Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's My Daughter's 9th Birthday !

Happy Birthday Erika ! No matter how many birthday come and go,you'll always be my little girl and you grow sweeter with each passing years. By the way, I know you love skateboarding and i will fullfill your wish to visit your grand ma & grand pa again in Kyoto and  snowboarding in Biwako Valley !


All the world is birthday cake - so take a piece but not too much!

Our menu of the night - super size prawn !

Seabass with Ginger

Mud Crab

Naomi & Erika enjoying their meals.

The birthday girl gets a special treat from her mom at Bamboo Restaurant at Kuah, Langkawi.


Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are
credited to
http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid misunderstanding.Thank you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tokyo Disneyland - Magical Kingdom.

" Tokyo Disneyland.To all of you who come to this happy place, welcome. Here you will discover enchanted lands of Fantasy and Adventure, Yesterday and Tomorrow. May Tokyo Disneyland be an eternal source of joy, laughter, inspiration, and imagination to the peoples of the world. And may this magical kingdom be an enduring symbol of the spirit of cooperation and friendship between the great nations of Japan and the United States of America "

Anyway, I just wanted to share our memorable family trip to Disneyland.A superb experience for the Nana & erika and a "crazy" experience for the parents like me & Naomi.

Cinderella Castle is the fairy tale castle at the center of Tokyo Disneyland- the Magic Kingdom in Tokyo Japan.It is serve as worldwide recognized icons and the flagship attraction for their respective theme parks.


"It's a small world" is a Tokyo Disneyland's boat cruise past iconic scenes from around the globe populated with cherubic dolls singing a song of world peace.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! These pumpkin castles, jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows and fall decorations are all part of Halloween time at Tokyo Disneyland! When can you enjoy these beautiful decorations? Between mid-September and November every year at Disneyland!

The photo above is pretty amazing ! Although overall image may indicate an underexposures, I just ignore it and shoot. What a fantastic colour !

Tokyo Disney Land Dream on Parade.Another colourful event ! 

We all were surrounded by beautiful dancers with beautiful and colorful costumes.

I always hope that Disneyland will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world !

The magic and wonder of Disneyland – Oni-san return here again with the family and feel young again :)

Before the race photo - Naomi & Nana

Some of Disneyland Attractions have restrictions depending on height, age, health or disabilities. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by a grownup (16 or over) on all Disneyland Attractions.Disneyland Attractions which have Boarding Restrictions :

Pirates of the Caribbean
Big Thunder Mountain
Splash Mountain
Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes
Peter Pan's Flight
Snow White's Adventures
Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Castle Carrousel
Pooh's Hunny Hunt
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Gadget's Go Coaster
Goofy's Bounce House
Star Tours
Space Mountain
Grand Circuit Raceway
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!

Browse this site for Disneyland secrets on how to be arrive to Tokyo Disneyland without knowing a word in Japanese. http://www.tokyo-top-guide.com/Disneyland_Japan.html

Enjoy !

Kyoto's Winter Journal.

There is nothing quite like the beautiful sight of Kyoto's temples & shrines under a heavy blanket snow during winter. From my experience, visiting and living in Kyoto has been a wonderful journey to me. The town is not too big compared to Osaka or Tokyo, and it’s a nice place to live. By the way, I am planning to fly back to Japan maybe at the end of this year or  next February to learn skiing and snowboarding at Biwako Valley in Shiga. I was told that there was awesome snow powder there and many snowboarders in Kansai region recommended this place.

Kyoto's winter. However, Kyoto is not that cold in winter and the temperature usually around 3-5C during winter so you don't feel that it is 100% winter. I have always wanted to visit Kyoto in snowy weather, but so far no luck. However, heavy snow continued to hit Kyoto during February 2011 ! 
( Photo courtesy of Sachiko Ozawa - My sister in law who currently live in Kyoto, Japan ) .

It was only a mild winter when i was there in December 2009. Winter always leaves pretty amazing pictures and images in our memories through time. And sometimes, there's nothing more relaxing that a nice winter scenery. In Japan, those are specially beautiful, surrounded by nature and with all sorts of magic and mistery in them.
( Photo was shot at Kiyomizudera Shrine in Kyoto )

There’s no better taste of Japanese culture and history to be found then the near-limitless supply of ancient must-sees on offer in Kyoto. I appreciate the beauty of this shrine and it helped me allow into my life and I hope you enjoy these pictures of Kyoto's scenery too!
To miss it off a Japanese itinerary would be utter insanity.
( Photo was shot at Kiyomizudera Shrine in Kyoto )

Kutsuki Snowboard & Ski Playground is just 30km from our home in Kyoto,Japan! For those who've been here, the artificial snow and snowboard destruction of the slope &  "pipe to pipe" is amazing.

And talking about snowboarding-Maybe I can learn something from Isenseven !
(or probably not !!) 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ghost Ship: The Flying Dutchman - Are They Real ?

Do you still remember The Flying Dutchman, the infamous supernatural ship given to Davy Jones by his love, the sea goddess Calypso, who granted Jones captaincy with the duty of ferrying the souls who die at sea into the next world for ten years in the blockbuster movie Pirates Of The Caribbean ?  Do you know that The Flying Dutchman is based of the famous maritime ghost ship of the same name which, according to legend is doomed to sail the seas for all eternity because it's captain foolishly cursed God after sailing into a horrible storm off of the Cape Of Good Hope, vowing to round that cape even if it took him till Judgement Day ? 

Well, the myth of The Flying Dutchman is believed to have occurred in 1641 when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. The myth of the Flying Dutchman deals about a ghost ship that could not make a port, condemned to sail the oceans endlessly. It perhaps originates from 17th century nautical folktale. Sightings in the 19th and 20th periods report the ship shining to be with ghostly light. It is said that if hailed by another ship, its crew will try to send messages to land or to people long dead.

 The Flying Dutchman is one of the most famous ghost ships even though much of the story is legend some of the legend are actual facts. The Flying Dutchman set sail from Amsterdam in 1860 sailing for Batavia, which was a port in Dutch East India with Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken at the helm.

This apparition of the ship has its roots in both Dutch and German folklore. The most collective is the account about a Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken, who set sail in 1680 from Amsterdam to Batavia, in Dutch East India, and disappeared in a gale while circumnavigating the cape. It has been told that Vanderdecken disregarded the danger and pressed on into the fangs of the cyclone. The ship sunk, sending all onboard to their deaths. As castigation for his imprudence Vanderdecken and his ship are condemned to spend eternity fighting the tempest at the Cape. Poignantly the dame Vanderdecken means “on deck” in Dutch. There is another version of the tale. It is about Captain Bernard Fokke who was recognized for the uncanny haste of his trips from Holland to Java and people said he was in coalition with the devil. A third version replaced the name to van Straaten, and however a fourth account claims the captain’s name was Ramhout van Dam. Among all versions of the stories, the ship was never named. The source to the “Flying Dutchman” seems to label the cursed captain and not the ship itself. From different claims, the captain refuses to withdraw amidst the face of the storm. In yet other stories, some dreadful crime happens on the ship, or the crew is hit by the plague and is not permitted to enter any port. For whatever the caused, the ship and its crew are doomed to sail forever. While there is wide-ranging covenant that the Lost Dutchman is simply a fable, there have been genuine reported sightings of a 17th Century sailing ship battling the elements at the Cape of Good Hope over the years. Possibly the first publicly testified sighting occurred in 1835 when a crew of a British ship was rounding the cape and witnessed a “ghost ship” heading in the cloak of a severe storm. The British crew said the ship seemed to be on a collision path, but then it abruptly vanished.

 The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder c. 1887 (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Flying Dutchman, Selected Sightings

Many people would suggest that the Flying Dutchman is just a legend and folklore, but there were reliable claims that the Dutchman was sighted and was agreed by most witnesses.  All of these were in the Cape of Good Hope. Lighthouse keepers reported seeing her.
  •     1823: HMS Leven skipper, Captain Owen logged two sightings in his log.
  •     1835: Crew on a British ship saw a sailing ship heading towards them in the middle of a storm. It appeared there would be a collision, but the ship suddenly no where to be found.
  •     1881: Three crew of   HMS Bacchante including King George V, saw the ship. The next day, one of the men who saw it fell from the rigging and died.
  •     1879: The crew of SS Pretoria saw the apparition of the ghost ship.
  •     1911: A whaling ship nearly struck with her before the ghost ship vanished.
  •     1923: British Navy crew saw the ghost ship and sent documentation to the Society for Psychical Research, SPR. Fourth Officer Stone wrote the findings of the fifteen minute sighting on January 26th. Second Officer Bennett, a helmsman and cadet also witnessed the ship. Stone drew a picture of the phantom. Bennett verified his explanation...
" It was a very dark night, overcast, with no moon. We looked through binoculars and the ship's telescope and made out what appeared to be the hull of a sailing ship, luminous, with two distinct masts carrying bare yards, also luminous; no sails were visible, but there was a luminous haze between the masts. There were no navigation lights, and she appeared to be coming close to us and at the same speed as ourselves. When first sighted she was two-three miles away, and when she was within about half a mile she suddenly disappeared. I shall never forget the 2nd Officer's startled expression - 'My God, Stone, it's a ghost ship ".

  •     1939: Another sighting of the Flying Dutchman. Admiral Karl Doenitz  of the German submarine kept the recorded sightings by the U-Boat crews.
  •     1941: People at Glencairn Beach sighted the apparition ship that disappeared before she collided into rocks.
  •     1942: Four observers saw the ghost ship arrive Table Bay, and then disappeared. Second Officer Davies and Third Officer Montserrat, HMS Jubilee, saw the Flying Dutchman. Davis recorded it in the ship’s log.
  •     1959: The Straat Magelhaen ship nearly collided with the ghost ship.

The Flying Dutchman - From  An Old German Print.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Langkawi Mangrove Swamp - Just Another Outing.

Another mangrove tour that take me into the deep of mangroves swamp. The mangrove swamp is a wetland that submerged at high tide and its placement between the shore and the coral reef in tropical areas makes it a crucial part of the ecology of the coral reef itself - hence its placement in this section otherwise dealing with oceanic habitats. 

Langkawi Mangrove - where nature reveals its flawlessness.Everything flows harmoniously in here and the diversity of the most extraordinary Langkawi plants and wildlife in all its splendor.

A likely looking mangrove jack haunt

Mangrove Jack ( Siakap Merah) .They are also known as red bream, sea perch
The mangrove jack or jack is also called red bream or red chopper in some areas and, less commonly, dog bream or red perch. Mangrove jack are occasionally confused with two similar or closely related fish; the sometimes poisonous red bass and the fingermark bream.

Shimano’s reels are arguably the most versatile and trusted brand. I've been using this reel for the past 5 years to fish mangrove jack and seabream. 

 There are several species of hermit crabs in and around the mangroves.They are easily spotted by looking for fast-moving snail shells that rock back and forth instead of gliding smoothly over the mud!

Todak Fish ( Swordfish ) - The most common species in mangrove.

And why does this hermit crab need another shell ?

Ikan Ubi or True Goby are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm (4 in) in length.   Several gobies are also of interest as aquarium fish, such as the bumblebee gobies.

Mangrove crabs are crabs that live among mangroves and may belong to many different species.  They keep much of the energy within the forest by burying and consuming leaf litter. Along with burrowing in the ground, this crustacean can climb trees to protect itself.
These shy crabs were quite abundant on the roots of the mangroves at Langkawi.

Another colourful crabs

Could this belong to Davy Jones ? The fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean.

What am I ? - This is actually the most common metal on earth, iron. It is used a lot because it is very strong and cheap. Iron is the main thing used to make steel.

Life cycle of the Mangrove.Mangrove shoots at the Mangrove forest near Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi.

Tanjung Rhu - The blue mountainous area behind the Island was actually  Tarutao Island in Thailand !

All images copyright © 2011 Langkawi Ink.Com. All rights reserved.

Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are credited to http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid

misunderstanding. Thank you

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

'Top Gun' 25 Year Anniversary - And I Still Need For Speed !

Top Gun opened on May 16, 1986 -  25 years ago to the day. It became the highest-grossing film of that year, boosted recruitment numbers for the Navy, and launched many careers. Top Gun is the story of macho students of an elite US Flying school for advanced fighter pilots compete to be best in the class, and one romances the teacher. It's been more than two decades since Tom Cruise took our breath away in 'Top Gun' as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell. In the time since, however, not everyone involved kept flying high.

Hailed as my favorite movie of all time, Top Gun was more than just F-14′s turning and burning. It encompassed a generation during a time when patriotism was at an all-time high when President Reagan was still in office.

Happy Top Gun Day & 25th Anniversary !

Here's Kelly McGillis with her Top Gun co-star Tom Cruise when they were 28 and 23 years old, respectively, in 1986 while filming TOP GUN.

Twenty-five years ago, Tom Cruise first felt the need for speed in "Top Gun," a testosterone-fueled adventure about Navy fighter pilots. Cruise plays Lt. Pete Mitchell, a rebellious pilot who rightly earns the call sign "Maverick."

The legendary Grumman F-14 Tomcat . Who can forget our childhood's Top Gun movie which featured Tom Cruise and F-14 Tomcat fighters.

Midsummer Trip: Conquering Mt. Fuji

Mount Fuji is a distinctive feature of the geography of Japan. It stands 3,776.24 m high and is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshu, just west of Tokyo. Mt. Fuji usually looks best at sunset .As the sky loses its light the clouds covered cone provides a sharper contrast than during the day. It can be seen more distantly from Yokohama, Tokyo, and sometimes as far as Chiba, Saitama and  Lake Hamana when the sky is clear.

Legends say that the mountain is the home for a deity or a spiritual power and urban ghost such as the creepy Forest Of Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees.This old forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji  is considered the most haunted by spiritualists and surrounded with legends of monsters, ghosts, and goblins which add to its eerie reputation.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/8 @ 18mm — 1/50 sec, f/8 ISO 200

Mount Fuji From Hananomiyako Kouen , Yamanashi.

Aokigahara in Mount Fuji  is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan. The forest, which has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, is a popular place for suicides. In 2002, 78 bodies were found, despite numerous signs, in Japanese and English, urging people to reconsider their actions.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/8 @ 25mm — 1/50 sec, f/8 ISO 200


Fuji San from Yamanashi line.I couldn’t see Mt. Fuji from the car to Kofu. Nor was it visible from my cabin. However, as I was leaving Takeda Jinja it made its first appearance of the day.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/8 @ 30mm — 1/50 sec, f/8 ISO 200

Fuji Station No 5

From Tokyo, take the Kawaguchiko I.C. on Chuo Expressway. Turn Right onto Route 139. Turn Left onto Fuji Subaru Line. The highway entrance will cost you around RM90.00 to go up with your car.

Nikon D3000 + Sigma 70-3000mm  f/5.6 @ 70mm — 1/100 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

Yay !

Some people climb or visit Fuji-san repeatedly as i couldnt help myself to plan for the next trip as well.The experience has changed my view of Mt. Fuji & Japan  forever. Now, whenever I see Mt. Fuji or a picture of it, I think of my visit and a sense of satisfaction creeps in from having been there.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/5.6 @ 25mm — 1/100 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

The Fallen Angel !

Stupid look by me.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/10 @ 35mm — 1/100 sec, f/8 ISO 200

Mt Fuji Without  Snow Cap

It was abit odd seeing the scene of Mt Fuji with a complete view of the cone without the classic snow cap.Look at the forest behind me , my skin gets clammy, my hair stands on end, and I can really feel the presence of the "dead" in there.

Nikon D3000 + Nikkor 18-55mm f/5.6 @ 18mm — 1/20 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

Poets & Mount Fuji

Famous artists, writers and poets throughout the ages have waxed lyrical about the sheer splendor and mystical powers of Mount Fuji.

Image by Fujiart.com

 Samurai & Mount Fuji

Japanese people revered the nearly perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji as sacred, and it is a shrine to the followers of the Shinto and Buddhist faiths.  For centuries, only the holy men and male followers were permitted to climb the mountain for the associated spiritual experience.  However, after the Shogun were defeated, the mountain was opened to all who wished to climb it.  Since then several quotes regarding the mountain have surfaced, such as "If you never climb Mount Fuji, you are a fool, but if you climb it more than once you are also a fool" and "Fuji-san is a mountain for looking at, not climbing !

Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are credited to http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid misunderstanding.Thank you.

Langkawi Offshore Sensation

Burau Bay ( Teluk Burau ) running out of fishes ? Our few hours fishing proves that there are still decent fishes around the waters of Burau Bay in Langkawi.You just got to work hard to get them as exemplified by us who fished non stop for few hours under the sun and eventually rewarded with so many fishes.

The dream of catching a giant goliath grouper ( Kerapu Kertang ) has always been one of my personal goals but the fish remain elusive.

This grouper was caught during our previous trip.

The hungry and scrawny grouper provided plenty of entertainment for our duration of night fishing.

We caught many Garoupa of this medium size,but where are the big mamas hiding ?

20 minutes of fishing - 6 grouper.

Swordfish or Todak of pure silver muscle. Caught by Erika !

A vey strong stingray which tried to stung our fingers and demolish our rods.

Interested parties are welcomed to reproduce or quote materials published in this blog with the condition  that they are
credited to
http://hasnulyakin.blogspot.com/ to avoid misunderstanding.Thank you


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