを頂いたので、少し心配なんだ。
でも、そんなに下手な発表ではなかったので、一応合格できるであろう。
作曲でも良かったなと今更だけど、考えた時もう発表後なので、悔しくはなんて思っていない。

何を勉強したか?

大学で授業を取るのは当たり前だが、学生に聞いてみて、授業で何を勉強したかと。

自分の専攻は音響と言うんだけど、他に興味を持つ科目はいっぱいあった。音楽やら、情報やら、文化とかについてはもっと知りたい、学びたいという欲望は確かに強かった。
ただ単位数を取るのだけではなく、自分が本気で勉強したいからこそ履修科目に登録した。

で、科目を選択する時、科目シラバスを読んで授業内容を理解しておく。
けど、いくら面白そうな科目であっても教える側のやり方が下手なのであれば僕にとっては最悪だ。
教室の雰囲気が上手く保てない、学生に適切な指摘をしない、そういう先生がいたら、授業アンケートに厳しく評価した。首になるまでではないが、僕の学習環境には妥協はしない。
授業を取っている時に実は先生の行動も観察している。ある意味では日本人を学ぶということだね。

幸いなのは、大学でも素晴らしい先生と出会えた。
難しいこと、かつつまらなさそうなことを分かりやすいく説明できる先生には大尊敬。
今喋っている日本語もある部分そういう先生たちに影響されたかと考えられる。やはり口癖が付いてくるんだね。(笑)

3年間過ごしていた上福岡キャンパス。現在取り壊し作業中。今後住宅になるかも?
The plaza

生活費用と成績の関係とは?

私費留学生である僕にとっては奨学金が頂けたら日本での生活はもっと楽になるのだ!って考える訳である。
1ヶ月大抵10万円の奨学金は上手く利用すれば十分だと思う。
でも残念ながら僕はそう言った◯◯財団からの奨学金みたいなのは一切頂いておらない。

代わりに、僕は学業に頑張った(本当は果たすべき責任を果たしただけだ)

大学の学費全免が頂けるため、この4年間ちゃんとある程度を維持してきた。2年生の時からずっと頂いており、おかげ様で大学生活は楽になった。あとはバイトすれば生活費用はなんとなく乗り越えられた。

ところで、大学の成績はあまり気にしない。だって就職活動では成績を見る会社は少ない。優秀な人物とは、
良い成績が取れるとは限らない。自分の才能がよく発揮できる、自信を持つ人間でありたい。

「上福岡丼」という唐揚げ丼、学食の定番だった。吸い物付き、390円。
上福岡丼。 Fried chicken rice.

埼玉県って何があるの?

大学の4年間は川越市の近くに住んでいる。

埼玉って特にとても有名なものはすぐにピンと来なかった。春日部と言えば、クレヨンしんちゃんのことくらいは知っているけど、他に紹介できるものは何かと悩んでいたりしたんでね。(笑)

川越というのは古くから存在している町で、中にも17世紀に建てられた神社やお寺がある。でも一番有名なのは、小江戸町だ。川越の一番街によく来ているので、友達が遊びに来たら観光案内でもできるようになった。

関東地方でも有名な川越まつり、毎年も学園祭の期間と重ねている。
IMG_4539

川越は池袋から約30分の電車で、東京よりそんなに遠くない。
去年開通した東武東上線、東京メトロ副都心線、東急東横線の連携で、渋谷や横浜まで乗り換えなしで行けるようになって交通アクセスも便利。

ただ、自分の考えなんだけど、都市っ子の僕はやはりもうちょっと賑やかの方が良いなと思う。
また、東京にもよく行くので、もっと近くの志木市か朝霞市に住めば良いなも思うね。

埼玉って家族と一緒に暮らす良い場所だと考えている。
子育てに専念したければ埼玉は僕の一押しオススメだ。
自然に近いし、スペイスが広いし、大型のお店もある。
東京でないことのおかげで、物価もそんなに高くない。

狭山茶の畑。京都の宇治茶と静岡の緑茶と並び、日本三大茶と知られている。
IMG_0472

良い選択だったか?

この質問は偶に自分に問う。

音響専攻でなければ、たぶん国際関係学部にしたかもしれない。大学を選択する時に、確かに国際関係も考慮していたが、ちょっと普通しすぎると思ってもっと専門的な音響にしたのだ。

国際関係だと都内にたくさんの大学があるはずだよね。
ではなぜ、埼玉県にある尚美にしたのか?音響を学べる専門学校はあるが、大学は少ないということである。

たった1年間日本語を勉強したので、当時の能力ではおそらく早稲田か慶應に受験できなかったであろう。
学校の名声は非常に良いが、学費も高いと知られるんだね。

今振り返ってみると、尚美にして良かったと確信している。

卒業後はどうする?

これは今の課題である。答えは、就職する。

本来は大学院にしようとしたが、結局上手く行かず急に企画変更になってしまった。
そのため、本気に就職活動をスタートしたのは遅かった。
進学したいと考えたのも就職するという心理準備はまだできていなかったからだ。

現在自分が本当に入社したい会社を見つけた。履歴書を出したが、面接の連絡を待機中。

今度の面接は上手く行けば、ここの近くで働くことになるかも。それは強く望んでいる。
IMG_4342

できれば早く決定しておいて、一時的に帰国したい。
向こうで休みを取る訳ではなく、実際に大事な用があるから…それを済ませるために帰国するのだ。

以上、4年間の大学についての感想であった。ここまでお読みになって、ありがとうね。
(というか、読んでくれる相手はいるんだろう?いたらコメントを残しておいてね。(笑))

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一晩で書き出した記事であった。

今回は英語にしなかった訳は、やはり日本の生活を語るのに日本語での表現が自然的に出てくるのだから。
もし英語にすると、頭の中に翻訳が必要なので時間がもっとかかるはずだ。

来日前に、自分が短期間に日本語を勉強できるのかと疑っていたが、今こういう文章があまり苦労なく書けて、あの時の疑いには応答したんだね。

このブログも今年11月になると、10周年ということで、もっと書いていくべきだと思っている。

これから数年の間、まだ日本に居たい。

03 August 2013

Sparkle of Summer

The spring semester ended rather quietly, as I only have to sit for 1 paper before proceeding with my summer holiday.

Unlike past few years, this time I'm not going back to Malaysia during the break. I've things to settle here and boy I'm glad that I've chosen so. Particularly, the preparation for grad school's application requires a lot of reading and thinking, as such that I need the time and space to concentrate solely on this. At times I get distracted easily especially by the computer, so I'd just took the books, bought some snacks and consume everything at a nearby local community center, which at the same time I get to enjoy the cool breeze from the free air-cond.

I try to pamper myself with the optimum condition, hopefully I can came out with some brilliant ideas for the research theme for the grad school. It's like inspiration that struck at anytime, so you have to be prepared for it.

So far I've rough idea on what I'm planning to do, just need a little more polish up and refining the presentation of the theme. It's not an easy task as I'm planning to get into a totally different field. I definitely have to self-study a lot of materials in order to catch up.

Speaking of summer holiday, it isn't that boring after all.

I've got a friend visiting from KL few days ago, and since I decided to take some break from the daily routine, I brought them around downtown Tokyo.

But my style is more towards exploration on foot, so it's not the ideal way to bring ladies around, especially during summer. Good thing it wasn't the type of scorching summer we suffered few weeks earlier, the weather were rather mild and still survivable.

First stop was Ginza, the high-end shopping district of Tokyo.
For normal people it's not somewhere that you can shop frequently, but with certain know-how one can enjoy Ginza without spending a single yen.

Some of the notable shops to visit in Ginza would be:

  • Sony Building (electronics) - free screening of 4K or 3D videos at the top floor, check out pre-release gadgets
  • Uniqlo & GU (apparel) - full collection and reasonable pricing
  • Yamaha (music instruments) - if lucky one can enjoy free piano recital at the top floor music hall
  • Abercrombie & Fitch (apparel) - check out the shop's atmosphere and the salesperson

Of course there are definitely a lot more interesting shops around available for all to enter for free, but sometimes from the exterior it seems to be a place pretty stiff to step foot in, so yeah....

And since Tsukiji, Tokyo's fish market is not that far from Ginza, it's worth to walk 15 mins down the main street to reach the fishy territory.

Tsukiji Sushiko is the choice for gourmet sushi experience. Usually I'd prefer to visit the main branch as it's longer operation hours and pretty comfortable interior to let guests enjoy the sushi slowly. The price may not be the cheapest, but given for a probably once in a lifetime experience, I think it's pretty worth it. Set which cost 2,000~3,000 yen is satisfying as it comes in quality as well as quantity.
















And of course, one of the highlights of the night would be the night view of Tokyo station.
Tokyo station at night.

The night before the Ginza trip, we actually went to the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (隅田川花火大会), but due to bad weather the show was called off halfway.

Unfortunately my camera was soaked by the rain, and was rendered useless with the lens error and weird noise. Sent it to Canon's service center and was told that water damage is excluded from the warranty, so I've to pay for the repair cost. Just hope that it won't cost that much though....

Ironically, I managed to took some decent shots of the fireworks before the rain falls....

Neon Tree
Blossoming Jasmine 菊咲き
Electro Fantasy

During the last time I brought them around the west side of central Tokyo, namely Ebisu, Shibuya, Harajuku & Shinjuku.

Visiting the beer museum which named after a deity, Ebisu.

For dinner we wondered around the infamous RLD of Tokyo, Shinjuku's Kabukicho.

The guest wanted to tried out unagi (freshwater eel). At first I was a little reluctant as it's quite costly but thinking that they should try out the real deal, I gave in and we entered the shop. It was one of the best decision ever!

While I'm trying to explain to them the menu, the chef came over and spoke to us. Out of the blues, he told us that he's a Penangite! Now that we've a common language, he explained the unagi-related menu to us, which definitely helps a lot.

And, the unagi served in this restaurant (新宿うな鉄) is probably the best I've ever had so far.... Portion-wise it's may not be satisfying for some, but the grilled eel is sinfully delicious!
























Many people love unagi, but the truth is, even for normal Japanese it's not something one can eat often. I think I can count the number of times I had unagi for the past few years single-handed.

And that, folks, concludes the brief blog update for this summer season.
Bless that the remaining August would be slightly cooler than previous years eh....

'til then.