Sunday, September 29, 2013


It was a nice weather.
I went to Totsuka (戸塚) to take TOEIC.  It's been quite a long time since I took it last time.  It is two hours English test consisting of two parts, listening and reading. 

After that I went to a bookstore in Yokohama.  But unfortunately I could not find the textbooks here again.  Then I watched a movie "Kaze tachinu (風立ちぬ)."  It is an animation film directed by Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎駿).  I seldom see animation films at the theater, but this will be the last long film for him to direct, therefore I went to see it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


It was a nice autumn day, though I was staying at home during the day time.

Today was the last day of the NHK morning drama titled "あまちゃん: ama chan."  It was broadcast twice a day from 8:00 to 8:15 and 12:45 to 13:00.  It started in April.  Though I could not watch while I was traveling abroad in April to May, but other times I have watched the drama almost every day and enjoyed it very much.  There were some famous reaction words "JJJ" when you are surprised.  The more you are surprised, the more J is said like JJJJJJ.  The songs sung in the drama became hit songs.  The locations of drama were both Iwate where was attacked by tsunami on March 11, 2011 and Tokyo.  I believe this drama encouraged many people in Tohoku area.

At night I had a meeting at the nearby hotel and I met some friends there. 


It was fine but rather cool today. 
After the training I went to buy text books for the next month, but unfortunately there was only one of three.  So I need to find other two. 
After coming home, I cooked dinner and eat it soon and then went to attend a  lecture of the history of my city.  The aim of going there was to see the lecturer.  I have seen him before twice.  His talk was very interesting.  He published a book before but it is already out of print. So I wanted to have the book directly from him.  And I did it.

Friday, September 27, 2013


It was a rainy day.
Today was the second day of Public Speaking in English at the business English training.  There were 26 participants and I made a speech regarding my hobbies as the last speaker again.  There were some very impressive speeches and I knew many aspects of my classmates again.
After the training, I went to learn tea ceremony.  Today's sweets was budo daifuku (ぶどう大福), rice cake with white sweet bean paste and grape.  Daifuku literally means big fortune or great luck, and usually it is made from the sweet filling of red bean paste.  Budo is grape, so it was included a piece of grape inside.  Usually there is the one with strawberry called ichigo daifuku (いちご大福) in spring, but I have never had budo daifuku before.  It was rather delicious than I thought, but since I usually don't eat the skin of grapes, I wished if it was peeled off.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


It was a rainy day.
There was no training today, but I was very busy. 
In the morning there were two visitors.  One was from a car insurance company and I renewed the car insurance.  I was surprised to hear the amount which was nearly yen 20,000 up after their merging with other company.  The other was from a life insurance company to claim for insurance for my father's hospitalization .
Then I went to the post office, banks, and shopping.  When I went out from the car parking area, it was not raining, so I didn't bring an umbrella and went to the bank first. When I came out from the bank, it started raining, and I got soaked...... 
After coming back home, I cooked lunch and ate it.  Then Father and I went to post office again and to hospital for once a month check up and the pharmacy to get medicine for Father.
There were two places I wanted to visit tonight, but everything took longer than I expected, and I had to give up going.


It was rather cool this morning.  Many people were wearing long sleeves shirts today.  The time of sunset seems getting earlier.

At the training course we had 5 minutes Public Speaking.  There were 25 participants today.  I made a speech of my JOI (Japan Outreach Initiative) program experiences from August 2006 to July 2008 as the last speaker.  Some people chose the topic from the given themes, and others chose from the free topic.  And mine was from the free topic.  Some were longer than 5 minutes and others were shorter.  I could learn many aspects of my classmates today.  We will have another speeches on Thursday.  So I am looking forward to learning more about them.

After coming back home, I prepared dinner for my Father and went to dentist.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


It is a national holiday called shubun no hi (秋分の日), today.  Shubun literally means autumn divide.  It is autumn equinox day.  It is one of the nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was hakuro (白露) on September 7, and the next one is kanro (寒露) on October 8.  Shubun is the day the length of day and night are equal.

It was cloudy and partially rain. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013


This morning I went to have breakfast at a coffee shop with my cousin.  It seems to have breakfast at a coffee shop is quite popular in this region and the place became full soon after we arrived there.  We ordered hot sandwich set and ogura an (小倉あん, sweet beans paste) toast set and shared.  

Then we had a third year memorial service of my cousin and 50 year memorial service of my grandfather whom I have never met.
After the ceremony we had lunch together at a restaurant and came back to my aunt's house.
Then I visited my ancestor's graveyard where I have not been to for a long time with my cousins.

After that we enjoyed chatting at my aunt's house.

I left there after 5 PM and my cousin took me to Okazaki (岡崎) station.  I took a local train to Toyohashi (豊橋) and now I am on the Shinkansen Hikari (bullet train, 新幹線ひかり号) to Shin Yokohama (新横浜).

I think I will be home by 9:30 PM.


It was fine and very hot today.

This morning I visit my mother's grave yard with my Father.  This is a typical Japanese custom to visit ancestor's grave yard during the equinox week.

Then I went shopping to the fish market to buy some tuna goods for souvenirs.

I was going to leave around noon, but there were something to do and I left about two hours later than schedule.

Since today is the fist day of three day weekend, there were many people on the way to Shin Yokohama.  I was worried if I could take a sheet on Shinkansen but I could.  I took on Kodama from Shin Yokohama to Toyohashi and changed to the local trains to Okazaki.  There my cousin came to see me as usual.  We
went out for dinner and then to coffee shop though we didn't have coffee.
Aichi is very famous for its reasonable gorgeous morning set, therefore I am very looking forward to that tomorrow.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


It was another fine day.  It was cool in the morning, but very hot in the afternoon.
Today is the first day of autumn equinoctial week, and we call it as higan iri (彼岸入り).  There is a saying "Atsusa samusa mo higan made (暑さ寒さも彼岸まで)" meaning "Summer heat nor winter cold does not last after equinox."

In the morning at the training we practiced public speaking in English.  There was a scenario but it was OK to arrange.  Many people tried to arrange.  It was fun to listen to their speech.   Unfortunately I had to leave earlier and could not listen to everyone's presentation.

There was a meeting at home and after that I took my father to hospital.

Friday, September 20, 2013


It was another beautiful autumn day.  It was fine and clear, slightly windy, and a bit cool in the morning and evening but still hot in the daytime.

Tonight is jyugoya (十五夜), the 15th night.  It is August 15 in the old calendar.  And the moon of this day is especially called as chushu no meigetsu (中秋の名月), harvest moon of mid autumn.  It is rare that the full moon ( 満月: mangetsu) falls on this day, jyugoya.  Today is full moon, and we can see the beautiful full moon.  Next time will be 8 years later in 2021.  So I feel lucky I could see and take pictures of the full moon tonight.

After the training I went to the tea lesson.  Today's sweet was tsukimi manju (月見まんじゅう) moon-viewing dumpling. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It was another nice autumn day.  The air was clean and clear and cool.  The sky was blue.  Tomorrow is jyugoya (十五夜), the 15th night.  We can expect the beautiful full moon.

There was a news about Linear Motor Car tonight.  In 14 years from now the linear motor car will run between Shinagawa (品川) and Nagoya (名古屋) at the speed of 500 km per hour.  So it will take only 40 minutes between the two cities.  Now it takes about one hour and 34 minutes by Shinkansen Nozomi (新幹線のぞみ), bullet train and costs yen 10,070.  It will be only yen 700 plus.  There are 286 km between the cities and 246 km will be in the tunnel of 40 meters deep.  There will be 4 stations in between, but it seems there will be no ticket vending machines.  They say they will use e-ticket or something.

In 7 years there will be the Tokyo Olympic 2020, and in 14 years there will be new transportation systems.  We can expect the booming economy and many job opportunities.  Don't you think so?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


After the big typhoon No. 18, it was a very beautiful autumn day.  It was rather cool.

After coming home, I went to dentist. 

At night I watched many TV programs while cooking, eating, and taking a bath.  (Yes, we have a TV set in the bathroom!)  I was surprised to know that a 12 years old Pakistani girl has learned so many things through free Internet college courses.  Whenever you are, if you have an Internet access, you can learn many things.  Even if you are a primary school student, you can learn the college level or even higher level.  Isn't that amazing? Some people even got new jobs after finishing free online courses. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


Today is a national holiday called keiro no hi (敬老の日), Respect-for-the-Aged Day.  Therefore we had a three day weekend.  It used to be on September 15, but to have a long weekend the Happy Monday System was introduced and it has been fallen on the third Monday of September since 2003.
In Japan it is said one fourth of the population is aged people of older than 65 years.  There are 31,860,000 aged people and male are 13,690,000 and female are 18,180,000 people.  In 2035 it is said one third will be aged people.

Today the typhoon No. 18 hit many areas of Japan.  In some places there were big damages left.  In my place very strong wind arose and it rained heavily but there is not any serious damage left.
In the evening I could see the beautiful sunset near the Mt. Fuji after the typhoon left.


It was a strange weather today.  Since the typhoon No. 18 is coming, it sometimes rained heavily.  But other time, it was very fine and hot.
Someone from the electric company came to fix the ceiling light which I bought the other day.  It took very short time to do it.  He was very kind enough to bring back the old light set with him, if not I had to ask the city by paying somehow.
Since I parked and left my car at the station, I went to pick it up and went grocery shopping while it was fine.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013


It was rainy in the morning but it did not rain in Tokyo.
I went to Shinjuku (新宿) to attend a monthly meeting.  Then I went to see a movie "White House Down."  After that I went to measure my true age.  Today it was rather older than usual but I know the reason.  Yesterday I had a party and came home late and sleep less hours.
At night I had another party at Ebisu (恵比寿).  There were seven of us got together.  The restaurant was rather new.  We ate a lot and drank a lot but it was rather cheap.  We had a good time.

Friday, September 13, 2013


It was fine.

After the training, there was the first party among classmates.  There are 30 classmates and most of them attended.
There were three tables and we changed seats at the middle of the party.  
After the first party I needed to visit one place and then returned to the second party.  More than half of the participants remained and enjoyed talking and drinking.
I could know about many new information about classmates.
We really had a good time.


It was fine and very hot again today.

After 6 hours' English training I went to tea lesson.  There was a pupil there and I made tea for her and myself.  The name of the sweets was rabbit on the moon.  The name of the tea container was the moon.  September is good time to see the Moon and next Thursday falls on so-called jyugoya (十五夜), literally the 15th night,  the Mid-Autumn Festival when we enjoy viewing the full moon.  Japanese people thought there were rabbits pounding rice on the moon.  We decorate sweet dumplings (月見だんご: tsukimi dango) and silver grasses (すすき: susuki) on this day.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


It's been two years and a half since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami occurred.  And it's been 12 years since the 9.11 happened.
How has your life been changed since then?

It was a rainy day today.

After the training I visited a shrine in Kannai (関内).  This was the first time for me to visit there.  Last Sunday when I had dinner with my friends, someone mentioned about the shrine and it is not so far from the place I study, therefore I decided to visit there.  Then I walked to Koganecho (黄金町) station. 
One of the things which changed my life since those events was I try to wear flat shoes, walk, and use stairs whenever I can. 
Many people had to walk home on the day of March 11.  I was working in Shinjuku (新宿), and it was too far for me to walk home.  Therefore I stayed at the office all day long.
We need to train our body by ourselves.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The air became cooler in the morning and evening but it is still hot in the daytime.

After classes I went to buy a ceiling light.  There were two types of them, one is fluorescent and the other is LED.  LED will last for 10 years or so, and when it is broken we need to change everything.   I chose the latter.  At first they offered the construction date later than Sep. 17.  In that case I had to wait until Sep. 28.  So I asked if there is any possibility before that.  They suggested if I would bring back the ceiling light itself, Sep. 15 would be available.  Therefore I decided to bring it back with me.  Since it was rather big, it was inconvenient to have it on the train.  But waiting for nearly 20 days without having lights was dangerous, so I brought back.

Monday, September 9, 2013


September 9 is known as choyo no sekku (重陽の節句), Double Ninth Festival.  It is also called kiku no sekku (菊の節句), Chrysanthemum Festival.  It is one of the five festivals in a year.  But we do not do anything special.

It seems the air became cooler at night.


The venue of the 2020 Olympics was decided to be in Tokyo.  It will be 56 years since the Tokyo Olympic was held last time.  Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo have been trying to be the venue until now, and finally Tokyo won today. 
I started going to see Olympics when I was in Seville, Spain in 1992.  At that time there was Barcelona Olympic.  When I was watching the opening ceremony on TV, I was moved so much and decided to go to see the event because I was in the same country.  Since that time my passion to Olympic started.  I have been to Atlanta in 1996 when I was studying in Washington States, Nagano in 1998, Sydney 2000, Salt Lake in 2002, and Athene in 2004.   Because Athene is the original place, I decided not to visit any more.  But now the venue will be in Tokyo.   Therefore I would like to see some events in 2020.
If possible, I would like to do something to be a bridge between Japan and other countries at the 2020 Olympics.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Today is hakuro (白露), one of nijushisekki (二十四節気) the 24 solar terms.  The last one was shosho (処暑) on August 23, and the next one will be shubun (秋分) on September 23.  Hakuro literally means white dew.  It is the time of early autumn when white dew falls on the grass of the field.
I went to the beauty salon to have my hair cut, then to visit Kimono shop to check my summer kimono and coat, then to see a musical titled "Happa no Freddie inochi no tabi (葉っぱのフレディ いのちの旅)", Freddie the Leaf which I have wanted to see for a long time at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama
After that I went to see fireworks festival of Yokohama Sparkling Twilight 2013 at the Yamashita Park.  The finale was very impressive.
Then I went out for dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant where I happened to see friends.


There happened an unreasonable thing this morning.  I can not understand why it happened.  If it applies to everyone equally, I will accept, but under the same circumstances, the result was different. Therefore I hope to investigate and ask people in charge the reasons near future.

After coming back home, I went to dentist.  It's been a week since I had my wisdom tooth taken out.  I still have a pain there.  I hope to get better.

There are many things to think about these days.....  That is a human life, I guess.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Early in the morning around 5:30 AM it thundered and started raining very heavily.  Many trains stopped because of the blackout caused by the thunderstorm.  So when the training began, there were only two thirds of attendance.  It rained heavily but stopped raining by the time we left in the afternoon.

After coming back home, I went to tea lesson after a 5-week summer vacation.  Today's decoration at the alcove was a fan which our 89 years old master received after climbing Mt. Fuji in July this year.  They say only completed climbers who are over 80 years are given that fan and he has some of them.  It is a white fan edged with gold and there are some letters written in gold which we could not read. 
I have climbed there once when I was 22 years old.  But once was enough for me.  It was very tough for me even in my 20's.  Therefore  I wonder why they can climb there so many times.  It is amazing.


Last night it rained but it was fine in the morning.
It seemed there happened an earthquake while I was on the train this morning, and some of them stopped for a while.
When I got to the building, it started raining heavily.  It lasted for a while, but not so long.
In Tochigi Prefecture there happened a tornado in the afternoon.   Yesterday or the day before yesterday it also happened in Saitama and Chiba and caused a big damage.
This summer climate was really strange.

In today's newspaper I read an interesting article.  There is a man who is 70 years old but he has been trying to climb Mt. Fuji for 1,600 times.  He has already climbed for 1,500 times by August 3.  At the end of August he climbed for 100 times this summer.  He will complete 1,600 times in total and 200 times in a year for 6 years straight in October.  The baseball player Ichiro's 200 hits in a year inspired him to climb Mt. Fuji for 200 times a year.  For the past ten years he has climbed it twice a day for 75 days straight.  His dream is to complete climbing the seven highest mountains in the world and there is only one (Mt. Everest 8,848 meters high) left.  Amazing man, isn't he?  I hope he will make his dreams come true.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


It was another hot day.
The building I go to study is faced at the sea and I could see some fish jumping here and there from the window besides the stairs.  Today I saw many jellyfish near the building.   Sometimes I saw many of them, but other times I saw few of them.  At summer time around so-called obon we were often said people start getting stung by them when they swim.  I do not know their disposition but I am wondering when it is warm they come to the shore or not.
Jellyfish is kurage (くらげ) in Japanese.  In aquariums they are very popular as healing lives. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I was off today.
In the morning I cleared the books into a carton box.  I happened to find a notebook in which I wrote the impressive sentences from the books that I had read.  The date was 10 years ago.  I think the writing is a future gift for myself.  I have written diary for many years, and it's been more than 12 years since I started using a 10-year diary.  It is interesting because I know what I did last year or the year before last on the same day.  I recommend you to use it.
In the afternoon I went to bank to withdraw money and pay the 2nd citizen tax.  After leaving job, we have to pay the citizen taxes according to the income of the previous year.  We have to pay it every three month.
At night I went to practice the small ball exercise.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


A new month has started.  September is kugatsu (九月), and its old name is nagatsuki (長月) in Japanese.
September 1 is nihyakutoka (二百十日), 210 days since the first day of spring when we have many typhoons, and bosai no hi (防災の日), Disaster Prevention Day.  It's been 90 years since the Great Kanto Earthquake happened.  At schools we used to practice to evacuate on this day.  Today is Sunday, so maybe tomorrow they will practice.

At many theaters the first day of the month is a movie service day.  The regular price is yen 1,800 but on this day we can watch a movie at yen 1,000.  I went to Yurakucho (有楽町) to see two movies.  One is a Japanese movie titled "Natsu no owari (夏の終り)" meaning the end of summer which was released yesterday.  There were so many people there.  It is based on the story of Ms. Setouchi Jakucho (瀬戸内寂聴) who became a priest at the age of 51.  She is now 91 years old.  This year is the 40th anniversary for her to enter the Buddhist priesthood.  Next month I will go to her lecture therefore I decided to see that movie.  It was a heavy movie because of the complicated eternal triangle.
The other movie is World War Z.  I watched the 3D version.  Mr. Brad Pitt is my favorite movie star therefore I went to see it.  It was something different from my imagination.  When we watch 3D version, we need to pay extra charge and 3D glass fee.

In between the movies I went to my favorite bookstore and bought some books.  The reason I like there is its book cover.  The design of the book cover is flower based one.  They gave me a small present because I bought more than yen 4,000.  This was an unexpected present.  Yesterday I expected to get a DVD but I could not.  Today I did not expect anything and I got something.  I am glad to get it.