Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


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


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. 


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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,