Friday, July 18, 2008

Coming Home

I was in Vietnam from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening.

I spent Sunday and Monday nights in reasonable hotels in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

On Tuesday night at the airport, I was with many tall slender beautiful women at the check-in counter.

They were on my flight from HCM City to Tokyo.

For a while, I was wondering who they were.

They were Miss Universe contestants!!!

Miss Venezuela won the title for 2008. (She was not in the economy section where I was sitting!)

I've never been a beauty contestant, so I don't know how they feel about being judged according to the other people's standards....

I think no one likes to be judged. But I find myself judging people one way or another most of the time.

How about you?

How can you avoid judging people?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Surveyor, Tadataka Ino

On July 10, 1821 (187 years ago), the map of Japan was published. The map was based on the survey done by Tadataka Ino(1745-1818). He could not finished the map but his pupils finished it three years after his death.

He learned the survey and cartography when he became 50 years old. He started the project of surveying Japan at the age of 56 and he continued on until he died at the age of 74.

His map was very accurate. It was used for more than a century.

Would you start something new at the age of 50?

What are you going to leave behind as legacy of your life?

Monday, June 30, 2008

The First Foreigner to Win a Tournament

I visited Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Ryogoku Kokugikan is a stadium for Sumo.

I saw Takamiyama (aka Jesse), now Azumazeki Oyakata at the ticket booth.

He came from Hawaii and started his Sumo career in 1964. He wrestled until he almost became 40 years old.

In 1972 he won a tournament as the first foreign sumo wrestler.

He went through many difficulties in feudalistic environment. Now he is a one of the stable masters developing Sumo wrestlers.

There are 59 foreign Sumo wrestlers now.

Are you developing a next generation?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I don't know you understand "onsen."

It means "Hot-springs."

I went to Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture with my friend.

We found this hot-spring which belongs to "Myogaya."

They have a out door one right next to the river.

I really like hot-springs.

It is probably the only thing I miss when I leave Japan....

What do you miss when you leave your place?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Coffee? What do you want?

"I'd like a mug of coffee"

"what do you want?"

"a mug of coffee, please."

"Okay, what do you want, sir?"


"what would you like to drink?"

I was in the cafe in Melbourne trying to have coffee.

Finally, the a person taking the order figure out my problem.

He asked "Late? Cappuccino?.... Flat White? Long Black?....."

What? Flat white? Long Black? What are they?

I said "Long Black, please."

it was "Cafe Americano"

Coffee is a name of the group of drink made of coffee in Australia. There was not a item named "coffee."

When you go to Sushi shop, you don't say "I'd like to have three sushi, please."

The same way in a cafe in Australia, you don't say "I want large coffee."

Coffee was not just coffee.....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oh, No!!

I was at the terminal 3 of Changi Airport at 11:00pm last week.

While I was checking in, the lady at the counter was looking for something in my passport.

I said that the Singapore immigration stamp can be found toward the end of the passport.

She told me that she was looking for a visa.

"Which visa?" I asked.

She replied "Australia."

"I am Japanese."

"Yes, you need a visa!"

"No, way. I don't need a visa to visit for 5 days, do I?"

"Yes. You do, sir."

"We Japanese love Australia! They should let me in!"

My mind went blank.....

I never thought that I needed one. It was 11:00PM. I already had an appointment the next morning. I had to catch the flight.

"What should I do?" I asked.

She said "please follow me."

I was brought to Singapore Airline customer center. They got me a visa on line.

I was in Australia next morning after the 6 hours flight from Singapore.

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Terminal

I went to Singapore.

I flew United.

I arrived at midnight.

I flew into the new terminal, terminal 3.

It seems like everywhere you go, there is a new airport terminal or a brand new airport.

I like Singapore Airport. It is called "Chiangi Airport."

How do you like your airport?

What do you expect from it?