Sunday, September 30, 2012


The biggest typhoon ever No. 17 is approaching.  It's windy now.  Though today is Jyugoya (十五夜), full moon night, I cannot see the beautiful moon.

In the moring I left home to go to Chigasaki (茅ヶ崎) to see a movie "Umareru (うまれる) "  Being Born from 12:45.  This movie was made two years ago, and you cannot see it at the theater any more, and they are not going to make it as DVD.  Today there was the 25th General Meeting of Foster Parents in Kanagawa and as a part of that event they showed this movie for free.
I have wanted to see this movie especially since this August because when I had a chance, I had another appointment and I missed it.
It was a very good movie.  But there were many babies crying in the venue........

After that I went to Hamamatsucho (浜松町) to see my friend who participated in the Dance competition of East Japan.  It's been a few years since I saw her last.  I enjoyed the reunion and watched her dancing.


It was hot again.
I went to once a week grocery shopping  in the morning.  There I knew tomorrow is jyugoya (十五夜), full moon night.  Jyugoya literally  means the 15th night. 
We enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in the spring and moon in the fall.  We decorate Japanese pampas grass and eat dumplings called "tsukimi dango (月見団子)." I bought dumplings too.

Friday, September 28, 2012


It was rather cool today.  It slightly rained too.
Five colleagues and I went out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  It is about 10 minutes walk from our office.  We ordered 5 dishes and shared.  It is very reasonable.  We enjoyed eating and chatting.
It's been a week since I went to Nagoya by night bus.  I felt this week passed so quickly. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This morning I left home earlier than usual.  Like yesterday I changed the train at Kurihama (久里浜).  First I went to Ofuna (大船) and changed to Tokaido (東海道) Line and changed again at Shinagawa (品川) station.  It took about 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to the office.
At lunch time four colleagues and I went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant near the office where four of us have not been before.  We enjoyed eating and chatting.
In the morning after I left home, the Keihin kyuko (京浜急行) line resumed normal service therefore I could come home by regular route.  I am glad to be back to normal.  Thank you very much.


It was fine.
The Keihin kyuko (京浜急行) line has been closed partially therefore I used JR Yokosuka (横須賀) line between Kurihama (久里浜)  and Shinagawa (品川).  So many people thought the same way, and there were so many people at Kurihama station in the morning.  It is the terminal and I have to ride on for about 1 hour and a half, and I thought more people will get on later and I would be too tired if I keep standing among so many people around.  So I decided to take a green car.  It cost yen 950.  The price differs between less than 50km and more than 51km.  If you buy the ticket inside the car, it will be yen 1200.  The price differs between weekdays and weekends too.  After getting in, you can sit on any vacant seat, and if you use Suica or Pasmo, prepaid card with commuting ticket, you need to touch it at the place above your seat, and the light will be on while you will occupy the place.
Last Saturday I used the green car for Shinkansen, which cost yen 1,000 from Nagoya (名古屋) to Shinagawa.  Compared this, it seemed the cost of green car fee of the Yokosuka line was expensive, but I am glad to sit this morning.
On my way back from Shinagawa to Kurihama, I had to use JR Yokosuka line again, and had to stand for a long time.....
It seems it will take for a while to run the services normally, so I have to use JR Yokosuka line tomorrow too......
We often realize the importance of "usual" when we lost something.  I hope it will become normal again soon. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It was cool this morning.
I took a half day off in the afternoon.  Last night I stayed at a hotel in Harumi (晴海) and knew the train accident of the Keihin kyuko (京浜急行) line which I use every day by the TV news.  The line was partially closed, and I had to take another transportation.  It took longer time, but I came home.   There are some people who sent me emails and called to ask about my safety.  I am glad to have people like this.
Tonight I talked with my professor of university after a long time over the phone and enjoy keeping up.


It was fine but cool after rain this morning. The weather was nice, fine and not too hot.
In the evening it started raining when we went out for dinner. After dinner, it was pouring heavily.
At night I knew it really rained heavily by the news. It seems there was a train accident of the Keihin kyuko (京浜急行) line which I use every day because of the landslide by the heavy rain.
In Yokosuka (横須賀) it is still raining about 100mm per hour, and there is warning.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's been raining and a bit colder today.
In the morning I went to grocery shopping.
In the afternoon I went to TABIHAKU (旅博) 2012, the annual Asian biggest travel exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight.  I have been interested in this event for a long time.   Recently my friend sent me invitation tickets so I went there with my colleague.
There were so many people, and there were so many booths.  We met three people whom we know there.
There is a passport.  At the entrance a picture was taken and pasted to the passport.  If you get more than 5 stamps, you get a small gift when you leave.  There were other stamp rallies too.  I think it is a good idea to have a stamp rally, otherwise we are not sure where to visit first.
I hope I will travel more in the future.


I arrived at Nagoya (名古屋) around 5:40 after stopping at two service areas. There are many local souvenirs there.
In Nagoya I went to take a bath which was included in the bus ticket fee. You do not have to bring anything there, I mean you can borrow every thing including towels, shampoo & rinse, body shampoo, face soap, dryer, tooth brush, lotion etc....  I liked there.  I think it is quite convenient for an overnight traveler.
Then I took train to Okazaki (岡崎) to meet my cousin and had breakfast.  Breakfast in Aichi (愛知) is very famous. It is called "Morning."  They usually serve toasted bread, small salad, boiled egg, dessert, and drink for the cost of only drink.  It is quite generous.
It's been about a year since I saw her last.  Then we went to my aunt's house to have a memorial service for another cousin who passed away last year.  After that all the participants had lunch together. 
Then I went to see my friends in Nagoya again.  We went to a Japanese style restaurant and enjoyed meeting, eating and chatting.  There I knew Mr. Akio Morita (盛田昭夫) , the founder of Sony Corporation, was born in the sake brewery.
I came back by Shinkansen Kodama (新幹線こだま) which stops at every station, so it takes longer than hikari (ひかり) or nozomi (のぞみ).  But I bought a ticket called puratto kodama (ぷらっとこだま) which is quite reasonable including one drink.  The non-smoking cars were all occupied, therefore I paid yen 1,000 extra charge and got the seat of green car ,which is the first class spacious seats.  I recommend you to use this plan when you travel around Japan.  It's cheaper than regular tickets.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I am going to Nagoya (名古屋) by bus now. It will take about 6 hours.
There will be the first year memorial service of my cousin who passed away last year while I was in Nepal. It is called isshuki (一周忌).


It was another hot day.
My colleagues and I went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant.  There were 7 of us.  When I called there to book, all of the private rooms were occupied and I could only book the table for 7 in a big Japanese room.  However when we got there, the guests just finished their lunch and came out from the big private room where there are tables with horigotatsu (掘りごたつ), where you can sit like chair from the floor because the space is open for feet.  So I felt we were lucky.
Four of us were Indonesian interpreters. I asked them why they decided to study Indonesian.  To my surprise their major at the university was not Indonesian, but after going there by traveling or working they started studying Indonesian.  I heard very interesting customs there.
When we left, the owner gave me some grapefruits.  He is always very kind to us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


It rained in the morning.  I used the long umbrella after a long time.  In Japan there are many designs of umbrellas.  When I was in the USA, there were a very few choices.  It seems American people don't use it as much as Japanese people.
I took a half day off in the morning to do some errand.  After that I visited my friend's art exhibition in Tokyo, which was the last day today.  This was the second time for me to visit his exhibition at the gallery. 
Last Sunday I visited another art exhibition which was also the second time for me to visit her exhibition at the same gallery in Ginza as before.
I think it is very good to have one's exhibition at the same place regularly.
I got three invitations for art exhibitions this month, and I am glad to have visited all of them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


When you send a book, how do you do?  Last week I sent 3 books by yu mail (郵メール) of JP post which cost yen 290 per book.  If it is printed matter, you can send them cheaper than regular mail.  I mean you cannot include hand-written letter inside.
There is much cheaper way.  If it is thinner than 2 cm, you can send it by yen 160.  That is called meru bin (メール便), mail delivery by home-delivery service. Today I sent 6 books, but it cost about the same amount as last time.
To send abroad, sea mail  (船便:funa bin) is the cheapest way, but it takes time. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


It was a national holiday called keiro no hi (敬老の日), the Respect-for-the-Aged-Day.  It used be on September 15, but it has been on the third Monday of September since 2003 because of the Happy Monday System.
Japan is an aging country.  The population of over 65 years old is 30,740,000 which is 24.1 % of the total population.  Men are 13,150,000 and women are 17,590,000 and 21.2 % and 26.9 % respectively.
There are 15,170,000 people who are over 75 years old and this is the first time to exceed 15 million.
There are 51,376 people who are over 100 years old and it is also for the first time to exceed 50, 000.  Among them men are 6,534, and women are 44,842.
The oldest person is 115 years old and he is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

It was hot, cloudy sometimes rained heavily.

I had lunch at the French restaurant with friends.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


It was second day of the three day weekend.  It was cloudy, rainy and sunny later.
I went to see two movies in Ginza (銀座) with my colleague.  One is a French movie titled "Untouchable" which is based on the real story.  The other was a Japanese movie titled "Odoru daisosasen (踊る大捜査線) The Final" Bayside Shakedown.  Both were so crowded and we watched them in the front seat and the second front seat.  They were good movies.
We ate lunch at a restaurant near the theater which is produced by Ms. Harumi Kurihara (栗原はるみ), a very famous cooking researcher.
After that we went to see my friend's art exhibition.
And we went for a stroll at the pedestrian precinct so-called hokosha tengoku (歩行者天国), literally heaven for pedestrian. 


It was another hot day.
It rained in the morning and became fine later. 
Today is the first day of the three day weekend.
I renewed the car insurance today. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


It was hot again.
After work I went to the Spanish restaurant in Shibuya (渋谷) to meet one of my friends from university.  It's been 10 years since we met last in Spain.  We studied Spanish together and took the same seminar for the graduation thesis when we were university students.  Our counselor was a Spanish language professor who was born in Peru and had worked at the Spanish Embassy in Japan and established Spanish schools in Tokyo.  Unfortunately he passed away while I was in Florida in 2007 and I missed his funeral.
We ate very delicious Spanish course dinner.  My friend has lived in Mexico for 4 years and a half and Spain for 3 years and a half and now teaches Spanish at several universities.  In Spain Thursday seems day for Paella.  Does anybody know the reason why?
When I traveled around Morocco, they said Friday is day for couscous.  Do you have such special foods for special day of the week?  If so, please let me know.

Friday, September 14, 2012


It was another hot day.

Where, what, and with whom do you have lunch? Lunch is chushoku (昼食) in Japanese.  Or we say "ohiru" (お昼) .  Ohiru is polite way of saying noon.  But we mean lunch.
I usually buy some buns with croquette or something and dessert such as pudding or yogurt on my way to the office and have them with a cup of corn soup and a cup of tea at the meeting room with my some colleagues.  Today I had with 2 colleagues.  Lunch time is a good time not only to eat to fill the stomach full but also to get information. I was surprised to know many news around us today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


They say today is the day of marathon.  42.195 km.  Have you ever run?
Some of my friends have run full marathon many times, others do shorter distance. 
When I was a junior high school teacher and in charge of the special needs education class, I ran almost every day with students.  The first month for 1 km, the second month for 2km, the third month for 3km, the fourth month for 4km, and the fifth month and later for 5km.  And after several months' training, students and we (teachers) participated in the city's marathon race for 5 km in March.  Practice makes perfect. 
But basically I do not like running, so I do not think I will do full marathon in my life.
My colleagues go for 5km running around the Imperial Palace after work these days.  I do not want to run, but someday I want to join them for a walk around there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been 11 years since 9.11 happened.
And it's been 1 year and a half since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami happened.
How has your life been changed since then?
We are trying to save energy, and at the office we try to use stairs rather than elevators, and we turn off the lights during lunch time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The London Paralympic finished on September 9.  There were 164 countries and regions participated.  Compared to the Olympic, there were fewer programs broadcasted.  Therefore I did not have chances to watch the games and I just knew the results by the news or newspaper. 
Tennis player, Mr. Shingo Kunieda (国枝慎吾) became a champion again which was a big news because it was the first in history.  There was another Japanese gold medal game, Goal Ball, which most Japanese people knew from this event.   Japan got 16 medals this time.  Congratulations!

Monday, September 10, 2012


It was very hot today.
September 9 is choyo (重陽)  Double Nineth Festival or kiku no sekku (菊の節句) Chrysanthemum Festival.  There are five festivals in a year.  They are jinjitsu (人日) on January 7, joshi (上巳) on March 3, tango (端午) on May 5, tanabata (七夕) on July 7, and choyo on September 9.  March 3 is also known as momo no sekku (桃の節句) Peach Festival which is girl's festival, and May 5 is also known as shobu no sekku (菖蒲の節句) Calamus Festival which is boy's festival.
But as far as I know we do not do anything special these days for choyo.
September 9 is written as 9.9.  9 is read as kyu.  So it is read kyukyu.  Therefore September 9 is known as kyukyu no hi (救急の日), Day of Emergency.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


It was very hot today.
There is once a year festival of the nearby shrine.  From the morning we prepared foods for the people who carry the portable shrine called omikoshi (御神輿) , play music called ohayashi (お囃子), and lead them and so on.  We started preparing around 8:30 AM and they arrived 11:20 AM or so. 
Last year a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Shinjiro Koizumi (小泉進次郎) visited there and we took a picture together.  I thought he would come this year too, so I brought the picture, a copy of my blog of the last year, and my book.  And he came.  I handed them and  we took another picture.  This year he was wearing a special coat called happi (法被), which we wear at the festival.
This year I asked him to give me an autograph.  He wrote "Where there is a will, there is a way" in Chinese characters with his name and date.  That was nice.  I hope to have a phrase like this when I write my autograph.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Today is hakuro (白露), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was shosho (処暑) on August 23, and the next one is shubun (秋分) on September 22.  Hakuro literally means white dew.  It is the time when the air becomes cold and dews come out.  However it is still hot in the daytime.


September is autumn but it is still hot.  Autumn is for art, or sports, or reading, or appetite.  I received 3 invitations for artistic exhibitions for September. 
Today I went to see one of them after work.  It was a group exhibition of photographs titled "My Life 2."  There are many different types of photographs.  I was attracted to some of them, such as the picture of the track of stars around the Polaris and  the picture of the northern lights which I would like to take someday.
Since today was the opening, there was a party at the venue.  After that I joined the second party with photographers for an hour or so and had a good time to know new people.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


It was very hot again.  
The feeling of hot and cold depends on person.  I usually buy lunch on my way to the office and eat lunch at the meeting room to save time.  There are four or five together.  Today five of us ate together.  Three of us are regular members and two of them sometimes join.  We asked them why they decided to eat lunch at the office today.   One of them said "Because it became warm enough to eat lunch inside the office.  Usually it is cold so I go outside to get warm during lunch time. "  The other said "Because it's hot outside and I do not want to go out."
Usually I wear the jacket because I commute by the train for a long time, today I did not.  Then I felt so cold.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


It was raining this morning here, but when I got to Shinjuku, it was not raining. 
There was an alarm in the late morning, and all of the people working at the building evacuated outside.  We were not sure what happened.  Only people from our building were there.  So it could be fire or something inside the building.  However, it seems it was the machine blunder.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


It rained but I was lucky enough not to use the umbrella.  But now  it thunders and we had a few minutes blackout. 
Today is the first day of the second semester for most schools in Japan, therefore the trains were so crowded this morning.
Today I got a letter from my high school teacher.  In May when I met her last time, I gave her my book.  Then she wrote me about the impression of my book.  I am very glad to receive it.  I have already given more than 70 books or so, but most of them said just a few words such as "it was interesting" by email or "I'm impressed by your deed" by face to face and only a few people gave me detailed impressions.  So this is a kind of the first detailed remarks by letter.  Thank you very much.

Monday, September 3, 2012


It was cloudy when I went to once a week grocery shopping, but when I came home it started raining and it is still raining.  I bought something new today.  One is vegetables, the other is sweets.  I have eaten the vegetable before at the Chinese restaurants  but I have never seen them at stores, so I bought and cooked them tonight. I ate the new sweets too which was delicious.
In the afternoon I read a book "Being in Balance: 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires" written by Dr.Wayne W. Dyer and translated by Mr. and Mrs. Yamakawa.  The English title and Japanese title look quite different.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


A new month has started.  September is kugatsu (九月) in Japanese.  The old name is nagatsuki (長月), literally long month, meaning long night month.
It was hot in the morning, but rained later.
We will have a local festival next weekend, therefore our community member got together at the precinct of the shrine in the morning and cleaned the area.  Some people cut the grasses, other people gathered them to burn.  Smokes were so thick and tears came out one after another.