Christmas Illumination at the Roppongi Hills : Artelligent Christmas 2015

The city of Tokyo is awash in illuminations all around. I remember 2004, the first year of Christmas illumination at Roppongi Hills and was amazed to see the lights all around the newly built Roppongi Hills complex with the Tokyo Tower in the distance. The illumination in Roppongi Hills since then is usually  held until

Autumn Colors at the Naritasan Shinshō-ji Temple

Tourists and new comers to Japan head out to Kyoto when we mention the word “Autumn”. I did too, but then I started discovering beautiful spots around Tokyo like Nikko, Okutama area etc. In 2003, I remember, I was told by a friend that the Narita Temple near the international airport also was a beautiful

Tokyo 2020 Emblem : Open Design Competition

So we all know how the Tokyo 2020 emblem and the plagiarism controversy surrounding it ended…. You can get yourself a recap over at Controversial Tokyo Olympics emblem ditched finally With the old emblem now out the door, the organizing committee is running against a tight schedule to get a replacement within a year. A couple

Benzaiten Temple at Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park

Benzaiten (弁才天, 弁財天) is a Japanese Buddhist goddess, who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. The Shinobzu Pond at Ueno Park has a temple of Saraswati. Floating on the water of the pond, it is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Saraswati the goddess of the arts, knowledge and wisdom. Japanese of todays generation, pray to her

“Sumo Size” clothes : Lion-do at Ryogoku

Walking in the Ryogoku area on a Saturday morning a white T-Shirt hung outside a shop caught my attention. It was really huge, was sure that atleast three of me could fit in!!! Checked the shop name it was Lion-do or ライオン堂 with the words “King Size” or キングサイズ meaning extra large sized clothes store.

Tyres all around : Nishirokugo Tyre Park at Kamata

Travelling between Tokyo to Yokohama on the Tokaido Line, nearby Kamata, I had seen a park filled with tyres. I had not planned to visit this place though but it certainly intrigued me every time I passed on my way to Yokohama. Last month, accompanying my daughter to the Japan Open 2015 Rubik Cube Competition at

Mizuho Currency Exchange counter at Haneda Airport and Origami creations

For work related travel, I have started using Haneda for two reasons. The international terminal started operations a couple of years back and the opening of the newly built Tokyo Gate Bridge which makes it a 25 minute drive by a car from the Edogawa Ward. The airport has many a currency exchange counters, but one

Rules relaxed on mobile phone usage in the Priority Seating area

It was common belief that mobile phones can interfere with pacemakers. The perceived fear of electromagnetic interference from the mobile phones have seen stickers like the below on Yamanote Line trains near the priority seating asking the passengers to keep their mobile phones turned off in that area. Announcements also used to repeat this on JR

SF Metro and Passnet Cards and todays Digital Cards

THOSE WERE THE DAYS : My first visit to Japan in 1998, I collected many SF Metro Cards as memories to take back to India. I ended up staying in Japan on a long term basis, but I carried on collecting the Cards which were issued by the Eidan-Chikatetsu which today is known as Tokyo