Meeting friends at Indonesian Blogger Festival

One reason I try to attend blogcamps and barcamps is that on that one day I can catch with my old friends and meet new people who are doing interesting things.


Pesta blogger venue


Nice to see Chip san, Rezwan and Marisa


Searching for a place to try Indonesian food, we bumped into Jimmy. He took us to a Sundanese place.


Strong miss of Bandung happened with all the dishes from there.


I think Blackberry has taken over Nokia smartphones in Indonesia. BB is the coveted gadget. My friends tell me that the chat feature in BB is big reason.


People were having a good time with live music around.


Chip gets the better of the stormtrooper guy.

Notes from Japan Travel Culture Bookclub Meet


We had a great Japan Travel and Culture meetup last Saturday at Woodlands Regional Library in Singapore.

Fashion, traditions and street style in Japan


Popular fashion blogger Stephie, talked about traditions, Japanese labels & Vintage stores, Street Style Hunting and Shoes.

Japanese food: Preparing Natto


Masahiro showed us how to eat Natto with rice, spring onions and other garnishing.

Participants enjoying preparing Natto.

High Tech toilets in Japan


Chishiho introduced us to the world of high-tech Japanese toilets. She talked about the evolution of these gizmos over time, the features they offer, how to use them and what are the future developments.

Inexpensive travel in Japan

My presentation was about inexpensive travel in Japan.
Need more ideas here, Please post on the comments if you have questions and ideas and I will add it to this post with attribution.



A traditional guesthouse or Ryokan

Temple stays tend to be the most inexpensive. Check out for more on Temple stays in Japan.

Ryokans are a good way of experiencing traditional Japanese house. Though they might not be that inexpensive. Mishuku (bed and breakfast type places) are more affordable.

Online booking for traditional guesthouses and inns(Ryokans), Bed and Breakfast places in Japan.

Onmark Productions has another excellent page that aggregates low cost accommodations in Japan.

Wikipedia Page on Ryokans and Minshuju(Cheaper version of Ryokan)

Travel Guides

Wikitravel has excellent and up to date travel guide to Japan

Tokyo City Travel Guide (Detailed information on each districts)

Amateur Traveler Podcast – Tokyo Episode

Tokyotopia, A website with lots of travel information about Tokyo



Trains are such a wonderful way of traveling in Japan, one of the idea to save money is to take a train to a smaller town and stay there. If you are going to be in Japan for a week and more and want to see more than Tokyo, get a Japan Rail Pass .

You can travel for free on JR group railways, buses, and ferry boats(except Tokyo Metro and high end Bullet trains). See this page for validity conditions of Japan Rail Pass


You can affordable food at the street-side restaurants.


Nice, dane. lets eat it.


If you are really on a budget, buy onigiri (riceball wrapped in seaweed) and tea from a convenience store or vending machine.

There are many ticket restaurants that serve affordable snacks.

Learning Japanese Language

Practical Japanese Phrases for Traveling : Learn Practical Japanese Phrases for Traveling

Book Recommendation: Urawaza, Secret everyday Tricks and Tips from Japan


We also talked about Lisa Katayama’s book Urawaza that compiles Japanese household tricks and techniques that are passed around by word of mouth. One of the ideas is to make scratched CD work by scrubbing the surface with toothpaste and rinsing with water.

Singapore National Library has this book. Check the database for where you can find it.

Here is a video demonstrating one of the Urawaza trick – getting pen marks off your hand.

Also checkout YouTube for more Urawaza videos


Thanks to the participants for their active support. Woodlands Regional Library offered the excellent venue and thanks to Peter Chan (from NLB) for helping us put together the event. Thanks to the presenters Chishiho, Masahiro and Stephie. Amy and Mariko, thanks for helping out during the activities. 

We have a Thailand and South East Asia meet at Woodlands Regional Library on Sunday 4th April, 2010

Japan Culture and Travel Meet at Woodlands Library, Singapore

Update: Check the notes from the meetup on a more recent post.


We are holding a Japan culture, travel presentations and discussion at Woodlands Library. Our friends will do short presentations on food, culture and fashion. We will also talk about ideas on traveling inexpensively in Japan. Its an open session, so I would invite you all to share your Japan experiences.

Date: Saturday, 10 October, 2009
Time: 2 to 4 PM
Venue: Woodlands National Library, 900 South Woodlands Drive, Singapore
Map (Nearest MRT is Woodlands, once out of the MRT, walk through the shopping mall to Woodlands Civic Centre. The library is inside the Civic centre)

Topics (We have these lined up. You are welcome to share too)
1)Economical travel (or an attempt at figuring out economic travel) in Japan
2) A presentation on Japanese fashion by Stephie Tan @stephietan
3)Learning Japanese in a hurry
4)Demo of Furoshiki wrapping and about Urazawa (Japanese household tricks)
5)Dummies guide to Japanese high tech toilets

Some of us plan to go to JB for dinner, so bring your passport if you want to join us.

At the Phnom Penh Barcamp 2009


Hung on Vietnamese startups. The great thing with this event was people coming from several countries and talking about stuff happing with them.


Street dessert, roast banana.


International barcampers

Presentation on Frontline SMS

Thanks to Oum for posting the slide under a CC license.

I am interested in Frontline SMS as we can use it to create SMS based communication network in places where we don’t have too many computers and internet connectivity.