Tokyo, January 2018

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Muji Yurakucho

First month of this year, I went to Tokyo for 3 days business trip and 4 days leisure. It was winter and no snow in Tokyo (Though about a week after my return to Jakarta there was heavy snowfall). This time I tried to make a little bit more detailed plan. I planned to visit other prefectures (Shirakawa-go, anyone?) and go to book stores in Tokyo, including Jimbocho – a famous bookish area in Tokyo. I even made the list of bookstores that I want to visit but Gallifrey is falling sometimes reality hurts. Not only that I failed to visit Shirakawa-go, I also could not find the time to visit bookish places.

I fortunately managed to go to Junkudo bookstore in Ikebukuro. Known as “Japan Barnes and Nobles”, Junkudo is about 10 stories high where 30 minutes won’t be enough to stroll around. I directly went to 9th floor to see the English selection. Although won’t satisfy and please people all, the English books offered is okay you can see popular, newly published, classics, and the price is also okay. I said okay because this compare to the price in Indonesia and I don’t know any about books price in Amazon Japan. I don’t always take pictures in Japan, especially in buildings or place where there are lots of people, and Junkudo is one of them.

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Junkudo Bookstore, Ikebukuro

To console my inner self for not able to visit more places, I went to Book-Off Ikebukuro and decided to take one to bring back home. Charlotte’s Web by E.G. White costs me JPY 150 or about IDR 18,000.

Next time if I have a chance to go to Japan again, hope I’ll be really able to visit more bookish places.

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@ Showa Kinen Park, Tachikawa
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[Film] Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Warning: This post may contain spoiler

Murder on the Orient Express (MotOE) is a film based on the same title of Agatha Christie’s book. Our hero here is the famous Detective Hercule Poirot, an eccentric and funny Belgian man. The scene opened in Istanbul, where Poirot was asked to solve a theft case that involved 3 religious leaders. And after solving this “easy peasy” case, Poirot then decided to have a break from cases. But suddenly a representative from British Embassy asked him to solve a case in Germany, led him to take an Orient Express train that runs from Istanbul to London.

With the help of Monsieur Bouc, the director of the train, Poirot managed to get a room compartment and so the journey begins. Besides Poirot, there are other passengers, coming from different races and countries. Among these strangers, Poirot suddenly was asked by an American, Mr. Ratchett to follow and protect himself since he got threatening letters. Poirot rejected this request but turned out it wasn’t just a threat, Mr. Ratchett was stabbed cruelly and died, and so the case began.

Things got more complicated since the train was stuck in the middle of snow mountains – even before Ratchett was found dead. Bouc asked Poirot for help to find the murder and solve the case before they were found by the train company people and the police. Agreed by that, Poirot started the investigation by searching the evidences and interviewing the other passengers.

One fact arose is Ratchett’s real name was Cassetti, a kidnapper and murderer of a young child, Daisy Armstrong. And in that case, not only Daisy died but also her mother because of premature birth and her father for suicide. Daisy’s nurse became the accused and hanged to death. Never been thought by Poirot that everyone in the trains were actually related to the Armstrong family.

I think that is all I can tell about the film story. Here is the link if you want to know the details of the characters. There are too many people that are easier to remember if you see the faces. MotOE is visually attractive, the actors’ make ups, the clothes, the scenery, are as beautiful as what year 1930’s offer. As for Poirot’s character,I found that the actor Kenneth Branagh is rather cute but not as silly as I expected Poirot should be.

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I admit that I don’t really remember all characters’ names but I knew that there are some things odd and unfamiliar. After looking at some reading sources, I found that some characters are named-changing, some are combined into one character, some are characteristic’s changing, and one is new. The changes are fine for me, it doesn’t really change the plot. I was more curious with how Poirot reveals who are the murderers. The interviews of the suspects were done shorter and more dramatically, the conclusion was done artistically and aesthetically, which is fine. I was expecting more details but perhaps it would be boring to see people talking only for almost 2 hours scene. MotOE also shows Poirot with more drama that I found a little bit annoying, merely because I always think that Poirot is just funny and silly.

-End-

Side Note:

Orient Express Train Company, now known as Venice-Simplon Orient Express is still running up to today, although they don’t have route Istanbul – Turkey now. The cheapest fare is £585 for Paris to London (one way). The most expensive is £6,432 London to Venice (Return). Or if you want to know more price and destination, click here.

Thanks to Brigida for the premiere ticket :)

Tokyo, July 2017

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In July this year, I had a chance to visit Tokyo, Japan for business trip for about 5 days. It had no busy schedule but only at night I had my free time, which actually fine because it was summer and the temperature even reached to 30-ish degrees that made me feel like I was just in Jakarta. I went to Japan with one colleague but chose to go alone during free time to have more me-time. I am not particularly good at planning, rarely to make detailed itinerary when traveling, but at least I have kind of vision about places I want to visit. For this chance I decided to visit some book stores.

It’s not that hard to find book stores in Japan. I have had visited some small book stores also the big one like Kinokuniya. As for Kinokuniya, I once visited two in Shinjuku and Shibuya. They have wide selection of books but at my knowledge I couldn’t find English books. To feed my curiosity of English books in Japan, I did more searching. And after adjusting my schedule, I managed to visit 3 (+1) book stores in Tokyo. Continue reading “Tokyo, July 2017”