How Tokyo was, from my memory.

One of the great joys denied to travelers now is the simple act of wandering around Tokyo and soaking it all in. Like this from a previous visit in a Tokyo Metro station…


…or attending a matsuri while you’re in town. This is from the Koenji Awaodori which happens in late August…

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Awa dancers performing at the Koenji Awaodori

…or looking west from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observation deck and seeing Fuji-San on a clear day. I miss doing these things and exploring Tokyo.


Let’s get nostalgic, shall we?

9 months into this partly manufactured “crisis” and the travel and hospitality industries have taken the biggest hit. Travel will never be the same as it was before corona. Usually at this time of year, I’m in Singapore doing the Friendsgiving thing. Not this year. Let’s take a look back at the joy of travel. Because the journey is just as important as the destination.

Business class lunch. I believe I eat better when I’m traveling than when I’m stuck in the states.

Gratitutious Ramen entry

This was a fast trip, to be ended with an early morning in Tokyo. It made more sense to get my ramen fix while I was in town, as opposed to being in transit.

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Shinagawa. Going from the Keikyu Line to JR.

This is how transit looks like in Tokyo. The trains are color coded and queueing is orderly. However, it’s a huge crush even at 0700 in the morning. Thankfully people here have a good sense of hygiene. But you don’t have ramen for breakfast here. Yet.

I was in Hong Kong for several days so I decided to get my ramen fix there. Many of the major ramen chains are there including Ichiran.

Ichiran is (in)famous for it’s attitude towards it’s ramen. Instead of tables where you can occupy space for hours, yakking with your friends, their ramen is served individually in cubicles so nothing gets in the way of the ramen. Then when you finish, you leave. Your bowl is customizable. The softness of the noodles, the intensity of the broth and as many (or as little) toppings as you’d like. As it should be.

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Hard noodles, rich broth with scallions and red oil. YESSSSSS

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The aftermath after one serving of kaedama.

Since the Singapore leg of this trip was going to be busy, I’m glad I got my fix here.

M Power and progeny

Another one from the BMW Museum. The engine in the foreground is the first M engine that powered the M1. The display also had headphones so you could listen to how each engine sounded up to redline.

BMW 507

Found this on an old MacBook that’s being prepped for recycling. This was from a trip to the BMW Museum about 10 years ago.


Beijing with the Chairman

I came across some photos in my Google Photos account that were initially thought lost (yay cloud storage). My last visit to Beijing in 2014 which was also my first ride on CHR. I don’t know where those photos are.

One rite of passage of all Beijing visits are black boogers. However, despite being smogged when I arrived (you could even see the smog in the parking structures, like an awful fog), the next day was blue sky and glorious sun. Also, the air cleared out because of a front that blew through overnight.

I arrived at 1900; this was the morning’s forecast for the next day

Being a Sunday, everyone had the day off. And this being the first clear day in months, the entire city went outside. Although I didn’t really think about it because my hotel was in the Financial District, which was blissfully quiet. I went “outside” to where everyone else seemed to be, Tiananmen Square.

The best shot I could get; it was just that crowded

And when you get to the square, the obligatory Mao on the Tiananmen Gate photo.