Camping in Hanno, Saitama

There is a camping site called “白岩渓流園” near Chichibu of Saitama, about 1 hour half drive from Tokyo. It’s been more than ten years since I last went camping. While being carried away in the absolute tranquility, lush green, and soothing sound of forest creek, I swiftly forgot about the time with my thoughts drifting away.

With lack of showering facilities, one of the highlights of this camping trip was that all the guys took a bath in the mountain stream next to our camp and scream for the chill temperature of the water in the stream – a rather rare experience for us city dwellers. Luckily, we have camp fires to make us warm again and continue our conversations.

Toraichi and I starting a fire

While we sit along the bank of forest stream, our conversation dived deeper.

Some of us are going through different crisis of life, and some of us is just recovering from it, however, I consider myself one of the luckiest man in the planet. I appreciate what I have – abundant food, a tent to sleep, and Mother Nature that created such a beautiful place for me to enjoy with my friends. I once truly fell in love with a woman and not everyone in this world is lucky enough to experience that feeling. I am glad that Chibikano could listen to the song “Pretender” and say “goodbye” and accept his romance with K-chan is how life goes and he knew it would never last. Nothing lasts forever, as much as we wish with our diamond rings to our lovers. I am sure this challenging time for Eric will be his career life change point. Things will only go better from here and most importantly, he has his beautiful family at his back to go through this together.

Road trip around Biwako ( 琵琶湖)

Thanks to Daisuke-san’s hospitality which made our stay in Kyoto such a unique and magical experience. Thanks to S-san’s meticulous planning which made every spot we visit is well worth visiting and every meal that we had is a luxury for our taste buds.

Site of Reversible Destiny in Gifu (養老天命反転地)

Thanks to our professional video/photo director chibi, I would have nostalgic moments when I look at these photos again.

Mt. Horai 蓬莱山

How to pretend to be a student of Oxford University

Until James, one of my friends from the UK told me that I can actually book and stay in one of the colleges in Oxford University, I did not know that I can experience students lives in one of the most famous universities in the world. Thanks to him, not only I experienced the student life there, but I also get to go to many Oxford colleges for free as he works for Oxford University.

James and I at the Quad of the Harry Potter college “Christ Church”

Japanese green tea in Singapore 

This shop in Somerset allows you to make 抹茶 (Japanese green tea ) by yourself, which is rarely seen in Japan. It was quite a good deal as well (4 SGD) for a sweet and tea set.

People here in Singapore love self-service including making your own tea. Except that I am not quite sure whether people here know how to make the proper maccha. Well, don’t forget to pay the 17% tax and service charge as well as making yourself a couple of tea:-)

And this is the tea I made.

Compared with the real one that I tried in Kyoto.

Pizza in Singapore is sh*t 

I spent 26 dollars for a margarita pizza here in Singapore . What I got was a piece of biscuit with some thin slice of cheap cheese and some catch-up on top? 

Where is the chewy dough and mozzarella cheese and basil leaves, which are the essential ingrediants for a pizza to be claimed as a margarita pizza? 

Who can tell me where I can get real pizza in Singapore ?

I miss the Itlalian restaurant in Tokyo .

Life can be difficult

She was by herself in the rain.

She didn’t know where to go to find her mother and a shelter.

She thought she would die in this cold rain without any food.

Life was difficult for her. However, she finds a shelter and a warm shoulder to sleep.

Our life can be as difficult as hers, but if we are lucky enough to find a warm shoulder to lean on one day, please don’t take that for granted.

It was an also good feeling to have someone who loves and show fondness to you, even she was just a cat.

My first teak writing desk

I came across a furniture shop at Buona Vista and loved some of the craftsman furniture there. A further research on the Internet led me to order a desk with the solid teak wood. It is a very durable wood type that is native to South East Asia and is beloved by many early European colonist.

This is my first big investment in furniture, as I have been moving to different countries for the last a few years and always hesitated to buy cheap ones and sell them when I leave the country. I have been always hesitated to buy a serious furniture that probably can last a lifetime. However, as I grow older, I felt it is time to make some of my belongs permanent.

The furniture shop showed me a few samples from his brochures, but I didn’t like any of them. So with some of the inspiration from the Internet, I started to design this piece. After a few email and prototype exchange of the desk with the furniture shop owner, we finally agreed upon a design that I like. It was a long wait, more than three months until I received the final work. I am quite happy with the final product except for some minor issues near the handler inside the drawer. But I am not living in Japan anymore. So I understand I should not expect a perfect product. It was a long wait, more than three months until I received the final work. He didn’t disappoint me. I am quite happy with the final product except for some minor issues near the handler inside the drawer. But I am not living in Japan anymore. So I should not be fussy and picky like the Japanese customers and not expect a perfect product.

Here it is, a solid teak writing desk made in Singapore.



Swift 3 – upgrade nightmare

One of the things I don’t like about develop on Mac / iOS, is that you have to spend tremendous amount of time to maintain your project to deal with Apple’s fast yet messy language and library update.

It is so exciting that Swift 3 has released! But hold on. Here is the screenshot of my prject after pressing this magic and powerful “Convert to Swift3 syntax” button! What a nonsense, it is just a nightmare!



Japanese traditional house centre Tokyo

If you have been to Tokyo for a while, you must have heard of the fashion street near Shibuya called Daikanyama, where you can find a spate of indie fashion designer shops for furniture and clothing. However, little knows there is a hidden traditional Japanese house in this neighbourhood, which was built almost a hundred years ago. The name is called Kyu Asakura House. If you Search it in Google Maps, then you will find that it is just off on a side street next to the crossing of Daikanyama koban-mae. I like its lovely garden especially.

It is definitely a worth visiting after a long and tiring shopping near the Daikanyama station.


Mid Autumn Festival (中秋节)


明月幾時有   明月幾時よりか有る
把酒問青天   酒を把って青天に問ふ
不知天上宮闕  知らず天上の宮闕
今夕是何年   今夕は是何れの年ぞ
我欲乘風歸去  我風に乘って歸り去らんと欲す
又恐瓊樓玉宇  又恐る瓊樓の玉宇
高處不勝寒   高き處寒さに勝へざらんことを
起舞弄清影   起舞して清影を弄ぶ
何似在人間   何ぞ似たる人間に在るに

轉朱閣     朱閣に轉じ
低綺戸     綺戸に低(た)れ
照無眠     無眠を照らす
不應有恨    應に恨み有るべからざるに
何事長向別時圓 何事ぞ長へに別時に向って圓なる

人有悲歡離合  人に悲歡離合有り
月有陰晴圓缺  月に陰晴圓缺有り
此事古難全   此の事古より全くなり難し
但願人長久   但だ願はくは人長久に
千里共嬋娟   千里 嬋娟を共にせんことを