Sunday, August 30, 2009


Ueno has a lot of museums. Today, I went to one of the museums in Ueno. It was TOKYO METROPOLITAN ART MUSEUM. In this museum, the exhibit called Ancient Egypt in Torino is held. We can see the tresures kept in Torino Egypt Museum in Italy.

Because I once visited Egypt, I like exhibitions about Egypt. Last month, I went to the exhibit, which was also about Egypt, in Yokohama.

However, if you go to Ueno, you can see many kinds of exhibits, such as old Japanese arts, arts from Inca, and so on. I want to visit Ueno again, and see some of the exhibits.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Road to Hokusai’s Waterfall

NTT Docomo is the biggest cell phone company in Japan. This company shows us a mobile life in the near future, in 201X. See this video.

NTT Docomo has a vivid dream in the near future.
Although I don't like its cell phones, I like its future dream.

Below is from docomo's homepage.

Mobile phones have evolved to become indispensable tools that have changed the way we lead our lives, and they are certain to continue to evolve and play an even greater role in both business and everyday life.
This video depicts the near future of mobile communications as we at DOCOMO envisage it - a future in which people of all ages can enjoy richer, safer, and more convenient communications lifestyles than ever before.
We hope that you’ll enjoy this, our vision for people-friendly technology that will help to bring us all closer together.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Persistence and determination

Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

- Calvin Coolidge(30th U.S. President)

Unfortunately, I don't have talent. I know a lot of people who have more significant talent than I.
Unfortunately, I'm not genius. If I were genius, I would do my job much easier.
Unfortunately, I don't have good education. Although I had an opportunity to take a good education, I missed it.

Thus, I have to obtain persistence and determination in order to live in this world. And according to Coolidge, nothing is more important than persistence and determination. That means, fortunately, I still have a chance to get the most important things in my life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


He came back in DVD!
Today, I bought a DVD of ALF.

I often watched ALF on TV when I was in junior high school and high school.
I love his character, because his way of thinking is somewhat fresh. He taught us what we tend to forget in our daily life.

But if ALF lived with us, it must be awful.
He is loved only in screen.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Travel in Finland - part 23

14th September 2009

I woke up in the morning, and packed my luggage.
When I was eating breakfast, the receptionist told me that because she was going to be out in the afternoon, leave my luggage in the room while you were out in the morning.

I did as she said, and went to Santa Claus Village. The bus for the village left from the train station once an hour. The bus arrived at the village in 20 minutes.

Santa Claus Village is the place where Official Santa Claus are there. And it is the place where there is a border line of the Arctic Circle. That is, this is the entrance of Arctic Circle.

Maybe because it was Sunday and cloudy, not so many visitors were there. First, I went to the central post office to send cards. When you send cards from this post office, you get a special postmark. Also, you can see postcards that were send to the Santa Claus from all over the world.

Next, I went to the Santa Claus Office to see Santa Claus. Entrance fee was free. After entering the office and walking for a while, I reached the place where Santa Claus was greeting. I wait for my turn.

When I met Santa Claus, he asked me where I was from. I said, 'From Japan.' Then, he asked in JAPANESE, 'Where in Japan?'
I was really surprised because he spoke very fluent Japanese. Anyway, I said, 'Tokyo.' He asked again, 'Are you from Setagaya(this is a famous town in Tokyo)? I replied, 'You know well, but no.' He continued speaking Japanese, 'I'll go to Japan in three month. If you have any wish, send me a letter.'

Santa Claus was amazing. He spoke Japanese. But honestly, I don't want him to speak Japanese. I was a little disappointed. I took a photo with him, and said good-bye.

I received the photo at the exit, and bought some souvenirs.
After eating lunch, I went back to the train station. When I reached the guest house, there was nobody as she had said. I hadn't paid money. I stayed this inn for fee as a result. After a while, the airport taxi came to pick me up.

(to be continued)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Heaven and Hell

I received a mail from my friend.
In the mail, there is a story about heaven and hell.
It's worth a look!

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.. He wondered where the road was leading them..

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked! ! toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir.. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump..'

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind..'

Friday, August 21, 2009

To love life

To love life is to love time. Time is the stuff life is made of.

- Benjamin Franklin

Time is precious because time is limited.
Time is precious because time makes us grow.
Time is precious because time makes our dreams come true.

So, the most important thing is whether we can use time efficiently.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Donkeys in Egypt

I met a lot of donkeys when I stayed in Luxor. They were walking along streets, carrying something. Donkeys play an important role in Luxor. People in Luxor use donkeys rather than cars when they carry something.

By the way, I rode on a donkey when I went to Valley of the Kings. At that time, I joined a local tour which started from Cairo. We started before sunrise, so it was still dark. Each of us rode on a donkey. It was first time for me, like other tour members, to ride on a donkey. I don't know why, but donkeys were competing with each other. So, we had to cling to it.

After a while, the sun started to rise. It was a very beautiful sunrise. I still remember that moment. To be honest, I wanted to take pictures of the sunrise, but I couldn't. That's because the donkey walked so fast that I couldn't take my camera from my backpack. But it was a great experience. I rode on a funny donkey, and saw a beautiful sunrise.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Travel in Finland - part 22

Where I headed was Guesthouse Borealis. I already booked this guesthouse from Japan.

When I finished check-in, a receptionist gave me a map of Rovaniemi, and told me how to go to Santa Claus Village. At the same time, I asked her to book a airport taxi for the next day.

The room was cozy. The fee was 45 euro. It's cheap. I didn't pay at that time, because she said, 'You can pay it when you leave.'

I went to the center of Rovaniemi. Guesthouse was a bit far away from the center. Only 1.5 km, though. I was about to lost my way a few times, but managed to arrived at the center. But it was Saturday. As I mentioned before, few shops were open on Saturday and Sunday in Finland. Rovaniemi was not the exception.

I looked for the shop to eat dinner. At first, I went to McDonald, which is the northernmost one in the world. However, the shop didn't have a good atmosphere. A lot of rogues gathered there. So, I gave up eating here and went another fast food shop. That was Hesburger. It was already 6:30 when I entered the shop, and the shop would close at 7:00. I was afraid if I was refused, but the shop clerk was so kind. When she found that I was confused reading a Finnish menu, she handed me an English menu, and explained it in English. I ordered Double Burger Combo. It was not bad, and big enough.

It was 7:00 when I left the shop, but the sun hadn't set yet.

I returned to the guesthouse, and checked e-mails for the fist time in Finland. In this guesthouse, guests could use the Internet with no charge!!! There were plenty of spam mails...

After checking e-mails, I went to the room and read the novel.

(to be continued)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Travel in Finland - part 21

9th September 2009

When I woke up in the morning, almost nothing can be seen outside. I thought I was half asleep, but I was not. Actually, that's' because of fog. I was astonished because before I went to bed the previous night, it was so clear.

Despite this thick fog, I went to the restaurant to eat breakfast. This was the last meal I ate in this restaurant. I enjoyed every meal hear. I love delicious food, and restaurants that serve delicious food.

After dropping by my room, I walked around the hotel. Walking in a heavy fog was somewhat interesting. It was visionary.

The bus to Rovaniemi was to depart at 11:10. Until then, I was reading a novel. By the time the bus departed, a heavy fog almost disappeared. The moment when the fog dispersed was worth a look.

The bus to Rovaniemi was different from that from Rovaniemi. This time, the bus was operated by Lapin Linjet. The bus came almost on time. The driver seemed to unable to speak English. And he even didn't try to speak English. On the way to Rovaniemi, we had to move another bus. If some kind lady who spoke English hadn't teached me, I would have left alone.

A Lapin Linjet's bus was faster because this bus didn't deliver newspapers or mails. But that means I didn't have chance to meat local people. I wanted to see local people.

When we passed Levi, some running event was held. Our bus was caught up in this event, so we arrived at Rovaniemi later. I walked to an inn where I was going to stay.

(to be continued)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Egyptian Railways

Have you ever ridden on trains of Egyptian Railways?

I've ridden on many trains in many countries, such as those in Australia, those in New Zealand, or those in England. However, trains in Egypt were the most impressive in some way.

First, it was the dirtiest restroom. When I traveled from Luxor to Cairo, it is very difficult to use the restroom, because the restroom was soggy. I managed to use it, but my tour mate especially women complained about it. Maybe women put up with going to the toilet until we reached Cairo. It took almost 9 hours from Luxor to Cairo.

(This train was a local one.)

(trains were not punctual in Egypt, so we waited for a long time.)

Second, I couldn't feel relaxed while riding on the trains. I rode on the trains for foreigners. Trains for foreigners were much better than those for local people. They had air conditioners, windows, and relatively good seats. That's why fares were a bit higher. So, local people are unable to get reserved seats. But they rode on the trains, and searched for vacant seats. When they found vacant seats, they sat on the seats. Because they went back and forth in the train, I didn't feel relaxed.

But the scenery from the window was great. Especially sunrise. I still remember that moment when I saw a beautiful sunrise. Although it was a tough travel, I'd like to try again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the anniversary of the end of the Pacific War

August 15th is the anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. It has passed 64 years since then.

How do you think of wars?

Abraham Lincoln said, 'There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.'

That's true. There's nothing good in war. There are a lot of conflicts around the world. And those living in a war zone suffer from unstable situation. They may be dead tomorrow, or get injured at best.

I hope every war ends and everyone has a peaceful life.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Dorayaki is a type of Japanese confection which consists of two small pancake-like patties made from kasutera wrapped around a filling of sweet red bean paste. Maybe many foreigners know dorayaki, because of Doraemon. His favorite food is dorayaki.

By the way, dorayaki has many kinds types. It depends on who make it. My favorite dorayaki is the one made by Sougetsu, which is a Japanese confection shop in Tokyo. This dorayaki, called 'Kuromatsu', is quite different from the one that Doraemon loves. So when I saw it for the first time, I was dissapointed. But this dorayaki is much more tasty than normal one.

Do you want to eat Kuromatsu? Then come to Tokyo and visit Sougetsu. For more information, go to this page.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Do you know taiyaki?

Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Taiyaki is made using regular pancake or waffle batter. The batter is poured into a fish-shaped mold for each side. The filling is then put on one side and the mold is closed. It is then cooked on both sides until golden brown.

There are a lot of taiyaki shops in Tokyo. But personally, I like taiyaki of Wakaba the best. Wakaba is in Yotsuya, 5 minutes by train from Shinjuku. Wakaba's taiyaki is quite different from others' in terms of azuki beans. They have strong taste, but are not too sweet.

By the way, how do you eat taiyaki? From the head or from the tail?
According to the brochure of Wakaba, men eat them from the head while women eat them from the tail? But I don't think it's always so. You can eat them as you want!

herbivorous men - soshokukei danshi?

I read an article about herbivorous men, in Japanese soshokukei danshi.

What does herbivorous men mean?
Herbivorous men are who favor cosmetics over deluxe cars and enjoy eating sweets with their parents at home rather than treating their girlfriends to fancy eateries. Also, according to the article, herbivorous men are not interested in drinking alcohol or smoking, but live in a clean, neatly kept room.

The opposite is carnivorous men, in Japanese nikushokukei danshi.

This distinction is ridiculous!!!
Men are divided into just two categories?
Who comes up with such definitions?

Which group do I belong to?
I like eating sweets. But I also like alcohol.
I'm not interested in smoking. But I don't live in a clean neatly kept room.
I'm not interested in deluxe cars. But I'm very interested in bikes.

It's not so easy to categorize human beings.
Our personalities vary from person to person.
Furthermore, this categorization might cause a misunderstanding.

Think of this example.
I like eating sweets. Someone thinks of me as herbivorous men judging from only one example.
Then he or she assumes I do not like alcohol.
At the drinking party, someone brings me a soft drink, though I want to drink alcohol.
This is just a false assumption.

Herbivorous or carnivorous is one of examples.
Our society likes to categorize phenomena too simply.
This is dangerous and ridiculous.

Then, who am I?
I am panda. This is the only answer.

Monday, August 10, 2009


What's the best way to relax in my daily life? That's Yoga.

Almost every Monday, I join a Yoga program in the gym.
Yoga heals our bodies and minds.
In the lesson, I can let everything go. Focusing on my breathing and finding the quiet and stillness in and around me allows for relaxation.

Yoga is also good for my work. Yoga helps me be more productive, because I can concentrate on what I do.

Next lesson? Next Monday night.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I went to the an information session of MIT sloan business school.
It was not an official one. This session was presented by alumni and current students.

Although I was already interested in MIT, I'm now more interested in MIT than before.
Today, I found another goal for MBA. It is a very long-long-term goal, but I'd like to accomplish it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A card from Narita Airport

Yesterday, I received a card sent from Narita Airport, which is the biggest international airport in Japan. The card was sent by my friend. She got married last month.

According to the card, she was about to leave for America for honeymoon. Maybe this honeymoon will be a long vacation, because both she and her husband love traveling.

I want to travel again!!! These days, I'm busy for preparing for studying abroad, so I don't have time to travel. It was February when I traveled last time. It has been almost half a year since then.

I'd like to finish this preparation as early as possible, and visit somewhere. Where? A lot of places are in my mind. I'd like to travel to Hokkaido, Onomichi, Oirase, or some South Asian countries.

To do that, I have to study more and more.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Travel in Finland - part 20-3

After stopping by the toilet, I started going down at 12:15.
Scenery was quite different from that I saw on the way to the top.
Although it was not mysterious, it was beyond words.

Because I took a lot of photos while going down, it took more time to go down.
I arrived at the starting point at 14:00.

Before going back to the hotel, I went to the Visitor Centre.
I saw exhibits about the culture and the nature of Kilpisjarvi.
According to the exhibits, the average yearly temperature in Kilpisjarvi is -3 degrees.
And only 90 days in a year, Kilpisjarvi doesn't have snow.
The nature of northern latitude of 69 degrees is very harsh.

At the hotel, I took a shower and went for a walk.
The dinner was as delicious as that of yesterday.
I love this restaurant!

After dinner, I went to the lake to see the beautiful sunset.
It was really beautiful sunset.
(to be continued)