Friday, October 31, 2014


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


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


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. 


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


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


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


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).


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


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


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


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


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


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.



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


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?


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


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.


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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


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.


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


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


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.



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


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


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


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.