Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6月29日(rokugatsu nijyuku nichi): June 29

It was very hot from early morning.

At night I went to the restaurant near the Osaka castle and cooked takoyaki (たこ焼き) , octopus fritters for the first time. Takoyaki is a very popular fast food. It is a round dumpling of flour and octopus. So tasty. They are often sold at stands at festivals.
I hope you have a chance to taste it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6月28日(rokugatsu nijyuhachi nichi): June 28

It was fine and very hot in Osaka (大阪).

They say June 28 is anniversary of trade. It was established in 1963 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
On June 28, 1859 the Edo shogunate decleared the authorization of the free trade with Russia, England, France, Holland, and the United States at Yokohama(横浜), Nagasaki(長崎), and Hakodate(函館).

Monday, June 27, 2011

6月27日(rokugatsu nijyushichi nichi ) : June 27

I was busy today.

After work I came to Osaka (大阪) by Shinkansen (新幹線). It was nearly 9 PM, but there were many people. I am glad to have a reserved seat (shiteiseki:指定席). I arrived at the hotel just before midnight.
It was a long day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

6月26日(rokugatsu nijyuroku nichi): June 26

It was cloudy.

In the morning Father and I went to Yokosuka (横須賀) to get a pair of glasses we ordered 2 weeks ago.
In the afternoon the new TV sets arrived which we ordered 2 weeks ago.
Then we went grocery shopping.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

6月25日(rokugatsu nijyugo nichi): June 25

It was fine today.

The new washbowl was installed today. It's been more than 10 years since we changed the washbowl last time. I dropped a bottle on the sink and it was damaged in May. I ordered the washbowl through Internet, and it arrived about 2 weeks ago. The plumber has been busy and finally he came today. I am glad to have the new one.
I asked the carpenter to change the wall socket, then the washing machine started working. So I canceled the repair. I am glad to be able to use the washing machine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

6月24日(rokugatsu nijyuyokka): June 24

It was hot again.

There is something wrong with the washing machine, and it did not operate at all. So I called the service center. When we bought it, we extended the warranty period up to 5 years, but it's been 5 years and a half since we bought it, therefore we have to pay for the repair.
They said the earliest possibility is tomorrow. What a relief!
Since we are used to the convenience in many points, we cannot go back to the days without washing machine or micro wave.
Hope it will be fixed tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

6月23日(rokugatsu nijyusan nichi): June 23

It was hot today too.

These days I have watched Wimbledon Tennis Games on TV which broadcast midnight. Yesterday Ms. Kimiko Date-Krumm (クルム伊達公子 40) played a game against Ms. Venus Williams (31) who had been a champion for 5 times at Wimbledon. Though she lost after all, I think she had a really good game.
Tonight Ms. Misaki Doi (土井美咲 20) won the game. Congratulations!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6月22日(rokugatsu nijyuni nichi): June 22

Today is geshi (夏至), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was boshu (芒種) on June 6 and the next one is shosho (小暑) on July 7.
Geshi literally means summer reach, it is the summer solstice.
It was very hot. In most places in Japan it recorded the hottest day of this year. In 399 points out of 900 it went up to more than 30 degrees centigrade, which is called manatsu bi (真夏日), midsummer day. In some places it went up to over 35 degrees centigrade which is called mosho bi (猛暑日), heat wave day.
We are afraid of the heat of this year because of saving energy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6月21日(rokugatsu nijyuichi nichi): June 21

It was raining so heavily in the morning that I brought a long umbrella, but in Tokyo it was not raining.
I went out for lunch with a colleague to a Japanese restaurant today. There I usually order menu of the day, but today I ordered katsuo no tataki teishoku (かつおのたたき定食), lightly roasted bonito lunch served with grated radish. It also cost yen 950. They include rice, miso soup, pickles and coffee. But I do not drink coffee, they served green tea for me.
Last week I also ate katsuo no tataki teishoku at the other restaurant. They served with garlic which tasted better.

Monday, June 20, 2011

6月20日(rokugatsu hatsuka): June 20

I still have a back pain.

My colleagues and I went out for lunch at the Indonesian Restaurant. It's been a long time since I went there last time. I ordered their special lunch. It included 5 to 6 different dishes on one plate with a cup of soup, dessert, and a glass of iced tea. It cost yen 950 and was delicious.
In Japan we drink green tea. We do not add any sugar and milk when we drink Japanese style tea. It seems they drink tea with sugar if you need.

6月19日(rokugatsu jyuku nichi): June 19

Father's Day.
Father and I went shopping together. I cooked dinner and gave him a present and a card.
How about you?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

6月18日(rokugatsu jyuhachi nichi): June 18

I have had a lower back pain since last night. I wanted to go around before going to the meeting, but it was too painful to go out. I asked the hotel for the late checkout. They say it is yen 1,000 for an hour. I extended the stay for one hour.
It has been raining heavily in Kyushu (九州). But I did not use an umbrella at all.

Friday, June 17, 2011

6月17日(rokugatsu jyushichi nichi): June 17

It was slightly raining all day long.

I had 3 meetings and visited 2 restaurants to check for the coming program.

After work, I went to ganbanyoku (岩盤浴), bedrock bathing or hot stone spa for the first time. It is a kind of sauna. First you need to take a shower. Then, you lay on your stomach on the hot stone for 5 minutes then lie on your back for 10 minutes and repeat that process for some times. I did 3 times. They recommended me to drink water a lot. I became sweaty. Finally I took a bath.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

6月16日(rokugatsu jyuroku nichi): June 16

I came to Saga (佐賀), Kyushu (九州). Last month I came to Saga via Fukuoka (福岡), but this time I came here directly from Haneda (羽田) to Saga Airport. There are only 4 flights every day. It takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
From the Saga Airport there are bus services which go to Saga Station. It took about a half hour and cost yen 600 for one way and yen 1,000 for return tickets.
It is raining here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

6月15日(rokugatsu jyugo nichi): June 15

Last night I watched an interesting program on TV. It is a very famous one and I watched the rebroadcast. The title is "Tameshite gatten (ためしてガッテン)" meaning try, then you will be convinced.
The topic was diet. Through many experiments, scientists found histamine in the brain affects the appetite.
If you chew 30 times every time you bite, you would lose weight in a month or so. That is chewing stimulates histamine in the brain and it reduces the appetite, therefore you would feel full sooner and no need for eating more.
If you are concerned about your weight, why don't you try?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

6月14日(rokugatu jyuyokka): June 14

Yesterday morning I went to the bank. I wanted to do two things. But after doing one thing, it seems to take long to do next therefore I gave up.
This morning I went to the bank to do what I could not do yesterday. I arrived there at 9:00AM and I was the first customer. So I expected to finish within a few minutes.
But it took more than 15 minutes. The reason was they were training the freshman, that is they are doing OJT.
I understand it is a good way to learn by doing, however one minute in the morning equals 10 minutes or more in the afternoon or so. It made me irritated and I had to run for the office not to be late.

Monday, June 13, 2011

6月13日(rokugatsu jyusan nichi): June 13

It rained heavily in the morning. I was wondering what to wear because of this heavy rain. Shall I wear a pair of the rain shoes and rain coat?
I wore a kind of rain shoes but not rain coat. I brought a long umbrella.
It takes about 2 hours and a half to go to the office. When I got to Shinjuku, it stopped raining. I felt relieved that I did not wear rain coat.

At lunch time we had a farewell lunch. The restaurant owner is very kind always. He gave us special sweets.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

6月12日(rokugatsu jyuni nichi): June 12

Father and I went shopping.
In Japan Analog broadcast will fully switch to Digital broadcast on July 24. Therefore we needed to buy digital TV sets or tuners.
Last time when we bought a TV set, I got many points at the shop and I could get a toy PC for nothing. So I expected something like this would happen again.
We bought 3 TV sets (one for living room, the other for kitchen, and another for his bedroom) but I could not get any points and asked them why. They said they are cash special price (genkin tokka: 現金特価). I did not understand this system well because I paid by the credit card. Anyway I felt disappointed, discouraged or betrayed.
After that we went to buy a pair of glasses for him. I was surprised to know the prices. They used to be very expensive, but these days you can buy them very cheap if you do not have special orders.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

6月11日(rokugatsu jyuichi nichi): June 11

It's been 3 months since the Great East Japan Earthquakes happened. There are still so many people missing and people in those area are suffering.

It rained heavily in the morning.

At night I watched sports news and know that Mr. Koji Murofushi(室伏広治) became a champion of shot-putting for 17 years straight which is the first in history, and that professional golfer, Ms. Sakura Yokomine(横峯さくら) made a "Hall in one" and got one million yen for the prize.

Friday, June 10, 2011

6月10日(roku gatsu toka): June 10

It was cloudy and slightly rained at night.

Our office started to reduce the number of fluorescent lights again to save the energy and to avoid the heat.

After work I went to see a movie. I wanted to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" 3D version. But unfortunately my invitation ticket was not available for 3D movies, so I decided to see another.
It was a Japanese movie titled "Paradise Kiss." This was also made from comic or animation.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

6月9日(rokugatsu kokonoka): June 9

I happened to see the ex-colleague with whom I worked when I was a junior high school teacher. It's been so long since I met him last. Now he is a principal of my Alma Mater.
He noticed me while we were on the train and stopped me after getting off. I did not recognize him at all at first.
So I said "That means I look the same as before, don't I?" but he said "If you like to say good way, but we could also say that I have a good memory." We asserted ourselves and laughed a lot.

6月8日(rokugatsu yoka): June 8

It slightly rained. Outside it was rather cool, but inside the office it was hot and humid. We are afraid of the hot summer coming without having air conditioning.

It's been a month since my birthday. One of my colleagues invited me for lunch. When I was in Florida my host mother often told me about "extended birthday." So it is nice to have someone celebrate my birthday some days later.
We went to the coffee shop to have delicious sandwiches. She treated me and gave me a hand made necklace too. It is very beautiful and I liked it.

Today is 2 of my cousins' and 1 of my friend's birthday. I sent them e-greeting cards. How do you celebrate somebody's birthday?

Monday, June 6, 2011

6月7日(rokugatsu nanoka): June 7

I have just watched the business and sports news. They said that the Tokyo Sky Tree which is under construction is the highest tower and it will start its business on May 22 next year. There are two observation floors and the entrance fees for them are yen 2000 at the lower floor (350 meters high)and plus yen 1000 for the higher floor (450 meters). I think it is rather expensive but I am looking forward to go there next year.

6月6日(rokugatsu muika): June 6

Today is boshu(芒種), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was shoman (小満) on May 21 and the next one is geshi (夏至) on June 22.
Boshu (芒種) is the time to sow grain which has thorn such as wheat.
It was rather hot today.

I was surprised to get a Christmas letter from my host family. It seems they were to busy to mail on time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

6月5日(rokugatsu itsuka): June 5

I attended a tour organized by a jewelry shop. It cost yen 4,800 and the contents were: first there was an explanation of new products and shopping time, second we moved to the venue, and third we watched the "Kooza" of Cirque du Soleil.
The beautiful new products were feasts for the eyes. There were some interesting items, but they were so expensive.
Lunch was sandwiches of the famous bakery and they were delicious.
And the main event was to watch the circus. It's been 6 years since I watched the one by Cirque du Soleil. If you buy the ticket regular way, it costs from yen 7,000 to yen 13,000. So I feel lucky. There were 11 performances. I liked the Wheel of Death, Double High Wire, and Teeterboard.
On my way home I went to the handcraft shop and bought some materials because the jewelry I saw in the morning inspired me. The owner was kind enough to let me know how to make a necklace and I made the one within 1 hour. It reminded me of my Florida days when I had enough time to make jewelry and jigsaw puzzles.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

6月4日(rokugatsu yokka): June 4

I went to see a movie which released today. That is a movie of a best seller book of 1,300,000 copies last year. Its title is very long therefore it is called as "Moshi Dora(もしドラ)" which is the abbreviation of the title "Moshi koko yakyu no joshi maneja ga dorakka no 'manejimento' wo yondara(もし高校野球の女子マネージャーがドラッカーの「マネジメント」を読んだら)". The meaning of the title is "If a girl manager of high school baseball team reads 'Management' written by Peter Ferdinand Drucker." This story was made into TV animation program and broadcast as 10 episodes (5 nights for 2 weeks) in the nights. I saw some of them. It was a nice movie.
After that I went to get the manipulative treatment for nearly 2 hours. It is a kind of massage. I have never been to these kind of places. But my body became relaxed. It cost yen 7,000. I liked it. I hope to visit there once in a while.

Friday, June 3, 2011

6月3日(rokugatsu mikka): June 3

I went out for dinner with colleagues and an ex-colleague. We ate a lot but the price was reasonable. It has been about 5 months since these members got together. We enjoyed talking and eating.

In the morning and in the night there were traffic accidents related with trains. It seems someone went down or fell down to the tracks of the station for both times and trains were delayed. I wondered how many people were suffered by these accidents.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6月2日(rokugatsu futsuka): June 2

Yesterday I bought some Japanese sweets. In that shop every first day of the month they present the customers sekihan (赤飯), red bean rice to wish good health and well being. I felt very lucky.

When I used to go to Osaka, I made it a rule to buy kaki no ha zushi (柿の葉寿司) on my way back to eat them in the Shinkansen (新幹線), bullet train for dinner. Today I bought them again. There were 6 different flavors, which was very new to me because I usually bought a package of two different flavors, salmon and mackerel. They are so delicious. I recommend you to eat.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6月1日(rokugatsu tsuitachi): June 1

A new month has started. June is rokugatsu (6月), the sixth month. Its old name is minazuki (水無月), meaning the month without water because of drought.
June 1 is known as koromogae (衣替え), clothing changing. In most junior high schools and senior high schools, school uniforms are changed from winter one to summer one on June 1. But today it was rather cool to wear a half-sleeves shirt.