Saturday, November 30, 2013


It was fine.

The last day of November.  There is only one month left.  How fast time flies!

In Japan we enjoy exchanging new year's cards called nenga jo (年賀状) on New Year's Day.  On November 1 new year's postcards called nenga hagaki (年賀はがき) were started selling.  I usually order the Post Office to deliver them.  And today they were delivered.   If you buy them by today, you have a chance to get a present for every 50 pieces.  They will give 6 presents to 2014 people.
I was surprised to know that each post office person has a Norma of selling a certain amount of postcards. These days email greetings are so popular that less people buy new year's cards and that they are under the pressure.


It was fine.

There were 6 lessons of Marketing.  At the first class, a lecturer introduced a book.  In the first page there was a question.  "What will you do to make as much money as possible from $5 for two hours?" He used the same idea changing $5 to Yen 500.   We were given for 10 minutes to think and presented each idea.  I thought of 7 ideas.  I thought I had not been a creative person for a long time, so I am glad to find the possible ways.   Listening to other people's ideas was interesting.  Some seemed practical, possible and  to be able to earn lots of money and others were not so much. 

After training I went to Shibuya to meet someone with my classmate.  She taught me the idea of the study of characteristics judging from your own birth date.  I know some fortune telling judging of the birth date, but it seemed a little bit different. 

Friday, November 29, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving!

The fourth Thursday of November in the USA is a national holiday called Thanksgiving.  They have a big Turkey Dinner.  Usually they have 4 days weekend.  Next day is called Black Friday and so many people go shopping.  To my surprise they go shopping from very early morning such as 5 AM.  It was unbelievable for me.  For the next one month is a good time for shopping. 

In Japan there is no such holiday setting.  Nowadays we have some happy Monday system and some three day weekend but never have a holiday on Thursday to have four day weekend.

After training I went to tea lesson.  There was nobody besides me again, and I made tea for myself again.  Today I used a tall bowl called tsutsu jawan (筒茶碗), which should be dealt with different way as the regular bowl.  The name of today's sweet was koro gaki (ころ柿), dried persimmon, covered with white powder.  My master gave me some umeboshi (梅干し) sour plum which she made two years ago and other stuff. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


It was fine.  From the afternoon it started blowing strongly and became cool.  They say it will be cold until Friday.

There were 30 members at the training course when it started in August.  Today two members left the course.  One got the job, the other we are not sure why.  The purpose of this course is to obtain the abilities to be useful for working therefore getting a job is a final goal.  Therefore it is a good thing, but we feel somehow sad not to be able to finish the course together.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


It was fine and rather warm today.

I went out for lunch with 21 classmates to celebrate 5 of them whose birthday is in November.  This was the second time for me to go to that restaurant.  We ate special lunch for yen 840 last time.  This special one only applies to walk in customer.  Since we were very big group, we needed to book the space.  And we could not order this one, but ordered the regular lunch for yen 1260 with salad and coffee or tea plus.  There were two different sauce, Japanese style and demi-glace.  Last time I enjoyed Japanese one and today I tried the other.  The things I like there are its view and the idea of fried egg inside of onion ring,

I took 3 hours off to take Father to the hospital for once a month checkup. 


It was cloudy.  Now it is windy.

I went to exercise of small ball  at night after a long time. 

Today at the training we presented our strength using pyramid structure. 
I happened to sit next to a classmate who loves rabbits. She and her next person talked about how cute rabbits are and they talked about the story of a rabbit.  It reminded me of the story "Rabbit on the moon" which I told at kindergartens and schools in Florida.  When I came home, I found a present from ex-colleague.  It was sweets of chestnut.  The names of some sweets were tsuki no usagi (月のうさぎ), rabbit on the moon and there was a memo about the story.  What a coincidence!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


It was fine.

I dried futon for kotatsu again and set it finally.  Kotatsu is a Japanese typical heater and very comfortable.

I went grocery shopping.  The road was crowded because of the autumn festival of the town.

I changed some summer clothing to winter clothing.

There was senshuraku (千秋楽) of the winter sumo grand tournament today.  Yokozuna Harumafuji (横綱 日馬富士) became a champion by 14-1.  It is his 6th victory after 5 tournaments.  Congratulations!


It was fine today.

November 23 is a national holiday called kinro kansha no hi (勤労感謝の日), labor thanksgiving day.  Unfortunately it is Saturday today therefore we have a normal 2 day weekend.

I went to Shinjuku to have a birthday lunch for my ex-colleague.  I was an organizer and booked the restaurant, other colleague prepared the card and flowers which looked like a whole cake.  There came 10 adults and 2 babies.  We often get together but there were two whom I met after a long interval.  It is very nice to see them again. 

After that I went to measure my TruAge.  Last time was 23, but this time was not so good because I have had a cold for a week. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


It was fine.

November 22 is known as ii fufu no hi (いい夫婦の日), Day of good married couple.  November 22 is written as 11.22, and 11 pronounces ii and 22 pronounces fufuIi means good, and fufu means married couple.  There are some couples which get married on this day hoping to be good couples.

After coming home, I cooked and ate dinner and went to attend a meeting at the nearest hotel.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013


It was very fine.  Mt. Fuji looked very beautiful.

The third Thursday is known for the opening of Beaujolais Nouveau.  Some of my classmates went to drink, but I did not because I have tea lesson every Thursday.   There was only one at the lesson today, so I made tea and drank it by myself.  This is called jifuku (自服), self-making tea.  Since I have had a cold, my teacher gave me a bottle of yuzu jam to make yuzu tea for my cold.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


It was fine today.

On every 20th from June to December this year the admission fee of the nearby maritime museum is free.  I saw some people waiting in front of the door before opening this morning.  I went to see there after training.  There were some exhibitions I felt interesting such as the route of circumnavigation or the first long voyage.
I have circumnavigated once from Dec. 25, 2003 to March 31, 2004 by the 44th Peace Boat.  I made some friends during my trip.   I exchange emails or new year's cards with some friends, and I see other friends once in a while.  It's been almost 10 years since we first met.  There is a plan to visit Thailand with them next year.  I have some friends in Asian countries, so that if possible, I would like to visit them too if I go to Thailand.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


It was fine today.

It's been 50 years since the US president John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.  His daughter Ms. Caroline Kennedy came to Japan as a US ambassador to Japan last week and there was a ceremony to report to the Emperor today.  She went to the Imperial Palace by horse carriage.  She is very popular both in the USA and in Japan, and we expect her to be active as a bridge between the USA and Japan.


Monday, November 18, 2013


It was fine at daytime but became windy in the evening.  It was cold at night so I cooked pot dish with many different vegetables, meat, tofu, and so on.

I have had a cold since Saturday and have a running nose and feel dull too.  I put yuzu which I used to eat dinner into bathtub to have my body warm.  We usually put yuzu into the bathtub on the night of toji (冬至), the winter solstice.


It was fine.  I dried futon for kotatsu.   Kotatsu is a kind of heater.

I went grocery shopping.  At the parking lot I happened to see my student.  He said he became a father of two boys and ran a car repair shop.  I taught his older brother too and it seems he is doing fine too.  The pleasure of having been a teacher is this kind of encounter.

After coming home, I went to practice yoga and training and spent there for 3 hours.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


It was a very fine, beautiful day.

Two of my ex-colleagues and I attended the walking event "The 6th Tama-Miura Hills Trail" here in Miura.  It is about 9 km long trail starting from Misakiguchi station.   Weather was very comfortable, and the scenery was beautiful.  We enjoyed walking and talking.  We started around 10 AM and came back to the station around 16 PM.  They enjoyed shopping here and there too.

I went back home once, and went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant with my friends and had a very good time.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


It was fine in the morning, but started slightly raining at lunch time. 
I went out for lunch with my 8 classmates at an Italian restaurant.  It is very small about 15 seats or so.  We enjoyed delicious lunch at yen 1,050.

November 15 is known as shichi go san (七五三).  Children at the age of seven (for girls), five (for boys), and three (for both) go to shrines or temples with family by wearing beautiful kimono or suits to wish their healthy growth and happiness.
Since they usually wear kimono on this day, they say today is day of kimono which was established in 1966.  I like kimono but I did not know about this and happened to find it on today's daily calendar.

After training I went to kimono shop with my friends and enjoyed special event of eating delicious dishes from Kyushu area and trying to wear beautiful kimono.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It was fine today.
On Thursday I go to learn tea ceremony.  From today we started using ro (炉), hearth set in the tatami mat floor instead of furo (風炉), brazier on the tatami mat floor.  It's been quite a long time since I practiced with ro last time.  But my body remembered how to do.  The sweet was my favorite, inoko mochi (亥の子餅), wild boar cub rice cake.  It is made of chestnut & red bean paste covered with rice cake with sesame.  Rice cake with sesame looks like cub of wild boar.  Wild boars have many cubs.  Therefore this sweet was made with the wish of having babies, which means happiness and prosperity.  They had been eaten on the day of wild boar in November.  Today is not a day of wild boar but as a sweet of November inoko mochi is offered at tea ceremony. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It was very fine and beautiful but very cold today.  I saw the beautiful Mt. Fuji this morning.

I went out for lunch with classmates.  We went to a fancy Japanese style restaurant nearby where I pass in front every day and have been interested in going someday.  I thought it was too expensive to enter, but they have reasonable lunch menu too.   There were rooms for table & chair, but they ushered us to a Japanese style room with a low table.  The rooms were different from what I have imagined from outside.

After training I dropped at Yokosuka to do something and bought sweets called taiyaki (鯛焼き) which is fish-shaped pancake stuffed with bean jam because it looked different from the one I have known.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


It was very cold today, coldest day this year.

In Japan we write the date like the title, 2013.11.12, year, month, and day.  But in the United States they write month, day, year.  So today is 11.12.13.  There is a chance to see the number 9:10, 11.12.13 there.

Talking of time, when I was in the USA, I tried to witness the time change which happens twice a year.
There is no summer time system in Japan, therefore it was very interesting for me to see the same time at one hour later or skip the hour.  At first I missed it because I watched the CNN.  Next time I saw the local program on TV, and took pictures of time coming back.  They say if you have a radio clock or watch with needles, they start rotating very quickly to adjust the time. I wish to witness such a moment. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


It was very cold today.  In the afternoon it rained.  In some places it even snowed for the first time this year.  In Tokyo it blew the first cold blast called kogarashi ichigo (木枯らし一号), which was 7 days earlier than last year.

Tonight I went to practice small ball exercise after a long interval. 


There was a rather big earthquake this morning.

It was windy in the morning, and rainy in the afternoon.

Finally the new sofa & table for living room and table & chairs for dining room were delivered.  I had been looking for them for a long time, and chose them in July and ordered in August.  They are order made goods, it took while to complete.  Today is taian (大安), which is a good day for everything, so I decided to be delivered them today.
When I send someone wedding gift or something, I try to deliver it on taian.  There are many wedding ceremonies on taian.  This is one of the typical Japanese customs.

In the afternoon I went to attend the lecture by a doctor.  Then I went to grocery shopping.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


It was cloudy and cool.

I went to Yokohama to have my pictures of wearing kimono taken.  They should have been taken two weeks ago.  But it rained on that day and cold not have taken outside.
Today I wore the dark blue plain kimono with my family crest on the back.  First I used the flower embroidered sash, then changed to the reversible sash and took three different types of pictures.

After that I went to attend a meeting in the afternoon.  Many people were surprised to see myself wearing kimono, and some of them did not notice at first.  There I met somebody who has opened the business recently, therefore I visited her office after the meeting.  It is close from the place I go training every day.

On my way back home I happened to see the exhibition of 10 research centers in Kanagawa prefecture.  I did know the existence of these research centers.

Friday, November 8, 2013


It was fine and very warm in spite of November.

At lunch time eight of us went out for lunch.  We were going to eat oyster first but someone found out the menu of the restaurant was not delicious enough to go together.  Second we decided to go to Italian restaurant, but it was very small and when we left the classroom it was already full and we could not go.  Third we visited the coffee shops, but when we saw the dish,  they were so small and we decided to go to other place.  Forth we visited the same restaurant as last Friday, but it was already full and could not enter.  Finally we went to the Chinese restaurant where we went to the other day.  It is a very famous chef's restaurant.  We happened to see him working today.  The menu was somehow different from the one we visited last time.  So I ordered the different menu.  Last time I enjoyed shrimp chili sauce.  This time I chose chicken with cashew nuts.

We are looking forward to going out next time.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


It was rainy but became fine.  At night I saw the very beautiful crescent moon which is mikazuki (三日月) in Japanese.

Today is ritto (立冬), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms.  The last one was soko (霜降) on October 23 and the next one is shosetsu (小雪) on November 22.  Ritto literally means stand winter.  It is the first day of winter.

There was tea lesson today.  November is the new year for the tea world.  We start using the new tea of the year which is called kuchi kiri (口切), opening the new jar of tea leaves. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It's been getting cooler and cooler. 

Today another new lesson started and we made self-introduction again.

At lunch time I had an appointment with my friend and ate lunch at an Italian restaurant where we can have appetizer by self service.  She knows many good restaurants around my school area, so we promised to have lunch as often as possible while I go training and talk about our future plans.

After school, I went to Kawasaki to have dinner at a French restaurant.  I have been interested in Galette since last year but never had a chance to try.  Finally tonight I could eat it.

Today I saw the news saying Zuwaigani (Snow crab) season has opened.  Female crabs will be caught by January and males by March.  I love crabs.  Izumo is one of the places where crabs are famous.  I wish I knew about the date before going.  How I wish could go there during the season!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


It was fine but cool.

From this afternoon a new lesson by a new teacher started.  We introduced ourselves again.  It's been already three months since our training started.  We have done self introductions twice before, but there were something new that I learned about classmates today.  At the end of January the training course will be over, so we need to find something.

After coming back, I went to grocery shopping.

Monday, November 4, 2013


It was a cool rainy day.

It was a transferred holiday.

I went to Shibuya to attend en event organized by my teacher who had worked at UNIDO for 26 years.  It started at 12 PM and lasted till 4 PM. The theme was "The Era to Make Your Dreams Come True."  There were some speakers.  The first speaker said "To make your dreams, to think, to say, and to do are important." The next group introduced "Laughter Yoga."  I have never heard that before.  To laugh is very good for yourself.  Even if it is not from your heart, it is still good. The third one introduced how to move "To sit, to stand, and to stand up."  To practice these actions in a certain way every day makes you keep healthy. After the break my teacher gave a lecture.  He is a specialist of African matter.  He told us what we can learn from Africa and the need of international organization in which Japan leads.

I was surprised to see my acquaintance there and asked the reason he attended.  He said he met my teacher at my first book publishing party last year and became Facebook friends and knew today's event.  Here I felt I became a bridge.


November 3 is a national holiday called Bunka no hi (文化の日), Culture Day.   It fell on Sunday, so tomorrow will be transferred holiday.

It usually became fine but it was cloudy today.

I went to Yoga lesson after lunch.  It's been a while since I went to last time.  After that I have exercised for a few hours using training machines.

There I happened to see my student after a long time.  She said she became a mother of four children.  There was Children's event at the venue and she was there at the reception.  There was chorus of a very famous children's group Kamome gasshodan (カゴメ合唱団).  Their songs were used in the TV drama this year and their CDs were sold well.  I could listen to their live songs by chance.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


It was cool and rainy today.

I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting.  After that I checked my TruAge.  It was 24 last Saturday, and it was 23 today.
Then I went to find a restaurant for my friend's birthday lunch near future. 
I bought two text books for the training which starts next week.


A new month has started.  November is juichi gatsu (十一月), its old name is shimo tsuki (霜月) in Japanese.  Shimo tsuki literally means frost month.  There are two national holidays this month, November 3 and November 23.  The former becomes three day weekend.

It was fine today.
I went out for lunch at a fancy restaurant with 12 classmates.  We sat separately, four and nine.  It costs a lot if you eat dinner there, but they offer very reasonable lunch menu.  We enjoyed very much.  There was a street market near the restaurant, and we enjoyed there too.