Postcards

Iwate – Tohoku today. So little snow and relatively warm weather even though it is still around 25C lower than where I was yesterday #iwate #tohoku

Back in Laos for two days. I could squeeze in one early morning temple visit in the capital city of Vientiane before taking off for Luang Namtha. There was a festival going on with early morning music. I have been shooting with a camera that I really dislike for the last four years (Fuji X-Pro 2) and I am determined to go back to my old bulky Canon when I get back to Tokyo.

It was too short of a trip to formulate any meaningful opinion about Philippines other than recognizing the admirable work ethics of the local team that we worked with. However, the country still strangely reminded me of Kenya with the roadside development in rural areas and strong emphasize of the christianity (we were invited to pray before and after the meetings). Philippines has a very different vibe compared to other Asian countries that I have been to. So grateful for the opportunity to visit these lesser known regions in Asia and work with and learn from the local teams. Now back in Laos for two days to do follow up work on the sustainable eco-tourism project in Luang Namtha before getting back to Tokyo. As for the coronavirus, many airports screen the arriving passengers by checking their temperature or immediately offering hand sanitizers. I hope that the media and all of us not so directly affected from the virus keep people of Wuhan in our thoughts before spreading ridiculous panic fueling and demonizing news

On this first day of December, some Tokyo colors from the last day of November. December is a great time to be in Tokyo, the weather is not yet too cold and mostly sunny and more importantly dry, the fall colors do their best to hang in there till mid-December and unique opportunity to listen to “O Holy Night” at least thousand times wherever you go – all in all, December has always been my favorite month wherever I`m as it gently guides us to my favorite season.

This was taken last week in Nagano and we will soon have the fall colors in all their glory down here in Tokyo as well. I think that the fall is far out the best season to visit Japan. It is not as busy as sakura, the weather is mild and you can take the colors whichever way you like, heartbreaking or hope pumping.

Just had an amazing three days in Nagano visiting with my friend her family. We drove around in search of koyo, did some light hikes, visited Kamikochi but more importantly spent a lot of time with her lovely family. 

Flying over Laos – from Vientianne to Luang Namtha. In the indie-travel community, when will we truly understand that what is glorified as “authenticity” is in most cases nothing more than the disguised form of extreme poverty? Does classifying extreme poverty as authenticity ease our conscience in terms of our own privileges? I`m as susceptible to this mistake as any other traveler.

Last week, I visited Shizuoka with a group from school for a project. This was the first time that I saw a nuclear power plant in my life (I guess I got lucky so far and our project concerns a much friendlier topic than a nuclear power plant – local onsen). We looked at it from inside a building coated against radiation so that it could be used as a shelter for area citizens in case of a tragedy. These wind turbines were however visually more appealing than the nuclear power plant. So this is the picture that you get.

One great Tokyo evening. I usually go to Jimbocho every Saturday right after school, it is probably my favorite Tokyo neighborhood. It is home to hundreds of used book stores and also gets quite atmospheric at night with its many machiyas turned into cozy dining venues. This is Aligot serving french food in an entirely Japanese atmosphere, perfect combo.