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On returning

Roaming Backpacks has gone on an extended hiatus for quite some time. In fact, it has been more than 2 years (!) since anything was posted here. And the post before that? October 2015! That almost feels like ancient history. So Cecilia and I are excited, but also a little embarrased to be returning to […]

Returning ‘home’

I always thought the pedestrian crossing at the Hakata station bus terminal was narrow. There’s always a crowd of people trying to make the crossing, only to be met by a tiny doorway that was the entrance. The crowd inside was even more impressive. Perhaps it’s a weekend, but it always was a squeeze. The […]

Tales from Japan: “One-man Trains”

Our group is on a local train bound for Nakatsugawa, on the JR chuo-line. It’s one of the many local lines running across Japan, following the ancient Nakasendo connecting the imperial capital, Kyoto, to the shogunate in Edo during the Edo Period. Most travelers to Japan would have rode on its extensive rail network. It’s […]

Tales from Japan: 90 years on the job

The screen door slid open, inviting a blast of cold air that was tempered by the warmth of the charcoal burning slowly in the middle of our hut. In came an old lady, carrying a heavy-looking plate of chicken that was to be part of our menu for the night. She looked at each one […]

Buddhist Priest, Kiyomizu-dera

Buddhist priest walking along the hallways of Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺)in Kyōto, Japan’s ancient capital. Founded during the end of the Nara Period in 778, much of current temple complex dates back to the 1630s. In 1994, it was recognised to be part of the UNESCO Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

Foodtography / Food Porn

Consider this scenario: you are on a romantic dinner date at a swanky restaurant – the food arrives – and then what? Immediately reach for your phone, or your camera – anything – and take pictures, of course. Repeat for each dish. It doesn’t matter if the food turns stone cold, or turns to stone. […]

Respite in Concrete City

Looking out to Victoria Harbour and a gorgeous horizon beyond…well, almost. Places to relax and unwind are few and hard to come by in Hong Kong, not to mention those that actually have a view. Still, people make do, as they try to find peace and solace in this ever-morphing concrete jungle.

The Five Fields, London

I know, this feels like shameless advertising. But we love food, and even more those who put their hearts and minds into creating a good meal. Food, after all, is the epitome of one’s culture – you are what you eat. Besides, a good meal always makes people happy; perhaps, the world would be a […]

Lost in Translation: ‘Sweet As (Arse?)’

You know how Kiwis (New Zealanders) love to say ‘sweet as’ to everything? Once there was a Kiwi in the United States having a conversation with a local. She said something and he went ‘sweet as’. He was eventually sued for sexual harassment. This was one of those hilarious stories shared by Andrew, a fellow […]