Vancouver International Airport + New "Link Building" Expansion

Here are some pictures of Vancouver International Airport (more commonly known as YVR).

Here is the progress of the new Link building. It is supposed to bridge the Domestic Terminal and the International Terminal as well as being the entry point for passengers arriving via transit from downtown Vancouver on the yet to be opened (2009 scheduled to open) Canada Line (A fully automated railway system).

Both the Link building and the Canada Line are being ready for the 2010 Olympic Winter games in Vancouver

From the outside:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kagoshima in April: Rainy and Muggy

Continuing with the posting of photos that are more than 1 year old.

This post continues from my post on Kumamoto on April 4, 2006

I visited Kagoshima on April 5, 2006.

When I arrived it was raining all day (just like in Vancouver) so I did not take a lot of pictures. A lot of the places that I walked by, I didn't take any pictures of...

Starting with the arrival by Kyushu Shinkansen "Tsubame" at Kagoshima-Chuo Station on the night of April 4, 2006.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kumamoto: A Town with a Castle and a Garden

I visited Kumamoto on April 4, 2006. It was one of the stops on my Kyushu trip. I arrived via the train from Fukuoka.

Some facts about the city courtesy of and

Kumamoto, situated roughly at the center of Kumamoto Prefecture, is the administrative and economic center of the prefecture. From the early 17th century to the end of the 19th century, it was prosperous as a castle town. Shira-kawa River and its branches run through the downtown area around the Kumamoto Castle. Therefore the city is called "City of Woods and Fresh Water".

Kumamoto is also a major city on Kyushu's west coast with a population of 650,000. The city is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan's largest.

Kumamoto Castle:

Kumamoto Castle was constructed by the Kato Clan in 1607. Half a century later, it was handed over to the Hosokawa Clan, which ruled the surrounding fief from there for over 200 years until the end of the feudal age.

In 1877, Kumamoto Castle became the site of Japan's last civil war, when an army of former samurai under Saigo Takamori unsuccessfully rose against the new Meiji government. Large parts of the castle were destroyed in that civil war.

Most of the present castle buildings, including the large and small castle towers, are reconstructions, dating from the 1960s. The interior of the castle towers is a modern museum.


Sakura in full bloom at the castle grounds:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


I visited Fukuoka, Japan on April 3, 2006:

Spring, in Japan the season of new beginnings, this is probably a new hire orientation.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

How to Fix an Overheating Compaq Presario V2000 Series (V2030us)

Although this post doesn't really match the "theme" of this blog, I think posting this might help some people.

Have a Compaq Presario V2000 series notebook (bought between 2004 and 2005)?

Is it automatically shutting down for no reason after maybe 30 minutes to 1 hour of use?

Then the problem with your notebook (like mine) is that it is overheating.

How can you tell if its overheating and not some other problem like a virus?

Go download and run the CPU Burn In program. It is a software that runs your CPU to the maximum possible operating temperature.

I set the program to run for 5 minutes and within 2 minutes the notebook shut down by itself. The reason is that Windows automatically shuts down to prevent any thermal damage to your CPU.

I contacted the HP technical support (text chat with a technican, a phone call support would cost money, $30 I think) and they said that since the notebook isn't under warranty anymore I would have to pay $259 to sent it for an inspection.

Seemed like a rip off to me and after I searched around, I saw a post in the forum with people having the same problem as me. They said the reason why the notebook overheats is because there isn't any thermal paste between the CPU and heatsink!

Look at the picture below:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kyoto Station

Updated: Google Map added for post "Going to Kyoto and Nintendo HQ" and all thumbnails are clickable to reveal full HD image

Why am I posting pictures of Kyoto Station...its because before I went to Kyoto before, I read of how big and impressive it looked and I couldn't find any *good* images, other than a few crappy thumbnails.

Its also interesting because of its gigantic scale and the way its built. Also I think its one of the very few completely new stations in Japan (most stations in Japan are pretty dilapidated, especially in Tokyo...). Although the station building is "new" (10 years old), the platforms I found to be pretty lousy, typical blacktop (pavement) flooring that you see in 90% of the stations in Japan.

Also one should note that Kyoto's actual downtown is not right outside of the station, it is maybe a 10-15 ride by taxi away. Other than the shops connected to the station, outside there seems to be nothing but pachinko parlors.

Below is a description from Wikipedia:

Kyoto Station (京都駅) is the most important transportation hub in Kyoto, Japan. It has Japan's second-largest train station building (after Nagoya Station) and is one of the country's largest buildings, incorporating a shopping mall, hotel, movie theater, Isetan department store, and several local government facilities under one 15-story roof.

The first Kyoto Station opened for service by decree of Emperor Meiji on February 5, 1877. It was replaced by a newer, Renaissance-inspired facility in 1914, which featured a broad square leading from the station to Shichijo Avenue. Before and during World War II, the square was often used by imperial motorcades when Emperor Showa traveled between Kyoto and Tokyo: the image of Kyoto Station with its giant Rising Sun flags became a well-known image of the imperial era. This station burned to the ground in 1950 and was replaced by a more utilitarian concrete facility in 1952.

The current Kyoto Station opened in 1997, commemorating Kyoto's 1,200th anniversary. It is 70 meters high and 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor area of 238,000 square meters. Architecturally, it exhibits many characteristics of futurism, with a slightly irregular cubic facade of plate glass over a steel frame. The architect was Hiroshi Hara.

Kyoto, one of the least modern cities in Japan by virtue of its many cultural heritage sites, was largely reluctant to accept such an ambitious structure in the mid-1990s: The station's completion began a wave of new high-rise developments in the city that culminated with the 20-story Kyocera Building. For this, there are opinions criticizing the station design for taking part in breaking down the traditional cityscape.

Aside from the main building on the north side of the station, the Hachijō-guchi building on the south side was built to house Tōkaidō Shinkansen which started operation in 1964. The underground facilities of the station, including the shopping mall Porta beneath the station square, was constructed when the subway opened in 1981.

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Useful Links for visiting Kyoto with regards to transportation:

Kyoto City Transportation

Layout of the Building:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From the outside and vicinity:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yunnan Part 3: Dali and Back to Kunming

This is part 3 of the series from Yunnan Province in China, the province with the largest amount of minority people in China. It is also not very developed compared to the coastal cities of China.

Here are the previous parts, posted long time ago...

Yunnan Part 1: From Hong Kong to Kunming

Yunnan Part 2: Kunming, Stone Forest, Lijiang

We first started off visiting the Three Pagodas, outside the town of Dali in Yunnan.

I was told that this is the most expensive entrance ticket for all of China, around 121 RMB ($17 USD) for foreigners, much much less for locals, around 5 RMB. And also, there is not much to see there except those 3 pagodas which you can admire for less than 5 minutes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Central Japan International Airport (Nagoya)

The airport which serves Nagoya and the central Japan region is completely built on an artificial island. It is the 2nd airport built on an artificial island. The first one being in Osaka (slowly sinking, don't think this one is though).

It was built for the 2005 Expo at Aichi Prefecture.

Below is a map of its location.

Tokyo Walking Pictorial: Imperial Palace, Hibiya, Government Areas

I started the walk from Tokyo Station and walked along the moat of the Imperial Palace towards the National Diet Building (Parliament), and ended in front of the Prime Minister's Residence.

Inside the Tokyo International Forum. This building is one of the rare non-blocky buildings in Tokyo.

Vancouver Chinatown: A Pictorial Walking Tour

Today was the "Chinatown Festival" so I decided to check it out. There was a walking tour run by volunteers which cost $5 per person and the most interesting thing is that they bring you inside to see the Chinese Associations.

All pictures can be view at full resolution, click and enjoy!

There are 3 parts to this post.

Part 1: Chinese Canadian Military Museum

Part 2: Inside the Chinese Benevolent Association

Part 3: The Streets of Chinatown

Here is the Google Map showing the places I visited:

Direct Link to the Google Map for full size viewing

Part 1: The Chinese Canadian Military Museum

It is located on the 2nd floor of the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum building, and almost not advertised outside at all. Its VERY small, only ONE room. I don't even think a lot of locals know that it exists. The museum commemorates the Chinese people who volunteered to fight for Canada in World War II despite the fact that they were denied citizenship by the Canadian government.

Link to Official Museum Site

Osaka: Streetscapes, Sanyo Electric HQ

(Updated: June 1, 2013 with high resolution photos)

This is the 2nd part of my Osaka series. Previously, I posted a section on the Osaka waterfront...more than 1 year ago...(man, I have been lazy in posting), here is the link to that:

Part 1: Osaka Waterfront

I took these pictures on the same day, Mar. 30, 06.

After visiting the Osaka waterfront, I decided to go hunt out the headquarters of major electronics companies in the Kansai region. I wanted to visit the Panasonic headquarters/factory, but this time I had not done my homework, I did not book in advance, and therefore was not able to go. Instead I found that Sanyo Electric had its headquarters in Osaka, so why not visit their site and see what was there?

Other factories and headquarters of companies that I visited:

Toyota Headquarters and Auto Assembly Plant in Nagoya

Nissan Auto Assembly Plant in Yokosuka (suburb of Tokyo)

Front Gate of Nintendo HQ (scroll down...unfortunately, visitors are NOT allowed, there was a sign IN ENGLISH at the security desk!)

Side note: The good thing about Japan is that large companies are more than willing to let you visit their plants/factories (unlike in security paranoid North America where there isn't even a viewing deck at the airport for looking at planes). Its pretty interesting that a lot of the products that they export to the rest of the world is developed at these places. At the Nissan plant, we were the only ones there and they hired an interpreter just for our group of 2!

Studio Ghibli Art Musuem

(Updated: July 13, 2013 with high resolution photos)

On June 29, 2006, my friends and I visited the Ghibli Museum. The museum (aka. Mitaka's Forest Ghibli Art Museum) is located in the suburbs of Tokyo. It is about 15 minutes by train on the JR Chuo Line (aka "Suicide Line", the line alignment is almost totally straight) from Shinjuku Station.

Unfortunately, you are NOT allowed to take pictures inside the museum, only outside, so that is what I have.

Also you can't just show up and buy tickets at the museum, if you are in Japan, you need to buy your tickets in advance from a Lawsons convenience store using their electronic ticket machine. If visiting from overseas you could either buy them from overseas (check official website) or if you know Japanese or some Japanese or if you are able to copy the name of the Ghibli Museum onto a piece of paper, you could go to the Lawsons convenience store and ask a clerk (using a lot of hand gestures?) that you want tickets to this museum. But be warned, the museum is kind of popular and may be fully booked a week in advance.


Vancouver Skyline

If there are any regular visitors left...this page is not dead, I still got lots of stuff to upload. Just busy with work and sometimes lazy.

Vancouver skyline from east to west.

Building with clock, City Hall:

Ball building = Science World:

Aug. 8, 06: Kunming, Stone Forest, Lijiang

Because of getting a job related to my field after so long search, there is a massive update of my blog.

Kunming in Yunnan Province relative to the rest of China and more well known cities:

Kunming, Lijiang, and Stone Forest relative to each other on the map:

Kunming normal city street:

Trip to Victoria, BC, last Labour Day Weekend (Sept. 2-4, 06)

These are some pictures from when I went to Victoria, BC (the provincial capital of the Province of British Columbia) with my cousins but was too lazy to post until now.

Map of the "Lower Mainland" of British Columbia, Victoria is about an hour ferry ride from Vancouver.

There isn't that much to see in Victoria, a day trip would be enough, but we stayed overnight...a big mistake because there was not much to do after seeing the couple of attractions.

The entrance to the Parliament Buildings, people are queuing up for the free tour.

Pictures from My Alma Mater (UBC)

From the Rose Garden at the Northern End of the campus:

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Countdown Clock

Here are some pictures of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics countdown clock that I took in February but was too lazy to do anything until now.

Interesting fact: Because there are so many hoodlums (aka. crazy special interest groups, "anti-poverty group") here that oppose the games, this is the only Olympic countdown clock that requires a security guard to be present 24 hours a day. Despite that, it was still vandalized a couple of weeks ago...

The clock is located in a square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which was once a former courthouse.