Posts from ‘August, 2009’

Berlin Week – Hus der Kulturen der Welt

Hus der Kulturen der Welt

The Hus der Kultren de Welt or House of World Cultures is another one of Berlin’s amazing architectural statements. This interesting oyster shaped building was built in 1957 as the USA’s contribution to a huge building exhibition called Interbau. This exhibition not only showed some cutting edge architecture but helped Berlin rebuild after the damage it received during World War II. Today the building designed by Hugh Stubbins is used for temporary exhibitions of culture and world art in particular no European cultures, including fine arts, theatre, literature, film and other medias. The grounds of the Haus der Kulteren de Welt also features some amazing sculptures and offer some spectacular photographic opportunities against the building and Berlin sky.

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Tokyo Week – Mirakan – Emerging Science Museum

In the futuristic city of Odaiba across the Rainbow Bridge you will find the Mirakan or Emerging Science Museum. This interesting technology museum features some pretty incredible advances in science including their star exhibit Asimo, Honda’s humanoid robot. Asimo isn’t the only robot on display there are quiet a few including Mesci which can even guide people around the facility. Although most of the exhibits are in Japanese and very little English translations the exhibition Is easily understood by non Japanese speaking people with plenty of easy to understand displays and diagrams. Some of the exhibits include space travel including full size mock up of sections of the International Space Station, nano technology, health and transportation. The bullet train technology features heavily in the transport section with plenty of models and interactive displays for people of all ages to learn about emerging technologies and see what is in future in year to come.

Tokyo Week – Under the sea at Disney


We have written a few stories about Disney Sea in Tokyo on Tripandom, and reckon it is the best of the Disney Parks we have visited. There are some great attractions similar to the ones in the US, Paris and Hong Kong like the Tower of Terror, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and the like but the park has some great attractions not seen anywhere else including the incredible Journey to the centre of the earth attraction inside the towering Mount Prometheus Volcano. The Arabian Coast is a favorite especially with the young with Aladdin, Genie and the Princess all staring with the pirates and thieves of the seas. Mermaid Lagoon is loved especially with the young, where they get their chance to meet Arial and her friend from the smash hit Little Mermaid. The amazing fireworks, water and fire show BraviSeamo would have to be the most adventurous and spectacular show ever undertaken by the Disney parks it is just breath taking and an incredible way to finish the day.

Tokyo Week – Shibua ‘s crazy intersection


One of the more popular tourist photos of Tokyo is the Shibuya intersection which is beside the busy Shibuya Railway station which sees 2.4 million Tokyoites use it ever day. The intersection is known as Center Gal and has is used regally in films and advertisements. The surrounding shops are covered in huge video walls and neon and is quiet spectacular day or night. Four roads intercept into a huge zebra crossing. Cars at all sides of the intersection stop when the lights go red to allow thousand of people to cross the road in every direction at once. It’s quite an adventure for those new to Tokyo. Hawkers and promotion staff offer free advertising merchandise like tissues or paper fans, the video screens pump out throbbing J-Pop and high pitched girls sreech and spruke products. The experience is electrifying but attacks all your senses at once and first visit is sure to disorientate.

Tokyo Week – Gadgets and Gizmos


Electronics town or Akihabara in Tokyo is absolute overload for every gizmo and gadget known to man. The whole suburb is jam packed with the latest phones, mp3 players, cameras laptops and gaming device. There is shop after shop of everything electrical. Mixed in with a magna comic precinct Akihabara is a buzz with youth especially on Sundays when they close many of the streets off to traffic to make way for the tens of thousands who flock to the stores in search of the latest must have device. The range is staggering and the prices good too- most prices are labeled with the real price so there’s no painstaking bargaining required- just look at the product and decide if you want it or not. Recently huge mega marts like Yodobashi Camera Co have opened up in Akihabara offering six and seven floors of shopping for electronics some of the stores boast nearly half a million items on sale- its staggering and with so much choice soon numbs the senses and confuses you even more.

You would be a sausage to miss the Deutsches Currywurst Museum


No one does the sausage better than the Germans and to celebrate their skill in making these tasty cylindrical morsels the Deutsches Currywurst Museum has been set up in the Deutsch capital Berlin.  Berlin is proud of the sausage and claims to be the place where the Germany’s favourite sausage the Currywurst was invented. The brand new museum traces the history and legend of the sausage, its effects on culture, the ingredients (those that are mentionable) and offers all the smells and sights you would expect to experience in a sausage museum, and like any good museum they have a gift shop at the end of the museum where you can pick up some sausage treats and plenty of novelty items. The Currywurst museum is a fun and interactive look at the sausage and has some pretty fun displays including huge sauce drops and giant sausage and fries props, it is fun for young and old. The cinema is sure to be one of the museums highlights showing some great moments in sausage history with adverts, and a funny documentary called “Best of the Wurst”. The museum is self paced but does offer interactive tours which take about 45 minutes, currently they are only held in German but there are plans for English tours in the new year. Located on Schutzenstrabe the museum is very handy for the Berlin visitor being only 100 metres away from Checkpoint Charlie. Read the rest of this entry »

Tokyo Week – Glitz and Glamour of Ginza


For luxury shopping New York has its 5th Avenue, London has Oxford Street, Paris has Champs Elysees and Tokyo has Ginza. Ginza is a glitzy shopping precinct is full of some of the most up market department stores, boutiques and restaurants in Japan. There are all the big brands Gucci, Apple, Sony, Swarovski, Armani, Vuitton, you name it even Nissan has a boutique selling cars. The intersection of Chuo Dori and Harumi Dori is the place to be, it is the prime of the Ginza real estate. The corner is houses some of the world’s biggest LED video screens advertising the big brands from beer, electronics, cars, fashion and cosmetics. The intersection is also home to the Sanai Building which has floor anon floor of glitzy shopping all behind a huge glass cylinder. Over the road the Wako Department Store is well renowned for its luxury goods including jewelry and porcelain. While Mikimoto Ginza 2 is world famous for its century of pearl trading. For food lovers, a visit to the huge food basement at the Mitsukoshi Department Store is a must with hundreds of stalls selling the most delicious and decorative Japanese snacks and foods.

Cathedral Church of Our Lady

Cathedral Church of Our Lady

One of the most dominant land marks on the Munich skyline is the two towered Cathedral Church of Our Blessed Lady which is home to the Archbishop of Munich and home to over 500 years of precious artifacts. Located in the heart of the city at the Frauenplatz the church is a very popular tourist attraction in this Bavarian city with many people taking in the spectacular views of the Alps from the 109 metre high towers.  The Cathedral can accommodate around 20,000 people under its massive roof and was built in a time when Munich was home to only about 13,000 residents.  The Cathedral suffered huge damage during the World War II but 50 years of renovation have brought the building back to its former splendor.

Furry fun at Eurofurence


Some Furry Friends

Next week there will be plenty of fun to be had in Suhl, Germany, as the 15th annual European Furry Convention takes place at the Ringburg hotel from Aug 26th to 30th.  Known as Eurofurence the event takes its name from the US event known as ConFurence, a event that spun off from sci-fi conventions in the late 1980s, but was dedicated to furry anthropomorphic creatures from a guy in a team mascot suit to cartoons of Buggs Bunny or similar. According to their website Eurofurence is the biggest annual European furry convention, an international gathering of people who share an extraordinary appreciaton for anthropomorphic animal characters, so it sounds like plenty of fun. Check out their site below. Read the rest of this entry »

New York Week- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum
Opening in 1959 the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum is regarded as one of New York’s City’s most impressive architectural landmarks and is home to some of the most renowned works of art found anywhere in the world. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright the white concrete building is a amazing piece of artwork in itself. The artworks are displayed along a helical spiral ramp which stretches the entire building. The centre of the building is lit with an incredible skylight which shines sun on the forecourt and ticketing area. The Guggenheim has become such a success in New York other Guggenheims’ have been built around the world, including Venice, Bilbao, Berlin, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The museum has an ever changing collection of art with Impressionist, Post Impressionist, early modern and contemporary making up most of the collection. The Guggenheim can be found on the Upper East Side overlooking the beautiful Central Park.