Tokyo: Off the Beaten Track Neighborhoods

I just had to reblog this amazing post <3 Can't wait to finally explore this place myself.

Travel With Nano B.

I‘ve said it before – Tokyo is a city of thousand layers and there is a lot more to this sprawling metropolis than its biggest tourist destinations I listed in my Tokyo Guide for First Time Visitors. Real pleasures here are in fact smaller and subtle, yet just as transporting.  If you’re looking to find a warm and human vibrancy you miss when just hopping from one big sight to another, it is worth going a bit off the beaten track to quieter areas that exude a sense of neighborhood in this urban setting.

Amidst the concrete jungle and hustle of Shinjuku, Shibuya or Asakusa, there are numerous low-rise neighborhoods where locals make cozy communities in the midst of this vast, high-powered city. This is where people go grocery shopping in local shop that’s not part of a chain; relax over a cup of coffee at the corner patisserie;

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The most beautiful place in China! | Spring Festival in Jiuzhaigou

On our fourth day in Sichuan, we went on a 10-hour bus ride through the mountains and up to the valley and national park of Jiuzhaigou. As you can see in the video, we spent the evening of our 4th day hanging out with tibetan locals at a KTV.
On the fifth day, we spent the whole day to explore Jiuzhaigou National Park.

As you might have heard the bad news a few weeks ago, an earthquake hit Sichuan and with it this beautiful National Park. A lot of natural sights were destroyed, with it, the Nuorilang Waterfalls which you can see at the end of the video. They were the tallest waterfalls in China, now it’s just a heap of mud! Once again, this shows that we should never wait for a trip we want to go on.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this video!

Thanks for watching and reading!

Merveille.

Breathtaking Hong Kong Skyline!

Once again, I have finished another video. This one is quite short though. It’s just the skylline and some waffle discoveries in the evening :)

You can watch it here:

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Taking the glass-bottom cable car in Hong Kong!

Once again, I have finished editing the next video. In this one, I am taking the Star Ferry to Lantau Island, visit the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, and take the Crystal Cable Car back down.

Enjoy the video!

 

Thanks for watching and reading!

Merveille.

Huge announcement!

Yesterday evening/this night was a great night! I did something amazing! The first step into a bigger plan I have been thinking about since April!

Last night, I was browsing through skyscanner and I came across cheap flights to Tokyo! Then, on Airfrance, I found an amazing flight, from Frankfurt to Tokyo! For 527 € two ways! This was like a sign sent from heaven (okay, I’m exaggerrating! :’D) But this was the first time that I found a flight from a good airline, with the perfect flying times, short layover that also had a great price! I couldn’t believe it! Usually, I was seeing flights for around 700€. There were also cheaper ones for around 400 with AirChina, Aeroflot and Allitalia and I have heard not so good things about them, or not many reviews.

So last night, I was surprised to see that perfect flight from Airfrance, with only a 1.30h layover in Paris <3

I knew I had to book it! I KNEW IT! Everything was going perfectly! I was even able to pay with paypal! Everything happened so smoothly that I soon found myself clicking on the ‘pay’ button and there it was: “Airfrance wishes you a pleasant flight!” And on the right side there was my booking code staring at me! And my itinerary sent to my e-mail!

It’s official now:

I AM FLYING TO TOKYO!!!!

image
Source: timeout.com

On December 7th, at 10:25 am I will be boarding my plane from Frankfurt to Paris! And then, at 1.55 pm I will be boarding my plane from Paris to Tokyo! I can’t believe it! I will be landing in Tokyo at a perfect time! 9.30 am! My plan is to sleep well so that I can explore the city a little bit when I arrive! Even if I don’t sleep, I think I will be too pumped to not go out exploring!

Bildergebnis für Airfrance
Source: frankfurt-airport.com

I am soooo excited already, that I still can’t believe what I did! My heart beats up to my throat when I think about it!

And again, this is proof that nothing is impossible! You JUST have to DO IT! Like our dear Shia taught us! :D

Ähnliches Foto
Source: imgur.com

Of course, there is still quite a long way for me to get my work and travel visa. Here are the things I need to hand in:

√ Have a valid passport

Ο A fully filled out application form (found on the website of the designated embassy)

√ ID Photo not older than 6 months

√ Flight tickets (two ways)

Ο Financial Verification of at least 2000€

Ο Travel insurance

√ Travel plan (layout found on the website of the embassy)

√ CV

√ Motivational letter

= 6/9 done!

Filling out the form is actually the easiest step in the list, but strangely, I haven’t done it yet :D The next thing I will do is getting the travel insurance together with my father since he has a membership at a company and he gets a huge discount there.

Saving up the 2000€ will be the hardest part I guess, but I am positive that at the end of October, I should have the money together!

There are 3 more things that I have to do which are not asked for the visa but things that I have to do to survive in Japan:

  • Find an accomodation
  • Register in Tokyo as a citizen (including opening a bank account and getting a SIM card)
  • Find a job!

 

Of course, I will have to organize the accomodation in advance which I will do tomorrow and I am intending to finish as well!

The following two points are mostly just possbile as soon as I get there.

Also, at the weekend, my friend will bring back my japanese textbook, so my future weekends will be all about studying :D I’m kind of looking forward to that :)

Bildergebnis für studying japanese
Source: jtalkonline.com

I hope I didn’t bore you with this blog post! For me, it’s just super exciting, I had to share it here! Even if it’s only for me to track my achievements :)

I hope you enjoyed this!

If you have any recommendations about work and travel (a.k.a. working holiday) or Tokyo or both, please let me know in the comments :)

Thanks for reading!

Amazing Views over Hong Kong!

Now that I’ve been absent on my blog in August quite a lot, I am now coming back almost every day with a new video :D

Staying at home has some positive effects after all!

This is one of my favourite videos until now, although it is only around 6 minutes. But I think that the music is quite on point this time! And, I just love Hong Kong! I love the landing at the airport because in my opinion, it is the most amazing landing I have ever seen in any city every!

Then, there is the peak! Again, breathtaking views! Hong Kong is just incredible!

Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me!

 

As always, thanks for reading and watching!

P.S.: I have a huge announcement tomorrow evening! So stick around for that!

Stinky Tofu Town – Shaoxing

It’s already been over 2 years now. So scary to think about that and how fast time passed, yet how much I changed and learned on the way.

Here is the link to my second video from my time in China. Again, it’s only impressions.

Have fun!

 

Thank you for reading and watching!

Blog Pitch Party 2: Pitch Your Blog And Attract New Followers

A great idea!
You can find me in the comments :) You should also participate guys!

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

invitedSince Spring Training has started, I’ve certainly got pitching on my mind, Modern Philosophers.

However, not all pitching is limited to the type that takes place on a baseball field.

I’ve been thinking about the wildly successful Blog Pitch Party I threw back in July, and I thought it was time to host another.

As you know, I’m also a screenwriter.  When I was lived in California, I’d get invited by producers to a pitch meeting.  Basically, they’d ask about my scripts, and then based on a few sentences from me, they’d decide if they were interested in reading any of them.

keep wrtingI thought that same progress would work perfectly with blogs.  Why not bring a little Hollywood to the blogging world, Modern Philosophers?

In the comment section, pitch your blog.  Give us the name, a link, and up to three sentences describing your blog.

If you choose to participate…

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Oscars 2015 – Recap

Yesterday, everyone was excitedly hanging in front of their TV screens to watch the Academy Awards show. Unfortunately, for me, the award show wasn’t as exciting as I hoped. I was waiting for Neil Patrick Harris to rock the awards show with his amazing humour, but I was utterly bored. I couldn’t even watch the award show until the end, I have to admit (In Germany, it was 2.30 am when the show began, and I only watched it for 2 hours, then got tired and bored).

I wasn’t even disappointed by the hosting, but also by the overall performances of the live acts. Especially when it came to the song “Everything is awesome” I thought I’d get ear cancer. Firstly that, and secondly, that flashy performance didn’t fit into the serious image of the Academy Awards. It was horrible. Maybe the worst Oscar show I have seen this far.

Well, apart of this, I was a bit disappointed by some winners, although I was happy that my two favourite movies, Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman got the most awards. Stil, I actually voted a bit differently. Here is the comparison:

Best Picture

Winner: Birdman

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

My Pick: Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Actress in a Leading Role

Winner: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

My Pick: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)

Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

My Pick: Edward Norton (Birdman)

Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

My Pick: Emma Stone (Birdman)

Animated Feature Film

Winner: Big Hero 6

My Pick: Song of the Sea

Cinematography

Winner: Birdman

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Costume Design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Directing

Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman)

My Pick: Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Documentary Feature

Winner: Citizen Four

My Pick: The Salt of the Earth

Documentary Short Subject

Winner: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

My Pick: Joanna

Film Editing

Winner: Whiplash

My Pick: American Sniper

Foreign Language Film

Winner: Ida

My Pick: Wild Tales

Make-Up And Hairstyling

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Music Original Score

Winner: Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

My Pick: Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)

Music Original Song

Winner: Glory (Selma)

My Pick: Glory (Selma)

Production Design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

My Pick: The Imitation Game

Short Film Animated

Winner: Feast

My Pick: Me and My Moulton

Short Film Live Action

Winner: Phone Call

My Pick: Butter Lamp

Sound Editing

Winner: American Sniper

My Pick: Interstellar

Sound Mixing

Winner: Whiplash

My Pick: Interstellar

Visual Effects

Winner: Interstellar

My Pick: Interstellar

Writing – Adapted Screenplay

Winner: The Imitation Game

My Pick: Inherent Vice

Writing – Original Screenplay

Winner: Birdman

My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel

I was hugely disappointed by the winners of the Animated Movie category. I really hoped for Song of the Sea, since it looks like a cute movie (I haven’t seen all of the movies here), and also The Tale of the Princess Kaguya belonged to my favourites, since it is from Ghibli, and I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli movies. It was a bit boring to see Big Hero winning.

Another huge disappointment was that Rosamund Pike didn’t win for Best Actress. I really appreciate Julianne Moore, and although I haven’t seen Still Alice, I can’t imagine that she was better in that role than Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl. Anyway, I was hugely disappointed that Gone Girl was only nominated once. That movie was unbelievable.

Another disappointment was that Edward Norton didn’t get the award for Actor in Supporting Role. He was hilarious in Birdman, although I think that J.K. Simmons was amazing as well. I really want to watch Whiplash, but I have no clue when it will be aired in german cinemas.

So, all in all, I didn’t guess very good this year, compared to last year. I only guessed 4 categories right (Visual Effects, Original Song, Make-Up and Hairstyling, Costume Design).

Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel won 4 Oscars each, Whiplash won 3 Oscars, the rest won 1 Oscar. I thought that Grand Budapest Hotel would win 6 Oscars, Interstellar 4 and Birdman 3. I haven’t been too wrong, but I have mostly thought that the movies would all win in different categories, than they actually did.

I hope that the Oscars 2016 will be better next year, especially with a better host. Ellen DeGeneres was amazing last year, and I think I would be happy as hell if someone like Jimmy Fallon would host the next year’s Awards.

What about you guys? Have you watched the Oscars last night? How did you like Neil Patrick Harris? What were your picks?

Grammy Awards 2015

grammy
Source: Google

Tonight it is Grammy night again. Time to enjoy good music and performances and hope for our favorite artists to get acknowledged. I wanted to do this post earlier, because somehow I thought the Grammys were in January, but I was relieved to find out they woudl be next month.

I won’t list every category here, because there are a lot. Since I am not interested in Country, Jazz or Religious Music and so on, I will only liste the categories I am interested in. And since the time difference is a bit unpractical (it starts at 2 am here in Germany), I will probably not last until the end. I will only watch the categories I am most interested in, and if they are all finished earlier, I will just go to bed.

So, without further ado, here are my picks:

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • Fancy: Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
  • Chandelier: Sia
  • Stay With Me (Darkchild Version): Sam Smith
  • Shake It Off: Taylor Swift
  • All About That Bass: Meghan Trainor

2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • Morning Phase — Beck
  • Beyoncé — Beyoncé
  • X — Ed Sheeran
  • In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith
  • Girl — Pharrell Williams

3. SONG OF THE YEAR

  • All About That Bass: Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor)
  • Chandelier: Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia)
  • Shake It Off: Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
  • Stay With Me (Darkchild Version): James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)
  • Take Me To Church: Andrew Hozier-Byrne, songwriter (Hozier)

4. BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Iggy Azalea – Label: Def Jam Recordings
  • Bastille – Label: Virgin Records
  • Brandy Clark – Label: Slate Creek Records
  • Haim – Label: Columbia Records
  • Sam Smith – Label: Capitol Records

5. BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • All Of Me (Live): John Legend
  • Chandelier: Sia
  • Stay With Me (Darkchild Version): Sam Smith
  • Shake It Off: Taylor Swift
  • Happy (Live): Pharrell Williams

6. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

  • Fancy: Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
  • A Sky Full Of Stars: Coldplay
  • Say Something: A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera
  • Bang Bang: Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  • Dark Horse: Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J

[…]

8. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Ghost Stories: Coldplay
  • Bangerz: Miley Cyrus
  • My Everything: Ariana Grande
  • Prism: Katy Perry
  • X: Ed Sheeran
  • In The Lonely Hour: Sam Smith

[…]

12. BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE

  • Gimme Something Good: Ryan Adams
  • Do I Wanna Know?: Arctic Monkeys
  • Blue Moon: Beck
  • Fever: The Black Keys
  • Lazaretto: Jack White

[…]

14. BEST ROCK SONG

  • Ain’t It Fun: Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters (Paramore)
  • Blue Moon: Beck Hansen, songwriter (Beck)
  • Fever: D. Auerbach, B. Burton & P. Carney, songwriters (The Black Keys)
  • Gimme Something Good: Ryan Adams, songwriter (Ryan Adams)
  • Lazaretto: Jack White III, songwriter (Jack White)

15. BEST ROCK ALBUM

  • Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams
  • Morning Phase: Beck
  • Turn Blue: The Black Keys
  • Hypnotic Eye: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Songs Of Innocence: U2

16. BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

  • This Is All Yours: Alt-J
  • Reflektor: Arcade Fire
  • Melophobia: Cage The Elephant
  • St. Vincent: St. Vincent
  • Lazaretto: Jack White

17. BEST R&B PERFORMANCE

  • Drunk In Love: Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z
  • New Flame: Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross
  • It’s Your World: Jennifer Hudson Featuring R. Kelly
  • Like This: Ledisi
  • Good Kisser: Usher

[…]

19. BEST R&B SONG

  • Drunk In Love: Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z
  • Good Kisser: Usher
  • New Flame: Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross
  • Options (Wolfjames Version): Luke James Featuring Rick Ross
  • The Worst: Jhené Aiko Chilombo

20. BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

  • Sail Out: Jhené Aiko
  • Beyoncé: Beyoncé
  • X: Chris Brown
  • Mali Is…: Mali Music
  • Girl: Pharrell Williams

[…]

22. BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

  • 3005: Childish Gambino
  • 0 To 100 / The Catch Up: Drake
  • Rap God: Eminem
  • I: Kendrick Lamar
  • All I Need Is You: Lecrae

[…]

24. BEST RAP SONG

  • Anaconda: Nicki Minaj
  • Bound 2: Kanye West & Charlie Wilson
  • I: Kendrick Lamar
  • We Dem Boyz: Wiz Khalifa
  • 0 To 100 / The Catch Up: Drake

25. BEST RAP ALBUM

  • The New Classic: Iggy Azalea
  • Because The Internet: Childish Gambino
  • Nobody’s Smiling: Common
  • The Marshall Mathers LP2: Eminem
  • Oxymoron: Schoolboy Q
  • Blacc Hollywood: Wiz Khalifa

[…]

58. BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA

  • American Hustle
  • Frozen
  • Get On Up: The James Brown Story
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  • The Wolf Of Wall Street

59. BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA

  • Frozen: Christophe Beck, composer
  • Gone Girl: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • Gravity: Steven Price, composer
  • Saving Mr. Banks: Thomas Newman, composer

60. BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA

  • Everything Is Awesome!!!: Tegan And Sara Featuring The Lonely Island (Track from: The Lego Movie)
  • I See Fire: Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Track from: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug)
  • I’m Not Gonna Miss You: Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me)
  • Let It Go: Idina Menzel (Track from: Frozen)
  • The Moon Song: Spike Jonze & Karen O, songwriters (Track from: Her)

[…]

82. BEST MUSIC VIDEO

  • We Exist: Arcade Fire
  • Turn Down For What: DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  • Chandelier: Sia
  • Happy: Pharrell Williams
  • The Golden Age: Woodkid Featuring Max Richter

83. BEST MUSIC FILM

  • Beyoncé & Jay Z: On The Run Tour
  • Ghost Stories: Coldplay
  • 20 Feet From Stardom
  • Metallica Through The Never
  • The Truth About Love Tour – Live From Melbourne: Pink

I am so excited for the Hip Hop and Rock and Alternative Categories *o* Especially the category Best Rap Performance was a hard one for me with Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Childish Gambino all lined together. Sorry Eminem, but I will go berserk if you should win, because next to all those super talents you seem to pale out… (pun intended). And after Lamar lost to another white rapper last year  (MACKLEMORE! He isn’t even doing proper rap in my opinion), he just can’t lose this year. I mean, he didn’t even bring out an album last year, merely his single I and the feat. performance on Flying Lotus (Never Catch Me, which is strangely enough not nominated). But still, he has been nominated twice with his single. There has to be a reason for that.

Then, another surprise and big hope is Jhene Aiko’s song The Worst and her new album Souled Out which is incredibly beautiful. Just like herself. I hope though that she has some chance against a rival like Beyonce. I would still be happy if Beyonce won though, but Jhene Aiko is one of my new-favourites. Together with Lamar, she is my current new discovery.

And then there is Jack White! Seriously, if he doesn’t get a Grammy in one of those categories, I don’t know who else should…

A few hours left, but I want it finally to start. Can’t wait already.

What are your picks guys?

Thanks for reading!