Archive for September, 2010

[Quick Update] Week long Trip to Seoul, will be back posting next week

Just a quick update.
I am currently in Seoul, Korea. Ill be back in Beijing(if they let me back in) on Sunday.

Today marks day 3 of my trip in Seoul.
Here are the top 5 highlights of my trip so far:

1. Korean War Museum, a must see for anyone. They have the actual torpedo that sunk Cheonan.
2. Soju + Kimchi = awesomeness
3. Bad Weather: it rained like I’ve never seen before.
4. Korean National Holiday: Most stores being closed.
5. Large number of Chinese Tourists and they understand me 🙂

Extra thoughts:
– There’s like no trash cans in Seoul.
– Reminds me alot more of Tokyo.
– Major League Baseball caps are overrated.
– Bulgogi Burger is not as good as I thought it would be.
– Korean people think Im Chinese.

Pictures from my trip will be up soon.

Stay tuned!

From Seoul, the Soul of Asia

Creative Commons Licence
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.

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[Japan] 2/3 of Japanese White Collars Don’t Want to Go Abroad

I haven’t written too much about Japan on this blog yet but I was shocked to see this post from the WSJ today. As the title states, “Please Don’t Send Me Abroad. Ever”; this is kind of sad. We all know that globalization is inevitable. Every developing country that I have been to is implementing policies and using their resources to create a much more global state to compete with each other. Here in Beijing, and from my summer teaching experiences, every student dreams or already have gone abroad to say the least. The article states “According to a survey released today, a shocking two-thirds of the country’s white-collar workers said they didn’t want to work abroad…ever”. The reason for this is being that they are not confident with their English abilities and also they don’t think that foreign countries are safe. Being Japanese, I can completely see where this is coming from.

In Japan, students usually start studying Japanese at Jr High School level from ages 12 to 13. In neighboring countries such as China and Korea, the age at they start is much earlier. It’s recently that Japan’s Ministry of Education decided that Japan needed to conduct its’ English classes in English instead of in Japanese.

There’s been a dark cloud over Japan economically and politically these days as the country of the rising sun continues to decline as neighbors like China continue to progress.

I hope that major media sources in Japan cover this statistic so that people in Japan start to feel some sense of urgency to start becoming more global or the future will continue to be dark and Japan’s galapagosization from the international society is going to get worse.

Inside a JR Yamanote Line in Tokyo

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Datong Photos] Weekend Trip to Datong in Shangxi Province

I’m once again behind on posting updates! This was a trip I went on almost 3 weeks ago over to Shanxi Province, just a 5 hours bus ride away from Beijing. After coming to Beijing this was the furthest away from Beijing that I have been to. To put everything in a nutshell I’m really thankful for what I have in Beijing since Datong to me was one of those cities that I’ll probably never go back to. The city itself is ran by the coal industry and you could tell  the air quality there is even worse than Beijing. The tremendous number of  trucks carrying coal back into Beijing was memorable during my stay there.  Datong is a small northern city in Shanxi Province, well, I take that back, this city still has 3 million people bordering Inner Mongolia to the north west and Hebei Province to the east. I like how a small weekend trip is a 5 hour bus ride away in China. Datong is also recently well-known for the infamous 60mile traffic jam from Inner Mongolia to Beijing. While in Datong, the first thing I noticed was the change in temperature. I looked out my window and almost everyone was wearing a jacket even in mid-August! After doing more research I found out that Datong is located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters, making it extremely cold at night and morning. I had no idea about this and was freezing having only one layer of t-shirt and shorts. The next day we enjoyed the main tourist destinations of Yungang Grottoes, or Cloud Ridge Caves (云冈石窟 Yúngāng Shíkū). It  was interesting to see the coal mines during our bus ride and to see the new highways being built in the region. The whole city was under construction. Every location within the city had some kind of construction going on. It’d interesting to see how much the city has changed in the next couple years. After enjoying the caves,we took a taxi out to the Hanging Temple (悬空寺 Xuán Kōng Sì) built into a cliff face near Mount Heng. You might know this temple if you have seen the latest Kongfu Kid, I meant Karate Kid. Due to the construction of highways we had to take a detour which entailed the taxi driver pulling numerous numbers of getting stuck in mud and pulling moves that you would only see in the movie Dukes of Hazzards. The bus ride back to Beijing took a lot more time as we spent almost 7 hours on the bus coming back to Beijing. But again, it could have been a lot worse. That’s enough of me talking for the night, enjoy the photos below!

Garbage and dumps welcomed us into the city of Datong in Shangxi Province

Old Adverstisement

City center

One of the nine dragons on the 9 Dragon Wall

9 Dragon Wall

Flowers by 9 Dragon Wall

Datong Station

Caves

Highway construction continues in the outskirts of the city

Rapid apartment construction takes place in the city of Datong

Heading south from Datong to see the Hanging Monastry

It took 3 hours round trip on a chartered cab due to the bad conditions of the road caused by the highway construction site.

Hanging Monastry

Hanging Monastry

From up top it was higher that I thought it would be. With low guard rails its pretty easy for anyone to get pushed off the monastry. Be careful if you ever go!

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Photos] Playing with Lights around Shuang Jing Bridge

So I’m trying to keep my posts coming as this might be the first time posting 2 days in a row. That’s my fault but I’ve been keeping myself busy with work and understanding what it takes to live it out in Beijing. If there’s anything I noticed recently is that time just keeps passing by so quickly here. No wonder everyone is always in a rush in Beijing. Every week I wake up and I feel like its Friday. Which is a good and a bad thing I guess. My Chinese conversation skills have definitely improved as the cab drivers here rarely ask me if I’m Korean or Malaysian judging from my accent when I speak Chinese. It is September now and it definitely feels  like summer is over. I hear summer and winter in Beijing are brutal but the best time of the year is September through October so I’m definitely looking forward to the next couple months.

But today, I’m putting up some photos I took from Shuang Jing Bridge(双井桥) overlooking the southern part of Beijing and North, facing Guomao(国贸). It’s really hard taking photos at night. It took me a couple tries to come off with the final products that you see here. I shot with very long shutter speeds as you can see.

Creative Commons Licence
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.


[Photos] Peter Carney Photography Workshop in Beijing

I’ve been meaning to put these photo up from Beijing’s very own award winning photographer, Peter Carney‘s Photography Workshop which I attended back in July. I think my photography improved so much after this fine workshop starting over at the Culture Yard, which is also an institution that I heavily recommend if you want to work on your Chinese skills and make new friends in Beijing.

I’ve been really bad posting updates on my blog but here are some photos from the workshop!

 

Creative Commons Licence
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.