Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kakegawa Castle

Today, 26/08/06, I started from my home to The Kakegawa Castle, which is located in the southern part of Japan. It took around an hour from my home.
Beautiful flowers were dancing in the wind and welcomed us. It was a pleasant view. What a nice place it was. We bought tickets and went inside the Hall of Kakegawa Castle. The palace is one of the best architectural wonders in the world. We took many photos in and out side the Castle. After going around the hall, we came down from the Castle and went into Ninomaru Tea Room; we had Japanese green tea which was like medicine for me.
They served us in their traditional way which I liked the most. Their presentation was just beautiful, the contemporary Japanese style. Then, we went to the Ninomaru museum and saw their tradional way of life and the things used by them in their day to day life. It was very much similar to our Indian tradition. The culture in Japan has changed a lot by the influence of the western world. It is rare to find people in their traditional dress, called Kimono.
Then, I tried on the soldiers (samurai) dress and took snaps.
It was looking like a Japanese movie studio, it was a nice experience. Then, from there we went to the beach, which made me remember my old days of living in Chennai. I couldn’t take many photos there as I was running late behind my tight schedule. While returning, I was thinking about my college days. I was really missing Chennai a lot. All together, it was a nice experience and I spent a day. Spending a day in Japan out of office is very difficult as I am alone in a foreign country and have no idea about the local language - Japanese.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hamamatsu City

Hamamatsu is an interesting city with many places to visit.It is located in the southern part of Japan and it is located near to the coast line. It is one of the biggest cities in Japan.
Extreme temperatures prevail here, the winters are very cold and the summers are very hot. This place is inhabited by a lot of tourists and foreigners. A lot of other nationals also stay here. You can find any kind of food you may want. There are some Indian restaurants also, but my favorite is the Mac Donald’s because the burgers available here are one of the best and is the cheapest food available here. Indians, easily harmonize with these people. The Localities are very helpful, But without knowing Japanese, one may find it is difficult to survive here, because people here don’t speak English. You can find many public telephone booths here, so you need not to worry to make calls to your home, but it is costly. You can get brastel / zamzam international calling cards in any of the departmental stores, you can use those cards to make international calls. I felt that the zam zam card was much cheaper and better than brastal card.
I found, people here giving more importance to their food and entertainment, one could find many computer game shops and a lot of restaurants in most areas. In restaurants, their presentation of food is really good. Usually, people here use chopsticks to eat. Eating with chopsticks is tough, but believe me once you learn the method you will find it interesting and benefiting. All available types of food will be displayed outside the restaurant. So if you are not able to read and understand the menu, you can choose any by seeing the displayed menu outside. This place is inhabited with a lot shopping malls and shoppers this place throng day and night. If you feel that it is costly to buy gifts, you can find many 100 yen shops, in which you could get most items and gifts for 100 yen.
This city is connected by one of the fastest means of transport the bullet train. There are two railway stations, one is for bullet trains called as shinkansen which connects different cities in Japan and the other one is JR station which connects the local places. Buses are also available as an alternative. If you want to go to Tokyo, take shinkansen which takes around one and half hours to reach Tokyo. For stay, you can go for the Weekly mansions or apartments or hotels (not good for long term). Weekly mansions are costlier than Apartments, but it has more facilities like TV, cot, DVD/CD player, furniture’s, refrigerator and gas connection to cook. But in apartments, I don’t think you will get all these.
It is a very good place to work or visit. Don’t forget to visit Hamamatsu Flower Park and zoo and the lake near the zoo. The nearest airport from Hamamatsu is Nagoya. I am having a lot of fun here and making the most of the free time available. Enjoy maadi.


It was the 11th of July 2006 and it was my 22nd birthday. I was asked to go for training in pune. I was enjoying my birthday with my friends and colleagues. I was excited to travel by flight for the first time in my life and I was all alone by myself. The flight was scheduled to depart at 10:20 pm. I had too many imaginations before boarding the flight. Many questions were running around in my mind like would anyone help me there if I commit a mistake and etc?
I left to the airport at around 9:00 P.M from my home. My friend took me to the airport and we reached the airport by 9:30 p.m. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do next. Then, I thought it was best that I observed everyone like what they were doing and follow the same way, then got my boarding pass. I told them that it was my first time, and asked them to guide me. The person at the counter asked me to go to the next gate for scanning the luggage. At that time, I saw a guy who was also going to take the same flight. I followed him till the flight. They took us in a bus to the flight. Finally, I got in to the flight and got into my seat.
No one was there in my row and it was a middle seat (3 seats were there). I had several questions going on in my mind like was it good to sit in the middle seat if you are travelling for the first time..?. I was waiting for the passengers who were going to sit next to me. I was telling myself, would they come? Or I have to sit all alone in my row. Would any teenage girl come and sit next to me?. Well it was my first time.. And what if I commit any mistake, I didn’t want to be embarrassed by my own actions. God. But I comforted myself that next time some beautiful girl should come and sit next to me..!!
As it was getting late for takeoff, I was getting nervous, again my mind had many questions. I wanted to know if they had checked the air and fuel level properly. Was everything fine? I was getting nightmares about the quality of Indian domestic flights. Was i doing the right thing?? Then, two guys came and sat next to me. I thought of introducing myself to them. But I didn't. … Never knew why??
It was 9:20. They had just announced that the flight was ready to take off. To be true I was really afraid of what would happen next. Why did I ever want to board a flight? Was it possible for me to get down now..?? Well everyone else was finding it easy except me. I was hoping that they will help me out if anything went wrong. Then, they were announcing the safety guide lines. I was listening properly (I never listened the classes in my college and school.). I was waiting for my destination and praying to god. Every time I looked out I was getting more tensed. Yes I was really afraid. After we reached around 27,000 feet the safety belt sign went off. So most of my questions on safety were getting answered and I was starting to feel comfortable and safe. But we had to travel for some more time. They gave us dinner. It took around an hour to reach pune.
After the landing I was very happy and excited because I was still alive. That was it. Nothing happened, everything came to peaceful end… well anyone can travel. Then, why had I been worrying all this time? It was 11:30. I had to take a taxi to reach the hotel. It took an hour from the airport. By the time I settled down in my hotel room the time was 12:40. I didn’t get any sleep at all after that tiresome journey; well one can guess that I was very excited. I was thinking about my flight travel. Then, I made a promise to myself that soon I should travel with my mother by flight. Altogether it was a great experience.