Japan: devil is in the detail

Distinctive features of Japan are well-thought design and attention to details. Compared to Russia the difference is easily visible: economy instead of wide scope, neatness instead of coarseness.This post is going to be a mixture of various interesting and maybe funny things that didn’t match any particular topic of other posts. So, what caught my inquisitive sight?

Take elevator, for instance. Notice additional buttons for children and disabled.

Japan Tokyo elevator design

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Turkey, pictures. Apr, 2010

Also, in April 2010 had a chance to go to Turkey for 3 days. Curiously enough not on vacation but to participate in a work-related event. However I doubt that I’ll ever go to Turkey on holidays again taking into consideration number of times I’ve been there as a kid. Anyway, even work cannot spoil mountains, sea and sun. And this is what I suggest you to enjoy with me on the pictures below.

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Japan: tea ceremony

This is the third post about Japan after the introductory and cuisine ones. Today I want to tell you about classic Japanese tea ceremony which I was lucky to participate in during my visit to Japan in Apr. 2010.It’s best to quote Wikipedia to give you an understanding of cultural meaning of tea ceremony in Japan:

Tea ceremony developed as a “transformative practice”, and began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of wabi. Wabi, meaning quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste, “is characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection, and asymmetry [emphasizing] simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, and [celebrating] the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials

But let me show you the pictures from the one I actually experienced and provide few brief explanations.

The place itself was very beautiful with large windows to garden:

Japan: the place and nature

There are lots of rituals prior the ceremony itself but I will omit them for brevity.
Japan: tea ceremony, teapot

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Japan: cuisine and food

Well, you need to be the Captain Obvious to state that Japan has a very original and delicious cuisine. Variety of fish and seafood, unusual soups, seaweed, sashimi and of course sushi. Everything is fresh and delicious. You will like it if you’re open-minded in the first place.

Fortunately, we had an opportunity to try it all: the authentic cuisine in the expensive traditional restaurants, cheap fast-food-like cafes and a regular bento (Japanese lunch box) in the shinkansen (Japanese high-speed train). And all were good.

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Trip to Japan, impressions and beautiful pictures

My plans to visit Japan turned into reality! Thank you all for your recommendations! If I were to describe the trip in one word I would call it unforgettable. We usually slept for 4-7 hrs a night trying to experience as much as we could.

Japan, Tokyo, Shibuya crossing

Let me answer expected questions right away. How did I get there? Well, have been a PhD student in Higher School of Economics during the last year and a half. As I surprisingly still didn’t get kicked out I decided to participate in the organization of the student exchange with the Japanese Masters and PhD students in June 2009. Took days off at work and helped guys to get around the city and see lots of cool things.

Then, there was a long delay with no news. So, I saved some money and vacation days at work. But after 10 months the reciprocal trip was organized! And it was organized on the breath-taking level!

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What are the best places to live and travel to: rational side of the issue

 

 

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

 

~ Aldous Huxley, English writer

 

Choosing a place to live as a part of lifestyle design

In the era of globalization more and more people realize that they aren’t bounded by the city or even the country they were born in. On average we travel more, tarlk and meet people from other parts of the world more and get to know other cultures more. Technology, Internet, blogging, global careers or location independent entrepreneurship – all of these are factors contribute to it. But once we’ve realized that in the long-term we are pretty much free to decide where to live we face another challenge. And this is how we can possibly make a choice like this?

I, personally, think that a place that can be called “the best for everyone” simply doesn’t exist. Besides, probably there is no one single place which is “best for you”. But certainly there are places which you would or will enjoy more and less, there are places where you’ll have more opportunities for self-realization and those where list of opportunities is shorter. So, what can help one to make the decision?

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Designers travelling the world: idea nomads onizou

Last Friday we’ve been to the amazing presentation give by two designers traveling the world that call themselves Idea Nomads in Moscow. Oni and Zou (these are their aliases) have a goal to travel the world without taking flights.

ideanomadsonizou

So far, they visited China, Hong Kong, Tibet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan giving various creative/design presentations and arranging the workshops and of course doing some self-PR. They don’t seem to be willing to stop so far, the route they had drawn on the world map is far from being complete.

I don’t know about you, but it’s another source of inspiration for me:
http://www.ideanomads.com
http://twitter.com/onizou

Trip to Madrid: pictures and impressions

Ok, here is the short illustrated story about my trip to Madrid in May, 2009. I wanted to participate in the global corporate gathering with about 50 people over there and take a vacation at the same time. So, let’s travel to Madrid!

Madrid is a peculiar combination of the unhurried Spanish lifestyle and running of the big city. This is the city with its one distinctive smell, lots of tourists, museums, parks, cafes and bars. This is the city with the airport and railway station that derserve a tour. And, unfortunately, this is the city with thefts (yep, I got my iPhone stolen).

One thing at a time though.

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How can online entrepreneur or a frequent traveler get the most of Evernote internet service (6 tips)

What is important for the entrepreneur who travels around the world? To be totally mobile. And part of being mobile is to have all your information, both business and personal available with you at the any part of the world. Preferably, without carrying anything with you. Well, Evernote lets you get precisely that.

how traveler and online entrepreneur can use and get most of evernote

This is the online service which allows you to store any images and texts (even Microsoft Office documents in the paid version) that you want to use as a reference in future. You can save the data right from the browser by selecting pieces of information and pressing just one button or using the shortcut or you can type something manually. All the notes can be viewed and updated if it’s needed either with the Evernote application or online web-site.

But the most important thing about online storage services like this is that they lower your level of worry. When you know will not lose any information because it’s stored on the server and accessible 24/7 from any place in the world that has the internet.

What makes Evernote even better is that it has a very powerful search engine built-in. It means that even if you upload a picture with text, it will be automatically recognized and transformed to the text format. To make the long story short, this is a priceless tool for me. And if you still don’t have an account I recommend you to get one right now.

So what are the useful lifehacks that can help you get the most of Evernote?

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