Japan - Hanami


In April 2014, I was again going to Japan for business which coincided with the Hanami season (Cherry Blossom Festival). I had checked quite many, if not all, items on my Tokyo to-do list. I was so happy! There are numerous people made my trip so enjoyable. I really need to thanks, thanks, thanks. I was just happy.

Work travel team: me as IPO sponsor, Leo as auditor and Ryo as lawyer.

I'm at the peak of blossoming in my fullest form
From a gradient of white to pink ready to perform
Friends chatting, lovers kissing, families picnicking
All witnessing my petals engaging in jolly dancing
The happiness inside me flourishes in glamour
I wish I could stay like this forever...
Though in days the season goes
Least I enjoyed my fabulous show


- Frank Clifford Chan, Hanami, 2014

My friends, Yeqian and Kaori, again, showed me Tokyo, brought me to Chiyoda and Ginza.

I also went to Hiroshima and Nagoya. Best of all, all expenses paid for for assisting my client to IPO.

Hanami @ Tokyo 东京

Locals picnicking for Hanami @ Yotsuya 四谷

Hanami @ Ueno 上野 
Hanami @ Nagoya 名古屋

Nagoya Castle. We were there on the prime of cherry blossom.

White and pink petals engulfed me from the ground to the sky. Along with the petals rained upon my hand and body, my heart was instantaneously surrendered to the cherry blossom...  That sensual feeling was really difficult to be captured in picture and would carve deep in my memory...

The moat of the Nagoya Castle was dried up and turned into a grass field. The greenery had made a big contract on the white flowers.
Royalties neighbourhood back in Edo period

Sakura surrounding the castle
Newly wed @ Nagoya Castle

Priests @ Atsuta Jingu 热田神
Shimmering gold plated painting walls inside the Nagoya Castle
Tiger and leopard

Princess carriage
Golden tiger-headed dolphins at the roof of the castle are covered with 44.69kg of 18 carat gold plate!
      Warrior armour
April 3, 2014
I had my soul cleansing for this Japan trip this morning at Atsuta Jingu 热田神宫. Prior to our work at 1:00 pm at Nagoya city center, my lawyer, auditor and I walked around the shrine at 10:00 am and sat on a bench beside this pond and simply enjoyed our quite time.
We sat there for 15 minutes. Amongst the scenery in sight are cherry blossom, pigeons circling over the pond, carps jumping out of the water, turtles climbing and reclining onto the rock. Things were tranquil. We just sat on the bench, still and silent, witnessing, sensing and feeling the nature. My heart was chilled and definitely savouring the moment. It was all so good.
Thanks! x
Shinto Kanamara Matsuri (Steel Phallus Festival) @ Kawasaki 川崎

Penis, yes the adorable and admirable penis, is the central theme of this festival.
There was a legend of a toothed demon inside a girl's vagina castrated two young man on their wedding nights. There so a blacksmith made an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth. So there is now a steel penis festival. ;-)
Now the shrine is mainly to pray for protection of STDs, easy delivery, marriage and couple's harmony.

Kanayama Shrine
 金山神社 - I'll say "The Penis Shrine"

The pink penis was hailed and held by the gorgeous ladies.

  Other aspects of Tokyo

Lunch in local style with my best friend Edmund

Explored the reclaimed land area - Daiba 台场
Ooedo Onsen 大江户温泉物语

Famous eel dish @ Chikuyoutei 竹叶亭
Me in Japanese bathing attire
 I like 腐皮寿司. Good to try the varieties
The infamous controversial Yusukuni Shrine 靖国神社 which honours the WWII prime convicts.
Its WWII museum heroically exhibits the tactics to invade countries in the South-east Asia region.  



Hiroshima 广岛
This A-bomb Dome is the ruins of the former Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall which was destroyed by the first atomic bomb ever to be used in war in human history at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, in an attempt to end the WWII. I hope this monument reminds Japan and the whole world not to provoke or engage in any warfare in this world again.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. There is a section in the museum noting the sequence of events since the beginning of the 20th century, such as the attacks of Russia, Korea, China, the U.S., etc, which ultimately led the U.S. to detonate the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.

The before and after of the explosion of the atomic bomb...

The atomic bomb was detonated in the air at an altitude of approximately 600 metres almost right above the hall. The explosion by the bomb claimed the lives of over 200,000 people and destroyed the city area of about 2-km radius.

It was horrific to realize such a small bomb of 55kg Uranium 235 would have such a huge devastating effect. I really hope there will be no war again...

The bomb released heat of 2000C to 3000C for 2 second and obliterated everything the heat contacted. There were also nuclear damage to human body. It was horrific.


April 1, 2014.

Prior to this trip, I have prejudice on Japanese as up until now the Japanese government still does not have the courage to admit and apologize its wrong doing during the WWII. I understand there are injustice in this world, but I expect the Japanese can resolve the historic issues like what the German did.
But then, Ryo, my Japanese lawyer, openheartedly brought us to see the bombing site and paid for our entrance fee to the museum. Though it was only JPY50, it was a gesture to invite us to understand Japan's history. The content of the museum was heavy. Despite Japan partly initiated the WWII and may seem to deserve for the attack, human lives were still human lives. There were lives lost in Hiroshima, as like in other countries during the WWII. My heart felt heavy. After we left the museum, we remained silent for over 5 minutes. Ryo then walked us to the hypocenter (the explosion center) of the atomic bomb. As we arrived the plaque, at that instance, I looked up to the sky, frozen in silence, onto where the bomb exploded approximately 70 years ago. My heart was in rush of mixed emotions - pain and sadness... as it was where the bomb claimed over 200,000 human lives...
Ryo had his back turned back on us on which I noticed that he was hiding his tears. My heart was also heavy at the moment as I realized the pain of lost lives. I sincerely and verbally thanked Ryo for bringing us to the site. He didn't look back. Despite that we remained silent for another 5 minutes, my sincere gratitude was transient in words of silence. I hope this could be an establishment of Chinese-Japanese friendship.
Today is definitely a day which changed my opinion. Japanese general publics are generally good human being. It was just the Japanese government and the then war convicts who created the calamity for the world. I ought to thank Ryo for easing my prejudice. At the end of the day, we went to a local Hiroshima restaurant, ate the local Hiroshima food and sipped Japanese sake. Though it was a simple dinner, it was a token of understanding and friendship. I am yet lived another deep and meaningful day. Thanks Ryo!
May there always be world peace.