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Journey to the North 2

Journey to the North 2

For our 2017 winter break, my daughter Mei and I decided it was time for a second attempt at our previous trek from Tokyo to Sapporo for the Yuki Matsuri we had made two years prior. We reviewed what went well and what didn’t from that trip, the first time the two of us had...
Ramen Shack at Smorgasburg Winter Market 2016

Ramen Shack at Smorgasburg Winter Market 2016

Keizo Shimamoto personifies hustle. Like most entrepreneurs, his work never really ends. There are always new opportunities to seek, current ones to manage, and past ones to wind down. At the pace he moves, if you look away for a moment, Keizo is already a few steps further than you remember. The content of this...
Journey to the West

Journey to the West

Not to be confused with the Chinese literature classic from the Ming Dynasty, an account of the journey of Xuanzang and his three disciples from China to India in search of the roots of Buddhism, this is my no less epic tale of traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto over eleven days with my (then four,...
Journey to the North

Journey to the North

Travelogue pieces aren’t really my thing. Though I’m often photographing and writing about places where I do not live, the focus of my articles and photo essays has generally been on urban design, civic engagement and community culture. To the extent possible, I try to draw out details that would be most relevant to people...
Ippudo Beijing Opening Day

Ippudo Beijing Opening Day

Before today, there was no ramen in Beijing worth eating. (My deskmate in Mandarin class is from Kansai and will back me up on this.) While this is far from Ippudo’s first foray into Mainland China—multiple shops in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and even one in Shenzhen have been well-received—Beijing finally gets in the game with its...
Lane 737 Night Market

Lane 737 Night Market

Back over calendar new year I was in Taipei for about a week of vacation. I had taken the camera along for candid photos and really meant to relax during the downtime, but it was hard not to “go to work” with the city’s famously kinetic street life swarming around me. Nothing typifies this more...
Lunar New Year 2014 in Sunset Park

Lunar New Year 2014 in Sunset Park

We were recently back in the United States for a few weeks to take care of some business and visit with friends and family. Though I’ll never get used to living with Beijing’s air no matter how long we stay here, going back and experiencing suburban and exurban sprawl as a now disenfranchised non-driver reminded...
Osaka Ramen School

Osaka Ramen School

With regard to food and drink, there are some things I’d just rather make myself, while plenty of others I’ll happily leave to experts. For instance, I like my coffee just so, which means I’m picky about my beans, water and equipment. Conversely, no matter how much I may want to try, in the absence...
Blog Migration Complete

Blog Migration Complete

It’s official. Everything from the old WordPress.com version of likeafishinwater.com has been moved over to the self-hosted, WordPress powered site. Most of the bugs have been ironed out and aesthetic adjustments are mostly done. It’s been exciting and a little scary to have complete access to the source code for the blog. Customization options are...
Blog Backend Upgrade, Changes for Subscribers

Blog Backend Upgrade, Changes for Subscribers

On 5/24/2013 likeafishinwater.com will be moved off WordPress.com blog hosting and over to shiny new digs at a self-hosted WordPress installation. With an upcoming move to China, I wanted to have the material accessible from behind the Great Firewall without VPN. In the long term, I’d like to have more control and customization options for...
Renao in America - Trailer

Renao in America – Trailer

This fall I began research and filming for a personal project, a mini documentary about the importance of vibrant community and street life in Chinese culture. Specifically, I was looking at Chinese immigrant enclaves in the five boroughs of New York City. I wanted to share the story behind the bustle, putting the audience into...
A Day Lived in Jinhua

A Day Lived in Jinhua

Jinhua (金华) is a prefecture-level city in China’s Zhejiang Province. It counts population of 5.4 million in its administrative division, putting it roughly on par with the Atlanta metro area. In China scale however, it would generally be considered a third-tier city, with the second consisting of cities like larger, wealthier neighbor Hangzhou (pop. 8.7...