Category Archives: Architecture

Quirky Japanese Kōban, or Police Boxes

I have a lot of photos from Japan, but this owl-shaped building in Chiba city may be the token entry for kōban (交番) neighborhood police stations.  On second thought, that might be too generous – and incorrect – a term … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, East & Southeast Asia, Japan, Languages | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday: The Sofitel in Ueno, Tokyo

The Sofitel Ueno, overlooking Ueno Park’s Shinobazu Pond, was one of my favorite (weird) buildings in Tokyo…until it was demolished in between late 2006 and mid-2008.  Heck, the Sofitel wasn’t around that long to begin with, opening only in 1994. … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, East & Southeast Asia, Hotels, Japan, Languages | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Weird Signs, Issue #1: Dental Sushi Cruise in New Jersey

Sometimes when I’d go to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey, the largest Japanese supermarket in the New York City area, I’d walk a few more minutes north to the Trader Joe’s shopping center.  Indeed, when you think “I’m going to go … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Food & Drink, New York City | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Everything’s Bigger in… East Asia?

If you’ve had the chance to flip through my previous posts, you may already know that East Asia has cornered the market on many of the world’s superlatives— among numerous other (read: weird) possibilities, escalators, advertising and flight delays all … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, East & Southeast Asia, Food & Drink, Human Nature, Japan | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Japanese Signs: I Could Read Them, if I Could Read Them

During my first visit to Japan in the summer of 2000, I lived with a host family in Kanazawa for one month.  Even though I was just in my early teens at the time, wanderlust had already become a favorite … Continue reading

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Caracas, Venezuela’s Torre de David

My timing is not good these days.  Ah, that’s a half-truth. Whereas the dollar went far on my recent visit to Caracas, Venezuela, the one building I wanted to visit, the Centro Financiero Confinanzas, was already been cleared of its … Continue reading

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Movie Locations: Slurping Ramen in “Tampopo”

Have you heard of/seen the Japanese movie Tampopo?  Directed in 1985 by Juzo Itami, it tells the fictional story of Tampopo, a female chef endeavoring to create the quintessential bowl of ramen.  In other words, if she moonlighted as a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, East & Southeast Asia, Food & Drink, Japan | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments