Category: Japan

Kanji’s Flat in Tokyo

Posted by – January 2, 2007


Tokyo Love Story, a manga by Fumi Saimon, was adapted into a TV drama in the early ’90s, when it become a great hit in China. I watched this TV drama when I didn’t know what is love between boy and girls. However, I clearly remembered that I could not hold my tears seeing the scene that Rika took the train left earlier than the train he told Kanji that she was going to leave with. After all, they were not able to see each other.

Today, I visited Kanji’s flat in Tokyo after more than 20 years! Located between Meguro and Ebisu, centre tokyo, this apartment has not changed over the decades. Its current tenant or owner is called “Minami”.



Screenshot from the drama:

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 12.29.15 AM

A good way to remember the Japanese hiragana characters

Posted by – December 3, 2006

To learn Japanese, the first thing that you should do is to remember its basic component of its written system – the hiragana(平假名,平仮名).

I struggled with remembering them woefully.  However, I found a congenial way to remember these wired characters that I like to share with you.

When I was a junior high-school student, I was a fan of the Japanese TV drama “Tokyo Love Story (東京ラブストーリー) ” and loved the theme song very much! I even can recite every lyric though I didn’t understand what the song was about.

Being able to recite the lyrics is quite useful for me. I did a search on the Internet and downloaded the lyrics of this song and began to read and sing the songs, and pay attention the pronunciation of the hiragana characters one by one! It just took me less than 15 minutes to remember all the hiragana characters, which cover most of the hiragana characters table.

This is the song

な に か ら つ た えれ ば いいの か
わ か ら な いま ま と き は な が れ て
うか んで は き えて ゆ く
あり ふ れ た こ と ば だ け
き み が あんま り す て き だ か ら
あ の ひ あの と き あの ば し よ で
き み に あえな か つ た ら
ぼ く うら は い つ ま で も
み し ら ぬ ふ た に の ま ま
だ れ か が あま く さ そ うこ と ば に
も うこ こ ろ ゆ れ た い し な いで
せ つ な いけ ど そ んな ふ うに
こ こ ろ は し ば れ な い
あ し た に な れ ば き み を きっと
いま よ り も つ と す き に な る
そ の す べ て が ぼ く の な か で と きを
こ えて ゆ く
き み の か ぜ に つ ば さ に な る
き みを ま も り つ つ け る
や わ ら か く き みを つ つ む
あの か ぜ に な る
た だ す な おに す き と いえな いで
あの ひ あの と き あの ば し よ で
き み に あえな か つ た ら
ぼ く うら は い つ ま で も
いま き み の こ こ ろ が おいた
こ と ば おめ で か た およ せ て
ぼ く は わ す れ な いこ の ひを
き みを だ れ に も わ た さ な い
み し ら ぬ ふ た に の ま ま
き み の か ぜ に つ ば さ に な る
き みを ま も り つ つ け る
や わ ら か く き みを つ つ む
あの か ぜ に な る
た ぶ んも うす ぐ あめ も や んで ふ た り
あの ひ あの と き あの ば し よ で
き み に あえな か つ た ら
ぼ く うら は い つ ま で も
み し ら ぬ ふ た に の ま ま
だ れ か が あま く さ そ うこ と
ば に こ こ ろ ゆ れ た り し な いで
き みを つ つ む あの か ぜ に な る
た す が れ
あの ひ あの と き あの ば し よ で
き み に あえな か つ た ら
ぼ く うら は い つ ま で も
み し ら ぬ ふ た り の ま ま

Ergo, what you might want to do to remember Hiragana is to pick up one of your favorite Japanese songs and start to sing it with its lyrics and you will find it so easy to remember the odd characters.

Shanghai and Tokyo

Posted by – November 22, 2006

Over the last 2 months, many things happened during my return stay at Shanghai…

First, I began to think whether Shanghai is the right city for me. Shanghai is definitely very different from Tokyo. In terms of familiarity, Shanghai is as alien as Tokyo to me. The obvious difference between the two cities is that people in one city speak Japanese and the other speaks Chinese.

Besides, I think that most nice facilities in Shanghai that cannot be found easily in other cities in China is only for the rich people or expatriates here. Like many shopping malls, bars and apartments the price of which is prohibitive for the locals.


Tokyo Disneyland

Posted by – September 8, 2006

Lovely decoration in the train in Tokyo Disneyland. There are so many Kawai (cute) decorations in this country where the fetish of cuteness is part of the culture . Of course the train in Tokyo Disneyland is not a exception.


An Excellent Dentist Service in Tokyo

Posted by – September 2, 2006

The other day, I had to go to see a dentist in Japan. As you can image that it would be difficult for a foreigner who does not speak Japanese at all to go to see a dentist in Japan. People here rarely speak English, which is totally different from I imaged before I came here.

Fortunately, I found a Chinese speaking dentist via James, and the dentist is also very nice person.

She was so nice that gave me a quick surgery on my broken tooth and setup a temporary one for me. She told me that it will be expensive if I do orthodontics in Tokyo.

She told me that my tooth got phlogiston and it took more than 1 month to do it. So I’d better to take the surgery in China then setup a ceramic tooth. To my great surprise is that she refused to receive any fees including my temporary teeth. I really appreciated her professional services and kindness! This is the first time I ever felt that not everyone does their job just for money.

That’s the clinic address:

Dinner with Jessica and Jose

Posted by – July 29, 2006

With pretty much mixed up of combination of feelings in Tokyo and lots of training class and work during the daytime, almost 5 weeks no writing blogging. Finally I got some motivation to add something here. I will try to write things in a reverse order since me landing on Narita airport. My elementary school teacher taught me that is called cut back. Ok, let me go head.

Now just came back from dinner with my current manager and colleagues. Although I felt somewhat uncomfortable because of alcohol, I have a very good time in my deep heart. We went to a Japanese restaurant and have a good plentiful Japanese food. We talked much and I learned a lot because what we are talking with is senior people, haha. The interesting thing is that Jose (currently my boss’s boss 🙂 is learning Chinese. So most of our talk is in Chinese and simultaneously translate it into English again for him. Here I would like to say a little more about my manager Jessica. She is so nice not because of everyone told me whilst I mentioned her, but the feeling when you talking and hanging with her and this feeling makes me very comfortable, of which I would like to build.
To be continued…

C++ training

Posted by – July 29, 2006

I just finished four days C++ training. I was extremely impressed by the instructor’s deep insight into C++ knowledge. Before I join Morgan Stanley, I thought I had a pretty good knowledge of C++. After this class, I found that still have a long way to go!

Tokyo Impression

Posted by – July 29, 2006

After I spent a couple of days in Tokyo, I find a few interesting things here:

  • Clean than any big cities that I have ever been.
  • People don’t talk much in the public places such as the subways.
  • People don’t eat things in most public places such as the subway.
  • People are extremely polite to their customers. For example, the waiters and sales people in the super market.

You can see small creatures such as pigeons even in the downtown.
© Zhu Xinquan. The place where I live in Tokyo

Fruits are so well prepared or, rather grown up in a pre-determined shape. Therefore, the price is also eye-watering, 1500 JPY ( that’s roughly 100 CNY, or $15) !

© Zhu Xinquan. Goods are more expensive than Shanghai

Ebisu Garden Place

Posted by – July 29, 2006

Morgan Stanley’s Tokyo office is located in the Ebisu Garden Place, a complex building with a host of restaurants and shops.


There are a few european style buildings.

In Tokyo, most of the sky-scrapers charge you some money to view the landscape of Tokyo such as Roppongi Hills. Ebisu Garden Place is an exception. You can take a free lift to the top of the Garden Place Tower where you can get one of the best scenic views of Tokyo.

It is connected with the JR Yamanote Line Ebisu station by the well marked “Yebisu Skywalk” on which I walk everyday to work.

[Update: 2014/01/02]

These clocks were removed from Ebisu Garden Place since Morgan Stanley relocated their office to Otemachi.

Trip to Tokyo

Posted by – June 25, 2006

After waiting for two weeks, I finally got my Japanese working visa. This is going to be my first time going abroad for long-term assignment. I will stay in Tokyo for about 3 months for business and training.

In the old days, when there was a trip on the next day, I would be often too excited to fall asleep the night before. I remember these exciting nights at university. This time, strangely enough, I was composed and slept well the night before departure. It is good to travel with a great deal of energy.

My flight departed at 13:10pm. It is time to pack my belongs, with my father sending me to the Pudong Airport.

The food in the plane was palatable and exquisite.
The equipment of ANA aeroplane is quite well and there is an even screen in your seat. You can play video games, watch movies.

© Zhu Xinquan.
And the view outside the windows is splendid. It has been quite a long time since I once saw such cerulean sky, thanks to the bloody air pollution in China.
© Zhu Xinquan.
After immigration at Narita Airport, I took the Narita Airport Limousine bus to the Shinagawa Prince Hotel and then called a taxi to my apartment: B-site Osaki. It took me about 1 hour to arrive there.

tokyoapartment.jpgAlthough it is such a small apartment, which probably is less than 25 square meters. The rental price is about 220,000 yen per month. (2200 USD), extortionate and unimaginable with the same size back in my hometown.

The Japanese capital is truly one of the most crowded cities in the world, with these incredibly tiny apartments in central Tokyo!