Monday, April 30, 2012


It was very hot like summer. Today is a natinal holiday called Showa no hi(昭和の日), Day of Showa which was used to be Tenno tanjobi (天皇誕生日), Birthday of Emperor Showa until 1989 and Midori no hi (みどりの日), Greenery Day from 1989 to 2007. I had the first birthday party with my classmates of high school at a French restaurant at lunch time. This year I will publish my first essay on my birthday May 8. Therefore it was a very special one and 8 classmates got together to celebrate it. I have not met one of them since the graduation.
Two of them gave me big bouquets and one gave me a present and one bought my book, which I did not expect at all. So I was so glad to have such nice friends.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


It was very fine and warm. I went to Shinjuku(新宿), Yokohama(横浜), and Akasaka (赤坂) to see my friends. In Shinjuku I met another million seller writer. There I happened to see another millionaire. In Yokohama I missed seeing one of my friends. But I enjoyed massage and could have tasted the drink I wished to try. In Akasaka I met two of my ex-colleagues at the Japanese style bar called izakaya (居酒屋). There we tasted many delicious raw fish. I drank two different kinds of Japanese sake (酒) which were very tasty. I am glad to be a Japanese.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


It was a rainy day. I went to attend the lecture of Mr. Ken Honda (本田健) who is a million seller writer. This is the fourth time for me to go to his lecture. It is the 10th year anniversary for him to be a writer and he published the new one today. Last time at the time of getting his autograph at the book, I asked him where in Florida he had lived. He had lived in Boca Raton next to Delray Beach where I had been for 2 years. We exchanged emails. I happened to know he has someone whose contact he lost. It is also my friend. So I connected them together again. He showed interested in my first book, so I went to see him to give it. The lecture was very informative and I enjoyed.

Friday, April 27, 2012


It was a rainy day. So-called "Golden Week" begins soon. If you take two days off on May 1 and 2, you will get about 9 days off. I am not going to get extra holidays at this time, so there are three days off first, and 4 days off later. This year on my birthday I will publish my first book, so I am planning to have some parties for first publishing with many different friends' groups. I am looking forward to seeing many old friends here and there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It was fine and rather warm today but in the eveing it slightly rained. I had two meetings, one is held inside the office and the other was held outside the office. I met those whom I worked together before and was glad to see them again. At the outside meeting, I met nearly 10 new people. After work I met an old tennis friend to give my book. Without his advice I would not have a chance to watch Mr. Nishikori's (錦織) first international championship game in Delray Beach, Florida on February 17, 2008.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It was fine daytime but rained in the evening.
I took a compensated holiday to take my father to the hospital for once a month check up. It took so long to visit four different departments.
I happened to see one of my ex-colleagues who is a junior high school teacher of mathematics after nearly 20 years there.
In the evening I went to attend the symposium of my English teacher. I was late for nearly one hour but I am glad to attend there to see the teacher and other talented people. He gave me his new book and CDs and I gave him my first book.

Monday, April 23, 2012


It was a cold rainy day.
It is Day of Sant Jordi. In Spain and Japan it is a day to send books and UNESCO authorizes the day for World Books and Copyright.
In the morning I went to the post office to send annual fees for the associations. There I happened to find the memorial stamps for Philately Week which is a week including April 20 when is anniversary for Postal Services and bought some of them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


It was cloudy, rainy and rather cold.
In the morning constructors came to check the condition of the bathroom which we will reform next month. They measured the place, and we decided the color of the wall, floor and the door and so on.
I thought it would take much time and effort to make something new.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


It was rather chilly today.
I went weekly grocery shopping in the morning, filled my car up, and in the afternoon went to Ochanomizu (お茶の水) to attend the lecture of my teacher who retired from UNIDO this March. It's been nearly 8 years since I met him last. He published his first essay last December. The lecture was interesting. After that I asked him to have his autograph on the book. I presented him my first essay which will be released on May 8. And we took a picture together. There were more than 120 audience there.
After that I went to Ueno (上野) to see a movie "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." The movie theater will be closed at the end of April.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Today is kokuu (穀雨), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was seimei (清明) on April 4 and the next one is rikka (立夏) on May 5. Kokuu literally means grain rain. Spring rain makes the grain grow.

April 20 is a special day for me. 20 years ago of this day, there was the opening ceremony of the Expo '92 in Seville, Spain. I was working at the Japan Pavilion at that time.
Today we had the 20th anniversary party of the Expo '92 in Tokyo. There were about 100 people there including the ambassador of Spain.
At the 15th anniversary in 2007 we had a party at the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo.
I met colleagues and enjoyed the reunion. Some became mothers, others are still single. But to my interesting we look almost the same as 20 years ago.
The year 1992 was very special for me. I was a graduate school student and took a year leave, then had worked at the Expo '92 for 7 months and traveled around Europe after that for 5 months.
This experience changed me a lot. After coming back to Japan I started studying as many languages as possible though I have already forgotten most of them.
I have seen many places and met many people and learned so much things during that year. Therefore I wanted to publish a book about the year.
It's been 20 years now.
I will publish my first book on my birthday May 8 this year. It is not about the experience in Europe, but about the Florida experience from 2006 to 2008 when I was a JOI (Japan Outreach Initiative) coordinator. I hope many people will enjoy reading.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I took a day off because I had a lower back pain yesterday.
I stayed at home all day long.
I made a new business card with a picture of my first book released on my birthday this year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I went to the Narita airport to see the delegation off. It's been a month since I went there last.
There was a decoration of the samurai armor and helmet. It is for the Children Day on May 5.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It was rather warm.
When we got to Nagano the other day, it was still cold and the famous apricot trees were not blooming. But these days it became warm and today they were blooming. So beautiful.
Last year I was going to coming back to the Apricot Field (anzu no sato : あんずの里)around this time when I visited there in early March. But the Great East Earthquake happened and everything has been changed.
I am glad to see the apricot blooming finally.
We visited the apricot processing company.

Monday, April 16, 2012


It was fine.
I went to the Zenkoji (善光寺) temple of Nagano (長野) in the morning. I have been there a few times. But usually we use the side road to go there and maybe it was the first time for me to go there through the main gate.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


It was very fine.
I happened to see a beautiful young wedding couple at the hotel today. They are Japanese bride and Spanish bridegroom. His family came from Mallorca, Spain to Japan all the way to see the wedding.
After that I went to the shrine nearby. There were flowers of katakuri (カタクリ), dogtooth violet full in bloom. They were so cute. We could not see them if the hotel man did not mention about that. Information is important. I felt we were lucky.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


It was a cold rainy day.
I am still in the Kamiyamada onsen (上山田温泉) in Nagano (長野).
It is a season of anzu matsuri (あんず祭り), the apricot festival, but there were not so many apricot flowers yet due to the cold weather this year.
At the venue of the festival, there were street stalls(露天:roten) of apricot products. There were some dried apricots products but all taste differ.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I came to Kamiyamada onsen (上山田温泉) by two shinkansen (新幹線) and bus and am staying at another Japanese style hotel called ryokan (旅館). The best part of the Japanese style hotel is meal and onsen, hot spring.
At dinner they served many different small dishes. The most impressive was tempura (天ぷら) which is one of very famous Japanese food. A cook entered the room and started cooking there. So we could eat the hot tempura just made.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yesterday I came to Minamisanrikucho (南三陸町) and have stayed here for two nights. Meals are delicious and hot spring bath is very nice.
Minamisanrikucho is one of the towns which was washed away by the Tsunami (津波) of 3.11 last year. After one year and a month there are still mountains of debris here and there. But there are some temporary shops which I have not seen when I came to the devastated area last autumn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


In today's newspaper I read an interesting article.
I have some friends whose name is Japon in Coria del Rio near Seville, Spain whom I have known since 1992 when I was working at the Japan Pavilion of Expo '92. They say there are about 800 of them, and they are descendants of Japanese Samurai who went there in 1614. The delegation is called Keicho keno shisetsudan (慶長遣欧使節団) and they were from Sendai (仙台), the north part of Japan. And today I was happened to be in Sendai.
The research team of Nagoya
University, Tokyo University, and National Institute of Genetics will make a cooperative research of analysis of their genome.
It's been more than 400 years but because of the progress of technology it became possible. Don't you think it is wonderful?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


The new program has begun. I will be busy for the next 9 days.
At lunch time my colleagues and I had Thai food. Three of us ordered the special lunch which includes many small dishes such as soup, salad, curry, rice, mixed meat dish, fried fish, soft drink and dessert.
I usually do not go to the restaurant of spicy foods by myself. But trying new things broaden your world. So I want to try many things.

Monday, April 9, 2012


It was very warm today, perhaps it went up to 22 degrees centigrade in the daytime in Tokyo.
I went out for shopping at lunch time and could not have time to eat....
I was busy and came home by taxi again.
Cherry blossoms at night also look very beautiful. We call viewing them at night yozakura (夜桜), literally night cherry blossoms. Many people get together under the cherry tree and eat, drink, chat, sing and have fun time at night during the season. One of the younger employees job at this season is to find the good place and secure there for the night. We call this sekitori (席取り), literally seat getting.
I will be busier for the next 10 days.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


April 8 is known as hana matsuri (花まつり), literally means flower festival. It is the Buddha's birthday festival. He was born about 2500 years ago in Lumbini, India where I traveled last September.
Today I had a meeting in Asakusa (浅草) where there is a famous temple called Senso ji (浅草寺). I went there later. There were so many people there.
On this day people celebrate Buddha's birthday by having a Buddhist memorial service called kanbutsue (灌仏会), by pouring hydrangea tea on the statue of little Buddha in the small flower temple called hana mi do (花御堂), and by drinking hydrangea tea. Hydrangea tea is called amacha (甘茶), literally means sweet tea which I tasted today for the first time.
At the Sensoji temple they offered not only amacha but also handed out a stalk of a flower of Dendrobium. I felt lucky to be there and to get them.
Then I walked to Ueno (上野) where is very famous for the cherry blossoms. There were so many people there too. It is the best day for hana mi (花見), flower viewing. In this case flower means cherry blossoms.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I went to see a movie "Totecheeta Chiquitita" in Ginza, Tokyo with my friend. It was supposed to start at 11:30. And before that there was so-called butai aisatsu (舞台挨拶) greeting from the cast and staff on stage. Therefore we went there very early to secure the seat. The theater has only 130 seats. Fortunately we got the seats.
The greetings and interview were very nice and I felt very lucky to be there. The movie was also nice. I hope many people will go to see "Totecheeta Chiquitita."
At Ginza I could see beautiful cherry blossoms. Along the river near Yokohama people were enjoying to see beautiful cherry blossoms. I enjoyed viewing
and taking pictures of cherry blossoms.

Friday, April 6, 2012


It was very fine this morning. The cherry blossoms are so beautiful here and there at this season. I was invited to go seeing the cherry blossoms at lunch time, but I was too busy to go out.
These days I have been very busy. Only this week I have already overworked for the time of regular month overworking time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


There were two interesting articles in today's newspaper. One is the dreams of the children and the other is the number of high school students who wish to study abroad. Both were the results of questionnaires.
The results of the future professions of the 4000 first year students who just entered the elementary school were No.1 is sports player, No. 2 is policeman, No. 3 is driver or conductor for boys and No. 1 is the confectionery or sweets shop, No. 2 is TV personalities or singer, No. 3 is the flower shop for girls.
The professions their parents want them to be was No. 1 for boys was public servant and for girls was nurse which were the same as the previous year.
Regarding the second article, the ratio of the Japanese high school students who wish to study abroad was 46% which was the lowest among Japan, the USA, China, and Korea. 82 % of the Korean high school students wish to study abroad which was the highest among 4 countries.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It was fine but windy today too.
Today is seimei (清明), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was shunbun (春分) on March 20 and the next one is kokuu (穀雨) on April 20.
Seimei literally means clear light.
More and more cherry blossoms are blooming day by day. My favorite season will come soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


On my way to the station I saw some cherry blossoms were blooming. It was fine in the morning. However the weather forecast was correct. It became windy and rainy like a storm. Many trains were affected. I decided to wait until late in the night and stayed at the office till 10 PM.
When I got out, fortunately it was fine and clear. I saw many bicycles fallen down. Trains were delayed a lot. I could not come back to my station and used the taxi again.
It is still very very windy and cold outside unlike spring weather.

Monday, April 2, 2012


The first day of the new fiscal year which we call shin nen do (新年度). Shin means new. Opposite word is kyu (旧), which means old. That is last fiscal year is kyu nen do (旧年度).
Usually at this time of the year people working at the accounting department are very busy.
It was fine today. I had a meeting in the morning. Then we went out for lunch at the Chinese restaurant. The last time when I went there last summer, there were few people and we could enter and sit without waiting. Therefore I chose there but there were many people. We were lucky to enter soon but it took very long to be served. I ordered the bowl of rice topped with cooked shark's fin. There were only 10 dishes per day, so I was wondering if there was the one for me. I was lucky enough to have it. I feel very lucky.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


A new month has started. April is shigatsu (四月) in Japanese. Its old name is uzuki (卯月). April is a starting month for Japanese society. School starts in April. The entrance ceremonies called nyugakushiki (入学式) are usually held on April 5 in Kanto area. New staffs enter the companies in April. The entrance ceremony called nyushashiki (入社式) are usually held on April 1 but this year since it falls on Sunday, it will be held tomorrow.
It was very fine today and seems like the spring has come, but they say it will be cold tomorrow again.
There were big earthquakes in Fukushima (福島) tonight.