Category Archives: Korea

For The Sake of Even One

One of my favorite Buddhist sutras to read is the Mahayana sutra called the Golden Light Sutra. It was very popular in early-medieval Asian culture, but is less well known now outside of maybe Tibetan Buddhism. In particular my favorite chapter is chapter four, where the Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu speaks a long, long litany expressing his desire to help all beings, expressing regret for his past misdeeds, and finally expressing praise of all the Buddhas. In particular, I was reading again recently when this passage jumped out at me:

“Until I am capable of freeing them all
From countless oceans of suffering,
For ten million eons I shall strive
For the sake of even one sentient being.”

A very simple, but beautiful exposition of the Bodhisattva path to assist all beings, to not abandon them. If you get a chance, definitely read the first four chapters of the Golden Light Sutra, or at least chapters 3 (very short) and 4. They are very inspirational.

Namu Amida Butsu

P.S. Not sure what a Bodhisattva is? Start here. :)

The Thousand Character Poem

Hi guys,

Recently my family and I were watching another episode of the Korean family show Return of Superman (we watch every Sunday morning together), and in this episode the children stayed overnight at a traditional Korean, Confucian-style etiquette school called a seodang (서당, 書堂). According to Wikipedia, these villages existed in the Korean countryside during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties so this is a historical recreation. I recommended watching the whole episode, it’s a great, but if you’re short on time, go to 26:50 or so. Also, click on “CC” in Youtube so you can see English subtitles.

During the first evening the children learn the first four characters of something called the “Thousand Character Classic”:

Cheon ji hyeon hwang

The romanization above is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters.

Anyhow, I got confused because I assumed this was a four-character yojijukugo phrase, but I couldn’t find much information or a clear explantion of what it meant. Literally it means “Heaven is black, the Earth is yellow.” But that doesn’t make sense, right? I even looked it up in Japanese, but it just kept telling me it was the first line of a the Thousand Year Classic.

It turns out the Thousand Year Classic (千字文) is a special poem composed in the short-lived Liang Dynasty in China for the purposes of learning Chinese characters.1 The poem has a strongly Confucian theme, but each character in the poem is used only once, and they are neatly divided into 250 lines, 4 characters each. The idea was that practicing writing out this poem would give a student a solid foundation in the basics of Chinese calligraphy. Pretty clever. By the Song Dynasty, it was part of a trio of books used for literacy along with the Three Character Classic and the 100 Family Surnames. These were known as the S&257;n Bǎi Qiān 三百千 or “Three-Hundred-Thousand”. These formed the core of Chinese literacy education up until the modern period.

Anyhow, it’s a fascinating example of Confucian education even in modern times. ;)

P.S. I thought the teacher at the seodang school was great. He was good at teaching kids the “traditional way”, but behind his fierce demeanor, it’s clear he likes kids a lot. :)

1 The poem is called cheonjamun (천자문) in Korean and senjimon in Japanese (same

Dog Days of Summer, in Korea and Japan

Summers in Japan and Korea are hot. I grew up in the Seattle-area my whole life and summers here are usually warm, mild and not very humid.

My first time in Japan during summer was a shock. Other than my time studying abroad in Vietnam, I had never felt such heat and humidity. Even people who live there get pretty uncomfortable this time of year. The summers get particularly bad during late July-August because the rainy season is over but the humidity remains. This is known as zansho (残暑).

In the past, I wrote about the tradition of eating unagi eels in Japan around July 15th. This known as doō ushi no hi (土用丑の日), where “ushi” (丑) refers to the Chinese-zodiac sign of the Ox. Foods with also starting with “u” became popular foods particularly unagi eels.

Eel kabayaki,Una-don,Katori-city,Japan

Korea also has its own traditions and summer foods. The period between mid-July to mid-Auguest is called sanbok (삼복, 三伏) or the “three prostrations”. The name comes from the fact that there are three holidays during this period: chobok (初伏, 초복), chungbok (中伏, 중복) and malbok (末伏, 말복). These signal the beginning, middle and end of the dog-days of summer. The days will slightly vary each year depending on the Chinese-calendar, still in use in traditional Korean culture.

A popular dish during this time is samgyetang (삼계탕 蔘鷄湯):

Korean soup-Samgyetang-06

Samgyetang is chicken soup cooked with ginseng, glutinous rice and often with other assorted herbs. At the H-Mart (Korean grocery store) near our home, we’ve purchased Samgyetang before and cooked it at home. It was pretty tasty. It’s a different flavor than any other chicken soup I’ve eaten before, but it was good.  Also, the ginseng, popular in Korean culture, and other herbs are thought to help reinvigorate a person during the terrible heat.

However you deal with summer heat, make sure to get plenty of fluids and rest, though! Enjoy!

P.S. 妻が送ってくれた韓国の参鶏湯や三伏の日ついての記事はこちらです。

P.P.S. You can find more Japanese unagi and summer here. For the Korean tradition, you can read here.

Buddhism and Printing


As readers know, I’ve been reading a fascinating book about the life of a Japanese-Zen monk named Tetsugen. Tetsugen was a prominent teacher and lefturer of the Obaku Zen sect, but his greatest accomplishment was providing a complete, printed collection of the entire Buddhist canon in Japan called the Obaku Edition of the Triptaka: Ōbakuban daizōkyō  黄檗版大蔵経.

The Obaku Edition was the de facto edition of the Buddhist canon in Japan until the modern period when it was superceded by the Taishō Edition (大正新脩大藏經, taishō shinshū daizōkyō).

But why such a big deal? It helps to look at the history of Buddhism and printing to understand.

Printing in China

As early as the Tang Dynasty, China was printing texts using either movable type or woodblock printing. Movable type is easier for languages with Alphabets like English, but for Chinese, which has 40,000+ characters it was error-prone and time consuming.
Yangzhou Museum - woodblock for printing - fragment - CIMG2879

Instead, a block of wood could be carved to print a whole page and re-used over and over. This is called “wood block” printing. If the blocks were good quality and well-maintained (i.e. protected from insects and the environment), it could be used for centuries. 

Pen ts'ao, woodblock book 1249-ce

The entire Buddhist canon or Tripitaka was a popular choice for printing. However, unlike religious texts such as the Quran or Bible which encompass a single book, the Tripitaka is HUGE. Imagine a complete set of encyclopedias then double or triple that. That’s the size of the Buddhist canon roughly. So compiling and printing an official copy was a massive undertaking.

Further, especially in the Tang Dynasty and earlier, translation was a big challenge. As the story of Xuan-zang shows, going to China was to learn Sanskrit was a dangerous journey and very few succeeded. Instead the Chinese government brought in Buddhist monks from various cultures on the Silk Road: Parthians like An Shigao, Kushans like Lokaksema and Kucheans such as Kumarajiva. The language differences between Sanskrit and Chinese were formidable and sometimes multiple editions of the same sutra were translated but eventually a complete Buddhist canon was compiled in the readable, literary Chinese of the day.

Starting in the year 983, with the Sichuan Edition, to the late Ming Dynasty, 20 official editions of the Buddhist canon were printed out. Some were better than others. The Yuan Dynasty Edition for example was considered inferior quality.

Printing in Korea

Similar to China, Korea developed sophisticated wood-block printing methods for publishing. Both were based off the Chinese Song Dynasty edition and were produced in the 11th and 13th centuries, using the Chinese Song Dynasty edition as their source. Similar to the Chinese editions, they used Korean-style Chinese characters:

Tripitaka Koreana sutra page

Further, the Korean woodblooks used to preserve the printing of the Tripitaka for the 13th century edition are preserved at Haeinsa Temple:

Korea-Haeinsa-Tripitaka Koreana-01

You can see how many blocks it took to print the whole thing. :)

Printing in Japan

Block-printing or any mass-printing of Buddhist texts in Japan came surprisingly late. Further, unlike the Chinese canon, there was never any effort to translate it into Japanese. Instead, similar to the Korean canon, Buddhist texts were preserved in Chinese characters.1 Further, Japanese Buddhist monks often had fewer texts and resources available for research. Finding a copy of the Lotus Sutra or Pure Land Sutras was easy but more obscure texts like the Surangama Sutra2 would be all but impossible for most monks.

Wood-block printing on a large scale finally came during the Edo Period, starting in the 17th Century. As Professor Baroni points out, there are reasons for this: Japan was finally stable after a century of warfare, and Buddhist monks turned more and more to scholarship so the demand for texts increased. At that time, most Buddhist monks relied on hand-copies versions, or Buddhist texts imported from China, which were carefully guarded. A typical monk or temple in Japan would have had access to far fewer sutras than their counterparts in Korea and Japan, but with this Edo Period, the demand for more texts finally changed the situation.

The first edition to be published was a government-sponsored edition called the Tenkai Edition or Tenkaiban (天海版) and was completed in 1648. Professor Baroni explains that only a few copies were printed and it was based on the problematic Yuan-Dynasty Chinese edition. Further, it used moveable-type, so there was a risk of human error in each copy due to the complexity of Japanese language and its use of Chinese characters.

The next edition was the Obaku Edition mentioned above. What was impressive about this edition was that it was superior quality using woodblock prints, and entirely a voluntary effort. Government funds were not used. Tetsugen, the famous Obaku Zen monk, started the effort around 1667. Per tradition, Tetsugen first got permission to take a break from Zen practice from his Chinese-teachers Yinyuan (隠元隆琦 1592—1673) and Muan (木庵性瑫 1611-1684). From there, Tetsugen, a skilled orator, toured Japan providing lectures mainly on the The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, the Surangama Sutra and the importance of keeping the precepts.

Through these lectures, Tetsugen was able to secure enough funding to setup a print shop in Kyoto, while the compilation and editing of the edition took place at Obakusan, the main Obaku Zen temple an in another temple in Osaka, Zuiryuji where Tetsugen resided. A number of monks under Tetsugen also volunteered in the project, and by 1680, there were 6,956 volumes and over 20,000 blocks used. This was the de facto Buddhist canon used in the Edo Period due to availability and quality of work.

Sadly, Tetsugen did not live to see his edition completed. While waiting in the capitol of Edo (Tokyo) to present an edition to the Shogun, he heard of a famine in the countryside and left to assist in the relief efforts. Tetsugen from illness while raising funds and distributing relief from the famine and his students completed the projected and presented the edition to the government.

Junjiro Takakusu

The Obaku Edition was the preferred copy of the Buddhist canon edition used until the 1920’s when it was superseded by the afore-mentioned Taisho Edition. The Taisho Edition project was started by a Buddhist scholar named Takakusu Junjirō (高楠順次郎 1866 1945 pictured above) who wanted to promulgate Buddhist-based education around the world. The quality and breadth of the Taisho Edition, or “Taisho Tripitaka”, has made it one of the most popular sources used for East-Asian Buddhist research. You can find it online easily, though not all of it is translated into English.


Long before printing was available in Europe, Buddhism and Printing went hand-in-hand in Asia, and due to the complexities of the languages, various methods were used to ensure quality and ease of printing. Much of what we know about Buddhism today and Asian literature is due to the efforts of these early masters of printing.

1 This is a big reason why Buddhist chanting in Korea and Japan uses the original Classical Chinese as the liturgical language. Presumably this was intended to preserve the teachings from changes over time, but comes at the cost of requiring translations for modern readers and students.

2 The Surangama Sutra is very popular in Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan (Zen) Buddhism, but wasn’t well-known in Japan, and did not have much influence until the pre-modern period.

The 48-hour Superman Challenege

Hi Folks,

Lately, my wife and some of her friends (Korean and Japanese) have been avidly watching a Korean TV show called “Return of Superman”, which is available on Youtube by KBS World. In Korean, it is called syupeomaen i dulawadda (슈퍼맨이 돌아왔다) which means “Superman came back”. In Japanese it has a similar title: スーパーマンが帰ってきた (sūpāman ga kaettekita, “Superman came home”).

This adorable show is about celebrity dads who take care of their children for 48 hours. The show films their life and their efforts to raise their children without the mother, while doing some kind of challenge. All the episodes have English subtitles, so Westerners can still follow along:1

Japanese readers can also find the Japanese-subtitle version here (日本語の字幕).

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a “Superman Challenge” for myself: take care of my children for 2 days by myself. My wife works hard all day raising our kids, and she doesn’t get much sleep because Little Guy is still a baby. I want to help, and I’ve taken care of my two kids (Princess and Little Guy) alone for maybe 6 hours, so it’s possible. Not easy, but possible.

On the other hand, Little Guy is still really young (16 months as of writing), so I might have to wait a little bit. But someday, I do want to try it. If I do, I hope to write about it here.

What about fathers reading this blog: do you think you could do the Superman Challenge?

1 I highly recommend this show for Korean-langauge students because the kids speak basic Korean often, so it’s easier to pick up. I don’t watch the show regularly, but I have picked up more Korean than before. My wife doesn’t know Korean, but she can read English fluently, so she can follow the show.

Autumn in Korea

Hi Everyone,

We have friends who recently Korea right now to celebrate the 1st birthday of their son, who was born 8 days after our son. :) The first birthday in Korea, or doljanchi (돌잔치) is a huge event with family all gathering, elaborate feasts, etc. There are good write-ups here and here about birthday traditions in Korea.

Anyhow, the father, who is Indonesian not Korean, is a great photographer and has been taking good photos of Korea in the fall. I wanted to share some of his best photos from his Twitter feed.

This is a photo of persimmons in Seoul:

These photos were taken at a famous mountain called Seorak-san (설악산, 雪嶽山):

And these photos were taken at a famous Buddhist temple in Korean named Sinheungsa (신흥사, 新興寺) which is one of the head temples (大本山) in Korean Buddhism.

Great photos, Budi!

P.S. Congrats on your son’s first birthday! :)

Famous Korean Poetry on a Fan

Recently a Korean friend’s mom gave this fan to our daughter:

Korean Fan with Poem

If you look up close though, you can see a poem:

Korean Fan with Poem Close-up

This poem is really intersting to me because it shows both Hangeul, the Korean alphabet, and Chinese characters mixed in. This kind of writing was popular in Korea in the past, so I assumed it was an old, famous poem. It took a lot of research,1 but I figured out what it was. The poem was written by Yi-Jonyeon (이조년 李兆年, 1269-1343) from the Goryeo Dynasty in Korea. For Japanese readers, his name is イ・ジョニョン. According to Wikipedia Korea, which I was only able understand a little, Yi-Jonyeon was a scholar and poet who served under 5 kings (King Wonjong through King Chunghye).

From this helpful website I was able to find the text of the poem (Japanese version here):

多情歌(다정가) – Da Jeong Ga

梨花(이화)에 月白(월백)하고
I-hwa e weol baek hago

銀漢(은한)이 三更(삼경)인제
Eun-han i samgyeong inje

一枝春心(일지춘심)을 子規(자규)야 알랴 마난
Ilji chunshim eul jagyu ya alrya manan

多情(다정)도 病(병)인양 하여 잠 못 들어 하노라
Dajeong do byeong inyang hayeo jam mot deuleo hanora

Thankfully I was able to find a translation, courtesy of Ohio State University:

The moon is pallid against the blossoms of the pear;
The Milky Way is twinkling cold at midnight.
The cuckoos wouldn’t guess why I am in despair,
Perching in the boughs of trees in the dim light.
My affection, my love, is a malady I keep;
The disease of the season deprives me of peaceful sleep.

Pretty nice poem actually. It reminds me of poems from the Hyakunin Isshu as well, though the style and such are a bit different. I always enjoy researching stuff like this. :-)

Anyhow, now you know some famous Korean poetry!

1 Lots of hit-or-miss Google searches. ;)

My Brief Visit to Incheon Airport

On my return trip back from Japan, I transferred at South Korea’s airport, Incheon, which is just outside Seoul. It’s a large airport and quite nice to visit and was opened just in 2001, so it’s actually pretty new.

Incheon Airport was my first (and only) experience in South Korea, and I only had 3 hours to really “soak up” the culture. So, I did a lot of walking around. It’s quite large, but generally easy to navigate once you get past the first part. There are tons of shops there, so I even tried ordering Starbucks in Korean (failed miserably), but the staff all spoke pretty good English anyway, so it wasn’t necessary. Many of the signs at Incheon were also printed in four languages: Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese, so it’s pretty hard to get lost there.

One really interesting thing about Incheon Airport is that they had a lot of cultural events and activities. Korea seems very interested in promoting Korean culture to visitors, so there was a lot to see and do. One interesting example is this parade that walks through the airport regularly:1

This parade looks like a royal procession from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897, 조선, 朝鮮). I stumbled onto this parade by accident, but I recognized it right away because I watched so many episodes of the Korean Drama “Jewel in the Palace” (대장금, 大長今). I could recognize the “king” right away. He was wearing the red robes just in front of the large parasol.

This video by another traveler is probably easier to watch though. I was surprised to see the parade, so I didn’t really have time to properly record it.

They also had music performances as well. This is an example of traditional Korean music:

Some people really like this kind of traditional Asian music, some people hate it. I personally thought it was cool.

Incheon had a lot of cool stuff in general. I found some bookstores in there, and I even found a few copies of the Japanese manga Doraemon in Korean which I am using for reading practice. More on that in another post. Anyhow, as mentioned before, every store I went to, people seemed to speak pretty good English. Some of the “ajumma” (おばちゃん would be the Japanese equivalent I guess) were kind of pushy though at certain shops. One lady really wanted to sell me a huge kimchi set to take home, but I can get kimchi easily in Seattle (and I really didn’t want to carry that home), so I kind politely declined.

It was also probably my first real opportunity to use Korean for more than 2 minutes. I’ve been studying and learning Japanese for so long,2 I forgot how hard it is to communicate in another language when you are just a beginner. I did better than I expected (thanks TTMIK!), but at the same time, I also realized that I needed a lot more study and practice. A lot.

So, that’s my three hours in Korea (airport). Incheon is a pretty cool airport to visit, and definitely makes me want to visit Korea again, this time outside the airport. ;)

1 My wife noticed that the parade past walked a Louis Vuitton shop and she thought the contrast was funny. :)

2 I’m not saying I’m good at Japanese language, just familiar with it. Korean is much more new to me.

Traveling with Korean Air

As mentioned in the past, I decided to try something different when flying to Japan this time. Flights to Japan are much more expensive now than when my wife and I were first married. This is because:

  • We have more family members. :)
  • We now fly during the summer months which is expensive, but that’s when there is no school in the US. It’s much cheaper to fly to Japan during the Winter or Spring from what I can see.

So, to save money, I took an indirect flight from Seattle, via Korea to Japan using Korean Air. My wife flew with the kids directly via ANA, but since I was coming later, I decided to try and save some money, and try something different. I saved about $500 which is a lot, but it also took 5 hours longer to get there. Years ago, we flew using United Airlines, which was OK, but then ANA opened a new route from Seattle to Tokyo, and we love to fly ANA. ANA is truly a great airline. If we fly directly, it takes 10 hours to Japan, but 8 hours back because the plane is flying with the currents.

Flying with Korean Air was great too though. I flew economy-class, but as I boarded the plane, I was surprised to see a bottle of water waiting for me on my seat:


This is apparently water from the famous Jeju Island. That was a nice surprise. I also got a small bag containing slippers, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Since my feet are 31cm, the slippers were too small, but the toothbrush and toothpaste were appreciated.

The dinner I had was a Korean dish known as Bibimbap (비빔밥), which is a kind of mixed bowl of rice, vegetables and beef:

It even came with a small tube of gochujang, which is the famous Korean red paste used in many dishes. The bibimbap was actually quite good and even came with a Korean soup called miyeokguk (미역국) which I mentioned here previously. Definitely one of the better meals I’ve had on an airplane.1 Also, I’m not the only Westerner who feels this way. After the meal, I had some hyeonmi nokcha (현미녹차, 玄米綠茶):

Korean nok cha (녹차, 綠茶) is just green tea Korean green tea2. Specifically though, this was hyeonmi nokcha (현미녹차, 玄米綠茶) which is the same as Japanese genmaicha, which is green-tea mixed with roasted brown-rice. I’ve actually never had any kind of nokcha before though, because the Korean restaurants I go to usually have different teas. Anyhow nokcha was very light and tasty. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Since we have an H-Mart near Seattle, I found a similar brand and am drinking it as I write this.

The flight to Japan, via Korea, was very comfortable because I had an empty seat next to me, so I could stretch more and even sleep a little bit. The flight back was very crowded and I sat next to another big fellow (this happens to me a lot…bad karma?) so I wasn’t able to sleep, and I slept near the emergency exit, which let me stretch my legs, but the seat was more narrow than usual. That was my fault though because I checked-in late. Korean Air has a nice “web checkin” feature on their website which lets you pick your seat, but I didn’t have a reliable computer in Japan, so I couldn’t use it. I used it from Seattle to Japan though and it worked well for me.

Also, the flight staff on Korean Air were great. The attendants all spoke Korean, English and Japanese. They’re English was pretty good (minimal accent, good communication) and from what I could tell they spoke good Japanese too. I was kind of impressed.

Anyhow, it was finally nice to get to Incheon Airport in Korea after 11 hours, but that’s a story for another day. :)

Suffice to say, Korean Air was great. It was comparable to ANA (another great airline), but I also saved some money, yet still had a great flight experience. I don’t know if I want to do an indirect flight again in the future, but if I do fly to Korea3 (or indirectly to Japan), I will definitely fly Korean Air again.

1 Air France also had very good meals, though the service was either really good, or really rude and awful. ANA has great food too, but more Japanese-style of course. I liked their soba. :)

2 I’m pretty sure that nokcha is a cognate to Japanese ryokucha (緑茶). They’re basically both green tea.

3 My wife and I talked about visiting Korea in the future, but after my experiences, she wants to visit even more. :)

Going To Japan, Gangnam Style

Hi Everyone,

As a small announcement, my family and I are going back to Japan this year in July/August. We try to go to Japan yearly, so my wife and children can stay connected with their family, and have done this every year since 2005. However, last year, my wife was pregnant with Little Guy, and it wasn’t safe enough to travel. Also, Princess is in school now (September through June), so it’s difficult to go to Japan except during the summer. The summers in Japan are very hot and humid (Seattle summers are cool and mild), so we felt it wasn’t safe to bring my wife to Japan last year. If we had come to Japan last year during the summer, she would be 7 months pregnant, which is pretty dangerous.

So, we haven’t been to Japan in 2 years. All of us miss Japan. Princess talks about how she misses her grandparents and her auntie, and Little Guy hasn’t seen his grandparents at all. We talk to my wife’s family on Line often, plus I send DVDs to my in-laws with videos of Little Guy, but it’s just not the same.

But now, I’m happy to report that we booked our flights! My wife and kids will be there through most of July, but I can’t take that much time away from work, so I have to fly at the end of July, and then we come back in early August.

Still, there’s a catch: flights to Japan are now much more expensive than they were a few years ago. I am not sure why this happened, but now it costs a lot more to fly. When my wife and I were first married, we could fly to Japan in February for about $800 each, but now it costs more than double. I wanted my wife and kids to have a direct flight from Seattle to Narita Airport, so I booked them a nice flight on ANA. ANA is a great airline, and we like to use it whenever possible. A direct flight is expensive, but my wife has two kids and will be flying for 10 hours, so I don’t want her to transfer somewhere just to save money. She would go crazy!

However, since I’m flying alone, I am flying a much cheaper flight. I decided to book a flight from Seattle to Seoul, Korea to Japan via Korean Air. I have never flowing Korean Air before (our Korean friend says Korean airlines are good overall), but my flight will be 14 hours, not 10. However, I save $500. Plus, I get to see Incheon Airport in Seoul, which I hear is very nice. I hear that Korean flights also serve Korean food. My wife is jealous. ;) I’ve never been to Korea before, and although I won’t be able to leave the airport, it’s a good start. Maybe next time, I’ll say in Seoul longer.

On the way back, I will also be flying Korean Air one day earlier than my wife (again, to save money) through Seoul. I will pick her up in Seattle the next day.

But there is another catch: the Korean Air flight to Japan will arrive very late at Narita Airport (9pm). I looked online with my wife how to get from Narita to Kawasaki city after 9pm and there aren’t many options. There are trains that run fairly late, but the Narita Express doesn’t run that late, and my wife doesn’t want me wandering downtown Tokyo late at night like that if I take a different bus or train.1 So, I decided to book a cheap room at the Narita Airport Rest House. The hotel is within the airport grounds, and the room cost me only ¥7800 (about $75-$80).

So, my wife and kids will have a pretty straightforward trip,2 but mine will be an interesting (and very exhausting) adventure.

I’ll be in Japan for two weeks in early August, and I don’t really know what my plans will be, but I’ll keep everyone informed. As always, I’ll try to visit interesting places and take lots photos. :)

1 I probably would arrive in Kawasaki after midnight, which isn’t a good idea, even in a safe place like Japan. Being a foreigner, things could happen. :-/

2 It won’t be an easy trip, since she has to take care of two kids herself for 10 hours. Just straightforward.