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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Korea War Memorial - Seoul

Having been exposed to the horrors of destructive conflict not just against other countries during World War II but also against brothers from the other Korea during its internal territorial dispute (which of course, hounds them still to-date), South Korea consciously preaches adherence to peace. To symbolize this cause, it built a War Memorial that displays military armaments, depicts war scenes and honors the souls of those whose lives were lost in the process.

I was just so glad my early morning walk led me to the place.

(a depiction of a Father returning to the arms of a longing son after the war)

(a marker for Filipino soldiers who died in Korea)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Somewhere in Seoul

Am now in Seoul, So. Korea. For work, of course.

Quite busy, but I'll try finding time to post.

See ya all later!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nagoya Castle and Atsuta Shrine

I checked out the Wikipedia entry on Nagoya and found out that it cites two sites as the City’s most famous tourist destinations: the Nagoya Castle and the Atsuta Shrine. Thanks to my wonderful hosts, I was able to visit both.

The entry says: “ Nagoya Castle was built in 1612. Although a large part of it burned down in the fires of World War II, the castle was restored in 1959, adding some modern amenities such as elevators. The castle is very famous for two magnificent Golden Orca (a type of fish) on the roof, often used as the symbol of Nagoya.” (the moat the back of the castle

(the view from the top of the castle)

There were so many displays inside the castle . These were either descriptive of how the original structure was built -

Or many historical artifacts like this samurai armour -Or a replica of the "golden dolphin" adorning the building's roof (which this foreigner had a grand time posing with) -

"Atsuta Shrine is known as the second-most venerable shrine in Japan, after Ise Shrine. It is said to enshrine the Kusanagi sword, one of the three imperial regalia of Japan. It holds around 70 festivals in a year, and many people visit the shrine year-round. Also, the shrine has over 4,400 national treasures representing its 2,000 years' history.”

(the entrance gate where everyone has to pash thru: no passing from the sides)

(the cleansing well: visitors must must their hands or feet here before they proceed to the temple)

(the temple itself - throw a coin, then pray)

(the hall where elaborate Japanese weddings are held)

(the longest sword in the world)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nagoya on a Sizzling Summer Day

I spent my weekend in Japan’s third largest metropolitan region, the center of which is the City of Nagoya. It is 262 kilometers out of Tokyo and the fastest and most convenient mode of transport (which I took) is via the Nozomi or bullet train which takes about an hour an a half of first class travel.

I tried checking out the city despite the sweltering 37 degree summer heat.

Below are some of the photos I took of the city’s downtown which features the Nagoya Tower (a tv tower) and the Central Park (said to be inspired by New York’s). (The Nagoya Tower and Fountain)

(view from the top of the Nagoya Tower)

(Scenes at the Central Park)

("sake" drums used as decor in a sumo wrestling venue)

(plates of couples who were wedded atop the Nagoya tower)

(and the bullet train back to Tokyo)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hakone Forest Reserve Camp Grounds

Let me show you some of the pics I took during our recent trip to the Hakone Forest Reserve.

I’m nowhere near comparable to our favorite photo-bloggers, pero sige lang. Trip lang naman ang aking photography. :-)

By the way, just in case you’d ask what happened to my supposed rendezvous with Fuji San, I backed out and chose to check him from afar. Really afaaaaaaar!
Now shoot me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Plus 7 Years? Why Not!

Eat one egg and increase your life expectancy by seven years! How’s that for a great marketing tag, eh? He he. Phony I know, but people are buying.

Just what the frock is this egg? It’s an ordinary one, actually, but boiled in the waters of the super hot springs in the mountains of Hakone. We were there yesterday, and climbed the part of the mountains where the boiling earthly leaks gush and where the foul sulfuric fumes pervade the air.

As they say, " when in Rome....". Wala naman mawawala kundi yung gutom ko, di ba? So eat I did. Here's the pic of my blackened egg.....

....which was taken directly from one of these metal crates..

And since mahiyain ako, siya na lang ang ginawa kong model sa egg-eating adventure na ito. Di naman kasi kami nagkakalayo ng istura. Mga isandosenang paligo lang naman, primarily composed of about ten drums boiling sulfuric water, limang galong laundry soap at dalawang banyerang virgin coconut oil shampoo...