Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014.12.31

New Year's Eve is omisoka (大晦日) in Japanese.
It is a day for osoji (大掃除), general cleaning and toshikoshi soba (年越しそば), year passing noodle.

UsuallyI watch some TV programs but this year there are something wrong with antenna and I cannot watch TV.
So it is somehow different.

How was your 2014?
I think mine was good to get a new job, to have attended many events, and traveled a lot.

I wish you a happy new year 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014.12.30

しIt was fine.

Last night I made new year's cards. This year I bought a new PC, therefore I had to input all the addresses from scratch.
It took more hours than I expected. While doing that I enjoyed reading past year's new years' cards. Some are only connected with this once a year greeting but I enjoy the relationship very much.
I used to send many Christmas cards abroad, but this year I sent only limited members and sent e-mail with Christmas letter instead.
I still send many new year's cards. 
The postage was raised this year and to send abroad you need to add 18 yen stamps.  Japan Post issued two different designs, one is sushi, and the other is tempura, both are very popular Japanese dishes.
I hope my Japanese friends abroad will enjoy the stamps though they won't arrive on New Year's Day.

Today there was the last year-end party with high school classmates. Ten out of 45 got together.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014.12.29

It was a cold rainy day.

There has been something wrong with the antenna, and we can not watch TV since yesterday. I called the sales office but they said it would be impossible for them to come to check it within this year and the earliest possibility is January 2.  What is worse, even if they can come to check, it does not mean they can fix soon.  I felt shocked because I am too used to the life with TV. I usually get news, weather forecast from TV, and I enjoy watching some dramas and movies.  At this time of the year there are many special programs.
When I did not have TV when I was un dergraduate student, I did not care about it at all.
But now there are five TVs at home, but I cannot see them. This is a bit stressful.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014.12.28

It was fine.

The last Sunday of this year. 

I have cleaned outside and inside my house but have not done upstairs, water places, and windows.

I went to banks and grocery shopping's.  I bought many new year goods including foods, decorations, and flowers.

There is something wrong with antenna, and we cannot watch TV.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014.12. 27

It was fine but very cold.

I stayed at home all day long.
There were many things to do but I did only a few of them.

There was an interesting article in today's newspaper.
The actor and actress who were husband and wife in the NHK's morning drama will get married on January 1, 2015.

  

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014.12.26

It was fine.

I went to Yokosuka to visit four banks. Everywhere there were many people waiting, which makes me feel the end of the year.

Then I went to a museum in Tokyo to see an exhibit of Millet. There were so many people again.

There was a memorial light up at the Tokyo station, which has been open for 100 years. There were so many people again.

Then I went to an Italian restaurant and enjoyed a course dinner for six dishes with different wine.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014.12.25

I came back to Shinjuku at 7:30 AM this morning.

I went to see a Japanese movie "Vancouver no Asahi (バンクーバーの朝日)" at Shibuya.  It is a story of Japanese Canadian baseball team.  I knew somehow about Japanese Americans, but I did not know much about Japanese Canadians.  Living in the foreign countries must have been tough.

Then I went to have crab lunch with a friend in Yokohama and went to pick up kimonos.
After coming back home, I went out for Christmas Dinner at my friend's sister's French restaurant.  Every year I eat Christmas Dinner with my high school friends there.  This year three of us got together.  We exchanged gifts and enjoyed eating and talking. This is my annual event.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014.12.24

Merry Christmas!

It was fine in the morning but became cloudy in the afternoon.

The second day of Pilgrimage of Shikoku 88 temples.
I started from No. 6 Anrakuji temple. The previlege of the staying guest is to be escorted inside the main buildings and able to touch the statues of the Buddha and Kobodaishi. A priest explained many parts of the temple.
From No. 6 to No. 9 was OK but the stairs of No. 10 were rather hard. From 10 to 11 were very far, more than 9km, and it took more than two hours.
Besides these I visited some other temples and shrines. At some places I got warm welcomes called o settai(お接待). Some were sweets or fruit and others were handmade gifts.

After coming back to Tokushima, there were some time so I ate dinner and took a hot spring bath at the hotel near the station. When I got on an elevator at 20:20, the notice said for visitors it is open till 20:00, so I was worried but the receptionist let me in saying because it is Christmas today.
So this became the best Christmas present for me.

I walked more than 47,000 steps today and got very tired.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014.12.23

It is a national holiday called Tenno tanjobi (天皇誕生日), Emperor's birthday. He became 81years old.

I arrived at Tokushima around 6:30 and took a train to Bando. I walked to the first temple Ryozenji (霊山寺). It was easy because there was a green line guided from the station to the temple. There I bought a special stamp book for 1200th year anniversary.

In total I visited five temples and some shrines nearby.

I brought a lighter for the candle and scent but it was broken.

At the 4th temple I happened to have a chance to attend a lecture by a priest from 3 pm. If I arrived there much earlier, I could have seen the special fire ceremony too.

From the 5th to 6th there were more than 5 km. I am staying at the 6th temple where I booked because it has hot spring. But unfortunately there are only three guests today, and they did not offer us hot spring which was really disappiinted.

After all I walked about 32,000 steps today. I am glad it was fine today.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014. 12. 22

It was fine.
Mt. Fuji looked so beautiful.

Today is toji (冬至), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季) the 24 solar terms. Toji literally means winter reach.  It is the day when the daytime is the shortest in a year.  There are customs to take yuzuyu (柚子湯), bath with yuzu and eat pumpkins. After midnight I took a yuzu bath and ate pumpkin for lunch.

Today was the last working day this year.  And there were many things to be finished.

After work I came to Shinjuku to get on a night bus bound for Tokushima, Shikoku.  There are three buses. It will take about 13 hours or so.  I left Shinjuku at 21:25.
I go to the pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku. This is the 1200th year of this  pilgrimage therefore I decided go within this year.
I am not sure how many days it will take, but this time I hope to visit the first 10 temples or so in two days.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014.12.20

It was a cold rainy day.

I went to Shinjuku to attend a seminar.
After that I went shopping, visited the Art Mart in Azabujuban because my colleague's husband exhibits his two works.
After that I visited  a shrine. Then I went to the pilot store of Tokushima prefecture in Yurakucho to gather information for
 pilgrim for 88 temples which I start next week.

Friday, December 19, 2014

2014.12.19

It was fine but very cold.
Mt. Fuji looked so beautiful.

Since I took a day off yesterday I was rather busy today and overworked till 21:40 or so.

At lunch time we had a potlack party. Eight of us attended and enjoyed eating and chatting.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014.12.18

It was fine but very cold.
Mt. Fuji looked so  beautiful today.

I took a day off to take my father for monthly check up, then had lunch and came home.

I attended one day seminer in Yokohama in the afternoon which lasted for about five hours.  
It was interesting.

The lecturer said the differences between successful person and unsuccessful person is the variety of  choices.
The more you beome rich, the more choices  you have .

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014.12.17

It was a cold windy day.

I took a half day off to go to hospital to hear the results of examinations my father took last week. There were not much differences from the last time.  Next examination will be in June next year.

After that I went to beauty shop to have my hair cut.

Hospital in Japanese is byoin (病院) and beauty shop in Japanese is biyoin (美容院). They sound similar. Therefore it might be diffucult for foreigners to pronounce the differences.

In the afternoon I went to work, and there was TV conference at night.

2014.12.16

It was a cold rainty day.

After work I went to Shinjuju to attend a farewell & year end party of ex-colleagues.  There came 12 people in total and we enjoyed chatting, eating, and drinking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014.12.15

It was fine, but very cold. Maybe the coldest morning because frost fell and the windshield was white and it was hard to get rid of it.

Did you see the shooting stars last night?
Luckily I saw some in a short time.

This morning when I went to a convenience store at the station to buy something, I happened to find novelty candy of Keihin kyuko line which is only sold at the store in Miura. It was somehow attractive, and I bought it though I am not interested in eating. I think it would be a good souvenir for those who live outside Kanagawa, so I hope to share tomorrow at the farewell & year end party for ex-colleagues.

The news of today was almost about the result of general election yesterday.
To my surprise, Mr. Shinjiro Koizumi from my constituency gained 168,953 votes which was  the most throughout Japan. I think someday he will be a prime minister like his father.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2014.12.14

It was fine but very cold.

I went to see a Japanese movie Kami no tsuki (紙の月), Paper moon in the morning.  I have watched this by TV drama before, but it was consisted of about 8 or 10 times stories.  And a movie is about 2 hours, the details were a little bit different.

After that I went to kimono shop.

After coming back, I went to vote to the 47th General Election for the House of Representatives. My area is 11th section and there were only two candidates.  One of them, Shinjiro Koizumi (小泉進次郎) is 33 years old and very active.  He is already selected after a few hours from the closing of the vote.
This year the estimated rate for voting is about 52 % and it seems the worst record ever so far. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014.12.11

It was cloudy and rainy.
 
Tonight when I got to my station, there was a man standing in the train and we stared each other thinking we know each other.  And he started saying "Kitani sensei ?" Sensei (先生) means teacher. I said yes. Indeed he was one of the students I taught more than a quarter century ago.
I asked him his name and age and the name of his classroom teacher to make sure.  When I came back home, I checked the graduation album soon and confirmed. He looked quite different from the junior high school student  but I am glad to have recognized him.
It is one of the pleasures of having been a teacher.

2014.12.13

It was cloudy.

I went to massage in the morning. Then I visited the shrine. And I attended a monthly meeting in the afternoon. And we had a year-end party at night.

Since I had some time before party I went to a bookstore to buy many books.

2014.12.12

It was cloudy.

After work I went to Shinjuku to see a movie "Interstellar." It was
a long space related movie and lasted for about three hours. Time passes differently between the earth and space, and an interesting thing happens in the end. Since some people recommended it so I went to see it.

The year of Kanji was announced. It is zei (税), tax. The consumer tax was raised from 5% to 8% this year.
There were 167,613 entries, and tax gathered 8,679 votes. The second
 was netsu (熱), heat which indicates Ebola hemorrhagic fever by 672 differences.

They say the English word of the year was pandemic, and the next was tax increase. This is the first year they chose English word.

No.1and No.2  were reverse in Japanese and English which is interesting.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014.12.10

It was cloudy.

I took a day off to take my father to two hospitals for four examinations. We left home before 11 am and came home after 8:30 pm including lunch and dinner and grocery shopping.

There was the award ceremony of Nobel Peace Prize, and the 17 years old Pakistani girl, Miss Malala Yousafzai received the prize as the youngest ever.

In a few hours three Japanese professors will be awarded the Nobel
Prize in Physics.

Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014.12.9

It was fine but cold. These days we can see the beautiful Mt. Fuji, sunset, and the moon because of clear air.

I have arranged to have a year end party for high school classmates and sent an invitation by Facebook and email. There were 45 students when we were high school students, and I still have about two thirds contacts. One third has already replied.
People are busy at the end of the year and it is a time for family gathering, therefore I am not sure how many people would get together. But whenever I have chances, I want to attend this kind of happy events.


Monday, December 8, 2014

2014.12.8

It was fine.  In the morning I could not see Mt. Fuji from home, but could see from the office.
The sun before sunset was so beautiful.  The colors changed from light gold to orange.  The moon at night was also very beautiful. It was another cold day and the air was very clear.
There was a heavy snow in Shikoku or Sanin area yesterday.

I was surprised to notice that I had not used this PC for a long time.  I input the data for my shopping record for nearly two months. 

2014.12.7

It was fine.

I went to Yokohama to learn how to wear kimono in the morning. There were four pupils today. All of them had unusual surnames. It started at 11am and ended around 1pm.

After that I went to the Imperial Palace where I could not enter yesterday. There were so many people therefore I needed to wait for nearly for an hour but I am glad to enter today.
It was open to public for only five days for celebrating Emperor's 80th birthday. There were 84,980 visitors today and there were 349,500 people in total. I walked around for 30 minutes taking pictures.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014.12.6

It was fine.

I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting. After that I went to the Imperial Palace to see turning leaves but it was too late to enter.
So I came back home.
At night I had a dinner party with local representatives.
I was the youngest.

The moon was very beautiful.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2014.12.5

It was fine but very cold. Mt.Fuji looked very beautiful. Especially the sunset was very beautiful with orange sky. The moon was also beautiful in the clear sky.

Almost every morning I go to supermarket to buy lunch on my way to the office.
Today my colleague went there to buy lunch. She said she would bring a plastic bag to save yen 2.
I knew the system at the local supermarket but I have never used it because we need plastic bags to dump garbage almost every day.
But at the office I do not have to save plastic bags, so maybe I can practice the system.
I think this movement started some years ago. But I remember when I traveled Germany in1992, they have already introduced this system by charging for the bags to make ECO friendly world.

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014.12.4

It was cloudy and rainy, and very cold.

Japanese yen is becoming weak, and it became even yen 120 after 7 years and 4 months.
There will be many tourists from the world in the near future.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014.12.3

It was fine, but very windy and cold.
It was the coldest day of this winter. It will be colder and colder. I hear it snowed in
 some places for the first time this year.  The first snow is hatsuyuki (初雪) in Japanese.
We could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji and the sunset again.

December and January are party months. We have year-end party called bonenkai (忘年会) in December, and new-year party called shinnenkai (新年会) in January.
I have some of these parties already scheduled. And I need to organize the one of them at the end of this month and am trying to find a decent venue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014.12.2

It was fine, but windy and cold. Mt.Fuji was so beautiful covered with snow.
At sunset the clouds over the Mt. Fuji looked like fire.

Today I went to use ATM of a local bank in the morning and at night. But it was closed already at 20:30.  After checking the website of the bank, I knew the available time depends on the location. Since the bank is the local one, ATM of the Tokyo metropolitan area  is only used until18:00. But in Yokosuka, it is open until 21:00.

If my memory is correct, in Europe and USA they were 24/7 open.
I hope it will be in Japan too.

2014.12.1

A new month has started. December is jyunigatsu(十二月), its old name is shiwasu(師走), which means teachers run. Teachers become busy and always run. Not only teachers but also everyone feels busy in this month. There are many year end parties. We need to prepare to welcome a new year such as cleaning and writing new year's cards.

Today this year's new and popular word awards were published. They
are shudantekijieiken (集団的自衛権), right of collective self-defense, and dameyo dame dame (ダメよ、ダメダメ), soft way of declining.

Another big news was the death of the famous Japanese actor, Bunta
 Sugawara (菅原文太) at the age of 81. May his soul rest in peace,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014.11.30

The last stop before arriving was Ebina service area. In spite of early morning, there were many people there. I bought a famous melon bun which cost yen 270. There were some different taste, but I chose the best seller, and it was really delicious.
I came back to Shinjuku around 8:15, and went to Shinagawa to keep the baggage at coin locker.
Then I went to see a movie "Fury"at Shibuya.
I still have nearly two hours before the concert, so I went to visit the famous temples and shrine. This was the very first time for me to visit Togenukijizo(とげぬき地蔵)in Sugamo, and there were many people in two lines at the temple. So I thought it was the statue of Togenukujizo but it was not. It was a statue of Kannon. On TV we often watch this statue was being washed by many people so I misunderstood.
After that I visited the shrine which I have long wanted to visit.
Then I went to Ikebukuro to see a concert of Ludwig van Beethoven: SYMPHONY No.9 d-minor op.125 by Japan Philharmonic Orchestra because two of my colleagues participated in chorus.
This was also first time for me to see the Symphony No. 9.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2014.11.29

It rained heavily with thunder while I was sleeping.

In the morning I took a bath. Hot spring here is rather hot and salty.

After that I ate rich breakfast.

Today I visited five shrines which have very lucky names.

I visited fish markets and ate delicious female crabs and Benizuwaigami. Buying at markets and eat them are fresh and reasonable.

Now I am on the night  bus bound for Shinjuku. It will take about 13 hours.

Friday, November 28, 2014

2014.11.28

It was very fine.

I arrived at Izumo taisha shrine around 9:20 and joined the tour from 10:00. It cost yen 500 and lasted for 80 minutes. It was very nice and I want to recommend every one.
After the tour I visited many places where the tour guide recommended me.  They were all nice and I am very glad to know her.
We happened to see each other and had a nice reunion.
I took a train to Matsue, whuch was very interesting. I enjoyed chatting with the person sitting next to me.
After coming to Matsue, I came to Kaike Onsen and enjoyed the famous Matsuba gani dinner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014.11.26

It was another cold rainy day.

There were many events today.

We had luncheon for welcoming a new staff.  Twelve of us had sushi and pizza lunch.

In the afternoon a media company came to film the interviews of faculty and students.

At night there was an explanation meeting for study abroad program which started around 18:30 and ended around 20:30.  We have such meeting twice a year.  There were many Japanese students attended and they asked the former exchange students and current intrrnational students about their experiences.
I think this is a very good opportunity to know the wonderful programs.

2014.11.25

It was a very cold rainy day.

What will you buy if you have yen 500?
I had a yen 500 coupon which expires in a few days.  Therefore I decided to visit the shops on my way home.
It was so cold in the office that I decided to buy something warm. I happened to find a blanket which is also becomes a shawl.  It was just yen 500 so it was a nice choice.
I am looking forward to using it tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014.11.24

It was fine but cool.

Today was a transferred holiday but there were classes at our university and I went
 to work.
The timetables of the trains were different and I could not take the usual train. However it took shorter time than usual.
There were less people on  campus.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014.11.23

It was fine today.

Today is a national holiday called kinro kansha no hi(勤労感謝の日).

I went to Iseyamkotaijingu (伊勢山皇大神宮)in Yokohama in the morning where they were having niinamesai(新嘗祭)festival.  Since I did not know about it, I felt lucky to be there. There were many families to take their children for shichigosan (七五三)which is usually taken place on November 15.
After that I went to kimono shop again with my friend.
Then we went shopping and to attend a seminar. It started at 13:30 and ended around 20:00. We were given two books, and I asked the lecturere to give his autographs on the books.

It was a long but very fruitful day.

     

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014.11.22

It was fine.

I went to Yokohama to attend a meeting in the afternoon.

Then I went to Kimono shop with my friend.  I tried many and decided the one on the contrary to my original plan.
We are invited to dinner and enjoyed very delicious Japanese winter dishes called fugu (河豚) and shabushabu(しゃぶしゃぶ).

After that I went to Otori jinja (大鷲神社) shrine.
Today is ni no tori (二の酉),  the second day of Cock in November and there was a festival.

I am glad to have done everything I planned today.

2014.11.21

It was fine but cold.

At lunch time when I watched at TV, the House of the Representatives was dissolved. Not only I but also many people do not understand why this happened.  I feel it is a waste of time and money because it would cost about yen 80,000,000,000 to have a general election.  This is a hard-earned tax money.
With this amount of money how many people would be helped!
I think there are much more things to be done besides election.

Friday, November 21, 2014

2014.11.20

It was cloudy in the morning but started raining in the afternoon and very cold.

I took a day off to take my father to hospital for once a month checkup. He had two examinations, one treatment, and a meeting with a doctor.  It took a half day.

We had lunch together.

In the afternoon there was a meeting with people who take care of my father.

After that I went to learn tea ceremony. My male master became 90 years old, aka
 sotsuju(卒寿) early this month, and my female master will be 79 at the end of this month.

After the lesson I went to grocery shopping.

I was rather busy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2014.11.19

It was fine.

After work I went to have dinner with my friends.
It's been about three months since we had dinner together last.
One of them was going to enter the hispital a few days later when we met last time.  But she became very fine. 
And we were so glad that we could meet again and enjoy talking and eat delicious foods.

We are looking forward to seeing each other again next time.

2014.11.18

It was fine but very cold.
Sunset was very beautiful.

There was an accident at the JR Keihintohoku line and the JR Yamanote line also stopped and they were delayed for a while on my way to work.

One of the most famous Japanese actors, Ken Takakura (高倉健) passed away on November 10 at the age of 83. He acted in 205 movies.
Two years ago on this day one of the most famous Japanese actresses Mitsuko Mori (森光子)passed away at the age of 92.
And five years ago on this day another famous actor Hisaya Morishige(森繁久弥)passed away at the age of 96.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014.11.17

It was fine in the morning but rained at nght. It has been getting cooler and cooler these days.
I wanted to see shooting stars tonight, but couldn't.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014.11.16

It was fine.

I could not get up early as I wished.

I left home around 7:30 and arrived a little bit earlier than 9:30 at Ikebukuro. So I could take the express train at 9:30 and arrived at Seibu Chichibu at 10:48.
There were so many people in front of restrooms when I got off the train.

I changed the train and went to Shiraku and visited No. 30 temple first.

This is the fifth day for me to visit Chichibu and there were still six temples to visit today.

No. 30 is located at the furtherest place therefore I visited there the first.

After visiting, at the station I asked the person in charge how to visit other five temples and I was going to follow his instruction, but I took a wrong path and couldn't get the next place.

After all I visited No. 30, 27, 28, 29, 25, 26, and two shrines.
After visiting No.26, there was annex on the top of the hill about 30 minutes away which was the hardest part.

I am so glad to complete of visiting all 34 temples during this special exhibiting Buddhist images period.

I have met sisters who also participated in the bus tour yesterday.  They also completed visiting today.
It is very nice to have someone to share this happy feeling.

One more good thing today was I saw SL running. Many SL fan were taking pictures near the railway.

As dinner I ate a special dinner set for this occasion at a restaurant near the station.

I took a 18:25 train and came back home after 22:10 or so.

I walked more than 30000 steps today and feel tired.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014.11.15

It was very fine today.

I got up very early to catch 5:05 am train to get to Seibu Chichibu by 9 am. I saw many stars when I left home.

There were two destinations on the Seibu train which my friend and I got on from Ikebukuro.  Unfortunately we took the wrong car, and we had to walk to get to the meeting point at Seibu Chichibu station. Chichibu railway doesn't accept Pasmo which is a kind of prepaid card with commuting ticket. Therefore I had to pay by cash for the fare.

This was the fourth day of my Chichibu 34 temples pilgrim visiting.  From No. 31 to 34 are located far away from each other, and it is impossible for me to walk in a limited period. So I chose to take a tour to visit No.31,32, 33, and 34 by bus.
There were 85 people joined this tour, and there were two buses.
I sat in the center of the back seat of the bus No.2. There were five seats there and all were women.  Besides my friend and I, we were all strangers at first in the morning but we talked our own experiences and became friends in the afternoon.  Two of them completed visiting 34 temples today. Two others started visiting today.
The tour was very good and reasonable. It was supposed to finish around 15:20 but since today is the last Saturday before closing this special opening the door event there were so many people here and there.  We heard it took more than two hours to get a stamp called goshuin(御朱印) at the last temple No . 34.  Therefore it finished around 17:30. I wished to visit one more temple today but I could not.

No.31 has 296 steps before getting and it was rather hard , but it has a nice view.
The leaves at  No. 32 were turned to red and yellow and they were so beautiful.

There was an incredible long line at the No.34 to get the stamp as we heard  because it is the last one and it means your dreams would be granted.

I enjoyed this tour very much.

I left there at 18:00 and came home at 22:00.

I hope to finish all tomorrow.

2014.11.14

It war fine and Mt. Fuji looked beautiful.

There came a new staff today.

After work I went to a kimono shop in Yokohama. There I happened to
 see the making process of special dying way of kimono. The craftman came from Kyoto, he said it takes a few months to make one roll of kimono.
I understood why it cost a lot.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014.11.13

It was fine and we could see Mt.Fuji today.

In the night news I knew it was a day when it happened the Diamond Fuji from the Lake
 Yamanaka.  This is one of the things I would like to see and to take a picture.  Other things are the stars around the Polaris, the movement of the mid night sun, northern lights, and so
on. How wonderful the natures are!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014.11.12

It was cloudy, but the sun was shining beautifully in the afternoon. It looked white at first.  Around 5pm it was already dark.
We felt cool, but to our surprise a student from Denmark was wearing half-sleeved T-shirt.  And he said he did not feel cold yet.

There was an interesting article in the newspaper.
That is the ranking of beauties in Japan.
Women in Shimane prefecture have been ranked No.1 for their beautiful skin for three years straight. 
The climate influences the making of beautiful skin.
The less time of getting sun light, the more beautiful their skin will  be. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014.11.11

It was cloudy and cold today.

There were many interesting articles in today's newspaper regarding entertainment. 
One of them is a drama performed by two actresses. A very famous scenario writer wrote a modern drama featured by Japanese most famous female writers in Heian (平安) era, Seishonagon (清少納言) and Murasakishikibu (紫式部).  Both are regarded as rivals in their time. I seldom go to see the theater to see a play.  But if I have a chance, I hope to see the play.
The other was a movie taken for many years until a boy became a man.  I hope to see this movie too if I have a chance.
Another was forever ranking of actor and actress.  Who do you think the best actor and actress? They are Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn.  My favorite Paul Newman was ranked in as No. 5.
Who are your favorites?

Monday, November 10, 2014

2014.11.10

It was fine.

Today is ichi no tori (一の酉), the first day of the  Cock in November.  There is a festival at the Otori jinja(鷲神社) shrine. As bringer of good luck, rakes with decoration are sold.
There will be ni no tori (二の酉), the second day of Cock on November 22.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014.11.9

It was rainy.

I went to Chichibu again.  This is the third time.

It was dark when I visited No.14 and the shrine last time, so I went there again. 

I left home before 7:30 and arrived at Seibu Chichibu around 11:30.
I have visited one shrine, and No.14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.
After No.23 I got on the pilgrim circulaton bus for one stop. There were only 30 minutes left but I could go to No.24.
However it was too dark to see.
The way back to the station was dark and long.
I took a 18:00 train and came home after 21:40.
I walked more than 30000 steps today.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2014.11.8

It was cloudy and chilly.

I went to Yokohama to take my friend to a meeting,  and had lunch together.  There was another meeting in the afternoon.

After that I visited a shrine.

Then I go to massage.
After coming back, I went to grocery shopping.

It was a busy day.

Friday, November 7, 2014

2014.11.7

It was a fine beautiful day.

During daytime I met an ex-colleague for a meeting.
And at night I had a birthday gathering and I met four ex-colleagues.  I arranged the gathering at a darts bar which offers Mexican foods.  I have never been there but decided there just by the name of Mexican place I have long wanted to visit.

We really enjoyed meeting, eating, drinking, talking, and playing darts.
We did not know the rules but there were eight different games and we enjoyed a lot.

TGIF!

2014.11.6

It was cloudy and partially fine, but it also rained in the afternoon and evening.  I was lucky enough not to get wet though.  The sun set looked beautiful between the clouds.

Today is the opening of the crab season.  The names of crabs are different depends on the place.  Snow crab, (ズワイガニ: zuwai gani) is called Echizen gani (越前ガニ) in Hokuriku (北陸) and Matsuba gani (松葉ガニ) in Sanin (山陰) area.  Females are also called Kobako gani (香箱ガニ) in Ishikawa (石川) and Seiko gani (セイコガニ) in Fukui (福井).  The sizes of males and females are quite different.  Females are small but I prefer females because of eggs.


 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014.11.5

It was cloudy and rather chilly.

I expected to see the miracle moon which happened once in 171 years but unfortunately it was cloudy.....
There is only one moon, but it is interesting to be seen differently.

Human being is the same.  Every one is unique.  But depends on people they are seen differently.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014.11.4

It was fine today.
 
I went to Chichibu again.
I left home around 7:30 am, bought something at Ikebukuro, and arrived at Yokoze  around noon. I bought sweets at the shop there and asked how to walk around.
I went to No. 9 temple first. I was going to visit No.8 next but I took a wrong way, and visited No.7,6,8,5,10, 11, 12, 14 and two shrines.
After visiting No.5, I went to benefactor's house who helped me last time to say thank you. When I visited, it was time for afternoon tea, he and his colleagues were drinking tea and chatting, and he invited me for tea and offered me to take to the next place.  He is very kind always.
There are still 19 temples left.
I hope to visit all of them by November 15.

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014.11.3

November 3 is a national holiday called bunka no hi (文化の日), Culture Day.  It is one of hare no tokuibi (晴れの特異日), Fine singularity.  And indeed it became fine.  Many people had three day weekend.  I am having 6 days off.
I went to Isogo (磯子) to have lunch with people who love wearing kimono.  It was a nice restaurant.  An interesting thing was we needed to pay to get on the elevator there.  There were nearly 20 people.
After that I went to Sankeien (三渓園) with my ex-colleague.  It is a very famous garden in Yokohama (横浜).  There were many things to see there and we walked a lot.  They were having Chrysanthemum exhibition.  We have spent for 2 hours and a half and went to Sakuragicho (桜木町) to have dinner.
We enjoyed having dinner and talking a lot.
 


2014.11.2

It is windy now.  Weather was fine, cloudy, and rainy.

When I went grocery shopping, the road was very crowded, and I came home later than I expected.  Therefore I gave up going to yoga lesson today.  There were many things to do.
At night there was a once a month representative meeting.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014.11.1

A new month has started. November is jyuichigatsu(十一月), its old name is shimotsuki (霜月), frost month.
It was rainy.
I went to Shinjuku to attend once a month meeting, then had Chinese lunch with friends.
After that I went to school  to see the school festival.
Then I went back to Shinjuku to have dinner with my advisor at a newly opened crab restaurant. I have tried to book by yesterday, but I could not.  Therefore we had to wait for a long time.  It was not so good as I expected.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014.10.31

Happy Halloween!!
Have you wear the costume? I saw some people wearing them in Yokohama.  Now there are so many people wearing costume in Shibuya, which I have just seen on TV news.
 
It was cloudy today.
 
I did many things today.
First I went to learn how to tie sash of kimono in front. Usually we do in the back, but since I bought a special under-sash belt the other day, I went to learn how to use it.

Second I went to see my friend at her office.  She started a new business and now owns her own office in Yokohama.

Third I went to Yurakucho to take a medical check. It took only 20 minutes to examine for nearly 10 items.
 
Fourth I came back to Yokohama to see two movies, Hercules and Fushigi na misaki no monogatari (ふしぎな岬の物語).  I had 18 points to see movies, but this term (May to October) I only used 5 points and today was the last day of using those points.  I lost 13 points in vain. I should have used them every month for 3 points.

Friday, October 31, 2014

2014.10.30

It was a fine beautiful autumn day.
 
From today to November 4 our school is in fall recess.
 
I decided to visit 34 temples in Chichibu (秩父).  This is a very special year for these 34 temples. They show their principal Buddhist Kannon image which is usually hidden.
This happens only once in twelve years which is called gokaichi (御開帳).   This year's event is very special and it happens only once in 60 years and it is called Kinoeumadoshi sokaicho (甲午歳総開帳).
They only open from March 1 to November 18.
It is impossible to visit there all for only one day even if you use a car.  Therefore I am going to visit there for several times.

Today I left home around 8:30 AM and arrived at Seibu Chichibu station around 12:30.
I bought a stamp book called goshuincho (御朱印帳) which cost yen 1200.  At each temple we pay yen 300 to get a stamp called goshuin (御朱印).
Today I visited No. 13,15,1,2,3,4 and the Chichibu shrine.
From No. 1 to 2 it was a mountain road, and it was so hard to climb.  At No.2 I met two ladies who are sisters. They kindly offered me to take to the next place by car.  It was nearly 5 PM when I finished visiting No.4.  It was getting dark, and I asked someone who was cleaning the entrance how to get to the nearest station.  Her husband kindly offered me to take to the Yokose (横瀬) station.
With their help I could visit these 6 temples today.  I really appreciate their kindness.
I came home around 10 PM.
 
Weather was fine, and leaves were turning to red.  It was a nice hiking day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014.10.29

It was fine.  The crescent moon looked so beautiful at night.

I had chances to talk with some students today.  They are around 20 years old.  However they had many interesting stories in their lives. By experiences to live abroad made them changed a lot.

From tomorrow till November 4 we have Fall recess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014.10.28

It was fine today.

Weather forecast said it would be cold today.  Indeed it was cool but not so cold.  However in Hokkaido and other northern area it snowed for the first time this season.

It is the time for school cultural festival.  The offices will be closed from Thursday to Tuesday.  Since I have something to do, I am glad to have these days off.

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 .10.27

It was fine.

Trains were delayed for both ways, in the morning and in the evening due to different reasons.

We rearranged the office room to welcome a new member in November.  Just adding a desk and changing the direction of the cabinet made the room look very different.  Many people came to help us.  If we asked the professionals, it would cost about yen 150,000.  We saved a lot of money and enjoyed working together. 

2014.10.26

It was fine but rain later.

I arrived at Shinjuku before 6 in the morning, and came home around 8.  I went to grocery shopping in the morning, and yoga lesson in the afternoon.
And I had a dinner meeting at night.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014.10.25

It was another beautiful day.
I got up early,  took a bath and ate rich breakfast.  Before checking out I visited a shrine and a temple and two sweets shops.
Yesterday I happened to find yen 500 coupon which allows us to visit four Japanese sweets shops in the area out of nine shops.  It will cost more than yen 500 if you visit there separately and buy something there. I visited two yesterday and other two this morning. I am glad they are open from eight in the morning and that I could get four different local sweets.
Then I went to Maruoka(丸岡城: maruokajo ) castle, which is small but famous for one of the oldest donjon(天守閣: tenshukaku) still remain. And it is very famous for the shortest letter contest. There are many books issued about the award receiving works.
Then I visited Echizen (越前)bamboo dolls factory.  There are many kinds of  bamboos.  The technique of splitting the bamboo was amazing.
After that I went to Mikuni (三国) harbor to eat seafood lunch. I chose full of sweet shrimps bowl.
Then I came back to the hotel to pick my baggage.
Then I went to Kanazawa (金沢) by train to meet my friend from Expo 92.  I think it has been more than 6 years since we met each other in Zaragoza, Spain last.
We enjoyed seafood dinner, I chose female crab bowl.
I love crabs very much. 
Hokuriku (北陸) and Sanin (山陰) areas are famous for crabs. The names differ depends on the place.  For example in Fukui (福井) they call Echizengani (越前がに). But in Shimane (島根) they call Matsubagani(松葉がに).  Famale crabs are called Seikogani (セイコガニ) in Fukui (福井) but Kobakogani (香箱がに) in Ishikawa (石川).
Crab season opens on November 6 and lasts till the end of January for female and till the end of March for male crabs. Therefore I didn't expect to eat crabs this time but could eat them.  How nice it was!
Kanazawa is famous for gold works. I was surprised to see the gold flakes on the crab meat. 
We enjoyed talking and eating dinner and sweets.
Now I am on the bus bound for Tokyo.  It seems there were many people and I got on the second bus which has fewer passengers.  I feel lucky.
It was a nice trip as a whole.
 

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014.10.24

It was very fine and beautiful.
I arrived at Kanazawa(金沢) before eight and went to Awara onsen (芦原温泉)by train. There I bought a two day bus ticket which cost yen 2000.
First  I went to Eiheiji(永平寺) temple. Usually we walk around outside, but this temple was different. Everything is connected each other and we took off the shoes and walked around with slippers.
I ate local lunch there.
Next I went to Tojinbo (東尋坊)where I have wanted to visit for a long time.  The view from the boat was splendid.  The sunset was also fantastic.
I ate dinner at the restaurant owned by fish shop, and it was very delicious.
The hot spring of the hotel is also nice.
I had a good day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2014.10.23

It was a cold rainy day.

It is soko(霜降)one if nijyushisekki(二十四節季)the twenty four solar terms.  The last one was kannro(寒露)on October  8  , and the next one is ritto(立冬)on November 7.
Soko literally means frost fall.
It is the time to have frost.

This morning I saw a guide dog on the train for the first time.  It is modoken (盲導犬)in Japanese.  They are so trained. Since it was raining, it wored a rain coat.
When there were enough space, it guided to the seat and went under the seat to wait. It was impressive.

Tonight I went to see a movie ゛Lucy. ゛Today was the last day of showing. 

Now I am waiting for a night bus to go to Kanazawa (金沢).

2014.10.22

It was a cold rainy day.

I don't know why but I was attracted to many sports news today.  The last one was a pitcher of the senior of Kyoto University.  There will be a draft meeting tomorrow.  Kyoto University is a very prestigious university in Japan.  That means he is good at both studies and sports.  We call this "bunbu ryodo (文武両道)."  I was surprised to know he has been searching jobs too.  His father's word made him decide to be a professional baseball player.  What do you think he said?  He said it might be good to see the hell.  That means if he experiences the hardship, which will make him grow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

2014.10.21

It was a rainy day.

After work there was an explanation meeting for Super Global University.  For the next 10 years many systems will be introduced to be global.

Today I was checking the address and names for the top of the universities to send season's greeting cards.  Some universities don't have mailing addresses on their top pages of the website.  Other universities were difficult to find the name of their tops.  They use different words for tops; president, chancellor, vice-chancellor, principal, and provost.

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014.10.20

It was rather cool today.

Today is Empress Michiko's (皇后美智子:kogo michiko) birthday.  She became 80 years old.  80 years' celebration is called sanju (傘寿).  She is the first commoner who married into Japanese imperial family.  It's been more than 55 years since she married.  She has three children, and four grandchildren.

For Japanese being 20 means to be adult and we have a big celebration called seijin no hi (成人の日), Coming of Age Day.  Next big celebration is 60 years old, so called kanreki (還暦), and then 70 years, koki (古稀), 77 years old, kiju (喜寿), 80 years old, sanju, 88 years old , beiju (米寿), 90 years old, sotsuju (卒寿), and 99 years old, hakuju (白寿).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014.10.19

It was fine.

There was a community event to clean up this morning.  It started at 8 AM and we gathered garbage for an hour.

After that I went to Yokohama to learn how to wear kimono.  However on my way there I got a call that the instructor got sick and the class was cancelled today.  But I went there anyway.
After that I went to beauty shop to have my hair cut.
After that I went grocery shopping.

So it was rather busy Sunday.
 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014.10.18

It was rather cool in the morning but very fine.

Today I needed to take one hour earlier train than usual.  I worked from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

After work I went to a kimono shop in Sugita.  There I happened to see the process of making roketsuzome (ろうけつ染) or batik printing.  It is one of two dying ways using wax.  There were 8 procedures to make one design. Please refer to the pictures below.

The other day I learned how to make yukitsumugi (結城紬) at another kimono shop in Ginza.  They say it takes 5 years or so to make it.  I saw the most expensive tanmono (反物), rolled kimono cloth there.  Can you imagine how much?  It costs yen 47,000,000.  You can buy a house with that money.

I understand why kimonos are so expensive.



Friday, October 17, 2014

2014.10.17

It was fine.

After work I went to see someone.  Unfortunately she was not there.  But I met other people and enjoyed talking. It is interesting to talk with people who have the same goals.

TGIF

2014.10.16

It was fine.  Mt. Fuji looked so beautiful with the first snow on the  top.  It is called "hatsu kansetsu (初冠雪)."  It was three days earlier than last year but 16 days later than average year.

I took a day off to take my father to hospital for once a month checkup in the morning.

There came a repair person to fix the problem of the toilet seat warmer in the afternoon.  To our lucky they replaced the seat free of charge.

I went to once a month tea lesson in the late afternoon.  Today we practice o koicha (お濃茶) procedure.  Koicha is strong tea or thick tea.  It is very delicious.  To my lucky my masters ordered my favorite sweets called inokomochi (亥の子餅) today for me.  Inokomochi means the rice cake of wildbore cub and made of rice with sweet red bean paste, chesnuts, and sesami.  It is an auspicious animal for prosperity.   I was very glad.  The soul of tea ceremony is to make tasty tea for the guest from the bottom of the heart.  I think this is the real hospitality. 
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014.10.15

It was a chilly rainy day.
In the morning I went to the shrine before going to work.

School itself was closed today therefore I was the only one at the office. However we can use emails even at home, therefore some colleagues worked at home.  It is convenient but it is inconvenient at the same time.  Sometimes I think how we could manage many things without having emails some decades ago.  Do we do more work than before?

2014.10.14

It was very fine after the typhoon No. 19.
 
There was a lunch party of faculties and staffs.  It was a nice chance to know each other.
At night there was another party of the world award celebration.  It started at 7pm and ended at 9pm.  There were nearly 60 participants. I could talk with some people.
 
To know something new is very interesting.

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014.10.13

It is a national holiday called taiiku no hi (体育の日), Sports Day today.  It used to be on October 10 to commemorate the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.  However since 2000 it has become the second Monday of October.  We usually have a fine day on October 10, but today the biggest typhoon No. 19 is approaching  and it has been raining.
I was supposed to participate in the walking event but it was canceled yesterday due to the typhoon.
There were many things done in the daytime at home.
In the evening I went to attend a training camp though I did not stay overnight.
 

2014.10.12

It was fine.

There was the 36th sport event in my town.  From 8 in the morning we started preparing and from 9 it started and lasted till 3:30.  There were many programs and I participated in two of them.
I enjoyed seeing relay races.  There were 13 teams or so.  To our surprise our team was the second best in total. 
And to my surprise I saw my first student who became a teacher at the event.  For teachers I think it is honor to see their students to have become active in the society.  I am glad to have been a teacher as my first career.

After the sport event we had a small party.
After the party once I came back home and went grocery shopping.  I am not sure why but there were many people shopping at such a late time.

The big typhoon No. 19 is approaching, and the walking event for tomorrow was canceled.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2014.10.11

It was fine.

I went to Yokohama to attend a monthly meeting.  Before that I visited the shrine.  The meeting consisted of  two parts.  After the first part, seven of us went out for lunch at a Thai restaurant.  There were some spicy dishes.
After the second part, I went to massage.  Since I took a wrong way, I walked about the double distance. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014.10.10

It was fine.  In the evening the sky looked pink and very beautiful.  At night I saw an umbrella around the moon.  It may rain tomorrow.
 
It's been 50 years since the 18th Tokyo OlympicGames were held.  It was the first one in Asia.
It was a big national project and many things were built and made for this big event to be successful.  Shinkansen (新幹線), bullet train was one of them.  It linked between Tokyo and Osaka for three hours or so.  Now it takes less than two hours and a half.
Nippon budokan (日本武道館) is another one of them.  It was built for judo (柔道) matches.  But it is now well known for the concert venue.
Kokuritsu kyogi jo (国立競技場), National studium is also one of them. It was supposed to be rebuilt, but it seems the demolition work has been delayed.
 
We will have another Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  I am wondering how Japan will change this time.
 
There was an announcement of Nobel Peace Prize.  The 17 years old Pakistani girl, Ms. Malala Yousafzai will receive the honor with 60 years old Indian man, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi for helping universal schooling and protecting children worldwide from abuse and exploitation.  She is the youngest record of the Nobel Prize.  Congratulations!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2014.10.9

It was raining in the morning, but became fine.

I have just watched the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship of Men's Individual All-Around Final in China on TV.  Kohei Uchimura (内村航平), 25 years old became a champion for 5 times straight.  This is a world record nobody has achieved.  Yusuke Tanaka (田中佑典), 24 years old became a bronze medalist.
Congratulations!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014.10.8

It was fine, and partially cloudy.
Therefore I worried about kaiki gesshoku (皆既月食), the total lunar eclipse. But fortunately I could see it even in Tokyo.
 
Today is kannro (寒露), one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was risshu (立秋) on September 23 and the next one is soko (霜降 ) on October 23.  Kanro literally means cold dew.

2014.10.7

It was fine but became cooler at night. I saw the beautiful moon tonight which I wished to see last night.
 
After work I attended a welcome party for new international students. We welcomed just 100 international students this fall term.  I hope they will have a good time in Japan.
 
There was a big news today.
Three Japanese researchers (professors) will be awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for the contribution of inventing blue LED.  Congratulations !

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014.10.6

Because of the typhoon No. 18, it rained heavily in the morning, and the train delayed.
Lectures in the morning were canceled at 6 am but we had regular work.
It left Tokyo area in the early afternoon and the weather became very fine and we could see even Mt. Fuji clearly from the office.
The weather after typhoon is called taifu ikka (台風一過), literally means typhoon once past. It became very hot.
At night there was a reporting meeting of internship in Asia.  It seemed students had fruitful experiences in the Philippines.
On my way home there was blackout somewhere and the train delayed again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014.10.5

It has been raining, and rather cool.  The typhoon No. 18 is nearing.

We were supposed to have a monthly meeting for the community representatives at night, but because of this rain it was cancelled.

There came plumbers to fix the water leaking of purification equipment in the morning, then the sales person came to tell us the price.  It took less than half an hour but it cost yen 60,000.  So expensive.

After that I went grocery shopping. A price tag was very tricky, and I had to pay more than I thought.

In the afternoon I went to Yoga lesson.


 

2014.10.4

I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting.  One my way I happened to see the person who went there too.  She went to the meeting after visiting one place, but we could sit together and had lunch together.
After that I went to Yokohama to visit other friend's honey shop.
Next I went to a kimono shop to consult about cleaning.
I cooked dinner after a long time.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

2014.10.3

It was fine.

Today I joined a library tour.  There were something I did not know so that I am glad to attend.  I donated my book finally.  I hope many students will read it.

In the evening we saw the beautiful pink sky with unique shaped clouds, and we could even see the Mt. Fuji.

After work I sent to see someone and heard many interesting and useful stories.

Friday, October 3, 2014

2014.10.2

It was cloudy.

I went to the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno to escort 10 international and Japanese graduate school students to the tea ceremony.  Before that we saw the national treasures at the museum.  Volunteer staffs came to the entrance to meet us at 11:30 AM and led to the tea house called Okyokan (応挙館) through the garden where is closed at this time of the year. 
There were three parts.  First we observed o temae (お点前), the tea making procedure and ate sweets and drank green tea called o maccha (お抹茶).  Second they explained about the history of Okyokan and paintings inside of Okyokan by a famous painter Maruyama Okyo (円山応挙).  Third we looked around the tea room including wall paintings, the copy of the very expensive scroll of 36 famous poets and tea utensils.  They say the original scroll cost yen 40 billion or so. 
It was about one hour tour, and cost yen 500 per person.  I think this is a very good experience for foreigners to see traditional Japanese culture, tea ceremony.  If you are interested in, you need to contact them one month before the event.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014.10.1

A new month has started.  October is jyugatsu (十月), its old name is kannazuki or kaminazuki (神無月), literally means god without month.  All the gods get together in Izumo (出雲) area, therefore there it is called kamiarizuki (神在月), literally means god exists month.

October 1 is known as koromogae (衣替え), changing clothes.  It was rainy and rather cool, therefore we actually needed something to wear on the top.

They say it has been 50 years today since the Shinkansen (新幹線), bullet trains started running.  It runs more than 200 km per hour and connects 500km between Tokyo and Osaka for less than three hours.  Amazing to say, there have been no accidents with the death toll.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014.9.30

The last day of September.  That means three fourths of 2014 have already passed. 
Since schools in Japan starts in April, half of the school year was over.
 
It was fine and warm today.
 
On October 1 is known as koromogae (衣替え), changing clothes, and students wear the jacket as uniform.  But it seems we still have  some hot days this week.

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014.9.29

It was another beautiful day.

Today a new NHK's TV story drama which is broadcast from 8:00 AM and rebroadcast from 12:45 for 15 minutes started.
This is a story about an international marriage couple between Japanese man and Scottish woman.  Its title is Massan (マッサン), which is a nickname of the hero.

Since I went out for lunch today to celebrate colleague's birthday, I missed watching it at lunch time, so I saw the recorded one at home tonight.

I am looking forward to watching it at lunch time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014.9.28

It was fine.

I went to grocery shopping in the morning. While shopping, I asked the car dealer to check my car.  Unfortunately the car shop will move to other location in October and it will be a little bit inconvenient for me.
After coming back I ate lunch and went to Yoga lesson and training in the afternoon.
There was a visitor in the evening.

It was senshuraku (千秋楽) of akibasho (秋場所), the last day of the September grand sumo tournament.  Yokozuna Hakuo (横綱白鵬) became a champion.  This is his 31st victory which is the 2nd tie record in Sumo history.  Congratulation!

Another big news these days is the eruption of Ontakesan (御嶽山) in Kiso (木曽). 
There are many natural disasters this year.

2014.9.27

It was fine.

I went to a university in Kamata to attend an explanation meeting for Saudi Arabian students to study in Japan.  There were about 30 booths of universities in Japan which welcome international students.
Yesterday there was an announcement of 37 Super Global Universities.  Most of them attended today.

After talking with students session, there was an reception.  I enjoyed their food.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014.9.26

It was a beautiful autumn day.
 
In the morning I went to Ginza to visit a kimono shop with graduate school students.  This was the first time for me to visit there.  We could listen to the talk of the shop owner and see many valuable items.  We are very surprised to see the most expensive cloth which costs yen 47,000,000 made by the living national treasure.  Can you believe the price?  If you have such amount of money, you would be able to buy even a house.  However if you listen to the story, you will understand why it costs so much.
Kimono is really nice Japanese traditional costume.  Therefore I would like many people to know about kimono.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014.9.25

It was rainy in the morning, then rained heavily with strong wind in the afternoon, maybe because of the influence of typhoon.

I sent some private emails from the smart phone and business emails from PC.  Some people reply soon after I sent them, others don't reply in spite of my waiting.  I know I do the same, but I hope to reply as soon as possible to make things easier and faster.

There were many things to do today and I overworked for more than three hours and came home nearly midnight.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014.9.24

It was fine in the morning, but rained heavily in the evening.  I was lucky not to get wet today too.

My commuting train was delayed this morning due to the signal check.  Since I took a day off yesterday because of a national holiday, there were so many things to do today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014.9.23

It is a national holiday called shubun no hi (秋分の日), the Autumn Equinox Day.  It was a fine Autumn day. 

There was a visitor in the morning.  After that my father and I went to my mother's grave.  There were so many people visiting their ancestor's graves, and I could not park at first.  This was the first time for me not to be able to park.  On our way back, the road to go to graveyard was so crowded that I felt lucky we went there earlier.

2014.9.22

It was fine but seemed to have rained at night while I was working.
There were many things to do at work today so I overworked without noticing it.  When I went out, the road was wet. I felt I am lucky not to get wet.

There are many things to do at home too so I am glad tomorrow is a national holiday.
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014.9.21

It was a fine, beautiful autumn weather Sunday.

I went to Yokohama to join the wearing kimono lesson.  This is a ten class complimentary course offered by Kimono-Style Miya.  There is a lesson once in a month on Sunday for two hours and it takes 10 months to finish.  And at the last lesson we wear the kimono by ourselves and go out for dinner.  There were two classes today, from 11 am and 1 pm.  I took the morning class and there were 3 pupils today.  Since I have already learned how to wear kimono when I was young, I asked the instructor to teach me arranged ways of tying sash.  The first lesson is yukata (浴衣), summer casual kimono.  The sash is different from the regular kimono, and its width is about the half of regular one.  I learned two different ways to tie it.
After the class I went out for lunch for Japanese noodle, called soba (蕎麦).  There is a famous dish called Fujisan mori (富士山盛), which is about 1000g soba piled like the Mt. Fuji. The regular size is about 320g of soba, they say.
While I was studying at the course last year in Yokohama, many classmates often talked about Fujisan mori, I wanted to see it by all means.  I know I cannot eat it by myself so I went there with my friend.
After that we went to see a movie.  It was a Japanese movie titled "Shijyuku nichi no reshipi (四十九日のレシピ)" meaning the Recipe for the 49th Day Death Anniversary Ceremony.  It was a nice one.

After coming back I went to grocery shopping.
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014.9.20

It was rainy.

I went to work today.  This was the first time to work on Saturday since I started working in April.

After work I went to Yokohama to get massage.  I was surprised to see one of my friends there.  I try to go there once a month.  It takes for  about 2 hours and costs yen 8,000.
 Then I went to Kamioooka to buy a book recommended the man next to me last night.   It was a nice day.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014.9.19

It was fine.
 
There was the matriculation ceremony for three graduate school students at the church.  This was the first time for me to attend this kind of formal event.  It lasted for about half an hour and was very impressive, especially the formal wear, pipe organ music, the choir, and messages. 
 
After work I went to attend Mr. Ken Honda's lecture with my friend. This was a commemorative lecture of his books of six million selling.
It's been three months since I went to his last lecture.  To our surprise he prepared a rose for each one of audience. I am so glad to get the one.  The person next to me came from Iwate. We enjoyed talking a lot.

Friday, September 19, 2014

2014.9.18

It was fine.

There were many things to do today which included some new things.
In the afternoon I happened to see an interpreter whom I have worked with before in 2011.  It is nice to see old friends.
I met three new people from Africa.  It's been 10 years since I visited Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia by Peace Boat.  It is nice to talk about travel experiences with native people.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014.9.17

It was fine.

As I wrote yesterday,  there was a big earthquake at lunch time and there was no rebroadcast of NHK's morning drama at that time.   Today instead they rebroadcast two episodes, one for yesterday and one for today.  The ending of the story is nearing.
And they have started to promote the next story which will start at the end of September.  It is a story of mixed marriage couple of Japanese man who went to Scotland to learn how to make whisky and Scottish woman.   I have been interested in international marriage.  So it must be interesting too.
Speaking of Scotland we have been wondering what will be the referendum this weekend.

 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014.9.16

It was fine.
 
After the three day weekend, I was rather busy today.
 
At lunch time there were rather big earthquakes.  Usually I watch NHK 's morning drama's rebroadcast at my lunchtime, but the earthquake related news continued and I did not have a chance to see it at that time.  When I came home, I watched the recorded one.
 
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014.9.15

It was a national holiday called keiro no hi (敬老の日), Respect-for-the Aged Day.  It used to be on September 15, but it's been changed to the third Monday of September since 2003.  This year it happened to fall on September 15.

The population of more than 65 years old people in Japan reached 32.96 million (14.21 million for men, 18.75 million for women) which is about 25.9% of all population.  The population of more than 75 years old reached 15.9 million which is 12.5 %.  That is one eighths is 75 years old in Japan.

Today I went to Tokyo to attend a Science Seminar via Yokosuka to do some errands.  There were two lecturers who are doctors and seven people who talked their own experience.  It was a nice one.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014.9.14

It was very fine and hot.  This is the middle of three day weekend.

I went grocery shopping in the morning.  Unfortunately I left behind the point card at home, so I felt disappointed.

After coming home, I ate lunch and went to Yoga lesson for an hour and machine training for 2 hours in the afternoon.

2014 September Grand Sumo Tournament has begun.
I have just watched the news of Ms. Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador to Japan, attended Tour de Tohoku 2014 for 60km.


 

2014.9.13

It was fine.

The three days weekend has begun.
I went to Shinjuku to attend a monthly meeting.  After that I had lunch with friends.
Then I went to Yokohama to pick up the Kimono after cleaning, and I visited another shop.

I came home later than expected.  There was a TV program I should watch, but while watching, I fell asleep.

They say today even in Japan there is a chance to see the northern lights.  How nice if I could see it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014.9.12

It was fine.

After work I went to attend a meeting.  There were about 20 participants.  I could hear many interesting stories.  It's been a while since I met some of then, so it was nice to hear their recent condition.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014.9.11

It was rainy.  Today is nihyku hatsuka (二百二十日), 220th day since risshun (立春), the first day of spring.
In Hokkaido it rained very heavily and many people had to evacuate.
This summer climate in Japan is very strange.  Maybe it is not only Japan, but also other regions.

September 11.  It's been thirteen years since that tragedy in the USA, and three years and a half since the Great East Japan Earthquake happened. How has your life been changed since then?


 

2014.9.10

It was fine in the morning, but rained heavily in the evening.  They say it rained really heavily in a certain area and it was news.

Today I got a card from the USA.  It was a message to say "Hello."  I used to write letters and cards, and liked to buy beautiful stamps but these days I usually write emails because it is fast and easy.  So this was a kind of happy surprise. 
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014.9.9

It was rainy in the morning.  But it became fine and I could see the beautiful Super moon tonight.

This morning there was the final of US Open Tennis Championship games.  Unfortunately our Kei Nishikori has lost.  Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori have played for 7 times before and Nishikori has won for 5 times.  Therefore we expected him to be a champion at this grand slam but he lost straight.
The result was not good, but this was the record for Japanese tennis players. 
I hope someday he will become a champion.

September 9 is choyo (重陽), one of the seasonal festivals such as January 7, March 3, May 5, and July 7. Odd numbers are positive, and even numbers are negative.  Nine is the biggest odd number and September 9 is double nine.  Choyo literally means piling positive or double positive.  It is celebrated with chrysanthemum.

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014.9.8

It was a cool rainy day.

Since today is jyugoya (十五夜), literally the fifteenth night, which is August 15 of the lunar calendar, and it is the day to view the harvest moon.  I expected it would be fine, but it has been raining.

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 23. Hakuro literally means white dew.

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014.9.7

It was a cool rainy day.  The second day of the local shrine festival.

I went to grocery shopping in the morning. Then I went to Yoga lesson for an hour and two hours training in the afternoon.

There came a service person of water purifier which has had something wrong for a week or so.

I was going to see the local festival but did not after all.

Today's big news was US Open Tennis.  Kei Nishikori won the semi-final.  This is the first record for Japanese to go on to the semi-final at the Grand slam.  All of us wish him to be a champion.

2014.9.6

It was fine and hot.
 
There was a festival of the local shrine.
Since I am a representative of my area, I went to help preparing for the foods and drink for those who parade with a portable shrine called omikoshi (お神輿).
At night there was karaoke contest. One of my friends from primary school sang a song as a representative of our area.  I happened to see another friend from primary school too. It's been so many years since I met her last.
And it's been so many years since I came to the festival itself too.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014.9.5

It was fine and hot today.
 
I went out for lunch at a nearby French Restaurant. There were three courses at lunch time, yen 1900, yen 2800, and yen 4500.  I tried the middle, and they were very delicious.
 
After work I went to Ueno to see the special exhibition of Ancient Egyptian Queens and Goddesses, Treasures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  On Fridays they open till 21:00 which is very nice.
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014.9.4

It was fine and hot.

I took a day off to take my father to hospital for once a month checkup.  There were so many patients and it took all morning.

After coming back home, I went to tea lesson.  Since I started working in May, I have stopped going to the lesson.  However once a month I take my father to hospital on Thursday morning.  So I decided to practice tea ceremony once a month when I take a day off for my father.  Even only once, it is better than nothing.  Practice makes perfect.
Today's sweet looked like chrysanthemum.

I like the phrase "issekinicho (一石二鳥)", literally one stone two birds, which means to kill two birds with one stone.

Today's big news was Kei Nishikori became the best 4 at the US Open.  They say it's been 96 years since Japanese men became the best 4 at the Grand Slam.  Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014.9.3

It was fine.

Today I watched a news of elephant's 1st year birthday.  I hear there is an elephant which can draw pictures.  It wrote the kanji word "祝” which means celebration by its trunk with brush.
I also watched the news of the partner dog helping physically challenged people.

The other day I watched YouTube which showed the Gorilla's understanding language.

Those are very impressive examples that show the ability of animals.

The other day there was a crime that the criminal stabbed the knife into abdomen of the Seeing Eye dog.  I hope the criminal will be arrested soon.

 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014.9.2

It was fine.  The length of sun shining today was 10 hours and 20 minutes in Tokyo, which was after 11 days or so.  I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji in the morning.

I have just watched the sports news and known that Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori (錦織圭) won the game after four hours or so and has become the best 8 at US Open.  They say it has been 92 years for Japanese men to get that position.  I feel lucky to have seen his first championship game in Delray Beach in February 2008.
And a Japanese tennis player Kimiko Date-Krumm also won the game and became the best 8 for doubles.  They say it has been 22 years for Japanese women got that position.

Today there were other good world news.  A Japanese movie "Fushigina misaki no monogatari (ふしぎな岬の物語): A story of mysterious cape" produced by a Japanese popular actress Sayuri Yoshinaga (吉永小百合) received the Special Grand Prix of the jury.  And a director O Mipo (呉美保) received the best director award.  Congratulations!

Monday, September 1, 2014

2014.9.1

A new month has started.  September is kugatsu (九月), its old name is nagatsuki (長月) in Japan.  Nagatsuki literally means long month; the night becomes longer.

I took a day off to attend community work and meeting.  There will be a festival of the shrine this weekend therefore we cleaned around the shrine by weeding.  It was raining but we started from 8 in the morning.  After coming home I weeded around my house too which I have not done for a very long time because we ask the gardeners to do so.

At noon we had a representative meeting for an hour or so about the festival.

September 1 is known as bosai no hi (防災の日), Day of Disaster Prevention.  91 years ago there was the big earthquake in the Kanto area.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014.8.31

The last day of August.  It used to be the end of summer vacation for primary school, junior high school, and high school students.  But nowadays it seems school starts a little bit earlier.  The summer vacation of universities vary.  Ours is from August 1 to September 19 for students but not for staffs.

It was cloudy but still hot today.

I went grocery shopping in the morning.  After lunch I went to practice Yoga, and machine training.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014.8.30

It was cloudy.
There was water-related accident in the morning.
I walked to the station.  I got off at Hinodecho and walked to the shrine where I try to visit whenever I go to Kannai area.
I had lunch at my favorite restaurant and went to see a movie and the sand sculpture exhibition which was kind of disappointing.
Then I went to the group art exhibition of my high school classmate, which was small but really impressive.
To my surprise he graduated from the  university where I am working now.
After that I went to attend the small high school class reunion at a Chinese restaurant.  There were 45 students in our class and ten of us attended. We ate more than 10 dishes and enjoyed talking.
It was a nice day.

Friday, August 29, 2014

2018.8.29

It was cloudy.

After work I went to beauty shop in Sugita (杉田) to have my hair cut. They have yen 500 discount for cut and yen 1500 (?) discount for perm if customers visit there again within two months.  Since I had my hair cut two months ago, I had yen 500 discount for cut today.  I felt lucky.

At the station building I happened to find the special sale for kimono goods and decided to make nagajuban (長襦袢), which is underwear of kimono.  Usually tailoring fee costs yen 70,000 or so, but I could make at a very low price and feel very lucky again.

When I got home, there was an envelop for me from Softbank.  Since I changed the provider in May, they sent me yen 5,000 gift coupon which I did not expect anything.
I felt lucky again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014.8.28

It was cloudy.  It has been getting cooler these days.  But they say it will be hot again.

Last night there was a blackout and I had to wait at the Shinagawa station for about an hour.  Tonight there was so crowded that the train was delayed for 10 minutes or so.
Both happened in the evening so it was acceptable because I just need to go home after that, but when something irregular happens in the morning, I feel irritated because I have to work and don't want to be late. One minutes in the morning is equivalent to 10 minutes or more in the daytime.