Monday, November 24, 2014

Sales staff in Tokyo are speaking more English

I am not sure if it is because my friend looked like a foreigner during my latest trip to Japan or sales staff are now more courageous to speak English. Even an "obaasan" (auntie) waitress could ask us "English Menu?", which was quite a surprise for me. It seems that the depreciating yen really helped Japanese tourism and the service line is finally picking up English.

Now... I wonder if that Immigration Bureau at Shinagawa has more staff who could speak English or Chinese. It was strange that nobody there could speak a foreign language although everyone who goes there is a foreigner. Luckily the forms are in English and Japanese, whew!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day 9: Shinjuku Awaodori Review (Japanese traditional dance theme restaurant)

Shinjyuku Awaodori restaurant shinjuku tokyo awa odori japanese culture entertainment restaurant 新宿阿波踊り
If you want a nice restaurant in Tokyo to chill out with friends/colleagues and experience traditional Japanese culture at the same time, this is it! Shinjuku Awaodori Restaurant (新宿 阿波おどり) is a new Japanese traditional dance themed restaurant located right outside Shinjuku station's East exit and sits right next to ABC Mart (shoe shop). Very convenient!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 8: Hitachi Seaside Park to see Red Kochia

Red Kochia Bassia scoparia (syn. Kochia scoparia) Hitachi Seaside park kaihin kouen
Kochia is actually Bassia scoparia (syn. Kochia scoparia), which is a kind of grass that turns red during fall. You can see the sea of red at Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園) in October but 19th Oct was the last day in 2014 to see this plant before they change to brown.

Day 7: Kawagoe Festival 2014

Kawagoe Festival 2014
Kawagoe Festival is an annual event held every year in the 3rd weekend of October. The place is within 40mins train ride from Ikebukuro and has buildings preserved from the Edo period.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trompenaar's Cultural Dimension: Internal Direction Versus Outer Direction

Trompenaar's Cultural Dimension: Internal Direction Versus Outer Direction locus of control

Based on Trompenaar's dimensions of culture: Internal Direction Versus Outer Direction
(How People Relate to Their Environment)
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm

Americans are vocal about their opinions and believe they can change their environment. On the other hand, Japanese tend to avoid conflicts and remain silent to maintain harmony with other people. Foreigners often find it irritating because we do not understand if their silence means consent, still thinking, or rejected. As for Singaporeans, we are a mix of both due to our traditional values but westernised education.

Previous cultural dimensions:
Collectivist and Individualist
Neutral and Emotional
Universalist and Particularist
Specific and Diffuse
Achievement and Ascription

Day 6: Otaku Special at Akihabara, Odaiba and bonus: Nakano Broadway

Akihabara
japan tokyo akihabara denkigai electronic town otaku anime manga figurine toys games
Well actually we went to Tsukiji for early sushi lunch first but I won't blog about it since I already covered the topic in my Tsukiji article last year. Do note that they will be moving out of Tsukiji in early 2016 to allow redevelopment for Olympics 2020.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 5: Mt. Fuji, Oshino Hakkai and Grape-picking day tour

mt mount fuji fifth 5th station japan
My friend had never visited Mt. Fuji before so we signed up for a day tour from HIS Travel. We departed from Shinjuku early in the morning and we reached there within 2.5-3 hours by bus. This wasn't my first time at Mt. Fuji's fifth station and you can read about my previous trip here, when I visited a farm and an ice cave.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blogspot.jp domain is down

It is strange but the entire blogspot.jp has been down since this morning.
If you clicked on a link in my article that doesn't work, please change ".jp" in the url to ".com"
Thank you!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day 4: Chilling out and being interviewed

So the main reason why I visited Tokyo again was because of an interview by a Japanese major company for their staff magazine. I am not allowed to disclose any information right now but hey, I can post my "selfie" first!

The interview took like an hour or so with me sweating profusely because of the walk from the station to the office. (I hope my photos turn out fine...)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 3: Tokyo Disneyland Halloween special 2014

Tokyo Disneyland Halloween 2014 special guide
October was still freakin HOT when there's sun! So if you are going to Disneyland on a sunny day (except for Winter), bring a cap or something!!!

My friend and I were both horribly bad at waking up early so we ended up arriving late (like 11.30am) at the park. By then, queues for all the popular rides had become very long. For tips on getting fast passes, etc. you might want to check the following Tokyo Disneyland survival guides here:
http://tdrexplorer.com/tips-for-dealing-with-massive-crowds-at-tokyo-disney-resort/
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3016_tickets.html
http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201308/3624/

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day 2: Nissin Cup Noodle Museum at Yokohama

Nissin Cup Noodle Museum yokohama japan
I am definitely not into a cup of nothing nutritious for 343kcal but my friend was. So we went to Nissin's Cup Noodles Museum at Yokohama to spend our rainy day there. In fact, many fans thought that I would be stuck at my hotel because of typhoon but its strength had decreased dramatically and became a heavy rain instead. Having stayed at Tokyo for 3.5 years and experienced typhoon a couple of times, I learned to always check JMA a day before for a more accurate weather forecast. Thank you all for your concern! ^^

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 1: Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro Review

https://www.google.com.sg/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=sakura+hotel+ikebukuro&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=_35YVIbbMsiCuAT4koHgAg#rls=en&q=sakura+hotel+ikebukuro+review
I finally have some time to blog about my 9-days Japan trip (12-21 Oct) for work and holiday so I decided to start with my budget hotel review. It definitely feels good to be back after I left there for a year!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Coffee on the go in US, Japan and Singapore

I do miss the can coffee in Japan. There are ridiculously small but really good! On the other hand, lesser and lesser coffee shops are using plastic bags now in Singapore. Maybe because they know it's not good for health?

My lovely coffee with bread~

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