Sunday, November 27, 2011

Culture Japan HQ

Culture Japan HQ
It all began one day when I noticed that Chun, a very talented doll fashion designer, was tweeting from Akihabara, Tokyo. I contacted her immediately and we all ended up invading Culture Japan HQ. XD

Thursday, November 3, 2011

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S
I finally upgraded my iPhone from 3GS to 4S a few weeks ago. I've been trying my hard to resist the temptation to upgrade my iPhone when iPhone 4 came out last year. I couldn't get it because I was stuck with my 2 years contract at that time. When iPhone 4S came out, I still had a couple of months left in my contract. Luckily, Softbank had a free upgrade plan from 3GS to 4S. And that's how I got my iPhone 4S.

I always wanted a pocket camera that I could bring with me everywhere I go. I don't want to bring my DSLR with me because it's heavy and I definitely couldn't bring it to my work. I could get a pocket camera, but a camera with a good quality, reasonable price, and light weight is pretty hard to find. The iPhone is the answer to that. I love the idea of using your phone as a camera which means I could bring it with me everywhere I go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oohara Naked Festival

Oohara Hadaka Matsuri
Wait, Naked Festival ?? Well, don't worry. The men weren't entirely naked. Every year in Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture, the Japanese people celebrates the Oohara Hadaka ( Naked ) Festival. The festival is celebrated by hundreds of nearly naked males and females to wish for the good luck and the prosperity of the year. It is by far the most interesting festival I've ever seen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paris Revisited

My Europe Trip last month started from Paris. Originally, I didn't want to visit Paris. But then I changed my mind. There were still a few places that I hadn't visited last time such as the Sacre Coeur. So, there I was. In Paris. For the 2nd time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Amsterdam : Part 2

The 2nd part of Amsterdam photos. This time I'm going to cover the charming the market, the people, and the food.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Amsterdam : Part 1

Amsterdam If you enjoy cycling, you're going to like Amsterdam. I still remembered the time when I was cycling through the Amsterdam's maze of canal, shady trees, narrow streets, artistic buildings, and authentic shops. Amsterdam is definitely a charming city.

Even though the city is bike-friendly, you need to be careful when you cycling in Amsterdam. The streets are narrow, lot of tram rails on the roads, and the car / tram drivers have a ruthless driving style. I do still recommend you to rent a bike and cycling to get around Amsterdam. Or you can just enjoy strolling along the canals. Amsterdam is not that big, but there are plenty to do, to eat, and to see.

Here are some of snapshots of Amsterdam.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Amsterdam

I Amsterdam
Danbo in Amsterdam !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chess Game

Chess Game Ever wonder what Danbo and others do when they're bored ?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yoyogi in Black and White

Meiji Jingu
It was Sunday, another day of scorching heat. No matter how hot it was, it couldn't stop me and my partner in crime, Derek, to do a photowalk at Yoyogi Koen. We walked ( a lot ! ), took photos, ate Biryani rice at Indian / African Festival, watched basketball match, and practiced some Juujutsu.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goutokuji - The Maneki Neko Legend

Goutokuji - Maneki Neko
The Maneki Neko ( 招き猫 = The Beckoning Cat ) is a Japanese cat sculpture, usually made of ceramic, which is believed to bring good fortune and wealth. If you come to Japan, you will be able to see Maneki Neko in shops, restaurants, pachinko, banks, offices, houses, etc. The Maneki Neko is also one of the famous souvenirs from Japan. You could also found Maneki Neko as piggy banks, keychains, straps, and other miscellaneous ornaments.


There are many stories regarding the origin of Maneki Neko. The three famous legends are the Goutokuji, Imado, and Yoshiwara.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Takano Fruits Parlor

Takano Fruits
There are many All You Can Eat restaurant in Tokyo, such as the Guts Soul for the meat lover. For those of you fruits lover, let me introduce you a fruits buffet restaurant called Takano Fruits Parlor.

東京には食べ放題レストランが多いです。例えば,、Guts Soul、焼き肉食べ放題レストランです。Guts Soulは肉好きの方にとっておきのレストランです。果物好きの方にタカノフルーツバーを紹介する。

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wonder Festival 2011 Summer Coverage

Wonder Festival Summer 2011
Here's the full coverage of Wonfes Summer 2011. Continuing from the previous post, this summer Wonfes was held in Makuhari Messe (幕張メッセ), Chiba, on July 24th. I was actually forgot about the Wonfes, luckily Danny called and invited me to come. Otherwise, you probably will never see this post. ^^;

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 - One Piece and Harry Potter

Wonfes 2011
Wonder Festival (Wonfes) is the largest annual event displaying and selling garage kit and figures of anime, mecha, and game characters. Took hundreds of photo yesterday and still haven't finished processing all photos. Will do the coverage, but meanwhile, enjoy some One Piece and Harry Potter figures. Aokiji looks amazing here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Higashi Murayama

Flowers are part of the Japanese culture. Apart from Sakura, Japan has many flowers to enjoy throughout the seasons, such as Ajisai, Kouyou, Rengeshouma, Ume, Yuri, etc. Higashi Murayama is a pretty good place to hunt flowers.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shoufuku Ji

Shoufuku Ji
Shoufuku Ji (正福寺) is a Zen Buddhist temple in Higashi Murayama (東村山). The Shoufuku Jizo Hall is registered as one of the National Treasure of Japan. It is considered to be the oldest intact building in Tokyo Prefecture and a unique example of Kamakura era architecture.

Inside the hall are thousands of small Jizo statues that were offered by worshippers during the Edo Period. Every year on November 3rd, they have a festival there. During the festival, the hall is opened and you could see the Jizo statues.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dim + Tomo Pre Wedding

Dim & Tomo
Boy Meets Girl. Like a match made in heaven, they had a romantic encounter and fell in love with each other.

I was given the opportunity to photograph them last year in Yokohama. It was the first time for me to shoot a Japanese style pre wedding. It was lovely and super fun. <3

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Koshintei Arbor

Sankeien Garden
I discovered this place, Koshintei (湖心亭) Arbor, when I got lost trying to meet my friend. Gorgeous place.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki
Most of you probably have heard about Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き). Some people call it the Japanese Pancake, others called it the Japanese Pizza. The name came from the word okonomi (to one's liking) and yaki (grill/cook). As the name implies, you could put whatever ingredients you want (cabbage, egg, cheese, meat, shrimp, scallop, pork, kimchi, etc) and cook it on top of an iron griddle called teppan.

Although there are many kinds of toppings and ingredients involved, you could separate okonomiyaki into two types, Osaka (or Kansai) Okonomiyaki and Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. In Osaka, we mix the batter and ingredients first inside a bowl and then cook it on the teppan. In Hiroshima, we layer the ingredients one by one on the teppan and then press it down together while cooking. If the Hiroshima okonomiyaki is served with a layer of noodles (either yakisoba or udon), the dish is called modanyaki (modern yaki).

Most restaurants in Tokyo serve the Osaka style Okonomiyaki. Recently, I had a chance to go to Hiroshima and taste the 'real' Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shuugi Bukuro ( 祝儀袋 )

Shuugi Bukuro
Last week I had the opportunity to visit a Japanese wedding in Hiroshima. There are lots of wedding custom in Japan. One of them is the Shuugi Bukuro. There is a custom in Japan to give money inside an envelope for special occasions such as wedding, new year, or funeral. The standard general envelope is called Noshi Bukuro (熨斗袋). There are also a special envelope for specific occasions, such as the Otoshidama Bukuro (お年玉袋) for giving money to kids on new year. You could easily find most of the envelopes in a stationary shop. The price ranging from 100 ~ 500 yen. Make sure you get a nice one !

The tradition of giving money gifts in an envelope goes all the way back to the samurai period. The money had always been considered as something "dirty", something that "corrupts" the society. Simply by looking at the money, you could have a corrupt mind. Because of that, the money was put inside an envelope before giving it to somebody.

Shuugi Bukuro (祝儀袋) refers to a traditional envelope (paper wrapping) to celebrate wedding or recovering from illness. First, the money is placed inside an envelope. Then the envelope is wrapped in a piece of decorative paper folded in a certain way based on what it is going to be used for. The last touch is a bow wrapped around the paper.

One thing you need to know is that there is a rule, an etiquette on how to use the Shuugi Bukuro correctly. This post is a guide to properly use the Shuugi Bukuro.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thumbnail of Life Fan Pages

Thumbnail of Life now has its own Facebook Fan Page. With Fan Pages, you could easily contact me, ask questions, or give suggestions. I will also upload photos of my daily life ( taken with iPhone ) from time to time.

Say a big hi to Thumbnail of Life Photography Fan Pages.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Izu Teddy Bear Museum

Izu Teddy Bear Museum
Izu Teddy Bear Museum was the best Teddy Bear Museum I've ever been so far. There were lots of teddy bears of all sizes on display from all around the world. There was also 'Teddy Girl', a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear which sold over £110,000 ( around 14.5 million yen ) at an auction in London. The museum was designed with old English style. There were store, garden, cute cafe, and a special exhibition floor. Very impressive.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nippon, Fight !

Received this lovely drawing of Danbo from Felix yesterday. Thanks, Felix !

Head over to his galleries to see more of his work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Australia: Tasmaniyeaaahh !!

Lonely Oak Tree
Yeay for Tasmania ! Tasmania is an island full of natural beauty. It has everything from historical and charming towns, such as Hobart and Launceston, to breathtaking scenery, such as Bridestowe Farm. Not to mention it's only one hour flight away from Melbourne.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


iDevices ?
My Danbo is a gadget geek.

If only he could get his hands on the new iPad2, he would be very grateful. ^^

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan Earthquake 2011 - Twitter Messages

modernman15 uploaded a beautiful video of the heart-warming twitter messages and photos about Japan Earthquake. Let us help Japan !

American Red Cross
British Red Cross
Canadian Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Global Giving
International Medical Corps
Japanese Red Cross
Salvation Army JapanShelterbox
World Vision

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan Earthquake Stories from Twitter

During these depressing time, I would like to share you some heartwarming stories from Japan. I hope these stories will bring some strength to people in Japan. Thanks to Jun Shiomitsu for doing a wonderful job translating it.

Jun Shiomitsu's FB Notes

Japanese people have been very open on Twitter about their experiences following the quake. These snippets of what moved them and touched them during these very trying times are heart-warming. I have attempted a rough translation on some of them so that you can have a read.

Please continue to pray for the people in Japan.

I hope these mini-stories will bring strength and encouragement to my friends and family in Japan by letting them know that, not only does the world sympathize with them, it looks up to them in admiration! My thoughts are with you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Great Tohoku Earthquake

Yesterday around 2.46 PM, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan causing damage with blackouts, fires and tsunami.

In Tokyo, nothing in my vicinity was collapsed, however street was full of people. The never ending aftershocks were stressful ( Even now the aftershocks still haven't stopped ). All phones were down. Trains stopped moving. Thankfully, the internet was okay so we could got news and information using email, facebook and twitter. We could also reached our loved ones with Skype, Whatsapp, Pingchat, or Viber.

Currently Tokyo is quite safe and we only got minor damage. We still in alert for the follow up quake, but Tokyo people are okay. Most of train lines already reopened. However the condition in Sendai and Miyagi are really bad. It's so depressing to see what the earthquake and tsunami left behind. Let's pray for them.

Below are some resources and links about the earthquakes and tsunami. Let me know if you have more.

Emergency line for non-Japanese speakers
An emergency line has been set up for non-Japanese speakers, on 050 5814 7230 and 03 5366 6001.
English, Chinese, Korean are available 24 hours a day.
Portuguese and Spanish between 9am-8pm.

Live TV
Fuji TV

Time Out Japan Live Report
Time Out Japan Live Report 2

Public Shelters
Time Out
Google Map Tokyo Shelter

Train Status
JR East

How to Help
Technolog List

Check Person Phone Number

Google Person Finder
Google Crisis Response
Japan Meteorological Agency
Gakuranman live update

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Australia: Melbourne Food

Hutong Dumpling Bar
The food culture is strong in Melbourne. There are plenty of good restaurants, cafes, and open market to satisfy your hunger. I kinda wish some of those restaurants are in Japan to satisfy my need. :)

Time for Food Photos ! You have been warned. ^^

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Australia: Melbourne

City of Melbourne
Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia. It is located in the south-eastern part of mainland Australia, within the state of Victoria. It is also the capital of Victoria.

Melbourne has wonderful, vibrant art and culture scenes all around the city. There are a lot of interesting architectures and urban arts in Melbourne which gives the city a unique character. The foods are terrific, and the cafe culture is fantastic.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Australia: Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach
Sydney is renowned for its beaches which attract thousands of people all year round. The city has plenty of golden beaches such as Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Coogee, and Maroubra. Among them, Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches. Not only that Bondi beach is a popular beach in Australia but also among the world's most well-known beaches. For surfer, Bondi Beach has big waves that make it a perfect place for surfing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Australia: The Harbour City Sydney

Opera House
Knowing how much Australia has to offer and how little time we had, it's difficult to decide which places to go. Australia is big, and we only had 10 days to explore Australia. Getting to know Australia will be a difficult task. With that in mind, we narrowed it down to three: Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania.

The Harbour City, Sydney, is known as the largest, oldest, and most beautiful city in Australia. Sydney is a multicultural city. You could easily notice the differences in race, culture, art, fashion, and cuisine in the city.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Australia Trip

Procrastinating. Guilty as charged. That's me. Sorry for not updating my blog in a while. Whenever I had time, I ended up doing something else other than blogging. By the time I realized, a month has passed and it's already February. I blame Dexter for that.

Anyway, the blog theme will temporarily focus on Australia. I often heard a lot of bad things about Australia. Venomous snakes, spiders, sharks, etc. But when I asked my friends about Australia, they all love Australia. For good reasons.

Last month, I finally got a chance to see the country closely. I found out that there were so many things to do, and so many wonderful things to be discovered there.

I could tell you one thing now. I love Australia. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Whenever I reach the end of year, I usually spend my time to look back and think how fast time flies. 2010 for me was a memorable year. Lots of good and bad, happy and sad things happened in 2010. So many things happened that I couldn't really follow what had happened.

There is one great thing about blogging your life. During this time of year, bloggers could go through our own blog to go through the entries. Looking at the photos that we've taken through out the years, reading the words we wrote, and recalling back how we felt at that day at that time. With those we could easily remember our stories.

Let’s take a quick look of the things that I did in 2010.

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The man who loves photography and tries to capture the beauty of life through his camera.

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