Friday, October 3, 2008


Back in Singapore now... and yup, dreadful NUS is so busy(and stressful).
Kinda miss those days in Japan on exchange! What a fun experience.

Oh, i got my transcript from Tokyo Tech today:

Guess what!!!! I got A grade for all the 6 module which I intended to map back to NUS!!!
The remaning D is for a japanese language module which i took for fun - no need the credits.

Argghhh. LOL...all "A" ?!?!?!
("A" means >80marks)

I was shocked!

I guess TokyoTech is quite lenient towards exchange students like me after all... didnt expect to do so well. Hahaha.
And it is also such as pity that back in NUS, i am only able to map back the credits based on a pass/fail grade. In another words, all i have to do is to just PASS the modules, and i will gain the credit. If all these A grades were to be calculated to my current CAP (cumulative aggregate point), i guess it would really pull it up by quite a lot. Argghhhhh!

Have i worked too hard in Japan??? You tell me....
Perhaps I should have spent more time playing.

Looking at it from the OR (Operations Research) point of view, since all i needed was a PASS (>60marks), that would mean that every point i got above 60 marks was a wastage of resources! ie, i should have spent more time playing and lesser time on studies
Makes sense??

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Farewells

My last few days in Japan were busy with farewell gatherings. Farewell to my labmates, farewell to my hosts, farewell to all my other groups of friends here in Tokyo.
Here are some random photos:

My labmates gave me a JinBei(甚平) for my farewell gift. Its sort of a Yukata(浴衣), but a more informal version.
Drinking party back in lab.

Completion Ceremony

All the "hard work" over my stay here boils down to this - completion ceremony.
Each of the YSEP student took turns to give a short 8 min presentation about his research.

Seriously boring!! I know nuts about what the others are talking about. And I believe the others have no idea what i was blabbering about either. All 30 of us were from different fields, its unlikely that we understand all the technical terms and stuff the others are talking abt.

Some photos at the party after the ceremony:
This is Sato Sensei(佐藤先生)
and Hirose Sensei( 広瀬先生)

Party at ARGEHA (Tokyo's biggest club) that night : )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mt Fuji Climbing Trip

Mt Fuji (富士山) lies 3776m above sea level, highest point in Japan.
Pic of Mt Fuji from the base:

From the 5th station(around the middle of the mountain):

From the peak:
Here, you are way above the cloud level..

We started our climb near mid-nite, just to catch the beautiful sunrise
(Me wearing my team-NUS wind-breaker, haha, so "patriotic")

And to celebrate YAP's birthday (on the peak)

We carried a birthday cake and some candles all the way up. This pic was taken with the mountain crater as the backdrop. haha. What a memorable way to celebrate your birthday in Japan :)

The climb was generally fun. I like the cloudless night sky and the array of stars visible. I like the occasional shooting stars, where everybody will stop what they are doing to make a wish. I like the fresh air and serene peace up there....

The climb was slightly physically demanding, esp the decending route. But its shocking to see how some groups of old men and women (abt 60 plus years old) have the stamina and endurance to overtake us bunch of "kids" during the climb. Even some 5 year-old kids look so energtic after a nights' climb!
Perhaps for them, its no big deal - its most prob a regular daily/weekly exercise from them to climb up and down the mountain... LOL
Whilst i was shivering in the cold wind near the peak of the mountain, some girls near me were touching up their MAKE-UP!!!
Lesson learnt for gals: Bring your make-up kit wherever u go. You need to look good in photos.

Look at the crowd near the peak:
When i reached the top, I saw a girl dressed in SKIRT(with long thick socks) and low heels!!! OMG! Did she climb up in that attire? Or did she actually bring another set of clothes to change into when she reach the peak?

Its also rediculous to climb all the way to the top, just to find amenities like VENDING MACHINES and EATERIES up there! (of course, what else do u expect? its JAPAN!!)

Its so unlike what i expected out of a "highest mountain" - wilderness, vegetation, frost bite etc etc
I guess its just a matter of time before they build an Izakaya(drinking bar) and Pachinko palour(gambling arcade) up there too... not to mention a few convenient stores and MacDonalds.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nebuta Festival @ Aomori

After a long ferry ride through the channel from Hokkaido, we finally arrived at Aomori (青森) just in time for the Nebuta Festival (ねぶた祭り)

Its a street parade of colossal illuminated floats accompanied by dancers...

Here are some of the nicer-looking floats:

At night, where the real celebration begins, and all the floats light up....

Here's what the actual parade looks like...

Otaru Canal

The symbol of Otaru City. The gaslights and stone warehouses along the canal produce a beautiful and romantic nightscape. Cafes, museums, restaurants & shops stretch along both banks.


"Capital" of Hokkaido. Busy city, but not as busy as Tokyo, of course.
What better way to see the city than from up above??
And coincidently, we found this ferris wheel at the top of a building.

so this is what Sapporo looks like from above...
This factory Produces this
the sapporo beer we see in supermarkets and convenient stores everywhere....
and this famous chocolate factory
produces this 白い恋人 "white lover" chocolate biscuit
A thin layer of white chocolate wrapped between 2 soft biscuits... yummy..
There's also a toy museum inside the building...

Other nice sights include this Sappore TV towerand the old Clock Tower


Furano 富良野. A small town famous for its flowers.
There's nice puffy sunflowers(向日葵)
Nice Lavender fields (ラベンダー)

And a dozen other kinds of flowers of all shapes and colours.
We rented a bike and cycled around the town, fields and rivers... Visited the wine and cheeze factories (for FREE samples of wine and cheeze, of course)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


During the train ride to Hakodate, we dropped by a windy town.

You can see from the pic how Ahmet and I are enjoying the strong wind. And in between us... ermmm... an AFRO??? oh, its just Kim with her hair messed up by the wind.

Next stop: Hakodate
函館 is probably the most romantic city in the whole of Japan. Coastal town, with nice slopes, marnia and architecture....
Many gentle slopes lead to the sea:
Western/Vintage style buildings everywhere...

Nice architectures of churches/charpels etc etc.

Also did some rock-climbing at the other end of the town
Bought a peach from the morning market. Check out Kim's "before" and "after" expression from eating the peach.

Conclusion: Peaches make pple happy???

At night, everything lights up in neon and yellow lights, increasing the romantic atmosphere...

This pic is taken from the top of Mt Hakodate. This small town is in between to arched coast. you can get a bird's eye view from here.
With this, I can conclude that Mt Hakodate is probably the best out of the "Top 3 night views" in Japan. (Refer to my previous blog entries, the other 2 are Mt Rokko in Kobe and Mt Inasa in Nagasaki)