• June 28, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: When Did We Forget How to Make Friends?

    Kids are the master of communicating with new people Last week, I went to Tokyo for business and found all the people in the subway train (in my view) just looked at their smartphones silently. I saw such a scene every day when I lived there, but I realized it was a weird and creepy view where people perfectly make the same posture with no expression on their faces. I don’t mean to loudly criticize it. On the contrary, it can be said to be the symbolic situation to show Japanese politeness. We just sit tight so as not to bother each other, but sometimes I can’t help thinking that this may be a big opportunity loss. The stranger sitting next to us by chance could be a good friend. Do you remember kids are the master of communicating with new people, and we all once were kids? I clearly […]

    • June 20, 2022
    • January 12, 2023

    Japan Travel in the Know: Hokkaido Rock House Designed by Sou Fujimoto

    The science behind PIXAR According to my source (namely my biased personal opinion), many movie freaks are likely to look down on animated movies. I was one of them until I went to a special exhibition in Sapporo. The title of the exhibition is “The Science behind PIXAR” that is about the movie production of PIXAR. The exhibition started from the US, went to some cities in Canada, and finally came to Japan. You may still believe that it is only dramas played by real actors that can move you, but CG animation is also very dramatic. If you know human struggling behind the scene, you will be moved by animated movies as well. Moving human dramas behind CG animation In the exhibition, we can see many short videos where PIXAR engineers talk about what they’re doing. All of them are saying the same thing: CG animation is the fusion […]

    • June 17, 2022
    • June 19, 2022

    A Little Curious About the Guardian of the River

    Asahikawa is a paradise of rivers The bike path along the river is one of the most comfortable road to run in Asahikawa. Most of pedestrian and bike paths laid out on the top of embankments. You can pedal along the river to your heart’s content without worries about cars. Asahikawa ctiy has 130 rivers and more than 750 bridges, and “Kawa” means “river,” so as the name of city suggests it is a paradise of rivers and accompanying small paths. Objects of curiosity and their various designs Do you notice anything that catches your attention, when you are running along the river? Yes, they are small structures scattered along the embankment. They are called “樋門” (Himon) in Japanese which means sluice gates in English. I found there are amazingly different designs in the city. Unfortunately, I have no other place to show off my collection of photos of these […]

    • June 14, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Aircraft Design Trivia: Beautiful and Diverse Despite Limitations

    Top Gun: Maverick Maverick is back! Who can wait for the movie to start? I have yet to watch it, though. “Top Gun” was released in 1986. It was when I was only eight years old, and so, I think I watched it on video. Even so, it was impressive enough to affect my life. I know the movie has no substance at all but just made F14 Tomcat appear appealing. That is one of the reasons why I started my career from Japan Air Self-defense Force, not as a pilot, though. Aircraft can fly only when their designs are correct I like aircraft, especially fighter aircraft above all because they are the embodiment of rationality. If designs are wrong, they can’t fly. Interestingly, from this point of view, the design variety of airplanes is likely to become less, but it is not actually. Indeed, they may look similar to […]

    • June 10, 2022
    • June 13, 2022

    How about Cycling in Hokkaido?

    What would you like to do on your free time in Hokkaido? If you were to move to Hokkaido and start a new life, what hobbies would you like to do on your free time? Hokkaido is one of the most comfortable places in Japan for cycling. Roads are usually straight, wide, and with less traffic. Even if you are not an avid cyclist, going for a bike ride a little further afield is a great idea to keep active during the weekend. Asahikawa is well suited place for cycling I am not an enthusiastic cyclist, just started riding a bike about a year ago. As soon as I moved here, I realized how well suited Asahikawa is for cycling. With the vast Kamikawa Basin and several rivers running through it, there is no shortage of places to ride. On weekends, when my body feels like lead after a week […]

    • June 7, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Japanese Flower Etiquette: How to Choose Flowers

    I rarely buy flowers. It’s only on Mother’s Day, though I forget even that sometimes. Probably that’s because I don’t really know what flowers I should buy. On Mother’s Day, it’s easy because flower shops offer a wide variety of Mother’s Day bouquet options. In addition, there’s a mental wall in us, I guess. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone who is waiting for his/her date with a flower bouquet, and so I believe it only happens in the movies. In other words, that may be because of Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman” or “Shall We Dance?” Flower gifting becomes a mission impossible for us ordinary people, based on my fully biased opinion.[...]

    • June 7, 2022
    • June 25, 2022

    Flourishing July

    In 2021, due to the epidemic, foreign tourists can’t come to Japan. Otherwise, this period of the year (I’m writing this in July) is usually the peak period of tourism in Hokkaido in early summer, though flowers bloom brilliantly as usual. One of popular tourist attractions in Hokkaido is Farm Tomita, a huge lavender farm spreading over hills. The popular sightseeing spot reminds me of something. I used to work at a small hotel run by two Taiwanese girls, of which name is Lavender Cottage. When traveling in Hokkaido, they were impressed by the magnificent lavender scenery at Farm Tomita to establish a company and open a villa in Biei town in Hokkaido with their own lavender garden. Their start-up has a touching background story. They didn’t build a villa from scratch but bought an existing one run by a Japanese owner. He started the villa with his wife, but […]