Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Tanya's Jazz performance when she is 7 years old!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tokyo japan

Finally we landed at Narita International Airport Tokyo at 1 PM on Friday.
We bought tickets by Keisi Sky liner and headed towards Tokyo.
The Sky liner takes about 60 minutes.....and then we had another train which takes 22 minutes to reach the station which is near to the hotel.

TIP No.1
Its best to take the cheapest train although no reserved seats as time taken is not very different the only difference in time is when you take a bullet train paying about 3 times.Taxis are a big "NO NO" as they are frightfully expensive.....
Taxis/Limo will cost you about 450 US Dollars where as the train can cost you about 16USD a person...so I now leave it to you to choose!

We managed to actually find our way and walk to the hotel from the station and that was really good....so we saved the burden of taking a taxi....
TIP No.2
Stay at a hotel with less than 10 minutes walk to a subway.

After checking in we decided to go towards Tokyo Metro Station.We walked around the serene surroundings of the Imperial Palace Area.

A snapshot of one of the buldings of Imperial Palace.

Kids at the Imperial Palace Area

You may watch the video...of some recording not taken by us below but gives a good overview of the area.

Then we headed to Roppongi. Its an upmarket place with a lot of modern buildings and happening night life.We went up the Roppongi Hills 52nd floor for a "CITY VIEW AT NIGHT"....

TIP No.3

Take a Day Pass for Metros from the airport. It works out really economical.

The city looked endless and on could just keep wondering how big the city was.
We finally headed home and actully realised we cannot take some of the subways day pass on a particular rail line and hence ended up changing 3 trains to go back to the hotel...Needless to say we were dead tired so fell asleep immediately.

Tokyo japan

Second day...we went to Shinjuku with the intention to try and visit Hakone...but was advised that the weather was cloudy hence the ship service and cable car and ropeway may be completely stopped.

We anyways bought the Hakone free pass.

The following link gives you all details regarding the pass

Hakone free pass

We bought the same for 5500 yen per ticket for Sunday....and decided to see Shinjuku...

One of the highlights of the area was Takashimaya - the super store at The Times Square.....having seen the chain in Singapore and Taipei umpteen times one would not expect any surprises.

But the store is so huge you are wonderstruck by its sheer size. Its over 12 floors and the whole store in other Asian cities would be equal or less than one of the floors.
Its a must see of high end shoppers.

Backdrop is Takashimaya Store at Times Square

We were also quite amazed to see over 100 people queuing up in a slight dristle at a Krispy Creme Doughnut outlet...We had lunch at Shinjuku and headed towards the Ueno Zoo...

Tokyo japan

We headed to Ueno Zoological Gardens......its a zoo as old as 1882. and our daughters chose because the main attraction is PAnda...so if you asked them what they saw in Tokyo they are sure to say the zoo with the PAnda....!

Entrance of UENO ZOO

The Popular Pandas at The Ueno Zoo

There are several other zoo and sea life parks...which we gave amiss as there is only limited things you can really cover.
The Tiger at the Zoo

The Polar Bear - yet another attraction

The Panda Hug

We headed off to Akhibara the Electric City....

This is an area with the most advanced electric products . There are several hundreds of shops selling all kinds of electronic products.There are also streets specialising in Musical instruments etc...

We headed off lateer to see Yushima Tenmagu Shrine....before heading home to a well deserved rest.

A view of the temple

Tokyo japan

We left the hotel by 6 to head off to Hakone....We reached Shinjuku and boarded the train on Odyaku line for Hakone Yumoto. On the way you get views os snowcapped Mount Fuji.

Ten we headed off in Hakone Tozan Bus to the next leg of the Hakone tour. We stopped here and shopped around for Japanese Curios also visited an art museum from where the views of Lake Ashi was fantastic.

Then we took the cermonius ship to Togendai to be set for another Hakone ropeway ride.

Several shots on our one day trip to Hakone!
Do click on the photo to get an expanded view! The place was awesome!

After the ropeway ride you take the cable car and reach Gora. We stopped by and visited the Gora Park before heading to Shinjuku after a long and tiring day.

Tokyo japan

Today was cruising day...we thought our trip to Tokyo wont be complete without a cruise on Tokyo Bay.So we headed off to Hinode Pier....and went to Odaiba /seaside park on a cruise....

A closer view of the Rainbow Bridge. Notice that the bridge is 2 levels.Vehicles simultaneously pass through both levels.

Fuji - TV Headquarters

We spent time walking and shopping around finally to return to Hinode Pier.

Then we took the last opportunity to see the skyline of Tokyo.So we took a city view from the World Trade Centre before heading off for a late lunch .
Another shot of Rainblow Bridge as a backdrop!

A day view of the city from the World Trade Centre

Took the train to Narita International Airport and was amazed at the size of the airport.It was huge and makes you wonder how well these cities plan and prepared for future.There are several shops for genuine Japanese Curios at the airport so we shopped till we actually spent the last yen before heading home to Taipei.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Indian Classical dances by

Ms. Gopika Varma


Ms. Resmi Girish
(Bharatanatyam Kuchipudi)

at 7:30 p.m.
on Wednesday, 23 May 2007
at Min-sheng Concert Hall
4th Floor, 163-1, Section 5, Min-sheng East Road, Taipei

Mohiniyattam is a dance form said to have originated in Kerala. It is closely related to Bharathanatyam of Tamil Nadu, which was originally called 'Dasiyattam'. Originated as the temple dance performed by Devadasis, it portrays feminine love in its myriad forms - carnal, devotional and maternal- with accent more on Lasya and Bhava. In the main items Cholkettu, Padavarnam and Padam, Mudras and facial expressions are more important than the rhythmic steps. Costumes and ornaments of Mohiniyattam have much in common with female characters of Koodiyattam and Kathakali.

Compared most other dance forms, Mohiniyattam gives more importance to gestural and facial acting. The Mudras (hand gestures) are almost always same as those employed in Kathakali. The artists try to enact the lyrics almost in its entirety, like in Kathakali.

Gopika Varma started learning Mohiniyattam at the age of 10 from Smt. Girija and Smt. Chandrika Kurup, both senior students of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma whose student she continued to be for 10 years. Later she specialised in the art form under the able guidance of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma herself and her daughter Sreedevi Rajan. She was also fortunate to learn Abhinaya which is the quintessence of Mohiniyattam from Sri. Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the doyen of the Kathakali stage. Presently Gopika is running a Mohiniyattam school named 'Dasya' at Adayar, Chennai.
Gopika has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and temples all over India and she has won laurels abroad when ICCR chose her to represent India. Love for this graceful and gentle dance of soft rhythm has enabled Gopika to transmit through movements and expressions that at times sigh with nostalgia, purity and sanctity which translate as her own personal worship of the Divine.

The ancient Travancore royal family has been famed down the age for its patronage of the fine arts. Gopika is married into the family to Prince Pooruruttathi Thirunal Marthanda Varma

The technique of Kuchipudi closely follows the tenets laid down in the ‘Natya Shastra.’ There is some mingling of the folk idiom, which makes it highly appealing to a wide spectrum of viewers. The training takes about four to seven years, and includes two sets of ‘adugulu’ or basic steps, the ‘jatis’ or combination of movements, and a detailed study of the ‘Natyashashtra’ (theoretical aspects of dance).

The British Museum

Treasure's of the World Culture's

We finally made it to the Brtish Museum Exhibition at the National Palace Museum as near by residents we got an excusive glimpse of Friday evening free of charge between 6 and 8:30 P.M

The crowd was less than 200 people so it was a real leisure museum viewing that after we for the acoustic guide in English even our seven year old daughter started enjoyed the museum.

More about what was exhibited can be viewed at the attached link


We bought a lot of nic curios and gifts....

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Revised Itinery

Arrival at Narita Airport - 1 PM on Friday.

Options for Train Station, Place Service Time (minutes) Cost (¥)
TOKYO JR Tokyo Station JR "Narita Express" # 60 2,940
JR Rapid Train 90 1,280
Limousine Bus 80 3,000
Fixed Rate Taxi * 100 19,000

4 PM - all set to go sightseeing!

DirectionsShort walk from the Tsukiji Shijou subway station
The Tsukiji Shijou station is on the Toei Oedo Line; change at the JR Hamamatsu-cho station on the Yamanote Line from the JR Tokyo station.
Or, 10-minute walk from the Tsukiji station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
[1] Near A2 Exit of Tsukiji-Shijo Sta. on Subway Toei Oedo Line.

[2] 10min. walk from Tsukiji Sta. on Subway Hibiya Line.

[3] 15min. walk from Higashi-Ginza Sta. on Subway Hibiya Line and Toei Asakusa Line.

[4] 20min. walk from JR / Subway Shimbashi Sta.

[5] 10min. by bus (Bus #01 for “Tsukiji Chuo Shijo”) from East Exit of Shimbashi Sta.
5 am - 3 pm ( Most of the places in the market might be closing at around 1 pm)
Auction of marine products: about 5 am - about 7 am
Auction of fruits and vegetables: about 6:30 am - about 7:30 am

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Internet Marketing

Its been a year since I got introduced to the world of Internet Marketing.

What is Internet Marketing ?

If you google the words " Internet MArketing" you get over 31 million websites referring to it.

Trust me most of them will be different and there will be a lot of information you can read and read and read...

According to wikipedia
Internet marketing is the use of the Internet to advertise and sell goods and services. Internet Marketing methods include search engine marketing (both search engine optimization and pay per click advertising), banner advertising, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising, and email advertising.

I spent the whole year off and on attending seminars, reading books, ebooks and finally have this to say about Internet Marketing.

It requires finding a niche and developing around it.It requires a lot of initial ground work....

I am going to blog about great products and resources I found in this journey over a year.