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31 July 2008

Ich bin ein Berliner!

Between 9 and 12 of July, I was staying in Berlin, Deutschland (Germany).

It was a beautiful and interesting city. The purpose of visiting there was to learn history of holocaust and the Cold War era.

The first place I visited was Holocaust Memorial. It is Wave of Stones.

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The memorial for 6 million Jewish victims. The place was near Brandenburger Gate and the Parliament Building.

On one downtown street, I found small memorial plates. It is called "Stolperstein. (Hitting stones)" One of 1600-1700 existed on Berlin streets to mourn holocaust victims.

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I also visited some history museums. One of the most impressive ones was German History Museum. I saw below postar for Anti-Jew proganda, which depicts Jews as greedy and communist.

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The same museum exhibited part of former Berlin Wall.  

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I went to Checkpoint Charlie, the former checkpoint between West and East Berlin. That now became tourist spot.

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The below photo is memorial for Border Crosser who failed and then being killed.

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Berlin experienced very dramatic history. I really felt that by being there.  

I've made video clip of my stay in Berlin. See this you tube clip.

On 12 of July I left Berlin for Krakow to see one of the famous World Heritage designated by UNESCO.

I will talk about that later.  

Danke schonn!

06 December 2007

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Hawaii trips!

December 7 is Pearl Habor memorial day for you. For us, it is December 8 because of the time zone difference.

Pearl Habor is famous for the navy base which had been attacked by Japanese imperial army in 1941. More than 2000 GIs were killed.

I visited there when I was in college. I flew to Hawaii from San Francisco. I was there on vacation.

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At that time, I was kind of ignorant about history. I did not feel guilty or express condolence to the dead soldiers. Now I do.

People in Japan claim we've had far more casualties than Pearl Harbor by the U.S. air raids afterwards. But historical fact is Japan bombed Chinese cities and killed so many Chinese civilians. That caused the tension between the U.S. and Japan. It was even before Pearl Harbor. 

Some Americans consider Pearl Harbor and 911 the similar things. They are NOT.

In Pearl Harbor, the army targeted only naval base, not civilians. In 911, the target was mostly civilians. The terrorists knew the twin buildings contain private companies. Japan declared the war against the U.S. although it was delayed mistakably.

 

I have been to Hawaii, three times during my college days. Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island. I enjoyed staying there.

I want to come back again.

21:25 Posted in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: College days, Hawaii

10 November 2007

Colder weather reminds me of the trip to Colorado

It is getting cold lately. A winter is coming close. I do not like winter except that I can go out and ski.

I have good memories of skiing.  

During my college days in the U.S., I visited Colorado to ski 3 times. The same ski resort, Steamboat.

It was college's students ski tour. In the first time we travelled by Amtrack. I remeber it was more than a half day trip from Auckland. Crazily long and boring. 2nd time and 3rd time we went there by plane. Less than 4 hours.  

On 1st time trip, since I had never skied before so I took 1 day ski lesson and that enabled me to ski very well afterwards. Steamboat was a huge ski resort. Even I stayed there for 5 days, I couldn't ski on all of the courses there.

The photo was taken there.

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Other place I skied than Steamboat was Zermatt in Switzerland. I skied there in August seeing the view of Matterhorn.

But not as good as Steamboat, because the ski zones were limited because it was summer.  

Well, now I get older, I don't think I want to go out and ski somewhere. There are many good ski resorts in Japan. But not as good as Steamboat or Zermatt. I don't want to get in crowded ski bus or trains to get to a crowded ski resort.

As it gets cold, I would stay longer at home watching DVDs. I rented an old Charlie Angels' drama episode that Angels went to Veil in Colorado to bodyguard a foreign important person. Kate Jackson (or lookalike) skied chasing a criminal very well.

That brought me back Steamboat memories, too.

Skiing is what you have to do NOW. As the whole earth gets warmer, more and more ski slopes are being closed. We wouldn't be enjoying skiing in near future. Maybe we should ski on artificial snow ground.

I was lucky I could enjoy skiing on real snow. It was high quality powder snow. I remember I could not make a snowball out of it.  

25 July 2007

Visited SAYURI's town

I went to Kyoto last night and came back home this morning. It was hectic trip. Indeed it was not a travel for private pleasure. The trip was for business. But I could manage to visit some tourist spots in Kyoto.

 One of them is Gion town street, where my favorit movie "Memoirs of a Geisha" story took place. Geisha named SAYURI grew up there. It was pretty and very Japanese town. Unfortunately I could not see any Geisha walking on the street because it was early in the morning. But I enjoyed the street view very much. See the picture below.

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The other place I went to was Kiyomizu Temple. It is famous for high stage wooden building. There is a proverb in Japan, "Jumping off the Kiyomizu Stage." meaning trying to do a big new thing. Imagine how brave you have to be to jump off this stage.

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This is the view from the stage. It is 3-5 story building tall but in the old days, it was very high.

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You can see other pictures of Kyoto along with other places in my photo album section on the right. Click on Japan Scenaries.

Kyoto is like foreign place for me because I used to live in US for several years and visite many foreign cities in Europe and China. Kyoto is one of great world's heritage.

Kyoto is beautiful, I am planning to visit there again near future. I will talk more about it later.

21:15 Posted in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: kyoto, geisha