Plain Talk


Going Hiking to Mount Tsukuba by A. Stoica

Still wondering what to do on a hot Saturday? I would recommend get out of the crowded city and head to a hiking one-day-trip to Mount Tsukuba in Ibaraki prefecture! It is a great way to relax, exercise, to enjoy nature, meditate, do tree- hugging, release the stress and take superb photos of the summit view. Mount Tsukuba (877m) is not only one of the most abundant in greenery and nice landscapes, but it also offers several hiking courses you can choose from according to your physical level, comfort and available time. For an average person, I would suggest the 1.8 km course at Nyotai Side (the Female Side – I will come back to this a little later), that starts right behind the restaurant at the parking area and finishes at the cable car station nice restaurant and ice-cream available?) . Go past the temple and the statue featuring a giant frog, and start climbing almost vertically on a steep course. A little bit challenging for beginners but it worth every moment. The way back is at your choice. You can enjoy the descending at your own pace or get a cable car and admire the aerial view of the area.

On the way on the train to mount Tsukuba it is a great way idea to do some reading about mount Tsukuba and learn about the history and the legend. Did you know there are 2 peaks called Nyotai and Nantai? something like Female and Male peak? it is also called the Purple Mountain ? On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji from the top. It is a nice opportunity to learn about the legend of Mount Tsukuba, about a deity that descended from the skies thousands of years back and asked two mountains for shelter overnight. With his perfect cone, and straight summit, Mount Fuji proudly rejected the request. Mount Tsukuba, on the other side, humbly provided shelter, water and food. As a result, Mount Tsukuba has been blessed with abundant greenery and natural resources, while Mount Fuji remained cold and bare. And indeed, a little bit of more reading will reveal that Mount Tsukuba produces some very beautiful and sought-for granite and different kinds of rocks.

There are many other historic facts or local stories about Mount Tsukuba but I would like to let you discover it by yourself on you first trip to this wonderful place!




Tokyo Fab



Sound from Shinjuku.
Red Bull Music's popular content "Lost in Karaoke": jacking the unique Japanese culture -karaoke box- and delivering live streaming performance of high-profile artists from each room will return! This time DJ & LIVE equipment, sound system etc will be set up in seven rooms of "Karaoke-kan Seibu Shinjuku Station mae" in the middle of Kabukicho in Shinjuku. From the Karaoke boxes, young artists responsible for the future of the Japanese music scene will deliver some unique and original performances & talks. With the waveform that flies like a kaleidoscope, the rhythm with a hypnotic effect, and sometimes with a powerful singing voice, they will remove the concept of a normal karaoke box.

Date:October 2nd 7pm ~ 10pm
No registration necessary as this is a live streaming event.

For more information, please visit


Dancing in the UNIVERSE
Countless stars twinkling in the night sky. Wondering what's further out there in the universe...?
Countless galaxies exist outside our galaxy. Sometimes the galaxies collide with one another and form a new galaxy. The universe continues to expand, repeating cycles beyond our imagination. This is an unprecedented entertainment with its "sensuous" scale and rhythm of the universe by fusing electronic music, 360 degree dome image, and space directing in a high dimension. What do we think of living on a small planet called Earth in front of the scale of this vast universe?

@ KONICA MINOLTA Planatarium
Closest Sta: Ikebukuro

For more information, please visit

What’s App With You?


PCalc Lite

PCalc is the powerful choice for scientists, engineers, students, programmers, or indeed anybody looking for a feature rich calculator. It includes an optional RPN mode and multi-line display, a choice of button layouts, an extensive set of unit conversions and constants, a paper tape, multiple undo and redo, engineering and scientific notation, as well as support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations. PCalc Lite is a fully functional and free taste of our very popular scientific calculator. It includes an optional RPN mode, multiple undo and redo, unit conversions and constants, as well as two stylish themes and our highly praised design. A great choice for your new iPad. If you like what you see, the full version has many more settings and themes, a paper tape, engineering and scientific notation, and full support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations. You can also now purchase extra features directly from inside PCalc Lite. Buy them individually, or buy everything. Includes an Apple Watch app, so you can calculate on your wrist.

VisualMATH 4D:

VisualMATH 4D is a graphical calculator and lets you draw graphs of your mathematical functions in 2D, 3D and 4D with a time-variable (t). Features: draw graphs with one or two variables like f (x), f (x, y) - visualize your function in 4 dimensions with a time-variable - compute value tables - definite integral and derivative - functions - matrices, vectors, determinant, inverse, transpose, - trigonometrical functions like sin, cos, tan, sec - rounding-functions, floor, ceil, round, - sum and product-function - save your functions and make screenshots - modify your graph-range and set customized color options - rotate and zoom your graph in three dimensions - display multiple graphs The app is easy to use and helps students and engineers to visualize their mathematical functions and it can be used as a professional graphical calculator.

Tokyo Voice Column


Traditional Festivals: A Japanese Perspective With Ms. ‘S’
as interviewed by Paul Stewart

I like the traditional events of Japan. Recently, I went to the Sanja Festival at Asakusa and also, an Osumo Opening Ceremony (Dohyo Matsuri) at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

I watched Osumo often as a child on television. My family would watch all six of the annual tournaments either in the living room at home or, sometimes in the Department Stores in Nihombashi. You could watch Osumo on the T.V & Electronics floor, or in the waiting rooms of Men’s Fashion shops. I continued watching Osumo but my first live experience was actually the retirement event for the famous Yokozuna Kitanofuji (Fuji of the North). He comes from Hokkaido and is very handsome. I like him. But my older cousin was ‘crazy’ about him so we went in a group of four cousins together to celebrate his career. My favourite whom I loved was actually Kitanoumi (Lake of the North), who passed-away three years ago. We watched in Kuramae, as it was the home of Osumo for thirty years.

In recent years, I moved closer to Asakusa so I have been revisiting the Sanja Festival as I did regularly as a child. In those days, there were many fun things for children to do. Sadly, these days, it just seems to be food stalls. Back then; I particularly liked catching the fish with a net (Kingyo Sukui). In a similar game, beautifully painted water-filled balloons floated in another tank (Yo-yo Tsuri). We held hooks attached to fragile paper and we dangled it trying to catch it on the loop on top of the balloon. If the paper got slightly wet, it would break and that meant ‘game-over’, but if it didn't break, we could catch and keep many balloons. These wonderful balloons were in-fact Yo-Yo’s and I could play with them at home for about a week before they’d shrink. The beautiful energy and momentum of Omikoshi is powerful. The Omikoshi represents God, so people carry it with great respect. The procession is accompanied by music called Ohayashi consisting of Japanese drums, flute and rhythmic bell chiming using a metal dish. Even though I am not carrying the Omikoshi, I feel great excitement as I squeeze through the very large crowds of people to get closer.

Japans traditional events include both silence and momentum. I hope you also can enjoy the richness and depth of Japan.






Strange but True


143,372,000yen for a Warehouse?!

From the outside, the run-down old warehouse doesn't look particularly interesting and most people would probably just walk straight past without giving it a second glance. But in the perfect example not to judge a book by its cover, this modest looking building hides an incredible little secret - and it's just sold for £1million (About 143,372,000yen as a result. What could be inside to create this much of value? The property, in Brisbane, Australia, is decorated like a hipster's dream with exposed ceilings, steel beams and concrete beams. The online advert states: "Inner-city living doesn't get any cooler than this. "You can search all of Brisbane but you won't find anything like this industrial-style warehouse conversion that perfectly captures the trendy street-style of Melbourne.

Tunnel for an attraction

If you're looking for an up and coming place to visit for your next holiday, then look no further than Bude. The seaside resort town is located in north Cornwall and is home to several attractions - including the Bude Tunnel. What's the Bude Tunnel you ask? Well... Currently ranked as the town's top attraction on TripAdvisor, the tunnel is said to be a sight to behold, with one reviewer describing it as "a modern Taj Mahal" and others comparing it to the Sistine Chapel and the ruins of Pompeii, reports CornwallLive. Made from plastic, the tunnel is actually nothing more than an undercover walkway for Sainsbury's customers to use in bad weather… People have praised the tunnel for it's "engineering excellence" and the "magnificent views" offered through the perspex roof. Now, can you find some artistic integrity in it, too?