Monday, March 31, 2008

AIST, Tsukuba. AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) is just 10 - 15 minutes walk from Tsukuba Space Center. The Science Square in this facility is certainly a place not to be missed. It displays research results of AIST. One of it is Paro, the world’s most therapeutic robot, certified by the Guinness World Records in 2002. The original design was previously exhibited in the Expo 2005 Aichi and is now being displayed here. For more info on the baby harp seal, visit here

Saturday, March 29, 2008

JAXA, Tsukuba. The surface of our moon is captured with SELENA (Selenological & Engineering Explorer). The SELENA mission is said to be the most sophisticated lunar exploration mission in the post-Apollo era

Thursday, March 27, 2008

JAXA, Tsukuba

JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Tsukuba Space Center is a site not to be missed when visiting this city. The centre of attention is a giant H-II Launch Vehicle (or rocket) which was used to launch various kinds of satellites into orbit

Monday, March 24, 2008

While walking along the streets of Tsukuba, I saw this perfect view that I thought should be shared in my blog. There's completely no steel fence to protect the important buildings along this street, only 'green' fence. I wonder how it would be during spring!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tsukuba, Ibaraki. It’s the science city of Japan. The Tsukuba Expo Center (as shown in the picture) could possibly be the symbol of Tsukuba. The planetarium is located here, .. blocked by a big tree, can you find it from the picture? The location of the Expo Center which is beside a beautiful park, makes it a perfect place to hangout after a busy schedule or a tough ‘scientific experiment’!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Okonomiyaki. It's a common favorite food in Japan especially in the Kansai region. The one that I ate contained yam/potato (not sure), squid, shrimp, eggs, vegetables and topped with Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonaisse and some kind of fish topping. I must say that it is very filling. One of my foreign friend referred to this food as the 'Japanese pizza'

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nagamachi street, Kanazawa. This is not an average street. It is said that this is the street where samurai class people lived during the Edo period. However, during the Meiji period, the samurai class came to an end.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hina Matsuri, Kyoto. It's the doll festival or Girls' Festival observed on March 3. Dolls dressed in beautiful Heian-era costumes and representing Emperor, Empress and their court are displayed to celebrate the growth (also protect the health) of young girls in the family (Source: Kyoto Prefecture International Center)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Lab with Leo Laporte. It’s a show that tackles technology issues with segments for viewers to call in and ask their tech questions. Hosted by Leo Laporte, who previously hosted shows like ‘Call for Help’ and ‘The Screen Savers’. I followed both the previous shows and learned a lot of things from it. However, the current show is not broadcasted anywhere near my current location. Therefore, the best option is to visit their website and read the show notes. View it here

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My friend’s Wedding Reception, Japan. It’s quite different from what we use to have in my home country. As I’m already here in this country, I respect their culture and lifestyle. Usually, wedding receptions are held on a separate day for friends. Before joining the reception, we need to settle the prefixed fee, usually indicated on the invitation card. The ceremony started with the wedding couple entering the venue and lighting the candles on each guest’s table. This is followed up with cake-cutting ceremony and photography session. I can see that there is some western influence to make the ceremony more colorful. During the ceremony, there were some events organized to entertain the guest such as Bingo game and live band. No kidding, the first prize was a Nintendo DS! The ceremony ended with the wedding couple themselves handing a small door gift, along with their humble gratitude to the invited guest. Definitely, a memorable experience!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

White Day, Japan (March 14). It's a special day in Japan but totally unheard of back in my home country. According to a Japanese friend, it’s a day guys who received gifts on Valentine’s Day return the favor to their girlfriend/women. Expensive gifts are not necessary. Anything from 1,000 (approx. USD10) to 2,000 yen is satisfactory