The Chinese town in Thailand.
I found Chinese people prevailing in many parts of the East Asian countries, which discovery drived me to resume learning Chinese again this year.
This is the view of one of the hottest area in Hong Kong.
The view above is often broadcasted in the Bloomberg TV program.
I took the picture when I climbed up on the Victoria Peak.
Buildings are all incredibly high…
… with each building showing off its unique design.
Many double-deck buses are running on the street.
So are many streetcars.
The shopping streets are quite similar to that of Tokyo.
Sogo is also doing its business here.
Many people, but not all of them, use English when communicating with me. You cannot expect your Mandarin would work out here in Hong Kong. Kantonese, their language, is very much different from Mandarin and so they could hardly catch your words if you use Mandarin.
It’s interesting to note differences and characteristics when visiting overseas countries.
In the Ho Chi Minh City, local stores are lined along the sidewalks.
Kids are all amiable.
I found a local school. Students are all like those in Japan.
It seems TOEIC is popular here in Viet Nam, too.
I came across a street seller of coconut juice.
I tried one, because I was thirsty,
but it wasn’t as fresh as I expected…
I visited one of the major markets, which is called Ben Tanh Market.
Inside the huge indoor market were so many shops with variety of items.
The market was crammed with local people and tourists.
There’s a food court, too.
And a bogus doraemon?
To be continued・・・
This is Saigon River.
A Group of Motorcycle Gangs?
Not really. It’s a very common view in Ho Chi Minh.
Motorcycles are most popular means of transportation here.
It’s like mama-chari in Japan.
At most 2 adults and 1 kid are permitted to be on one bike at a time under the transportation law in Ho Chi Minh. Surprisingly enough, the use of helmets on the bike was started on the last December. Until then, the local traffic law didn’t require the drives to ware a helmet on a bike…
This is a bowl of Pho soup & noodle.
It was so nice. I really liked it very much.
To be continued・・・
I'm at Changi airport in Singapore now and having an internet access right in front of the boarding gate.
I'll be working again back in Japan from the next week.
Since I've learned a lot and got inspired so much by so many things and so many people whom I met on the course of my business trip.
I gotta keep working hard to improve myself so that I could challenge such an inspiring business again some time in near future.
See you again, those people I met here in East Asian countries!
I took my family out to enjoy the air of Christmas in the town.
We walked from around Azabu area to Roppongi area.
Many foreign country embassies were established here and there and a lot of foreign people were walking on the streets. It was such an exotic area!
In Azabu, we visited a traditional Japanese bean cracker store and enjoyed shopping there.
Next to the bean cracker store was a famous Taiyaki shop.
Taiyaki is a fish-formed cake filled with bean paste jam.
The taste was very nice, of course.
After enjoying such a unique cityscape of Azabu, we moved further to Roppongi, and we were welcomed by Roppongi hills tower.
A painter was playing performance at the foot of Roppongi hills gate tower.
In the nearby performance hall, a little group of choir was singing a series of carol in front of such a huge audience and we enjoyed it for half an hour with other passer-bys.
By the time we were leaving Roppongi, it was getting dark and we enjoyed the illuminated beauty of Tokyo tower.
The end of today’s one-day trip was finished with a dinner at a French restaurant.
The dishes cooked by a French chef were very delicious. Inside the restaurant was a little dark and a candle on our table gently lit up the dishes. The restaurant was three-star ranked one. I can hardly afford such a restaurant. But I chose it to show my gratitude to my wife for her everyday support. It might have been a bit too lavish. I have to pray God’s forgiveness; it may well be forgiven in the Christmas season.
We went out on a date to visit a nearby temple in the evening.
We went there in the evening because they said you can enjoy the night view of the illuminated trees in the garden of the temple.
I had not expected that much until we got there. At the exit of the temple we found a lot of people gathering with cameras in hands.
Getting through the old wooden gate of the temple, we were really surprised to see the fantastic views of the autumn leaves lit up by the lights!!
The beauty of the colorful autumn leaves is one of the most typical symbols of Japan, but I’ve never seen the autumn leaves illuminated this way. I could have enjoyed it in Kyoto only if I had a chance, but I didn’t. And so this is quite for the first time for me to see it.
It seems we can keep enjoying ourselves finding a lot of interesting places around Tokyo. Hahaha, it sounds like we were foreigners here. Maybe we are in a sense ^_^
Today we visited Himejima Island in Oita pref. to see a local traditional festival called Fox festival.
Like this matsuri (traditional festival), many matsuris are held in many local areas of Japan around this time of the year.
A tower is set at the center of open space and people wearing yukata (Japanese summer kimono) enjoy dancing around the tower.
In this Kitsune-matsuri, or Fox festival, various types of dancing are played by various groups living in the local area.
And at the very last of the festival, children made up as fox show the audience their fox dance. They are so lovely!
Even a boy of two or three yeas old was among them. Perhaps he had no idea about what he was doing there.
People working in urban areas go back their parents’ home in their summer vacations to see each other after a long interval, showing their kids to their parents.
I have no relatives here in Oita, but came here just to enjoy the traditional festival. But it made me feel very relieved to see people meeting with their families in their hometown. I’ve gotta find a chance to get back to see my parents someday.
We visited Rurikouji temple in Yamaguchi pref. today. Rurikoji temple is one of the Soto Zen training temples.
The five-story pagoda reminded me of the similar tower in Kofukuji temple in Nara pref, which I visited the other day.
But this one in Rurikoji temple around this time of the year is very beautiful with wonderful beauty of greenery in the background. As well as the five-story pagoda of Kofukuji temple, the one here in Rurikouji temple is also designated as national treasure.
Finding such Japanese traditional architecture here and there, you can find the elegance of the Little Kyoto in Yamaguchi pref.
There still remain a lot of wonderful spots that I’ve never visited before. I hope I’ll have more chances to visit those places in future, so that I can explain how wonderful those places are in English here on my blog, sharing the beauty of Japan with people in foreign countries.
This day we visited Tsuwano town in Yamaguchi prefecture.
Tsuwano was once prospered as a castle town in Edo period.
Up on the hill you can find the relic of the castle stonewalls.
The old traditional feature of the streets still remain today with its culture, and so the town is often called “little Kyoto.”
Tsuwano-gawa River runs through the town and the view with greenery of hills and willows gave me a kind of nostalgic feeling.
Multi-colored carps swims in the Tsuano-gawa River and in the side ditches in the town, which attracts tourists. This is possible because the water running here is so clean.
Fifteen minutes walk from the center of the town took us to the old house where Ogai Mori used to live.
He was born here in Tsuwano and later became a famous doctor and also one of the greatest influences on the Japanese literature. One of his most famous works is titled 舞姫, or The Dancing Girl.
This is the very first time for me to visit Tsuwano.
Just half a day trip was enough to make me understand why people call this town “little Kyoto.” --- here you can find what our Japanese ancestors used to love back in those days, most of which are now hardly seen in our modernized daily life.
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