Wednesday, July 31, 2013


It was fine and hot today.
In the afternoon I went to hospital in Kamakura to see my tea master who has been hospitalized since last Thursday.  I went there with his three pupils.  The hospital is rather big, new and well equipped.  Visitors had to check in and get visitor's card to hold from the neck.  This was the first experience for me.
I thought I know Kamakura such as shrines, temples, restaurants, and shops.  However it seems Kamakura is much bigger than I knew and on our way I saw big factories.  He will stay for a few days more and move to another hospital to rehabilitate at the hot-spring cure place.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


It rained.
I went to Shinjuku to attend the AGE seminar in the afternoon.  It was an interesting one. Knowing new things is interesting. 
On my way back, I bought an ink ribbon of fax. I changed it when I got home after about a week it finished. However there is another error sign.
After eating dinner I went to small ball exercise. I sweated a lot.

Monday, July 29, 2013


It was fine and hot here today.  In Yamaguchi (山口) and Shimane (島根) prefectures it rained heavily in history and people had to evacuate.

Last Sunday of July.  How fast time flies!

I stayed at home all day long and cleared the things somehow.
There is a word "dan sha ri (断捨離)" meaning refuse reject leave.  And there is another word "mottainai (もったいない)" meaning it is too good to throw away.
I should throw away many things but it is very hard to do so and things are accumulated and rooms become close.  I need to do something.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


It was fine and hot in the morning and became windy and rain in the evening.

I went to my friend's house in the afternoon.  It's been about three years since we met each other last time.  During these years her life has been changed drastically.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


It was fine and hot today.
I went to take once a year physical checkup in the morning.  It took about 2 hours in total.  Results will be informed about one month later.  There were some examinations for cancer such as stomach (胃: i ), lung (肺: hai), large intestine (大腸: daicho), breast cancer(乳がん: nyu gan), and womb (子宮: shikyu).  Until last time I drank barium to take X-ray for stomach cancer check.  However this time it is examined by blood.  They say the result will be the same for 5 years.  Therefore if there is nothing special, I do not have to take the examination for the next 5 years.

I had nice dinner with close friends who went to Gokayama and Takayama two weeks ago at our favorite restaurant.  We enjoyed eating and chatting.

Friday, July 26, 2013


It was fine today.
I expected around 10:30 AM but from 8:30 AM the construction for installing the storage battery started and ended around 2 PM.
Usually I go to learn tea ceremony on Thursdays, but today the lesson was suddenly canceled due to master's illness.
I went to grocery shopping in the evening and happened to see a tea lesson friend whom I have never seen besides the tea lesson. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


It was cloudy in the morning, and became rain in the afternoon.
I went to hospital in Yokosuka in the morning, and to Fujisawa to attend an explanation meeting in the afternoon.  It's been a long time since I went to Fujisawa by train.  At the Ofuna station I changed the train.  I was surprised to see inside of Ofuna station.  It was quite different from what I have known.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Today is taisho (大暑), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was shosho (小暑) on July 7 and the next one is risshu (立秋) on August 7.  Taisho literally means big heat.  It was hot actually, and in the Kanto area it rained heavily depends on the places, but not here.

July 23 is known as fumi no hi (ふみの日), Day of Letter.  On this day commemorative stamps are issued every year.  I went to the Post Office and bought some of them.


Today is doyo no ushi no hi (土用の丑の日), a cow day in dog days.  Doyo is the 18 days before the first day of summer, autumn, winter, and spring by the old calendar, but usually we mention about summer one, that is the 18 days before the first day of autumn.  Ushi is the second of the twelve signs of the zodiac.  This year there are two doyo no ushi no hi, today and August 3.
On this day we eat unagi (鰻), eel to overcome the hot summer.  This custom started in the 18th century, the Edo (江戸) era.  We ate unagi no kabayaki (鰻のかば焼き), broiled eel for dinner. Yummy.

Monday, July 22, 2013


It was fine and hot.
Today is the election day of sangiin (参議院), the House of Councilors.  I went to vote in the morning with my father.  There are two votes:  one is for prefectural district for 146 seats and the other is for proportional representation for 96 seats.  Term is 6 years, but every 3 year half of them are elected.  In Kanagawa Prefecture there are 11 candidates for 4 seats.  Voting time is from 7 AM to 8 PM.  They start counting soon after that and almost every TV station deals with the result of the election until everything is fixed.  This year Internet campaign was introduced.

After that I went to my ex-boss's house to have a lunch party with ex-colleagues with whom I have worked until the end of March.  There were 14 people in total.  There were two new members who joined the organization in April and June.  We have enjoyed eating and chatting for 6 hours or so.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


It is fine today.
I stayed at home all day long. 
I decided to put the wardrobes for kimonos in order and now everything inside is out.  I was surprised to find my mother's brand new kimonos. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013


It was fine and hot today.
I went to Shinjuku to attend a seminar.  The lecturer started with a quiz.  There were numbers from 1 to 50 at random on the board and he told us to find from 1 to 50 in a minute.  It was rather hard for the first time.  But he gave us a hint.  And we tried the second time.  Score became better.  If you know the rules, things become easier which he wanted to teach us.
It lasted for 2 hours and 15 minutes or so.  I learned some new things.
Then I went shopping because I got a postcard.  They offered the presents depends on the amount we bought.  I got three cups with a pot.

Friday, July 19, 2013


It was hot today.
I had tea lesson in the afternoon.  Usually I go there with slacks and shirt.  But today I went there wearing beautiful summer kimono which I got from my classmate.  It was a new one, but a little bit smaller for her and she gave me.  It is good to practice tea procedure with wearing kimono.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


In the morning I went to the Yoga lesson.  In the afternoon, I went to the 10th Journalism lesson.  I went to the Yokosuka Port Market where opened on March 13 this year to report.  To my lucky I could interview the person in charge there.
In the evening I went to see my teacher of the primary school to give my book.  It's been nearly a quarter century since I saw her last.  She was my teacher for just two terms at the first grade because our family moved to Miura, but I remember many things we did together.  We enjoyed the reunion and promised to see each other again soon.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


After having good time in Gokayama and Hidatakayama, we needed to go back to the normal life. The three friends who went to the trip together started working from early in the morning as usual.
I left home around 7:30 AM to take my father to the hospital to take MRI.  After that we had lunch at a sushi restaurant.
I felt very sleepy so I took a nap after coming back home.
It was not so hot today.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Today is a national holiday called umi no hi (海の日), Marine Day.
We went to the Morning Market of Miyagawa (宮川).  I enjoyed shopping there.
We had delicious breakfast and lunch at the hotel.
After lunch we headed for Nagoya to take Shinkansen (新幹線), bu llet train by bus.  It took about three hours and a half with stopping twice.
At Nagoya we had about one hour and a half, and my friend and I went to a tea room to have a cake set.  Coffee  shops and tea rooms in Nagoya are so generous that they offered a piece of local sweets called uiro (ういろう).
If you have a chance to come to Nagoya, I recommend you to have breakfast at a coffee shop.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I am now in Hidatakayama (飛騨高山), Gifu (岐阜).
This morning we were in Gokayama, UNESCO's World Heritage place and moved here via Shijuhattaki (四十八滝), 48 waterfalls.
The weather was very changeable from heavy rain to summer sun shine.
We walked around with beautiful kimonos.
The Japanese style hotel we are staying is very nice. Rooms, amenity, dinner,hotspring, and so on.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


II came to Gokayama (五箇山), Toyama (富山) where is one of UNESCO's World Heritages. This is the invitation trip by a kimono company. It is a group trip of 40 people or so.  I participate with three friends, but most of others are strangers.
We left Shin Yokohama (新横浜) around 9:30 and arrived at Nagoya (名古屋) around 11:00 and ate hitsumabushi (ひつまぶし), very famous expensive local food in Nagoya.
Unfortunately it rained.  But because of rain the landscape of the mist over the lake was so beautiful.
We visited the Murakami (村上) house (see the picture) and saw traditional kokiriko (コキリコ) performance.
We enjoyed hot springs and came to the inn which is about 140 years old and ate delicious dinner.
At night we enjoyed the games and I was a winner.


It was another hot day.
This morning I was so shocked to see the back mountain where there were beautiful mountain lilies until yesterday, but there were almost nothing left today.  Somebody must have cut them and brought without saying anything to us.  How bad it was!
I went to Shinagawa to have a meeting in the morning, to Kimono shop in the afternoon and to a Chinese restaurant to have a summer dinner.  About 24 people got together and we enjoyed eating, drinking and chatting.

Friday, July 12, 2013


It was another hot day.  This is the 5th moshobi (猛暑日) heat wave day.  It seems to be hotter than last year.
Yamayuri (ヤマユリ), Mountain lilies are full in bloom in our back mountain and they are so beautiful.
I went to tea ceremony lesson in the afternoon. My classmate gave me a beautiful kimono because it is too small for her to wear. That is so kind of her to think of me.
It's been 2 years and 4 months since the Great East Japan Earthquake happened.  There are still many people suffering from the event.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It was another hottest day.  It's been four days that it went up to more than 35 degrees centigrade which is called moshobi (猛暑日), the heat wave day.  When I went out, I used a sunshade which I have not used for a long time.
I went to Yokosuka to shop and to attend the journalism lesson.  I ate lunch at a Hawaiian restaurant with my classmate from the journalism lesson.  It was nice to share two different dishes for one price.  At the journalism lesson we heard the comments about the articles about Sarushima (猿島) where we went to last week.  We learned the difference between a travel sketch, a column and an article and how to take a picture for the article.  We will issue the limited circulation newspaper from October twice a month.  So we need to learn many things by that time.  We will visit three different shopping arcades to write an article next week.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


It was another hottest day.  I stayed at home all day long besides dumping.  Dumping system has been changed since this year in my city.  We classified dumping into general garbage, cans and bottles, cardboard, newspapers, magazines, papers, plastics, pet bottles, incombustible to be buried, trees and grasses.  Every day we need to know what to dump. 
At the stations or other common places there are usually four different garbage boxes to be recycled:  for pet bottles, for cans, for combustible, and for incombustible.
How about in your country?


It was fine and very hot today.
I went to the beauty salon to have my hair cut in the morning.  I got a free head spa coupon on my birthday the other day so I brought that card.  It's nice to have a long birthday celebration, isn't it?
I went to my friend's Chinese restaurant for lunch and went to the Kimono Shop to find a half collar but could not find.
I went to see a Japanese movie and enjoyed it unlike the one I watched last Saturday.
I went to a small ball exercise at night. I met a person who plays karate there. I used to practice karate when I was young.  So maybe we can practice together someday.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It was fine and very hot today.  In some places it went up over 35 degrees centigrade which is called moshobi (猛暑日), heat wave day.
July 7 is known as tanabata (七夕), the Star Festival.  We decorate the bamboo trees with oblong cards written one's wishes, and paper decoration.  We may see Hikoboshi (彦星) the Altair and Orihime (織姫), the Vega which only once in a year meet across amanogawa (天の川), the Milky Way tonight.
Today I had betsugeiko (別稽古), an additional tea lesson in the afternoon.  We are requested to wear kimono when we attend these special lessons.  There were 7 pupils and we learned 4 procedures:  hanayose (花寄せ), flower arranging, chaire kazari (茶入れ飾り), decorating tea container, gozumi (後炭), after charcoal procedure, and dai kazari (台飾り), thick tea procedure with a pot on the stand.  I learned many new things today.


It was fine.
I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting, to have lunch with ex-colleague, to see a movie, and to have dinner with tennis friends at a Vietnamese restaurant. There was a surprise gift from our friend at the restaurant.  We enjoyed eating, drinking, and chatting.

Friday, July 5, 2013


It was raining this morning, but became fine in the afternoon.
I went to Ginza to have lunch at a Spanish restaurant with ex-colleagues, to see a movie which was really moving, to have dinner with friends from Peace Boat Trip. It was the 44th cruise from Dec. 25 2003  to March 31, 2004.  Therefore  it's been about 10 years since we first met. We had a very good time and promised to go to Thailand in the near future.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


It has rained until 3 PM or so. 
I went to tea lesson in the afternoon.  The way of tea has many things to learn because we use the different utensils depends on the season.  There are things only once in a year or season used.  For example, today we used the bowl which has the pictures of hoozuki (ほおずき), Chinese lantern.  It is used only this time. 
There are certain manners depends on the utensils.  During summer hiramizusashi (平水差し), the wide surface water container  is used to feel cool.  When we finish adding water in the container, we decorate the cicada made of fukusa (袱紗), silk cloth on the top of the lid.  Since I made it after 20 years or so, it took time to remember how to make it. 
Today I practiced not only tea procedure but also charcoal procedure.
After the lesson I went shopping.


I went to Yoga lesson in the morning.  There was a new instructor for me.  She said she comes every once in a month.  I started Yoga in the latter half of May and I missed first 2 lessons in June, so I have not seen her by now.  It was a nice lesson.
In the afternoon I went to the 8th journalism lesson.  Today was the first day of practice.  We went to Sarushima (猿島), a small island of Yokosuka (横須賀) and walked around and took pictures for two hours or so.  There is an assignment to write an article by next time.
In the evening I met my ex-student and had dinner and attended a seminar and had tea with many friends after that.  We had a very good time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Today is hangesho (半夏生), one of shichijuniko (七十二候), the 72 solar terms.  It is the 11th day since geshi (夏至), the summer solstice.  It is the time when the rainy season ends and last term for planting rice.  It is also the name of plant which leaves have white in the half bottom.
It was fine and hot today.
I took my father two different hospitals for examination and for monthly check up.  It took all day after all.
I started reading a very interesting book.

Monday, July 1, 2013


A new month has begun.  July is shichi gatsu (七月) in Japanese.  Its old name is fumi zuki (文月).  Fumi means letter zuki means month.  Today I got a nice letter from my ex-student.  I happened to see her last month or so and I gave her a leaflet of my book.  She said she ordered my book soon and read it at a stretch and enjoyed reading it and was inspired to study more to make a dream come true.  I was so glad to hear that. 
These days we tend to read and write through emails, and seldom use letter itself.  Because email is fast and free.  But I really like to receive letters.  When senders use the commemorative stamps, I am very glad because they care of me.  So I also use the special stamps to send letters and cards to make them happier.
Today July 1 is yamabiraki (山開き), the day of opening of Mt. Fuji (富士山) to climbers.  Mt. Fuji became the UNESCO's World Heritage recently.  I have climbed there once when I was a senior.  I recommend you to climb there once if you have a chance.