Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Parade

The Sydney Christmas parade hit the city today! The start line was near Circular Quay, going down George street and finished at Tumbalong Park, Darling harbour where the folks enjoyed the entertainments at Santa's village and the kids didn't miss the opportunity to take photo with Santa.

It wasn't as 'spectacular' as their publication but still brought the fun and Christmas cheer to the city with some giant balloon, dancers, singers, and marching bands.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Concert

Christmas is just around the corner!

After a bloody busy week today I finished early, wrapped it up at 6 pm-not that early actually, but compare to the past few days it's a bit relief, popped-up in the city to enjoy Christmas Concert at Martin Place.

Every year the City of Sydney presents a Christmas Concert right in the heart of the city at Martin Place (between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets), which for this year is on 27 November. The 20-metre high tree has been an icon for the festive season of this city, which twinkle day and night. The concert started at 6 PM and hundreds of children waiting patiently to see Santa and ‘little angels’ coming and giving away some chocolates and candies. There were some entertainments for children on the stage and Santa arriving in his sleigh to light up the giant Christmas tree and the fireworks. There were also some live entertainments at Hyde Park as a part of the Christmas on the Green project.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Summer Scent

I just read a friend's post about a Korean Series and it reminds me that I have been addicted to Korean series, movies, including the soundtrack.
I watched this 'Summer Scent' three years ago and really like the soundtrack, I have been listening to this song over the past year without any clue what does it mean. Eventually got the lyric in English, the title 'Bimil' means 'secret', let me know if you like this song too..

Bimil - Summer Scent OST

Actually I am not really into the mellow and teary ones but I did enjoy watching Son Ye Jin in this movie though.
The story is about a girl named Hye-won who got a transplant heart from deceased Soh Eun Hye. Hye Won heart oddly beats faster when she is around a man named Min-woo (Song Seung Hun). Unveiled that her 'new heart' used to love Min-Woo since Soh Eun Hye (the donor) was Min-Woo's girlfriend, the story goes on with more conflicts since she's already got fiance, quite a touching series.
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Japanese Film Festival

My double-pass for Japanese Film Festival arrived today! it's a complimentary ticket from Omusubi, an online magazine from Japan Foundation in Sydney.

The 12th Japanese Film Festival in Sydney will be showing 18 selected Japanese films consisting of different genres, from drama to action/samurai including Anime as well. For you who loves Japanese movie make sure you will not miss this event, showing at Greater Union Cinema in the city from 2 Dec-9 Dec 2008
For details of the movie and the schedule please visit The Japanese Film Festival website.

Here are some snippets from the official website:

Courtesy of Japan Foundation

The opening and closing film

Courtesy of Japan Foundation

Two films I consider to watch:
1. Ichi, just because I love Samurai movie.

Courtesy of Japan Foundation

2. Season of Snow, since It's my dream to experience the snow season in Hakuba and Hokkaido.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Omusubi, literally means Japanese handmade rice balls, a traditional and healthy Japanese delicacies, but this time I'd like to talk about Japan Foundation Sydney's online magazine called Omusubi. In this term, Omusubi comes from the Japanese verb musubu, which means to join, to unite or to form a connection. Omusubi features information about the Japan Foundation, Sydney's events and Japanese film screenings, Japan-related event information around Australia, ideas and resources for school teachers of Japanese, and a range of articles focusing on Japanese culture and Australia-Japan related issues.

Last night I got email from Omusubi saying that I've won a double-pass for the 12th Japanese Film Festival in Sydney as a compliment for taking part of their survey, Arigato Omusubi !

This is what Omusubi (Onigiri) look like

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Secret of Karakuri

As a member of Japanese Foundation in Sydney, couple days ago I was invited to attend an event called ‘The Secret of Karakuri’, a demonstration on the art of Karakuri by two grand masters, Shobe Tamaya IX ( 9th generation) and Dr. Yoshikazu Suematsu.

Shobei Tamaya IX is the last remaining Karakuri master in Japan. He is the ninth generation Karakuri Ningyo craftsman from an unbroken lineage. He creates and restores Karakuri dolls in Nagoya and Inuyama, located in Aichi Prefecture, working closely with Cultural Preservation Committees around Japan. Dr Yoshikazu Suematsu is an Honorary Professor at Nagano University, the Founder of the Suematsu Robotics Laboratory, and Principal of the Toyota National College of Technology. He is considered to be the world’s leading expert in Karakuri, and was a pioneer in robotic visionary systems.

They brought an expensive luggage all the way from Japan, the handmade Chahakobi Ningyo (a tea-serving doll, valued at ¥1,600,00) and the Yumihiki Doji (an archer doll valued at ¥10,000,000).

Mr. Shobei Tamaya demonstrating the mechanism of tea serving doll

It was really an amazing show! All of us stunned by the demonstration of the tea serving doll and the archer doll which known as the masterpiece of Karakuri, an archer doll that shoots 4 arrows in a row with astounding precision! The tea serving doll moves because of the weight of the tea cup so it simply works like a clock-work with no power at all, no electricity and no fuel!

The Archer doll in action

These are some facts about Karakuri as you can find on the Karakuri info website:

The word 'Karakuri' means a mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. In Japanese is written as two separate characters, meaning person and shape. It loosely translates as puppet, but can also be seen in the context of doll or even effigy.

The Japanese have always had a fascination with robots. They introduced to the world Astroboy, Asimo, Aibo… and the Karakuri Ningyo, translated as the ‘mechanical doll’, technology that was at its peak during the Edo period. The Karakuri Ningyo is the original robot of Japan.

The beauty of the Karakuri tradition lies in its concealment of complex technologies hidden behind a simple doll-like puppet. Additionally, the doll’s facial expressions are remarkable as they are painted with such accuracy, the finishing touch from its creator. Neutral expressions are applied but combined with the manipulation of subtle head movements, light and shadow, this incredibly enables the doll to convey diverse emotions, depending on the angle viewed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It’s another favorite dining out in the city: Miso Japanese Restaurant, located at Shop 20 Holden Arcade World Square. Their concept is based on “Teishoku” style (set meal menu). Teishoku normally consists of rice, some meat (or fish), salad, pickle and some dipping sauce. Last weekend I got a chance to catch up with an old friend and having dinner at this restaurant, lucky that we didn’t queue for long, but as soon as we grabbed the seats we saw people start lining up outside the restaurant.

We ordered their special Tonkotsu loin set and the fish teriyaki orange which combine soft texture and a tangy teriyaki sauce that create a special flavor! Their price is above average but their ‘teishoku’ has top quality and the service was great.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Death Note

Death Note is a Japanese series based on manga and anime series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. I heard about this series two years ago and finally watched it last week, yes.. I am so outdated since this movie was released for the first time in Japan mid 2006 and and topped the Japanese box office for two weeks. The film ended up earning $41 million US dollars in Japan, $1.9 million USD in Hong Kong, and $1.6 million USD in the Republic of China.

No doubt, it's one of my favorite Japanese manga based movies! I found this flash intro about L, one of the main character on the movie, is really cool! If you want to replay the above flash please hover over your cursor on the picture, right-click then 'play'.
Actually, this flash is for the sequel of The Death Note movie called L-Change The World.
If you wish to see this movie trailer, you can click the Death Note official site.
Monday, November 3, 2008

Harry Potter Building

If you’ve been to The Sydney University building in Camperdown and enter the main quadrangle, you will know why some of the students here call this building as “Harry Potter Building”.

I went to this ‘Harry Potter Building’ last weekend to enjoy the impressive display of purple flowers of Jaracanda trees, which bloom in mid spring for approximately six weeks.

The city of Grafton in the north coast of NSW is also famous for its Jacarandas, they have a Jacaranda festival during the period of full bloom. Jacarandas are also very popular and can be found in cities all over Israel, they were introduced to this country over 50 years ago.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ramyeon & Omurice

Sunday Morning!
Went to the church at 7.30, got back to the City around 9 am, it's a bit chilling morning so wanna have something hot and spicy for breakkie.
Came across to this authentic Korean Restaurant on Liverpool street just the opposite of World Square building, never been here before so wanna give it a try. This restaurant got a unique name: "Heaven, Earth, Star & Earth" it's sound more like a title of Jacky Chan's or Jet Lee's kungfu movie for me.. ha..ha. .well, picked the Ramyeon (Ramen in Japanese) and Omurice (omelet with rice). The ramyeon came with a tasty hot and spicy soup and 4 side dishes. One thing makes me comeback to a Korean restaurant is their side dishes, not only because they are free and you can top-up as many as you wish but I do like the unique taste of kimchi, pickled bean sprout, dried anchovy, steamed potato, etc.

If you wanna have some deliciously tasty light Korean food in affordable price, this place is worth a try.