Category Archives: Travel

Tea Sampling in Wazuka, Kyoto

Last April I visited the tea farms featured by Obubu Tea in Wazuka, Kyoto. It was a bit hard to get to since only a few buses go there, but it was well worth the trip!

Japanese Rural Towns
Japanese Rural Towns

Continue reading Tea Sampling in Wazuka, Kyoto

Tea Sampling in Taipei, Taiwan

Following a lead in Lonely Planet about the “oldest tea selling shop in Taipei”, I took the #306 bus to the Daqiaotou bus stop right in front of Lin Mao Sen Tea Co. It looked so different from the image on Google Street View where it could have been taken years ago. I was greeted by a very modern-looking shop with the standard large, airtight cans for rows and rows of different teas. They also had beautiful teaware and tools. Continue reading Tea Sampling in Taipei, Taiwan

Google Maps Surfing

There are times when I drift off from work or planning a trip and end up Google Maps or Google Earth surfing for hours. It usually starts out as trying to draft itineraries for business or vacation trips then gradually progresses into aimlessly scrolling over satellite photos of the surrounding areas, going further and further away.

The latest episode of map surfing happened just a couple of nights ago. I bought cheap round trip ticket to Tokyo on a seat sale, and wondered whether I could spend a couple of days in nearby islands or countries to the north (Vladivostok or Korsakov) or east (Jeju Island, Korea), or even much further east (Taiwan). Its not going to be my first time in Japan. Last time I was there, I spent 10 days making at least 6 rides on the Shinkansen west and south of Tokyo and back, plus countless rides on the JR lines. It was the Cherry blossom season of this year and I loved it! Continue reading Google Maps Surfing

For the Love of Old Markets

Whether on a vacation or on a business trip, I make it a point to visit the local public markets to get a sense of what its like to really be part of that place. Usually the produce is grown by farmers nearby, and the fish and meat are brought in fresh early in the morning or even kept alive on site, butchered as ordered. You also get to feel how the economy is doing by the quality and variety of what’s available, what the locals’ favourites are… oh! And their level of cuisine tolerance, too! Continue reading For the Love of Old Markets