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Archive for Japan

Unfolding Story: Origami Furniture via [modernluxury]


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By Carla Jordan | CS magazine

Modern manufacturers are interpreting the centuries-old Japanese art of paper folding with laser-cut slotted sheets of steel that can be bent, folded and locked into place. Or with three-dimensional fabric tiles that can be installed on walls or ceilings to form an endless variety of shapes. We say they’re a sweet twist of fate!


>>Kvadrat’s Clouds fabric tiles, $445-$500/pack of eight, $1,120-$1,250/pack of 24, kvadratclouds.com

>>Reflex-Angelo Origami modular cabinet, price upon request, reflexangelo.com

>>Jaime Salm’s Origami side table, $185, miocollection.com

>>Polygon cushion, $100, miacullin.com

>>A La Carte Origami three-piece bowl/plate set, $100, rosenthalusa.com

>>Arktura’s Pleat table, $4,000, unicahome.com

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The List of The World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010 via [forbes and businessweek]

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OPULUXE Lounge GroovesPlayList

The World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010

by Venessa Wong

provided by
For Americans overseas, exchange rates and cost-of-living
adjustments can make living overseas more expensive than back home.

New York ranks only No. 29

If you think $43 is too much to pay for lunch, you shouldn’t live in
Oslo. According to “ECA
, a global human resources company, that’s how much an
average lunch costs in Norway’s capital. But Oslo is only the
second-most expensive city on ECA’s ranking of 399 global locations. And
while the price of an average lunch in Tokyo is a comparatively modest
$17.86, other costs, such as a $22 movie ticket and an $8.47 kilo of
rice, earn it the dubious honor as the world’s most expensive city.

ECA’s ranking is based on a basket of 128 goods that includes food,
daily goods, clothing, electronics, and entertainment, but not rent,
utilities, and school fees, which are not typically included in a
cost-of-living adjustment. ECA researchers and local partners gathered
prices in September 2009 and March 2010 for domestic and imported brands
that are internationally recognized—such as Kellogg’s cereal or
Sapporo beer. While lower-priced goods and services are available in
these markets, the study estimated the cost of supporting the standard
of living expected by expatriate employees, says Lee Quane, ECA’s
regional director for Asia. Some of the cities, such as Seoul and
Stockholm, jumped up in the ranking as the local currency strengthened
against the U.S. dollar. Quane says that while a slowdown in business
may tempt employers to scale back compensation, “recessions only last
so long” and retaining top talent in these places is critical to
companies’ success when the global economy recovers.
Source: “ECA International
1. Tokyo, Japan


Rank in 2009: 2

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $8.47
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $879

The strength of the yen has brought Tokyo back to the No. 1 spot on
ECA International’s ranking for the first time since 2005. In addition
to the costs above, rent for a two-bedroom apartment for expats is
typically more than $5,000 per month in Tokyo, according to data from
EuroCost International. While visitors need more pocket money here than
in any other city, the monthly consumer price index in Tokyo’s wards
has actually dropped year-on-year for 14 straight months as of May
2010, based on figures from Japan‘s statistics bureau.
2. Oslo, Norway


Rank in 2009: 8

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $5.66
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $880

Oslo rose above Copenhagen as the most expensive city in Europe when
the kroner strengthened against other currencies. ECA International
says an upward trend in oil prices, a short recession, and Norway’s
reputation as a safe haven for investors contributed to the kroner’s
3. Luanda, Angola


Rank in 2009: 1

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $4.73
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $912

Angola’s capital slipped to third place this year as the kwanza
depreciated. Prices in Luanda have actually increased in the past year,
but currency changes offset any inflation, according to ECA
International. In addition to everyday goods, EuroCost International
estimates that the average expat pays more than $3,500 per month for a
two-bedroom flat in Luanda.
4. Nagoya, Japan


Rank in 2009: 3

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $9.14
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $621

Japan’s fourth most populous city, Nagoya is also among the country’s
most expensive. The city ranks No. 1 for the cost of rice: $9.14 per
kilogram, according to ECA International data. As Japan’s auto hub, the
Nagoya area is an important center of business: about 44 percent of
automobiles produced in Japan are made here, according to the Greater
Nagoya Initiative Center. Such companies as Toyota, Honda, Suzuki,
Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and General Motors have headquarters,
manufacturing operations, or distribution points in the Nagoya region.
5. Yokohama, Japan


Rank in 2009: 4

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $6.54
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $630

About half an hour by commuter train from Tokyo, this port city has
active shipping, biotechnology, and semiconductor industries. Yokohama
is one of the world’s most expensive cities, but companies here enjoy
lower operating costs compared with the nearby capital. Nissan opened a
new headquarters in Yokohama this year and reportedly will sell its
office in Tokyo to cut costs.
6. Stavanger, Norway


Rank in 2009: 14

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $5.71
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $749

This small seaside city earned its riches from oil in the North Sea
and has become known as Norway’s petroleum capital. Stavangerexpats.com
says food expenses in Norway are about 50 percent higher than the EU
average: A can of soda is about $2.80, and a beer at a bar can be $12.
7. Kobe, Japan


Rank in 2009: 6

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $8.57
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $470

The city has one of Japan’s largest ports and has become home to many
heavy machinery, iron and steel, and food product companies. According
to the Japan External Trade Organization, 117 foreign and
foreign-affiliated companies have offices in Kobe. As the price of Kobe
beef, the style of high-grade meat named after the city, suggests,
food is costly here, as are other living expenses.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark


Rank in 2009: 7

Food: Lunch at
a restaurant:
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $4.85
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $1,196

A 2009 “survey” of 73 international cities by UBS found that employees
in Copenhagen have the highest income. Places with higher salaries
often have higher prices, but residents here enjoy good living
standards overall. Some examples of the cost of living: Renting a DVD
costs about $8 per night, a pair of women’s jeans is more than $150,
and a one-way ticket on public transport costs about $3.70.
9. Geneva, Switzerland


Rank in 2009: 9

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $3.81
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $1,304

Geneva, home to many companies and U.N. organizations, is one of the
most expensive cities for food and household appliances. Food prices in
Switzerland are 45 percent more expensive than in the rest of Western
Europe, and the cost of electronics and appliances in Geneva is among
the highest worldwide, according to a 2009 UBS report.
10. Zurich, Switzerland


Rank in 2009: 10

Food: Lunch at a
Can of beer from grocer:
One kg of rice: $3.36
One dozen

Entertainment: Movie ticket:

Appliances: Washing machine: $974

Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, is the country’s main business
center and the headquarters city for many financial companies,
including UBS and Credit Suisse. Although Zurich had the greatest
number of company bankruptcies in Switzerland last year, according to
Dun & Bradstreet, the inflation rate started to increase again this
year after falling in 2009.

here to see the full list of the World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010

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#1 on The Weary Traveler’s Wishlist is the NEW Dream & Fly. Mini Hotel Pods! via [ifitshipitshere]

Dream & Fly. Mini Hotel Pods For The Weary Traveler.

Barcelona based company Dream & Fly has invented luxury low cost accommodations for busy people in transit who haven’t the time to find a hotel nearby. By creating individual prefabricated micro-hotels (modular pods), complete with a bathroom, a weary traveler can nap or rest in a clean, comfortable, private and even wired space.

The Dream & Fly “bubbles” are modular accommodations intended to be installed within busy airports, sea ports, train stations or other areas in which large concentrations of people are constantly traveling and need a small comfortable private place to sleep or rest.

The modern luxury pods come with a complete bathroom and can be rented by hour. Inspired by the nature of a womb, the pods are meant to shield you from the frenetic pace of places like airports and seaports.

There are three sizes; the Simple Bubble measures 5 meters square, the Single Bubble measures 7 meters square and the Family Bubble is 10 meters square.



A passenger can sleep for a few hours in a comfortable bed which can be either single or double, lie down on the pillows of the reclining headrest and work on a fold-out table with access to the internet. He or she can consult the boarding details of their flight on an LCD monitor on the wall and rest all of their newspapers on a shelf next to the bed, which is totally equipped with stations for mobile phones and mp3 players, with ambient sound and electric sockets.

The passenger can take a shower, in the privacy of their own space, where they can find a sink, toilet and modern shower made of stainless steel, reminiscent of airplane bathrooms.

For the family, the larger pod consists of a space with a sofa that transforms into a bed for a body and a half, a cradle or nappy changing facility for babies, and other comforts which demand more space.

above: the Micro-hotel pods as seen at a trade show

Visit Dream & Fly to learn more.

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Style Deficit Disorder

Street Fashion—Tokyo
By Tiffany Godoy
by Ivan Vartanian

Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion - TokyoStyle
Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion – Tokyo
by Tiffany Godoy
Buy new: $11.98 / Used
from: $15.37
Usually ships in 24

Deficit Disorder

Style Deficit Disorder — The Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo has
become an international style mecca, a street-level fashion scene
prowled by major designers looking for inspiration, and whose local,
cutting-edge labels enjoy global cache. Style Deficit Disorder
is the first book to explore this remixed, fast-forward fashion hotbed,
profiling its most daring and influential designers, labels, stylists,
and shops (including Comme des Garçons, Hysteric Glamour, Super Lovers, A
Bathing Ape, and Laforet). Featuring nearly 200 photos, essays by key
Japanese fashion editors, and commentary by Edison Chen, Patricia Field,
John Galliano, Shawn Stussy, Shu Uemura and others, this is a
must-have, insider’s look at an international fashion and pop culture
epicenter, past, present, and future.

Tiffany Godoy is a contributor to V and Vogue Nippon
and former fashion editor at Japanese culture magazines Composite
and Studio Voice. She lives in Tokyo.


Style Deficit Disorder is an awesome encyclopedic breakdown
of [Harajuku]..” —The Fader

“essential reading for anyone who wants to get the real lowdown on
the fabled district.” —Japan Times

Modern Manners Tutorial I: Proper Sushi Etiquette via [Sushi Secrets and WikiHow]


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Sushi Bar Tutorial & Etiquette
When you’re seated at the Sushi Bar…

The hot towel (oshibori) given to you by the waitress is used to wipe your hands at the beginning of your visit to the sushi bar. You can use it during the meal to wipe your hands but a napkin will also be provided for you.  Oh, and I feel the need to say this…. Do Not Blow Your Nose at the Sushi Bar! geeeeezzz!

How to order and from whom

You may order soup, drinks, appetizers and most non-sushi/sashimi menu items from your waitress. Basically, anything made in the kitchen is to be ordered from the waitress. Tea, sake, and beer are considered normal beverages when eating sushi. Do not order anything other than sashimi or sushi from your chef. It is considered impolite to do so.

All sushi bars have a sushi and sashimi menu that you fill out yourself. If you’re not sure what to order, ask the chef for his recommendations.  This gives the chef an opportunity to show off both his fish and his talents.

You may offer a beer or sake to your sushi chef, but he doesn’t expect it. If you have a drink with him, he may toast you with Kampai! (To your health!)

Slurping your soup or Where’s the spoon?

Soup is served hot. While eating miso soup (misoshiru) or clear broth (suimono), you may use your chopsticks to pick out the solid pieces and you can drink the soup as you would a cup of tea. Slurping (a slight sipping sound) is considered acceptable and holding the bowl of soup or rice up to your face so you don’t spill is okay too.

The “Peas in a pod”

The “peas” that are a common appetizer at sushi bars are actually soy beans in the pod and are called edamame (ed ah mah may).  They are served either cold or warm usually sprinkled with salt.  To avoid “flying peas” try to put one end of the pod in your mouth as you gently “work” the peas out of the pod. Do not eat the pod…

Chopsticks – Do’s and Don’ts

When not using your chopsticks, put them on a dish with the tips to the left. Or I have seen the paper wrapper from the chopsticks folded in such a way to make a chopstick holder!  (something to do while waiting for sake….) Never stick them in your food or rice bowl. It is also considered bad manners to use your chopsticks to pull the dishes to you. You should always use your hands to accommodate your dish-pulling needs.  Resist the temptation to sharpen your chopsticks by rubbing them together. Doing so implies to the chef that the chopsticks are cheap. You may discreetly pull any loose wood fibers off while hiding it in your lap. Then again, if there are loose wood fibers on the chopsticks, maybe you should let them know their chopsticks are cheap!

Did you know… Sticking your chopsticks upright into your food, especially your rice bowl, is the traditional way of offering rice to the dead? Do NOT do this! Another form of rude behavior is to grab your chopsticks in the palm of your hand as you would grab a stick. This is how a sword is handled. Also, Do not play with food and try to figure out what’s inside. The Japanese are generally sensitive about this and you insult your chef or host by picking the food apart. The way in which the food is arranged and presented is equally as important as the food itself.  I have found the chefs are happy to answer any questions I have asked.

Hands or Chopsticks?

It is okay to use your hands to eat sushi, but if you are going to serve someone, reverse your chopsticks and pass the food with the opposite ends. As with anything requiring coordination, learning to use chopsticks takes practice. Use chopsticks, not your fingers, while eating sashimi.

One Big Bite?

In Tokyo where the sushi is generally smaller in size, it is expected to be eaten in one bite. However, here in the US, we tend to cram more stuff in the sushi and therefore it’s bigger. I would say eat it in one bite if you can, but it’s acceptable to take more bites.


Sushi Dipping and No Soy Sauce On the Rice

The proper way to dip sushi into your soy sauce is to dip the fish side only. If you’ve ever eaten a hand roll, you know how difficult this can be… so eat it the easiest way you can!  Do not pour soy sauce on your rice. This is offensive to the chef. Other dishes are meant to flavor the rice as you eat. Rice is still considered a valued and precious item by elders.

Cleansing the Palate

The vinegared ginger slices (gari) that accompany your sushi are for cleansing your palate in between different foods.  It is not proper to heap the ginger on any food.

Shredded White Stuff

Shredded white radish (daikon) is to nibble on between sushi orders, use chopsticks to eat this. This is commonly served under sashimi and other dishes or on the side as an edible garnish.

The Green Stuff is Hot!

Be careful with the green mound found on your plate with your sushi. It is wasabi and it can be quite spicy if used in abundance. Wasabi is Japanese horseradish translated to “mountain hollyhock”.  A dab is smeared under most sushi and some people mix bits of it with soy sauce, but the Chef will be happy to add more wasabi to accommodate your personal taste.

Saké Etiquette

Pouring sake for others is a common custom in Japan that takes a bit of getting used to but has a wonderful charm and appeal once ingrained. Small cups (called ochoko or guinomi) and a larger serving flask or vessel (tokkuri) allow for frequent refill opportunities, each of which is a mini-ritual of social bonding. In formal situations, the tokkuri is held with two hands when pouring. Likewise, the person receiving should lift his or her glass off the table, holding it with one hand and supporting it with the other.

The more formal the situation the more such etiquette is observed. Even in informal situations, pouring saké for one’s table companions is the norm, although pouring and receiving parties generally revert to the more natural one-hand grip. Among close friends, after the first round or so, all pouring rituals are often abandoned for convenience.

Sushi Bar Vocabulary

A special vocabulary is reserved for sushi bars in Japan.  Soy sauce is referred to as murasaki (purple) instead of the normal shoyu. This is because most sushi restaurants make their own house sauce. Normally the marinated ginger slices are refered to as sushoga (vinegared ginger), but at the sushi bar it is called gari. Green tea is the national beverage of Japan and it’s called ocha. When asking for tea after the meal, you may ask for agari (finished) instead of ocha.  And lastly, Arigato means Thank You.

Check, please orsay OAISO, KUDASAI (pronounced: Oh-eye-so, coo-da-seye)

You can tell the sushi chef when you are done, but ask the waitress for the check. In Japan the people who handle food do not handle the money. Also in Japan, the gratuity is included in the bill and you are not supposed to leave a tip. But, in the United States a large tip is OK; consider the personal service and that the chefs share tips with the rest of the restaurant.

What To Say and How To Say It

For an extensive list of phrases, sushi, sashimi, and other sushi related terms and definitions, please go to Vocabulary. You will also find a brief explanation about how to pronounce most Japanese words.  Go to our Japanese Numbers page to learn how to count in Japanese.


Bowing represents humility. You elevate, honor, and respect the other person by humbling yourself or lowering yourself. The lower you bow, the more you are honoring or respecting the other party. As a Westerner, you are not expected to initiate a bow, but a bow should always be returned (except from personnel at department stores and restaurants who bow to welcome you, and to whom you can nod in return if you like). To not bow in return is similar to refusing a handshake.

The person of lower status usually initiates the bow, bows the lowest, and is the last one to rise. The most frequent bow is a rather informal bow of about 15 degrees and is held for one or two seconds. A deeper bow is used for a superior or for a formal occasion such as a first meeting. It is usually about 30 degrees and is held for about three seconds. Men usually leave their hands at their sides while bowing, but women usually place them together on their thighs with their fingertips overlapping or touching. Heels should be together. If you rise from your bow and the other person hasn’t risen yet, you should bow again. On most occasions, especially when saying good-bye, there are several bows by all parties.


For Greetings and Partings; introductions, welcoming, acknowledgment of another’s presence (even across the room), gaining attention

For Sincerity; offering assistance, food, presents, etc., showing gratitude, congratulating, sympathy

For Humility; requests, apology, respect

For Ceremony

To Acknowledge or Show Agreement


Handshaking is definitely a Western custom. Generally, the Japanese are uncomfortable with any physical forms of contact, however, they have become accustomed to this Western tradition and often shake hands to promote good relations. You should not judge the kind of handshake a Japanese person returns nor should you be too aggressive or excited shaking the hand of a Japanese person.

Do you love to eat sushi? Here are some ways to practice proper sushi etiquette the next time you enjoy this delicious Japanese treat.


  1. 1
    Proper chopstick placement

    Proper chopstick placement

    Place chopsticks properly. If at a sushi bar, place the chopsticks in front of you, parallel to the edge of the bar, with the narrow ends on the has-hi oki (chopstick rest). While it is not as polite to place them on the plate, if you do, place your chopsticks across your plate, not leaning on your plate.

  2. 2

    Use the broad end of your chopsticks to pick up sushi from a communal platter. To take sushi from the communal plate with the ends you use to put the sushi in your mouth is as impolite as serving yourself foods from a buffet by using the cutlery from your plate and liking it clean in between between each item you put on your plate or drinking from someone else glass. Use the broad end also to pass sushi from your plate to the one of an other person if you want to share.

This is only done between family members, there it is a sign of affection between lovers or parents and their children. Doing this outside of such close bonds it is considered rude.

  1. 1
    Maki sushi

    Maki sushi

    Don’t pass food from one set of chopsticks to another. As part of a Japanese funeral ritual, family members pass bones of the deceased to each other by chopsticks. Passing food from one set of chopsticks to another mimics this ritual, and is therefore considered extremely impolite and offensive. If you must pass something to another person, pick it up, and place it on their dish. They can then pick it up with their own chopsticks.Only between parents and children or lovers it is tolerated as a gesture of closeness.

  2. 2

    Know the difference between “nigiri,” (pieces of fish, shellfish, or fish roe over rice balls), “makizushi (rolled in seaweed, sometimes just called “maki”),” “temaki (hand rolls)”, “sashimi” (sliced/chilled raw fish without rice), and “chirashi sushi” (sliced/chilled raw fish served like sashimi but over a bed of rice).

  3. 3
    Nigiri sushi

    Nigiri sushi

    Always place your “nigiri-sushi” upside-down in the soy sauce and eat it “rice-side up.” Don’t pinch it too hard, and place it so the fish touches your tongue. (The soy sauce will cause the rice to fall apart.)

  4. 4

    Sushi should be eaten in one bite if possible, but two bites is generally acceptable. However, don’t put the sushi back on the plate if you bit it in half already. Once you pick it up, eat all of it.

  5. 5

    Feel free to use your fingers as utensils. Wipe your hands on a damp towel, if they provide you with one. But generally, use your fingers for sushi, and use chopsticks for sashimi.

  6. 6

    Clean off your plate. It is impolite to leave a grain of rice on your plate.

  7. 7

    Ask the chef what’s good, and let him pick for you, especially if it’s your first time eating sushi. This shows your respect for what he does, and maybe you’ll get a good snack. If you’re in Japan, buy the chef a drink, like sake or beer, as a compliment.

  8. 8

    Learn a few polite Japanese words and phrases, like:

    • Say thank you, or even better, Arigato gozaimasu (ah-ree-gah-toh go-zah-ee-mahs su) which means thank you very much.
    • Before eating, say “Itadakimasu!” (ee-tah-dah-kee-mahss) and when you’re done, say ‘Gochisousama deshita!” (Goch-sou-sah-mah-desh-tah). This is what Japanese say before and after they eat.
    • When asking for a waiter/waitress say “Sumimasen” (su-mee-mah-sen). This is the equivalent of saying “excuse me”
    • (Note on pronunciation: in Japanese, all syllables receive equal stress)
    • Note that if you are outside Japan, the employees at the restaurant may not speak a word of Japanese; use these phrases when you know they’ll be understood.
  9. 9

    If you order a “teishoku” or set item which includes soup, ask to have the soup served with the sushi as an accompaniment, rather than before the sushi as an appetizer.

  10. 10

    Tea does go well with sushi.

  11. 11

    Avoid the blowfish unless at a three star or higher restaurant.


  • If there is tea available, drink it with one hand holding it, and the other hand supporting it from underneath, using two hands to hold the cup.
  • If there is sake for drinking, it is boorish to pour sake for yourself. Pour some into cups for others, and let your companions pour sake for you.
  • The purpose of the soy sauce is to flavor the fish, not the rice. Never pour soy sauce directly on rice!
  • The Japanese words and phrases are optional; not every employee in a sushi shop will speak or understand Japanese.


  • Don't play with chopsticks!

    Don’t play with chopsticks!

    Avoid playing with your chopsticks.

  • Use only the necessary amount of soy sauce, and avoid the temptation to drown the sushi; it’s impolite to fill up your dish with excess soy sauce.
  • It’s just fine to put a a small amount of wasabi on your sushi; likewise, it’s fine to tell the chef (itamae-san) that you don’t want any wasabi- it will never be taken as an insult. Just use the phrase “wasabi nuki de.” Some folks just don’t like wasabi, and the customer is king- or “god” as they say in Japanese: “okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu.”
  • Don’t expect the chef to handle the money. Have another employee assist you. People who handle the food never touch the money.
  • Never ask for forks or knives. Sushi is not steak.
  • Never stick your chopsticks in food, standing upright. This is rude, and resembles the incense at a funeral.
  • Always use even, matching chopsticks. People use uneven chopsticks to express sorrow and pass cremated remains.
  • If dining at a table away from the sushi counter, allow the waiter or waitress to be the go between for you and the sushi chef. While approaching the sushi chef for recommendations is welcomed while dining at a table, it is always best to place your order with the server assigned to take care of your party, and this includes regular patrons too. If you prefer to place your order with the chef personally, it is recommended that you sit at the sushi counter to avoid any confusion or delay with your order.

=====>>Link to Best Sushi in California :  http://www.yellowpages.ca/business/01263410.html

The Priciest Automobile on the Planet.-The Citroen GT


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World’s Most Expensive Car – Citroen

The GT by Citroën (sometimes spelled GTbyCitroën) is a sports car
that debuted as a concept car on October 2 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.
The car is a collaboration between the French automaker Citroën and the
Japanese racing simulation developer Polyphony Digital. An extremely
limited edition, only 6
are to be built.

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World’s Most Expensive Car –

Polyphony Digital’s Citroën GT is set to become one of the most
expensive “production
(if you can really call it that…) sold today, coming in at £1.1
million pounds or approximately $1.8 million U.S. dollars. AutoCar got
the scoop from “senior inside sources”, who revealed that only six of
the will be
made — all of which will be powered by either a “Ford or GM V8?. That’s
considerably less than the 20 production models that were hinted at
before, but according to AutoCar, “most of the concept’s features should
make the final production version, including the carbon-fibre
construction and eccentric interior details such as the copper trim.”
Sweet! The final production version of the car is expected to be
launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

World's Most Expensive Car - Citroen

While you’re saving up, check out this video showing the GT’s recent
tour around London.

via [YouTube]

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My FAVE 3 Ultra-Modern Cities of the World via [RatesToGo]


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Three Most Futuristic Cities

posted by: E Choon

There are only two ways of looking at the future; bright and spectacular or gloomy and horrible. Most of us would prefer a spectacular image, straight out of a sci-fi movie. Thankfully, even today some cities are working hard towards that great future and definitely deserve our commendations. The top three cities that make the cut as the most futuristic cities of today are Tokyo, Hong Kong and Dubai.


Ultra modern, with busy streets 24/7 and skyscrapers that puncture the sky, Tokyo is one of the most futuristic cities on earth. They make extensive use of technological advances, from internet, to electric toilets. They boast the fastest railway system in the world; their Bullet train can move up to 300 mph. Even anime has used this city to depict the future. Check out some of the Tokyo hotel deals for a wild time in Japan’s most modern city.

Night Tokyo

Tokyo from above

Tokyo Tower

Hong Kong

With skyscrapers that defy description, and neon lights flashing everywhere, Hong Kong is the next on our futuristic destinations list. The city makes use of a tram network with a smart card system to make travel from points in the city faster and more efficient, whether public or private. The beauty of the city and the unique skyline are hard to match, even the roads network looks out of this world. With one of the worlds best airports, built 16 miles out to sea and buildings which will definitely make you wonder which century you are in, Hong Kong is an amazing place to be.

Hong Kong City

Hong Kong night

World Trade Center Hong Kong


Dubai Burj Al Arab

Lastly, Dubai is the one that definitely looks nothing like any city anyone has seen before. The city doesn?t do anything on a small scale. They are currently in the process of building the first underwater hotel, and the houses at their marina are not only modern, but the design used to build looks like something straight out of the Waterworld. Add the unusually shaped buildings and busy city life, and you could definitely be looking at our future.

They have one of the world’s first ever built 7 star hotels called Burj Al Arab Hotel.

beach hotel Dubai

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The World’s Coolest Kiddie Playgrounds via [Mental_Floss]


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10 Unusual Playgrounds From Around the World by David K. Israel

Playgrounds have come a long way since the days of hot, steel slides and open-backed infant swings. Take a look at some of the many unusually cool designs popping up around the world.

1. Nishi-Rokugo – Tokyo, Japan


In Japanese, Nishi-Rokugo means Tire Park. The Kawasaki plants are located not far away, so it’s possible they donated the 3,000 tires that make up the dinosaurs, monsters, bridges, slides, swings, and all the loose ones there for kids to stack and hop on. But this sand-bottom park is hardly just for kids. Parents can haul tires up specially designed tire steps and tube down wide concrete slides. I can imagine it’s the type of place you can spend hours at before you, er, tire, of it.

2. The Fruit and Scent Playground –Liljeholmen, Sweden

A banana slide, strawberry spinners, a pair of cherry swings, an orange see-saw and a watermelon jungle gym are all part of this unusual, small park in the south of Stockholm. It’s a great theme because it also teaches kids the importance of fruit over junk food. Reports coming out of the country indicate that the outdoors-loving Swede is on the way out. According to a study by Karolinska university hospital, obesity among seven year olds in Stockholm has increased from 8.5% to 21% over the last fifteen years. What could be better than exercising in fruit as an antidote?


3. Clemyjontri Park – Fairfax County, Virginia


Not just the name is unusual at Clemyjontri Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. This place is one of the few playgrounds in the world where children with disabilities can play side-by-side those without. The entire park is equipped with ramps for wheelchairs and the ground surfaces are specially designed with a non-slip material. The park is named for Adele Lebowitz’s (a major donor) four children: Carolyn (CL), Emily (EMY), John (Jon), and Petrina (Tri). Mrs. Lebowitz and her husband were also sponsors of a local children’s television show, The Pick Temple Show, in the 1950s. The star of that show, a clown named Bozo, was played by Willard Scott. Bozo, as you might know, would later morph into Ronald McDonald.

4. Pruessen Park – Berlin, Germany


This next playground is not for kids at all. In fact, anyone under 16 is not allowed inside Berlin’s Pruessen Park, nicknamed the “Playground for Grown-Ups.” The equipment is specifically designed for people over five feet tall and caters to Germany’s fastest growing age demographic: seniors. The idea, obviously, is to encourage them to get out and exercise more.

5. Zabeel Technology Park – Dubai

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Perhaps the first playground in the world with a technology theme, Dubai’s Zabeel Technology Park has two zones featuring futuristic technology and alternative energy exhibits, a series of high tech interactive displays, and a maze modeled on the solar system.


6. Takino Hillside Park – Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan

The Children’s Playground in the Takino Hillside Park in Japan borrows ideas and images from nature. Varied lighting and sound conditions create a unique sensory experience for kids, unlike anything else on this list. Check out the cool net play tool in the rainbow nest dome. You can see how a lot of the park is built into, and under the hill.


7. St. Kilda Adventure Playground – Adelaide, Australia


St Kilda Adventure Playground is one of Australia’s best known parks and covers 4 hectares along the beautiful South Australian seafront. The park was opened in 1982 and recent upgrades include a wooden castle, a small maze, and a submarine, nicknamed “The Yellow Submarine.” But the park’s biggest attraction is the beached pirate shipwreck, which is especially popular with dolphins and other sea wildlife.

8. Teardrop Park – New York City, NY


Located between residential buildings in Battery Park City, Teardrop Park is unlike anything else in NYC. Built for a whopping $17 million, the park features prominent rock outcroppings, geologic formations, a secret path, a bluestone ice wall, a humongous, almost dangerous looking slide, sandboxes, water play areas, a reading space with rock seats, and places to rock hop. Best of all, because it’s not so easy to find, Teardrop Park is a real insiders secret. (Shhhhh.)

9. Yerba Gardens – San Francisco, California


It may sound like an unsafe setting, but the rooftop at Yerba Gardens in San Francisco is home to one of the most elaborate playgrounds ever constructed. Aside from the ice-skating rink, bowling center and the 130,000 square feet of open space to play in, the playground includes a beautiful 103-year-old hand carved carousel. The Zeum carousel was constructed in 1906 but could not be installed in San Francisco as originally planned because of earthquake issues. It was eventually housed at Luna Park in Seattle, where it was the only piece of equipment to survive a horrific 1911 fire. The city of San Francisco bought the carousel from a collector in 1998 and restored it to its original condition. It now serves at the centerpiece in Yerba Gardens

10. Playground – Boadilla del Monte, Spain


Spanish architects Eduardo Navadijos and Csaba Tarsoly designed this stunning modern playground with the intention of giving children inspiration to pursue their dreams in an airy and cool environment. I’ve never been to Madrid, a mere 30 minutes drive from Boadilla del Monte, but when I do finally get there, this playground is my first stop.

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