Looking through these photos brought me back to that exact moment when I decided to take that particular shot. I guess that's what I love most about taking photos, it may have been years but it still holds the power to take you back to that very moment.
Like when I needed to commemorate purchasing this expensive bottle of water.
Just because Gackt was once said to drink from this particular brand hahahahaha #suckered
Also it was a chilly rainy morning.
We were a large group, so there are always time spent just waiting for all to get up the buses.
And off we went, leaving Shinagawa to head towards Central Tokyo!
It was late winter at that time. The city color scheme tend to get a little grey.
Until bursts of pop colors flashes by like this.
Unf even the trucks are so pleasing to the eyes.
It was a full day of talks and lectures by authorities in various fields.
The lecture halls generally look like that. Serious business bruh.
The talks were conducted in Japanese though most of the participants, if not all, speak and understand English. So we had these earphone devices where interpreters can translate directly on the spot to English. Though sometimes I'd take them out and enjoy the melodious Japanese language instead haha
The topics were pretty intense. All in all I brought back a few kilos of notes.
This program was to educate on issues on the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011.
After a few hours of that, it was (finally) lunch time!
Look so confident (for a quick second) but actually cold as asdfghjkl (the next second)
Nu kidding, I had to put on gloves. It was THAT cold
As a poor student back then, most of the winter supplies were loaned from incredibly kind friends.
It was so damn cold, but you know what, I didn't hate it. It was a suffering that is much welcomed. I guess that's the initial syndrome that many would have if you come from a hot humid tropical country like Malaysia? Or perhaps it's just me hahahah I was like brrr, but ooooh this is fun, but brr cold die me, but omg this is so exciting, but brr super air cond weather, but yay super air cond weather! :D
Lunch here, with halal options specially prepared for Muslim friends.
At one glance I was like, the restaurant is called "OLD MAN'S URN??!"
Overall I didn't really enjoy the food as much as others may have, maybe because I was really looking forward to Japanese Japanese food but to cater to the mostly foreign palate I guess the organizers were thoughtful enough to arrange for more cuisine-neural types of food. So I didn't really eat much, just enjoyed the pretty city view from the windows hahaha I really remember these things clearly huh.
After lunch it was back to talks again.
By this time, a few were borderline nodding off lol afternoon slump.
After a couple of hours, we were ready to head back to the hotel for a dinner party.
Grey weather. The cherry blossoms wouldn't bloom until the following month.
Skinniest building ever hahahaha I love that about Japan! That all the buildings have their own individual characteristics, each so different in shape and sizes from the next.
At the hotel ballroom - a grand, formal dinner party. Scary haha!
It was like one of those movie scenes where party guests were in their suits, looking elegant and sophisticated, and I'm just a kid in my sneakers trying to stuff my face with good food hahahaha
Time for a toast with Kirin. Cun melecun.
It wasn't that bad la hahahaha I did manage to gather up courage to introduce myself to some important people, and chatted with nice folks from the Malaysian Embassy. Social quota habis.
After that was done, the Malaysians went out together for a walk around Shinagawa
By then it was too late to go anywhere else so we just aimlessly explored.
Taking little pathways that lead to underground basements.
That leads to deceivingly quiet basement food establishments
It was intimidating but we braced ourselves and walk on to check it out
Turns out it was bustling with office workers out for warm food and alcoholic drinks.
These eateries were small and cramped but the atmosphere was amazing! Some owners smiled and waves as we walked by, with curious expressions on our faces for sure hahahaha it was such a simple, straightforward thing to do, but being in a completely foreign country the experience was priceless.