Driving in Japan: How to find map codes

MapcodeIt wasn’t until we were planning to drive in Japan that we discovered it was not as easy as initially thought. The difficult part has nothing to do with traffic conditions or driving behaviour, but that Japan uses a different navigation system from the rest of the world (well, most of it anyway).

While many of us are familiar with using geographic coordinates (e.g. 48.854325°) to locate places, Japan uses a proprietary navigation system developed by Denso called MapCode (マップコード), “which enables accurate pinpointing with a six- to 10-digit number that is predetermined according to latitude and longitude.” Continue reading

Season 2 of “The Genius” : Rule Breaker starts Dec 2013

thegenius2I first blogged about “The Genius” when it debuted in May 2013. You can read about this excellent Korean reality TV show in my post.

In essence, this reality variety programme from Korea tests the intelligence, sociability and survival instincts of players through gameplay. Strategies formulated through alliances and broken by betrayals; benefits of allies gingerly balanced with self-interests; dramatic moments and unexpected last minute twists; together with the superb choice of background music (Idiotape’s “Melodie” and Moby’s “Extreme Ways” get me pumped up every time) and sleek post-production make every episode a compelling watch.

Despite garnering rave reviews from critics and viewers alike for the first season of “The Genius”, the production team was coy about the possibility of a second season. Confirmation for Season 2 finally came at the end of the first season after the winner was crowned, in the form of a teaser video unveiling the first player for Season 2: popular Korean entertainer Noh Hong-chul (aka the Elevator Guy in the “Gangnam Style” MV).game3
Other players were revealed in subsequent teaser videos leading up to the start of the new season, building up even more hype this time around compared to the rather low-key introduction to its first season. The new line-up comprises TV entertainers, singers, professional gamers, newscasters, lawyer, lecturer, hacker, magician, and Go player. Two popular players from Season 1 were also invited to join the new season, adding a touch of familiarity.
The Genius 2 - Rule Breaker

The second season, titled “The Genius 2: Rule Breaker“, begins its broadcast in Dec 2013, on tvN in Korea. You can watch the English subbed episodes for Season 2 here, courtesy of Bumdidlyump.

* Updated May 2014: 

“The Genius” production team had just opened its player selection for Season 3 to the public through an open casting call. At this point of time, it is not revealed how many players will be chosen from the open casting call. The new season is expected to begin its broadcast around autumn 2014.

* Updated Dec 2014: 

Season 3 is well under way! You can read more about it in my post.

 (all image credit: tvN)

Tips for buying on Taobao from Singapore

(cr: Taobao Southeast Asia)

Good news for online shopaholics – Taobao had set up its Southeast Asia hub in Singapore.

For the uninitiated, Taobao (淘宝) is the Chinese equivalent to shopping sites like Amazon, Qoo10 or Rakuten.

Prior to the launch of its Southeast Asia office, many in Singapore were unable to buy directly on Taobao as it required customers to have China bank accounts. In addition, most Taobao sellers do not ship overseas. Going through third-party daigou agents to buy on their behalf was the only way Singapore buyers could shop on Taobao, until now.

With the launch of International Parcel Forwarding Service (IPFS) in Singapore – and Malaysia too! – customers can now buy from Taobao and have their orders shipped to Singapore via an international forwarding agent (国际转运商). Continue reading

2013 首尔行 – 美食 @ 钟路 · 鹭梁津 · 新村 · 江南

钟路

除了可以吃简单的烤面包当早点
到首尔的亲故也可以难得奢侈一下
考虑吃人参鸡当‘早餐’

位于钟路的土俗村人参鸡
是许多老饕赞不绝口的首选推荐

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2013 首尔行 – 看秀

乱打 NANTA

乱打(图片取自韩国观光公社官网)

来到首尔必做的一件事 就是看闻名遐迩的《乱打》的演出 Continue reading

2013 首尔行 – 弘大 · 大学路 · 仁寺洞 · 南山N首尔塔

弘大

弘大周末的市集 大多是学生售卖自己制作的饰品和小玩意
附近也很多个性商店 如lomography、文艺工作坊 等等
个体咖啡馆更是比比皆是 有些还有获奖无数的咖啡师当镇店之宝

弘大市集

弘大市集

Continue reading