Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Today I found the word which I did not know.  It was written as "エギ(egi)" in katakana (カタカナ).  Do you know what it is? 
It was the abbreviation of "エギタリアン(eggitarian)."  Can you imagine what it is?
It seems this word is used in India.  It is a vegetarian who eats eggs and vegetables. 
There are many kinds of vegetarian.  A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs , an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a vegan or strict vegetarian diet excludes all  animal products including eggs, dairy and honey.
I like to eat delicious foods so I am not a vegetarian at all. How about you?

Monday, October 29, 2012


It was very fine today.  I took a compensation day off today and could sleep long.
I went to see a Japanese movie titled "Tsunagu (ツナグ)" in Yokohama (横浜).  Tsunagu means to connect in Japanese but in this film it is the person who can connect a dead person and an alive person only once in their lives.  There were 3 episodes in the film.  How nice if I could see my mother again!  Do you have someone whom you want to see again? 


We started early today too.  We have visited many places in spite of rain.   I  walked nearly 10km today.   The colored leaves were so beautiful.  Light green, yellow, orange, and red.  We had nice breakfast and lunch.  The road coming back was so crowded that I came home around 11:00PM.  I am glad to have taken off tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I got up at 3:30 and came to Togakushi, Nagano (長野県戸隠) by a group bus tour of more than 40 people. This is the third time for me to attend this tour but this is the first time to come in fall. Weather was not fine but fortunately it did not rain when we needed to walk.
We visited many places, some are the same places as before others are the new places. We ate a lot.


It was rather cool in the morning, but became warmer during daytime. The moon looked very beautiful at night.  It is a nice season for everything, not too cold not too hot.  Spring is for flower viewing and fall is for colored leaves viewing.
Last weekend I was in Hakuba (白馬) on a business trip, and this weekend I will go to Togakushi (戸隠) for a private trip.  Both are in Nagano (長野) prefecture.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


It's been getting cooler these days.  Speaking of fall, there are many delicious foods.  I have just watched the TV program titled "50 voice" on NHK.  It is a program consists of  interviewing 50 people.  Today's topic was ekiben (駅弁), literally station lunch box which means a box meal sold at a railroad station.  Each place has its own special lunch box.  When we travel by railway, many people enjoy ekiben. There are many which I have eaten before, but there are more I have not eaten yet.  All looked delicious and people engaging that business had a delicious story to tell.
Last Sunday when I went to Hakuba by Nagano Shinkansen, I bought "Balanced lunch box with 30 items" by yen 850 at the Tokyo Station.


It was rather cold today.  They say there was the first snow (初冠雪:hatsukansetsu) in Northern Alps.
At lunch time I heard the very interesting story.  There is a popular winter fruit in Japan which is called mikan (みかん、ミカン、蜜柑).  Its English name is Citrus unshiu or satsuma or mandarin (orange) or tangerine.  I have never thought before but they say there are male mikan and female mikan, and that male one is more tasty.  How do you know the difference?  Please look at the bottom center. If there is a projection, it is male. 
There are many famous places, but especially Wakayama (和歌山), Ehime (愛媛), and Shizuoka (静岡) are major source prefectures.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today is soko (霜降), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), 24 solar terms.  The last one was kanro (寒露) on October 8 and the next one is ritto (立冬) on November 7.  Soko (霜降) literally means frost fall.  It is the time that dew changes to frost because of coldness.
This morning it rained heavily therefore I wore raincoat and rain shoes and brought a long umbrella.  However it stopped raining when I needed to walk and I did not have to use it on my way to go to the office.  At night it started raining again and I used it.  When I got on the train on my way back home, I was so tired that I slept there putting my old umbrella at the handrail near my seat.  When I got to my station, I was so surprised to find it disappeared.  Usually Japan is thought as a safe country.  I have left something behind such as umbrella on the train before, but I have never lost anything on the train.  Since I was sleeping, I do not know if it rained heavily or not while I was on the train.  I just could not believe what have happened. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Weather was so nice and it was not so cold today in Hakuba (白馬) and Nagano (長野).  We could see very beautiful mountain range.  It seems it will rain tomorrow, so that I feel we were very lucky.

We had very nice breakfast and lunch today.  For breakfast fresh vegetables and fruits were served from the hotel garden.   Nagano area is called Shinshu (信州) and it is very famous for soba (蕎麦: buckwheat ) . For lunch we had a variety of soba dishes including sweets.    My colleague and I visited many places and had fruitful meetings today.  I came home around 10:30 PM.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Today I came to Hakuba, Nagano (長野県白馬) on a business trip.
I came by the Nagano shinkansen (長野新幹線) which took about one hour and a half and then took a bus for an hour.
It's been 15 years since Nagano shinkansen started its business because of Nagano winter Olympic in 1998.
Hakuba is very famous for ski resort.
I thought it would be cold but it was not. The view from the mountain was so beautiful with colored leaves.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I slept so long that my father was worried and came to see me upstairs.
We went once a week grocery shopping.
It was rather warm today and I could see the beautiful sunset this evening.
Tomorrow I will go to Nagano on a business trip for 2 days therefore I cooked a lot tonight such as takikomigohan (炊き込みご飯) : mixed rice, oden (おでん) : Japanese Pot-au-feu, and misoshiru (みそ汁) : miso soup and so on.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


It was very cool today.  I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji covered with snow.
I only worked for 3 days this week, but I feel glad today is Friday and I can sleep long tomorrow.  Last week on Friday I was still in Florida.  There are only two months and ten days left this year. How fast time flies! 

Friday, October 19, 2012


It was cloudy and started raining and it was rather cool.
I woke up early because of the boom of mosquito but slept again and got up later than usual.  When I saw my face, it seemed a mosquito bit my right eyelid and it was swelling and I felt shocked.  It became bigger  when I got to the office, and my colleagues were surprised to see my face and worried and advised to see the eye doctor being afraid of something bad such as sty.  So I decided to go to see the eye doctor at the  nearby hospital after lunch time taking one hour off.  It was not sty, perhaps mosquito bite or something as I thought.  Since I did not have any letter of introduction from other doctor, it cost yen 3,000 for the first visit fee plus doctor's fee (yen 1,310) .  He prescribed two medicines which cost yen 540.   I felt how normal is important and the eye doctor is a tough job because even though how funny face the patient is, he can't laugh at.  I hope my eyelid's swelling will be gone soon.
Ophthalmology is ganka (眼科) in Japanese.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The first working day after the late summer vacation.  I brought some souvenirs to my colleagues.  At lunch time I gave 5 colleagues small calendars of 2013.  I knew two of them have strong tastes to horses and cats and it was easy to choose the one for them.  I chose three different designs for others.  It was very interesting to see their reaction.
After lunch I prepared other souvenirs for all the colleagues who are about 50 people.  They were chocolate candies in the plastic jack-o'-lantern.  Before I went to the USA, I made up my mind to buy them for souvenirs for my colleagues because October 31 is Halloween.  Sweets make people happy, and the jack-'o-lantern was so cute, therefore many people enjoyed.  I am glad to see their smiles. 
Souvenir in Japanese is omiyage (お土産).  What do you usually buy for souvenirs?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I am glad to take another day off after the vacation.  It was because I took my father to the once a month check up to the hospital though.
In the night I could read the newspaper for about 10 days to catch up.  During my vacation I did not read any newspaper, but I heard about the Dr. Shinya Yamanaka's (山中伸弥) getting the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells from the conversation with Japanese staff at the Morikami Museum.  How nice it is!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I came home.  When I got on the flight from Chicago yesterday, it was supposed to leave at 12:36, but it delayed for 3 hours or so, and after 12 hours and a half flight when I arrived at the Narita Airport it was already 19:08 or so of today.  We had to wait for nearly one hour for the baggage to appear because of the same door problem we had in Chicago.  I took a train and arrived at home nearly midnight.
I had a nice vacation.


This morning I had breakfast with my teacher.  At first I was wondering how we eat the vegetable (Paprika?) she has just harvested from her garden, but it was delicious as it was without using any dressing.
My first American friend from University of Illinois came to pick me up at her house and took me to the airport.  It has been 5 years and a half since we met last, but as usual we feel the same as we have known always.  The time was short, but we enjoyed the reunion.
The flight from Chicago delayed for nearly 3 hours.  First we needed to wait for fixing the problem of the doors, and next we needed to wait for the bad weather changed.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


How fast time flies!  It's been a week since I came to Delray Beach.  And my vacation is almost over.  I left there and went to Miami by Tri-Rail.  The train was delayed but since I had enough time, it was OK.
It rained but I was lucky enough not to get wet.
At the airport I had lunch and took a flight to Chicago.  There I could meet my teacher from university.  We went out for dinner with her son.  It's been 5 years and a half since we met last.  He became taller than I am now!  We enjoyed the reunion. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I had lunch with an ex-colleague who helped me to get car insurance while I was here in 2006 to 2008.  We went to a Greek restaurant and enjoyed the reunion.  Especially the story of her mother-in-law was attractive.  She got married at the age of 83 again with a younger man of 76 and lived up to more than 100 years old.  She was fine until a few weeks before she passed away.  And she played golf until 90 years or so.  Isn't that amazing?
In Japan women's average life expectancy is around 87 or so.  I have never heard that Japanese women get married again at the age like that.

Friday, October 12, 2012


In Japan we write the date from year, then month, and  day.  So it is 2012. 10.11 today.  However in the USA, people write the date from month, then day, and year, therefore today is 10.11.12.  Isn't it interesting?
This morning I went to the post office to send my books to my friends in CA and Texas.  There was the same officer in that post office as I used to go there 4 years ago.
I visited the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens where I have worked for 2 years from August 2006 to July 2008.  There are still many people I know, but there are some people whom I do not know too. 
In the evening I had nice diner with my first host family and neighbors.
I am glad to see them all again and deliver my first book in person. 
At night I went to Walmart to shop.  Inside was quite different from what I knew 4 years ago.  I did not know it is open for 24 hours.  There were so many Halloween candies sold. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


It used be a national holiday called "taiiku no hi(体育の日)" Health and Sports Day, and it is supposed to be fine always. Therefore many schools or cities have athletic meeting called "undokai (運動会)" around this time.  And many couples tend to get married on this day too.  One of my best friends from high school also got married on this day many years ago. 
Today I went to my friend's Japanese-style restaurant in Miami where I have wanted to go for 4 years.  Foods were all delicious.  I enjoyed everything.  
Have you ever hard "san dai chinmi (三大珍味)" the three biggest rare tastes?   Japanese peole like to think of best 3 in many things.  San dai chinmi are uni (ウニ): salt-pickled sea urchin roe, karasumi (カラスミ): salt-pickled mullet roe, and konowata (このわた): pickled sea cucumber innards.  I could eat all of them tonight. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I had lunch with a lady named Barbara.  It's been 4 years since I met her last.  I wrote about her in my book so I wanted to hand it to her. What did I wrote about?  Well, I hope you read it by yourself if possible....but there is no English version yet so, I tell you here too.
She lived in Zushi, Kanagawa (神奈川県逗子市) 30 years ago and was going to visit there after 30 years, and wanted to meet her neighbors and was wondering if they still lived there or not.  Actually they had already moved out and everyone lost their contact address.  I have a few friends who lived in Zushi and asked them to find her neighbors.  And one of my friends visited where she used to live and happened to know their relatives living nearby and visited them and finally found the contact address.  Then I contacted with them and made all the arrangement for them to get together after 30 years.  I could tell her about it on her special birthday.  So that must have been the best present I could give or she could receive ever.  Don't you think it is a wonderful story?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Today is a national holiday called "taiiku no hi (体育の日) " Health and Sports Day. It commemorates the opening of the Tokyo Olympic in 1964.  It used be on October 10, but in 2000 it was moved to the second Monday of October to have happy Monday system.
Today I tried the kayak on the lake, river, and ocean and surf-kayak on the ocean for the first time.
In the USA, today, the second Monday of October is Columbus Day, which celebrates the Christopher Columbus' arrival at the new world on October 12, 1492.
When I was working at the Expo '92, which commemorates quincentenary of the Christopher Cloumbus' arrival of the new world , closed on October 12, 1992.  This event was the most impressive work for me.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I met my second host family this morning and we went out for brunch at a famous restaurant in Delray Beach.  It is on the coast road and there were so many people waiting.  We needed to wait but it was worth doing.  Sunday Brunch was very nice.  While waiting I went to visitor information and checked the event this weekend.  Then I visited the Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival.  I am glad to get what I wanted there.
At night I met the third host family and went to their house to have dinner.  We enjoyed the reunion.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


My first day of the summer vacation was very long.  Because I left Narita at 16:35 and flew to Chicago for more than 11 hours but it is still on the same day of 13:49 and waited for the flight to New York for 1 hour 40 minutes (actually arrived 40 minutes earlier and departed about 1 hour late so it was more than 3 hours there) and flew to Newark for more than 2 hours and arrived there about 1 hour delay because the plane had a bad problem with flap and there were fire trucks when we landed there!
Then I went to Manhattan taking NJ transit and subway to see Ms. Beate Sirota Gordon.  I felt sorry arriving too late but we had a very good time together.  Then I returned to Newark by the same route and waited for the next flight at 6:10 to Miami which took about 3 hours.  I saw the very beautiful sunrise from the plane.  At Miami I missed the shuttle bus and the train so I called my best friend to come to pick me up which was much better.  We enjoyed the reunion.
It was chilly and slightly raining in Chicago, fine in New York, and very hot in sunny Florida.


I am now having my late summer vacation.  I have decided to come to the USA to deliver my book to those who are important to me in my life.
First I go to New York to see Ms. Beate Sirota Gordon whom I have known since 1995 or so.  She is the lady who contributed to input the equality of men and women in the Japanese Constitution.   I was impressed by her first book "Christmas in 1945 (1945年のクリスマス)" very much and went to see her lecture in Fujisawa (藤沢) and to see her drama "Pearl Necklace (真珠のネックレス)" when she was in Japan.   It's been a long time since I saw her last, but I sometimes see her on TV and we exchange the greeting cards at the end of the year.  She is the most famous person in my life. I am very looking forward to seeing her again.

Friday, October 5, 2012


It was a rainy cold morning, therefore I wore the long sleeves sweater, but it became hot when I got to the office.
Finally I will take this year's summer vacation from tomorrow, though it is already fall.  I will go to the United States (NY, Florida, and Chicago) to see those who are important to me and give them my book.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


It was windy and rather cool and rained too in the afternoon. 
I started working from 6 am till 8 pm.  Very long day.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It was still hot today.
During lunch time, I enjoyed talking with my colleagues about episodes of the programs we have been in charge for the past three years and a half.
Last year on October 1, I have made a contract with the publisher.
Through today's conversation I felt like writing the next book.

Monday, October 1, 2012


A new month has started.  October is jyugatsu (十月) in Japanese.  Its old name is kannazuki (神無月), literally god without month.  All of Japanese gods get together in Izumo (出雲) in this month, therefore there are no gods in other places.
October 1 is the time for changing clothing called koromogae (衣替え).  School unforms are changed to long sleeves with jacket.  But it was still hot during daytime.
Today it was the grand opening of the renewed Tokyo (東京) station, Marunouch (丸の内) exit.  They say to renew the station it cost yen 50,000,000,000.  About 760,000 people use the Tokyo station every day.