Posts tagged “Beijing

[Photos] Pollution and Phone Lines around Dawanglu

My last couple days in Beijing reminded me of my very first days when I first arrived to this city exactly a year ago. Dry, hot, and polluted summer in Beijing. Driving back from my usual Wangjing Korean Saturday lunch back into Guomao, I couldn’t stop but to notice the low visibility. Sitting next to the cab driver, I took out my camera for some snap shots out of my window as I passed an electric tower and some phone lines (around Dawanglu). I’m currently back in Japan so I’ll be catching up with my photos from Beijing as a I put up more from Japan.

[Photo] Guomao Bridge and CCTV Tower

It’s interesting to see that people here in China have many ways to keep themselves involved. I spotted a man playing with a batton over some fast paced trance music.

[Beijing Seen] Miami Heat Club in Beijing

The other day, I wanted to get dinner at a local 家常菜, home style Chinese food, restaurant around Sanlitun and learned that the restaurant was no longer there and was replaced by the MIAMI HEAT CLUB. I’m a die hard Bulls fan and I just couldn’t stand that my favorite Chinese food joint was taken over by this club located right by D-Lounge and Salsa Caribe. But this comes to a simple conclusion that NBA does sell in China but will most likely follow the footsteps of OBAMA CLUB in Shanghai.

[Photo] Happy Moment at 798

I was originally going to post this yesterday since the air quality in Beijing the past couple days has just been tragic. But what do you know, the wind kicked in over night and Beijing is beautiful today with bright blue skies. Rain and wind are our saviours! But I wanted to post this photo from 798 art district, where will be the place to  be this weekend for the Intro: Electronic Festival in Beijing. I’m really happy that they are holding the event at 798. Hope to see all of you at 798 this weekend.

[Photos] Wudaoying Hutong: The Next Nanluoguxiang

With all the construction taking place around the Gulou area in Dongcheng District, Beijing and  with the new  subway line planned to run through the old city, I can’t help but to notice all the changes being made all around this area. Wudaoying hutong, located right by Lama Temple Subway station is another project; similar to the Nanluoguxiang hutong, this hutong is slowly transforming into a much more commercial themed hutong. If you walk along the street, the exterior is accompanied by  hutong style architecture but the interior is occupied by trendy boutiques and cafes serving up western food. I walked by Wudaoying two weeks ago and it already looked a lot different from what I could remember from last year.  The entrance to the hutong from the Lama Temple side looked as if it was almost complete. Here are some photos I snapped from Wudaoying hutong entrance.

[Photos] Jumping Around the Forbidden City

[Photo Essay] 798 Art District During Blue Hour

Beijing may not have the flash of Shanghais bund view and skyline but 798 Art District is Chinas answer to Greenwich Village and SOHO in New York. This art zone is a thriving artistic community that attracts artists and visitors from in and out of China. Located in Dashanzi of Chaoyang District, Beijing, this art district and its galleries thrives among 50-year old decommissioned military factory buildings, making it interesting to look at the archetecture. This photo essay takes a look at 798 Art District during blue hour, which refers to the period at twilight in the morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness.

6:30pm: Man walks by a dinosaur exhibit. Visitors can interact with public art throughout the entire art zone.

6:45pm: It is starting to get darker but on the bright-side, its only during this time that one can enjoy a moment with the artwork since daytime is always crowded with visitors.

6:50pm: The outlines of this cage-exhibit is seen in contrast to the blue hour-sky.

7:00pm: One of the main galleries, 798 Space Gallery, is seen in this image.

7:15pm: This artwork is titled "Man at Work". Sky is completely blue at this moment.

8:00pm: One of the sub-factories at 798 art district is seen next to an old railroad.

[Photos] Construction Around Nanluoguxiang

Living in China is definitely one of the best choices I have made thus far in my life. Coming from a Japanese background and heavily influenced by American culture, China is the perfect place for me to play around with my lost roots and observe and feel what Japanese people have lost over the years through the daily activities of the Chinese people whom I witness. But just like every corner of the world, income gap prevails and is seen in Beijing. Behind the blue construction fences are migrant workers working day and night while the rest enjoy their shopping along side Nanluoguxiang. Photo taken at the south gate of Nanluoguxiang, one of the most well-known commercial and touristy Hutong in Beijing.

[Event] DJ GOWHERE at if Bar Saturday Night

[Photo] View from Jingshan Park, Beijing

It’s been an interesting year as many of my friends from Japan and the US has visited me thus far. I think I was slowly getting used to the same old routine of sleep, eat, and work and I rarely had a chance to get out and see Beijing these days. Here is a photo that I took from the top of Jingshan Park, located directly north of the forbidden city.

[Photo] Beijing Dungeon

Once in a while I like taking photos of random things and make it look cool. During Spring Festival, I wanted to take a panorama photo of the fireworks all over Beijing by going to the top floor of my office building. But the door was locked to the balcony and I wasn’t able to do so. I came up with this photo instead. I’ve been lazy with posting photos this week and I plan to do a much better job next week.

[Photo] View from the Highest bar in Beijing

From the top floor of the China World Tower 3 is Beijing’s highest bar and skydeck. This breathtaking location gives you one of the best views of Beijing. With over 20million people in this city, where you could be on the subway for almost 2 hours from the north end to the south end of the city, Beijing could be felt as a big city. But from the 80th floor, Beijing doesn’t feel as big. Drinks and food at the lounge is overpriced as expected but considering the panorama view of the city it is well worth the visit. This photo is looking out towards the east side of the city from Guomao.

[Photo] Construction around Jintaixizhao Station

Beijing is definitely a city that never sleeps. Even from my bedroom I could hear migrant workers constructing buildings all night long. The backbone of China’s rapid development is thanks to their dedication and effort to creating infrastructure in China. This photo was taken at about 8pm on a weekday and the construction site can be seen in the background with night lights flashing out through the entrance of the construction site.

[Photo] Drum Tower with Moon Light

As the title suggests, I spent some time walking around Gulou this weekend and was able to come away with this one photo. I think this is one of my favorite photos so far in the year 2011. This was taken right at dusk with the Beijing winter sky and moon light shining the Drum Tower.

[Photos] Qianmen at Night

This Sunday I went to Qianmen at night-time to try to capture the environment around Qianmen and was able to get a pretty good  photo of this tree. At night, the Qianmen area in Beijing is all lit up with lights and makes for a great photo opportunity. Since 1419 during the Ming Dynasty, this gate guarded direct entry into the imperial city. During the day time there’s way too many people in Qianmen but at night there’s hardly anybody in this area. Here are some photos of the Archery Tower as well.

[Reflections] From Beijing to Paradise: Weekend Getaway in Guam

2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to escape the nasty weather in Beijing and fly south to the heavenly island of Guam. From Beijing I flew to Tokyo, which was nice since I got to experience home for about 7 hours, and then off to Guam. Both flights were about 3 hours each. Only a 3 hour flight from Tokyo, no wonder so many Japanese tourists come to this island. They can say that they went to America and it’s only 3 hours away. But clean air, blue sky, crystal clear oceans and taco bell. What more can I ask? It was so refreshing to be just laying on the beach and not worrying about some man on a bike or car going full speed as I cross the street in Beijing. I went deep-sea fishing for two days and was fortunate enough to catch some tuna and wahoo, which were instantly cut up for sashimi on the boat.
But at the same time it got me thinking. On an island so far away from everything, unlike Beijing where there’s always something happening whether it’s political or business related, Guam was too laid back and the local people seemed to be just really chill enjoying life on the island. I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but it’s been a while since I felt that there’s no feeling of threat at all. This must be the fate of every island country, including Japan. I feel like in East Asia, Japanese people feel the least threat on a day to day basis even though there’s so much tension in our very neighbor. I felt like if I stayed in Guam for  any longer than 3 days I would get so disconnected with the outside world and have no idea what is going on. I never thought that I would say this but, I missed Beijing a lot. I’d rather eat delicious sashimi right off the boat rather than breathe in the pollution but Beijing is where I want and need to be right now. There’s so much going on in every level of the system here. I’ve been in Beijing for almost 6 months now but I don’t regret anything that I’ve done or seen in the past couple months. Beijing, you have been awesome. A lot of people ask me what’s in it for me in Beijing? But China to me is where currently modernity meets ancient tradition and the rich meet the poor. It’s simply diverse and I want to know more about what’s really going on here with my own eyes. People say that China’s development will continue and will one day become more like the west. But living here makes me and other local expatriots feel the opposite, in that China will not become more like the west and the west could possibly become more like China instead. That’s another topic I will be exploring more of in the future. But nonetheless, I did manage to take some photos on this lovely island of Guam please take a look below.

At Tumon Bay, one of the most Japanesey beaches on the entire island.

Guam is only about 30miles from north to south. Traffic seems to be pretty congested during the rush hours.

Palm trees and sunset invites you warmly to the beach.

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[Photo] Skyscraper Window Cleaners in China

If you walk around the central business district in Beijing you are surrounded by the jungle of towers where most of them have just been built in the last ten years or so and the number of skyscrapers is still growing in China. If you look at the numbers of skyscrapers in the world, tier 1 cities in China dominates the top 20 having Hong Kong(#1), Shanghai(#5), Guangzhou (#10), Beijing(#18) and Shengzhen(#20). With so many high risers, there needs to workers to manually clean the windows from the exterior. Walking around Beijing and in tier 1 cities in China I am always amazed at how these cleaning workers are hanging from a single string of rope with no safety ropes quickly cleaning the windows. I doubt there is any statistics on how many accidents there have been but here is a photo of a man cleaning the windows at Beijing south railway station.

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[Photos] Dongzhimen meets Xizhimen

I feel like Beijing is so large that every area of this city has its own vibe. On the north east and north west corners of the second ring road is the major transportation hub to the outskirts of Beijing: Xizhimen and Dongzhimen. For every one of these areas in Beijing I feel that there is a building that represents the areas. For Dongzhimen I feel that the China Petro Headquarters building stands out and for Xizhimen, the Xihuan Square building definitely stands out.

Xihuan Square in Xizhimen at night.

CNPC Headquarters in Dongzhimen at night.

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[Photos] 2nd Ring Road at Dongzhimen

Notoriously known for its traffic jams, the 2nd ring road is one of the major roads in Beijing connecting transportation hubs around the city. To the North East is Dongzhimen and to the North West is Xizhimen. Even with never-ending congestion, I really like night photos of cars moving by during night-time rush hours.

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[Photo] Lost in the World

As I have noted throughout this week, the air quality in Beijing has been poor the past couple days. The AQI usually is high during the morning rush hour period and then it cools down during noon and the AQI kicks backup again around 4pm. But what happens when pollution and working late night happens? This happens:

Photo taken at Guomao Central Business District at 1am.

I have been snapping photos around Beijing all week of this pollution so stay tuned for a photo essay from this entire week. Oh, by the way the Track “Lost in the World” by Kanye West has been on repeat for me all week.

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[Transportation] China has the Fastest Shinkansen (Bullet Train in Japanese)

I’m sure by now you’ve seen posts from all over the web saying that China has the fastest bullet train in the world,  running at a speed of  245mph compared to the 186mph Japanese Shinkansen, which previously was the fastest before China overtook the Shinkansen in 2008 with the opening of the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway. I had the opportunity to ride the Chinese Bullet Train from Beijing to Tianjin couple months ago and I must say I was extremely impressed.  From Beijing to Tianjin is about 117km in distance and it only took about 30minutes. The ride was comfortable as the Japanese Shinkansen, or even better and the interior was spacious enough to take a brief nap but again, 30 minutes wasn’t long enough for my nap.  The total cost one way was about 70rmb (about 10USD) for first class coach. With the record breaking traffic jams in Beijing, it’s nice to see more means of transportation being complete all around China.

The world’s first maglev also belongs to China running at  a max speed of 268mph connecting Shanghai Pudong International airport and the outskirts of central Shanghai. I finally had a chance to ride it couple weeks back and not only the speed but how comfortable it was really amazed me. Japan Railways announced recently that they will also be completing a maglev style bullet train with max speed of 312mph, aiming for commercial use in 2027, which is still a while away. But as an observer, it’s interesting to see how quickly China has caught up and passed Japan in this field. Considering 20 years ago, nobody could compete with the Japanese Bullet Trains in speed, efficiency, and safety.  For more comparision on comparative literature on high speed transportation, the Transport Politic did a great job analyzing “High Speed Rail in China”.

at Beijing South Subway Station waiting for the Bullet Train.

a Bullet Train is ready to leave Beijing towards Tianjin. It runs almost every 30minutes from Beijing South Railway Station

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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[Quick Update] Off to Beijing

6/25/2010 Friday

Just a quick note, I’m heading out to Beijing today!

Taking a flight from Hiroshima to Dalian and then to Beijing.

Hope it’s not too warm over there, but I know its gonna be really really HOT.