Categories
Japan Photoblog

My family came to visit me in Japan / 家族に日本に来た

I’m grateful that my Mum and Alistair; her husband, were able to come and visit me in Japan last year. Having travelled a lot; and fallen in love with Asia, and Japan in particular, I was really excited to share it with them.

They travelled all the way from Scotland! With only a week in Japan it was tough to plan an itinerary that would allow time to recuperate from the trip, while also seeing a range of what Japan has to offer.

Categories
London Photoblog

Classic design

Whenever I see a classic car I think about design. Last week I saw this 1969 Ford Galaxie 500 near London Bridge in London.

Categories
Photoblog Switzerland

A return to Zurich

I spent January 2020 in Zurich. This was part of my luxurious plan to start 2020 somewhere beautiful with time set aside to indulge in reading, walks and taking photographs.

Ever since my first trip to Zurich in 2017 I’ve been thinking of living in Switzerland. This was also an investigative trip.

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Scotland

The National Wallace Monument

I took a trip to see the National Wallace Monument at Stirling in Scotland.

The monument itself is a tower on a hillock called Abbey Craig. It overlooks the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It was at this battle that Andrew Moray and William Wallace led the Scots to defeat King Edward I of England’s armies in 1297.

Categories
Photoblog

Rainy days in Oslo

I spent a few days in Oslo on my way back to Scotland. It’s a small and peaceful city. The weather was cold, grey and wet, but this only made the short walks followed by hot coffee and snacks at one of the many bakeries and cafes more enjoyable. There are quite a few sights to see, enough to stay entertained for a short break.

Categories
Japan Photoblog

A walk around Asakusa

I had a free afternoon so decided to take walk around Asakusa. This historic district of Tokyo is one of my favourite spots.

The area is well known as the home of Senso-ji. One of the most famous temples in Tokyo. The entrace to Senso-ji; known as Kaminari-mon gate, has a giant lantern. It’s a popular photo spot. Look to the left of Asakusa station on the below map. You can find a big picture of Kaminari-mon gate on a previous blog post.

Categories
Photoblog

A trip to Singapore

In 2019, I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Singapore. It was a business trip, so I had the chance to see inside a couple of impressive buildings in the financial / corporate district. I was also able to extend my a few extra days to enjoy the local vibe. Prior to 2019, the last time I was in Singapore was 2000. Back then I had just graduated from university and was visiting a Singaporean friend.

Categories
Japan Photoblog

Tokyo tower

It’s December 1st and it was a lovely sunny warm but fresh 16 degrees in Tokyo. I decided to head out for a walk around Tokyo Tower. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and it was really a beautiful day out.

I started from Hamamatsucho (浜松町) just 15 minutes walk to the East of Tokyo Tower. While Tokyo Tower is a major tourist attraction the surrounding area is to a certain extent  a business district. Due to that I was lucky enough to find a few really nice independent coffee shops that were quite quiet due to it being a Saturday.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

24 hour sushi in Akihabara at Isomaru・アキバの磯丸水産の寿司居酒屋

Tokyo is a beautifully colourful place.

I really appreciate good design in life. When people, businesses and local authorities make an effort. A lot of elements come together to make a place enjoyable. The shape of the buildings, the colours, the cleanliness, the ease of getting around.

Life can be busy, it can get tiring commuting around, rushing to work, rushing to meet people. Everything is a better when the places we go feature interesting and beautiful design.

One of my genuine beliefs is it shouldn’t just be about minimising costs and maximising profits, it should be about making the world a better place.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Nezu Shrine, Tokyo・根津神社、東京 

Earlier in January I went on a visit to Nezu Shrine (根津神社) in Tokyo. This Shrine is famous for the Tori – lined pathways.

I took some photos, I hope you enjoy. It’s a lovely spot to have a walk around in.

Categories
Anime

Film recommendation – 君の名は・Your Name

Today, something a bit different – a movie recommendation!

君の名は (kimi no na wa) or in English – “Your Name”  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5311514/

It’s anime, but don’t let that put you off, this is a story about people – friendship, family, love etc. – no monsters!

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Kyoto, around Kawaramachi and Pontocho ・京都の中に河原町や先斗町の周り

For my second photo walk around Kyoto in January I took a stroll around Kawaramachi and Pontocho areas. Just across the river from Gion; the subject of my last Kyoto post.

Categories
Japan

Alex x Akiba Zettai Ryouiki ・アキバ絶対領域 (I visit a maid cafe)

I finally decided to visit a maid cafe!

At the risk of destroying my masculine image I’ll start by openly admitting I love cute things. So I was always interested to check out a maid cafe.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Gion, Kyoto ・ 祇園、京都

It’s 2018 and I decided to start the first week of the year with a ‘photo-walk’ around Gion in Kyoto.

Gion is the traditional district of Kyoto, think old style restaurants, souvenirs shops etc.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Kyoto Railway Museum / 京都鉄道博物館

Today, I went to have a look at the recently opened railway museum in Kyoto. They have 53 historic train cars. I skipped the steam engines; which look quite similar to European models, and focused on the early diesels and electrics.

I don’t know a lot about trains, so I’ll list the model numbers in case you’d like to find out more about any of them.

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Uncategorized

Coffee Tengoku (天国) Hotcakes (ホットケーキ) and Kantaro the Sweet Tooth Salary Man

I’m back in Japan ! 🙂

But let’s rewind a bit, a couple of weeks ago I caught an advertisement for a Japanese TV show on Netflix, “Kantaro The Sweet Tooth Salaryman”.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography Thoughts on Life

Everyday sights in the city

Do you live or work in a city? What do you see on your day to day trip to work?

Last night after work I walked from my client office towards St. Pauls with a colleague. As we were walking I remarked, “doesn’t London have some amazing architecture?”. My colleague; originally from Bulgaria, replied that he loved the area.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Brick lane, cultural contrasts

Brick lane is famous for it’s Indian restaurants. Historically it’s a Bangladeshi community. This makes it an interesting spot to walk around. In addition to the restaurants you can find market stalls and Indian sweet shops.

Brick lane also hosts food markets at the weekends. There are a number of intersting stores too; vintage fashion, art, vinyl etc.

Categories
Photography Technique

Portraits

A rather unusual entry on my blog. I did a portrait shoot. This is Rosie; a dancer, who lives in London.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography

Chelsea, London

Time for another Sunday photowalk. This week I went to Chelsea in West London. Chelsea has the reputation of being a wealthy area. I was expecting rich ladies in 4×4 cars (known as Chelsea tractors), plastic surgery, Lamborghini’s with Qatar plates etc.

But, it was more like churches, cute houses, old buildings and classic cars.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography

Chiltern Street, London

Today I went for a walk around Chiltern Street in Marylebone. I think it’s quite a famous spot with its beautiful red-brick townhouses.

I also spotted a couple of nice cars.

I normally take candid street photos, but I’ve been wanting to work on my confidence to ask people if I can take their photo. I saw some friendly-looking people outside of ‘Trunk’ store, it was a lovely scene, so I asked if I could photograph them. They kindly agreed.

Categories
Switzerland

Zurich – a hidden gem

This last Wednesday I had an overnight trip out to Zurich for a business workshop. It was a 4.30 am start, but totally worth it.

The reason I love travel so much is the joy of having a change every day. Even a business trip is an opportunity to meet new people, try local food and if lucky have enough time for a stroll at the end of the day.

The Zurich trip was busy, but I managed to fit in an hour long photo walk around the old town area between eight and nine pm.

Categories
Poetry

Welcome to Fuxing Park

The skies were blue
The trees were bare

French in part
Shanghai at heart

Even with the cool winter air
Warm hearts were there

Dance, play mahjong
Or take a stroll with mum

Welcome to Fuxing Park

Categories
Poetry Thailand

Together

Are you going somewhere?
Wouldn’t it’d be fun if I came too?

I remember the daily trip to school
A mini adventure
On a big double decker bus

Categories
London

Barbican, London – The Japanese House

This year the Barbican centre ran an exhibition; ‘The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945’.

I was impressed by the creative layout, a large gallery was used, in the centre, a life-sized house and garden were installed. This was surrounded by individual galleries telling the story of evolving design in the post-war decades.

What better way to celebrate the economical use of space and thoughtful design present in Japanese homes than to make it a central theme of your exhibition.

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Uncategorized

I’m in Travel + Leisure Mag (June 17)

Good news!…

I’m in Travel + Leisure June 2017.

A couple of months ago one of their researchers contacted me about Shenzhen photos. Last year I spent a day in Shenzhen’s contemporary art centre; OCT Loft. I really love the ‘former industrial building’ becomes ‘contemporary art centre’ thing.

I think re-purposed industrial buildings hold a certain artistic commentary on life and hence provide an interesting contextual background to contemporary art.

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Uncategorized

Tate Modern and East London canal-side

Last year Tate Modern; a contemporary art gallery on London’s Southbank, expanded by building a new wing called the Switch House.

One of my favourite things about Tate Modern is the building. It’s a former power station. I think that re-purposing industrial spaces provides a beautiful environment art while also preserving Engineering history.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Ultimate Dubs UK 2017

I was lucky enough to be invited to Ultimate Dubs by my friend Angus. It’s a Volkswagen / Audi Group (VAG) custom car show.

The love and care that’s gone into some of the cars is really impressive. I’m especially happy to see the classics so well taken care off.

Let’s take a look at the car’s on show, I’ll go by model.

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Uncategorized

Portable loft, Yangjae Citizens Forest, Seoul and ‘Fish in the Pool’

I found the cutest local cafe in Seoul with the friendliest owners.

It’s called Portable Loft. They also have a craft / design store – Portable Lollipop.

You can see some pictures of Portable Loft, the owners and their friends here http://blog.naver.com/jungurion/220896163629.

And the Portable Lollipop website is http://www.portablelollipop.com/

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Uncategorized

Happy Christmas 2016 from London – XMAS Day Photowalk

Happy Christmas to everyone here on WordPress and any others that have found their way to my blog.

Today I want to share a handful of pictures from my Christmas Day photowalk around London. Without further ado:

Categories
Thoughts on Life

A walk around Anstruther harbour

Whenever I visit my mum in Perthshire, Scotland I like to take a trip to the coast. Arbroath, St Andrews, Anstruther, Crail and lots of other villages have lovely harbours.

The fresh sea air is especially lovely when you normally live in a big city. It’s also fun to see the fishing equipment and people at work.

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Uncategorized

Christmas in London 2016

Five days left until Christmas, I think it might be time to inject a little festive cheer into my blog.

Last year I spent Christmas in London, I had a fantastic time taking photos and enjoying the quieter than normal city.  A lot of people leave; presumably to visit family or take the opportunity for a short break. This coupled with the beautiful lights make it a magical place to be.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Seoul – the view from Bukchon Hanok Village

Seoul – we’ve taken a look at the royal palaces Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung, we’ve also seen the view from Naksan Park. Now I’d like to share the beautiful view from my favourite area; Bukchon Hanok Village.

It’s a village on a hill in northern Seoul comprised mostly of traditional ‘hanok’ houses.

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Uncategorized

Seoul – Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park

Another good spot to check out in Seoul is Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park with beautiful views across the city.

It’s near to Hunsung University so there are a lot of cafe and cheap food options. It’s also a short walk from both Changgyeonggung and Changdeokgung.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

I recently posted about Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul. Following that post I received a recommendation to go to Changgyeonggung. It’s right next door. A smaller palace, but less busy and with more stand alone buildings and a park with a lovely pond.

The light was a little difficult when I went and autumn was just ending. But nevertheless some photos came out well; let’s talk a photo walk around Changyeonggung!

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Uncategorized

Reflecting on the foggy Tay

Last night I was the lucky recipient of a lovely Christmas meal at The View restaurant in Newport-on-Tay, just opposite Dundee (Scotland). My mum kindly treated me and her husband.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Bullet journaling and travel memories

A huge thank you to fellow WordPress blogger; bluchikenninja, who’s blog introduced me to the wonderful ‘bullet journal’ system – http://bulletjournal.com/

I love my notepads, but they are normally a mess. Bullet Journal provides a basic system to structure your notebooks for planning, journaling, reference etc.

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Uncategorized

Lochs, bothies and blue skies.

I was in the Cairngorms earlier today; a big national park in the highlands of Scotland. It was a beautiful and I’d love to share some pictures with you.

If you are unfamiliar with Scotland I’ll reveal the mystery of what a Bothy is!

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Bicycles

On a walk around Bukchon in Seoul on Monday I spotted a bicycle that was nicely colour coded with the background of its parking spot. I started to wonder, “Are cyclists trying to match their bikes to the background of their parking spots?”. I’ve seen this happen too many times for it to be a coincidence!

I cycled quite a lot when I was younger and lived in Aviemore in Scotland. I shared a fairly rusty old Raleigh with my dad. I think it’s given me a fondness for bicycles, especially classicaly styled steel frame bikes.

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Uncategorized

Dongdaemun Art & Cultural Centre

Continuing on from my last post about a set of stairs at Dongdaemun Art & Cultural Centre in Seoul, South Korea I was also impressed by the main walkway from the street to the museum and design halls.

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Uncategorized

Stairs – a study, Dongdaemun, Seoul

There is relatively modern design plaza in the centre of Seoul. I decided to take a few photographs as the architecture is quite unusual.

This post is about one set of stairs.

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Uncategorized

Changdeokgung, Seoul, South Korea

I’m in Seoul, Korea now! I hopped on a plane and came to Seoul to see a friend. I’ve been travelling about 8 weeks now and I felt like I could really do with seeing a familiar face. I’ve also been dreaming about Korean Chicken and Beer for about a year.

This is my second trip to Seoul. On my first trip I went to one of the Royal Palaces; Gyeongbokgung – it was so beautiful. So on this trip one of my first stops was Changdeokgung; another royal palace, that happens to be a UNESCO heritage site.

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Uncategorized

OCT Loft (Shenzhen Contemporary Art Centre)

I went to OCT Loft in Shenzhen yesterday. It’s a contemporary art centre in a former industrial complex. The look and feel of OCT Loft reminded me of Moganshan 50 (M50) in Shanghai, I posted some pictures about my trip there last year.

I only had a little time so I didn’t go inside many places; but I am definitely going to go back, in the meantime I can share some pictures of the complex and exhibition hall A:

Categories
London

Qi Gong trip to Shenzhen

Another spontaneous trip. I was having a coffee in Hong Kong and suddently felt like going to China. It’s quite easy to get the China visa in Hong Kong, plenty of agencies will handle the whole process for a reasonable fee.

On my last trip I went to Yangshuo in Guilin to do some Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I also visited Shanghai.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

14th Hong Kong Synergy Drum Competition

I was lucky enough to catch a drum competition on the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon the other day.

Traditional Chinese drums, fun choreography and some awesome uniforms made it a pleasure to stop by and watch for a while.

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Uncategorized

Hong Kong and 2 photos, 2 years apart.

I came back to Hong Kong. The last time I was here was early 2014.

When I was here last time I took this picture from Kowloon of a Junk passing by. That’s Hong Kong Island in the background.

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Uncategorized

In awe at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA)

Today; while recovering from sunburn, I headed out to the small but well organised Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei.

Free from the crowds of the national palace museum and other ‘rainy day’ locations it was a short, but enjoyable visit.

There were three major artist exhibits. I loved one of them. From the other two I strongly disliked one and for the other I liked the ‘synopsis’ describing the work, but I didn’t like or ‘get’ the work itself.

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Uncategorized

Dànshuǐ / Tamsui, Taiwan; blue skies and fishing boats

I took a trip to Dànshuǐ just north of Taipei on Wednesday. The weather was beautiful.

Let’s take a look starting with the view back towards the north of Taipei. This is from a waterside park / promenade just next to the MTR station (Taipai Subway/Overground).

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Uncategorized

Taipei street food

I’ve been making the rounds of the Taipei street food scene. It’s cheap, delicious, but some dishes are pretty unhealthy!

1st stop Shilin night market. Where I tried the famous ‘stinky tofu’; shown on the left below. The tofu is fermented and has a very strong ‘stinky’ smell, but the taste is not too strong. Fermented foods are great for digestion so I was excited to try it.

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Uncategorized

Drumming is tiring!

On my recent visit to Taipei Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Bao’an Temple I saw some Taiwanese people practising drumming in a park.

It was a hot day in Taipei. I love travelling in Asia, but long walks in summer can be tough. I can relate to how this boy must have been feeling.