Category: Architecture

Taipei was only founded in the late 1800s when Taiwan was part of the Qing Empire, and the city walls were pulled down a short time later in the early 1900s when Taiwan was part of the Japanese Empire. The …

Life in Taipei: the old city wall Read More »

While I do despise the YouTube algorithm as a radicalisation & bullshit engine that human society would be better off without, I must grudgingly admit that it does occasionally dig you up a gem. It suggested this beauty recently after …

Neo Tokyo: dystopian dreams Read More »

Kyoto has so many shrines & temples, where do you even start? There’s no way you can see them all in a short visit (I haven’t come close even after many visits and living there for over a year), and …

Which Shrines & Temples Should You Visit in Kyoto? Read More »

I first heard of Hong Kong’s old Kowloon Walled City in William Gibson’s Idoru (which is a great novel if you’re interested in sci-fi & Japan), which features a virtual reality community based on it. A lawless, ramshackle, and insanely …

Kowloon Walled City, Kawasaki Read More »

The Five Grand Seoul Palaces of the Joseon Period, along with Jongmyo Shrine, make up the main traditional sightseeing spots in the Korean capital. Although the sites mostly date back to the 1300s – 1500s, the majority of the buildings …

The Five Grand Palaces of Seoul: which Seoul palaces should you visit? Read More »

I first came across this lovely video montage of Tokyo cityscape footage set to the mournful tones of the Blade Runner score while writing this post about Ghost In The Shell; with the Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049, about …

Tokyo, Blade Runner, and 2049 Read More »

As a former resident of Japan who moved to Taipei, it was fascinating to see the Japanese influence on this originally Chinese culture, Taiwan having been colonised by the Qing Empire in the late 1600s and then the Japanese Empire …

Life in Taipei: Remnants of the Empire of the Sun Read More »

I’m not sure why I stopped and snapped this picture at the time, but it captures a really typically Taiwanese scene – the guy doing the dishes in the gutter after the restaurant’s closed for the night, the lanterns, the …

Life in Taipei: Qilou Buildings Read More »

If it’s your first time in Japan‘s capital and you want to get straight to the heart of the action, try this walking route through Shinjuku (from Tochomae Station to Shinjuku Sanchome Station) taking in skyscraper city views, atmospheric old-time alleyways, …

Shinjuku Walking Tour: skyscrapers, old-time alleyways, and Kabukicho red light district Read More »

Golden Gai (ゴールデン街, Golden Street) is a series of narrow, ramshackle alleyways tucked away in East Shinjuku, a tiny little pocket of Tokyo full of tiny little bars, untouched by the development of the postwar economic miracle that saw most …

Golden Gai: a treasure trove of old-school Tokyo alleys and funky little bars hidden away in Shinjuku Read More »

If you’re a fan of sci-fi noir such as Blade Runner or Ghost In The Shell, you’re in Tokyo, and you’re looking to scratch your cyberpunk itch in the neon-lit alleyways with their pokey little bars filling in the cracks between the …

Omoide Yokocho (Memory Alley) aka Shomben Yokocho (Piss Alley!): Shinjuku dining and drinking Read More »

This week saw the release of Ghost In The Shell, a live action Hollywood remake of the classic (1995) Japanese anime movie (itself based on the original manga by Masamune Shirow). The casting of Scarlet Johansson in the lead role caused some …

Ghost In The Shell: chasing ghosts in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan Read More »