About Muza-chan (33 articles)



    I started the muza-chan.net website in November 2007, a few weeks after my first trip to Japan. At the time, I had in mind a travel journal, written for my Romanian friends. But after a while I received a lot of questions, so I also started to write about the Japanese customs and traditions I observed. Soon, I added several other topics, like history, travel tips, pop-culture…

    During the last 7 years, I visited Japan about a month per year… somehow I feel at home there, as if a part of my soul was always there. It is a place I love and where I feel loved…

    I want to show you the Japan that I see and many times I feel that I can do more through photos than through words…

    Why Muza-chan?

    Muza was a nickname I received during college. In Romanian, "muza" means muse, but my nickname is unrelated to this… Anyway, the nickname stuck with me and then, because of my interest in Japan, the Japanese diminutive suffix "chan" was added, hence Muza-chan!

    What readers are saying

    Here is some of the feedback I have received...»
    Thank you very much, to everyone, for the support over the years!

  • 24 Nov 2015: 6 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 20 Readers Choice 

    6 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 20 Readers Choice
    Another year passed so fast, and it's time for another anniversary, 6 years since the first "A Japan Photo per Day" article. Like every year, I want to share this anniversary with you, my friends from all around the world, who share my passion for Japanese culture, travel, and photography. 6 ... »


    29 Oct 2015: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Nagasaki street 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Nagasaki street
    When I'm traveling through Japan, I always keep my camera ready, because I know that I might find something beautiful to photograph. One evening in Nagasaki, close to the Nagasaki Station, I discovered this street lined with restaurants, abruptly terminated by a steep hill. In the light of the ... »


    25 Aug 2015: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Rainy day on a Nakano backstreet 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Rainy day on a Nakano backstreet
    Among my favorite urban photography themes in Japan are the scenes with narrow commercial streets. I took such photos daytime and nighttime, during all kind of weather, and I came to the conclusion that, for some reason, they simply look best close to sunset, while it's raining. Then, an entire ... »


    28 May 2015: The 2000th Japan Photo of the day, Matsumoto Castle dazzling reflection 

    The 2000th Japan Photo of the day, Matsumoto Castle dazzling reflection
    Those of you who know me know that I love anniversaries... And today, we have a great anniversary for this site, the 2000th article from the "A Japan Photo per Day" series! On this occasion I selected a photo that I love very much, with the spectacular Matsumoto Castle and its dazzling reflection ... »


    23 Nov 2014: 5 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 20 Readers Choice 

    5 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 20 Readers Choice
    After writing for a couple of years, exactly half a decade ago (I just realized how long that sounds... ^_^ ) I decided to start the "A Japan Photo per Day" series. It was a decision that changed a large part of my life. It brought me lots of joy and satisfaction, and many, many new friends from ... »


    11 Nov 2014: Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Rainy night in Gion, Kyoto 

    Simply beautiful Japanese scenes, Rainy night in Gion, Kyoto
    Probably a lifetime isn't enough to see all I would like to see in Japan... I'm not saying that with sadness, on the contrary, I consider myself very lucky since I get to visit a month per year. But some places can be enjoyed differently depending on the season or depending on the weather... Of ... »


    30 Jul 2014: Train station in Tokyo 

    Train station in Tokyo
    It seems to me that one way to measure how much you enjoyed the place, city or country you traveled to, is to think about what you remember when you’re far away from it. If what comes to your mind is just a hotel room or a restaurant meal, probably that place hasn't impressed you much. But if you ... »


    23 Nov 2013: 4 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 12 Readers Choice 

    4 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 12 Readers Choice
    I don't know how other people feel, but I love anniversaries related to my own works. They are always an opportunity to look back on what has happened in the past year and to look forward to what lies ahead... So, when it comes to my site, I review everything, taking into account the accumulated ... »


    03 Sep 2013: Japan trip anniversary, the first memories from Japan 

    Japan trip anniversary, the first memories from Japan
    Today marks exactly 6 years since my first visit to Japan... so I'm a little nostalgic... One of my first memories from Japan is this street, Edo Dori from Asakusa, Tokyo, the first experience I had after I got off the train. It was before lunch, an incredibly delicious smell was coming from this ... »


    23 Nov 2012: 3 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 12 Readers Choice 

    3 Years of Daily Photos from Japan, Top 12 Readers Choice
    A Japan Photo per Day series has been a part of my life for so long that it became a part of who I am. Today, on the 3rd anniversary since I published the first photo from this series (the Asakusa Shrine night view), I looked back to all these photos and to your feedback and to statistics and I ... »


    01 Sep 2012: The 1000th Japan Photo of the day - Taikobashi reflection 

    The 1000th Japan Photo of the day - Taikobashi reflection
    Today, I would like to mark the anniversary of the 1000th photo from the "A Japan Photo per Day" series!
    On this occasion, I wanted to show you something special and yesterday, when I was visiting the Sumiyoshi Taisha from Osaka, I found this really special bridge, Taikobashi... Located ... »


    01 Mar 2012: The daily Japan photo is returning - Okayama Castle before the storm 

    The daily Japan photo is returning - Okayama Castle before the storm
    Dear friends,
    Today, after a hiatus of more than two weeks, I'm restarting the daily Japan photo series and I'm returning to my normal life.
    What happened? Two weeks ago, on Monday, I woke up feeling weak and dehydrated, with nausea and breathing difficulty. To me, it felt like a flu... But soon ... »


    21 Feb 2012: Preparing to return 

    Dear friends, thank you so much for the many encouraging messages!
    I'm out of words to thank you enough...

    I'm feeling a lot better now, my recovery is going well and I'm preparing to return home, but it will take me a few more days to return to my usual routine.
    ...It's hard to work with ... »


    15 Feb 2012: Good news 

    Dear friends,

    We have good news, Muza-chan is now out of danger and her condition is improving. She is in great hands, receiving the best treatment possible.

    We were overwhelmed to tears by your wonderful response. We received hundreds of messages by email, website comments, Google+ and ... »


    13 Feb 2012: Temporary interruption 

    Dear all,

    Instead of today's Daily Photo from Japan, we are sadly announcing that our beloved Muza-chan has just been admitted to emergency room, due to sudden diabetes.
    Since she started the Daily Photo series, she never missed a day! She asked us to continue her work, but we think you will ... »


    02 Dec 2011: Muza-chan's Winter Goodies! 

    Muza-chan's Winter Goodies!
    The holidays are just around the corner, so my chibi-me Muza-chan mascot is again in Holiday mode.
    But this time around, the Santa's bag is filled with "real-life" goodies! :)
    I'm not as strong as Santa, so I only kept a sample and placed the rest in... a store, the first Muza-chan's official ... »


    23 Nov 2011: Two Years of Daily Japan Photos, Top 12 Readers Choice 

    Two Years of Daily Japan Photos, Top 12 Readers Choice
    The time has come to celebrate the second anniversary of the daily Japan Photo series. For me, the task of publishing a photo from Japan has become a part of the daily life and I must confess that I really love to do it. I hope the fact that I never missed a day is a testimony to my passion and ... »


    21 Aug 2011: Kansai Airport Arrival 

    Kansai Airport Arrival
    Yesterday I landed in Japan, at the Kansai Airport in Osaka. It feels so good to return to Japan! The next month's posts will probably closely follow my journeys, as I know from experience that I'll be tempted to write about current events...This time I'll be visiting in Japan many, many new ... »


    27 Mar 2011: How to Help Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors by giving to Japanese Organizations 

    How to Help Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors by giving to Japanese Organizations
    The following article is part of the Blog for Japan event, initiated by my friend Todd Wassel, a wonderful travel blogger and an experienced development and relief specialist.
    It is wonderful that a lot of people want to help Japan's earthquake and tsunami survivors and have been donating to ... »


    31 Dec 2010: Happy New Year 2011! 

    Happy New Year 2011!

    2010 was another amazing year at muza-chan.net. Thank you for being with me this year!
    I will add more great content in 2011 and I'm looking forward to your comments and thoughts in the year to come!All the Best,
    Muza-chan ... »


    05 Dec 2010: Muza-chan Holiday version - Santa Girl 

    Muza-chan Holiday version - Santa Girl

    We entered the month of December and the holidays are coming fast... I love winter holidays, Christmas trees, Christmas carols and cities decorated with Christmas lights...
    and I love Santa Claus! :wave:And... I like dressing up as Santa girl, so here's Muza-chan chibi-me dressed up in ... »


    22 Nov 2010: One Year of Daily Japan Photos... Top 10 Visitors Choice 

    One Year of Daily Japan Photos... Top 10 Visitors Choice
    Exactly one year ago, on November 23rd, I started the Daily Japan Photo series.
    It is my favorite subject, I am doing it with great pleasure and, over the year, the daily photos have proven to be your favorites, too!So at this anniversary, I browsed through the statistics, analyzed your ... »


    04 Oct 2010: My first interview... 

    My first interview...
    A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed by Warren from Photo Nippon, about blogging, about my passion for Japan, photography, travel and many other things...Warren persuaded me to share some thoughts and a little information about myself, and since I always add photos along with my thoughts, ... »


    15 Jul 2010: Travel to Japan preparations 

    Travel to Japan preparations
    I'm preparing to leave for Tokyo, so for the last weeks I've been researching...
    As you know, one of my main interests are the Japanese festivals, matsuri. Some of these events are taking place on variable dates and the information available on the Internet is sometimes misleading... Two ... »


    07 Jul 2010: Muza-chan Manga Style - Time to Launch 

    Muza-chan Manga Style - Time to Launch

    I was writing a few days ago about the first sketches of my mascot, Muza-chan... chibi-me ;).The vast amount of feedback received from you, for which I thank you again, brought me not only joy but also confidence. From today on, she will be a regular presence on the site, so I had to be sure ... »


    05 Jul 2010: Muza-chan's Gate to Japan, a new skin 

    Muza-chan's Gate to Japan, a new skin

    As you probably already noticed, starting today, my site has a new skin/theme.Like the previous one, the banner features a Japanese torii. From the many options available, I selected a vermilion torii, in the Myōjin style. This is the style I like the most and at it is also the most ... »


    02 Jul 2010: Muza-chan Manga Style 

    Muza-chan Manga Style

    I never told you until now, but for a long time I wanted a mascot for this site...
    It was a hard to achieve goal, because I wanted something original, professional, but also something to represent me...I love painting, I like comics and manga, I know a little about drawing, but not enough ... »


    31 May 2010: My first Published Photo! 

    My first Published Photo!
    Ever since I started my online activities, I received a constant flow of requests for my photos to be used in various other projects. Obviously, most of these requests were coming from online projects, but from time to time, I have been asked to have my photos featured in print publications. ... »


    24 May 2010: Top 10 Most liked Photos of the Half year 

    Top 10 Most liked Photos of the Half year
    You probably already know that I like top lists, especially around anniversary dates. So, since yesterday was the 6 months anniversary of the "A Japan Photo per Day" series, I thought to find out which were the most appreciated photos during this half-year, in order to present them in a bigger ... »


    23 May 2010: Odaiba Colors 

    Odaiba Colors
    Today marks six months since I started this Japan Photo per Day series.
    During these 180 days, I received an amazing amount of positive feedback from you, supporting and encouraging me! Arigatou gozaimasu!...and since many of you asked me to publish the photos with a higher resolution (and I ... »


    23 Nov 2009: Asakusa Shrine 

    Asakusa Shrine
    Starting today, you will find a new permanent category on my site, A Japan Photo per Day.
    I hope you'll like it!
    Asakusa Shrine, main building, Asakusa, TokyoNikon D300
    Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G
    Focal Length: 31mm
    Aperture: F/7.1
    Shutter Speed: 8s
    ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200Începând de ... »


    22 Nov 2009: On Japan Blogging 

    On Japan Blogging

    This month marks 2 years since my on-line projects started, and since I wrote my first Japan travel article. Since then, I received a lot of questions, ranging from personal information about myself to questions about the site's content, Japan blogging, Japan travel tips and photography advices. ... »


    02 Aug 2009: I was a Mikoshi bearer... 

    I was a Mikoshi bearer...

    ...at Furusato Kumin Matsuri - Setagaya Summer Festival!I always wanted to see a Mikoshi parade and, as I wrote, I scheduled my visit to Japan accordingly.Today I participated to the Furusato Kumin Matsuri, and while watching the parade I was unexpectedly invited to be, for a few ... »