The last day of January.
How fast time flies!
It's been already one twelfth of 2016 passed.
It was a cold day.
I went grocery shopping, and did cleaning and cooking. That is I did what I usually did on weekend.
It was a cold rainy day.
The weather forecast said it would snow today but did not, which was good.
I went to attend a one day seminar to fulfill the future dream we decided by the million seller writer Ken Honda at Iidabashi. It started at 10 am and lasted till 7 pm. There were 400 participants. To my interesting there was an acquaintance in the same working group. There were 5 of us in the group. The person next to me has written many books and he was introduced in front of audience.
Since the seminar fee is rather expensive, lunch, snacks and drinks were served.
After the first break in the afternoon fruits were served, but when I came back from the restroom, all was gone.
Q and A session was very interesting. For the person who asked a question, the question s/he is thinking is a big deal, but for others it is not. So we know the answer but s/he does not.
During the break I went to see him to get his autograph on the book. Since we have a mutual friend in Florida, I talked about my meeting with our friend this winter.
It was a nice seminar.
It was a cold rainy day.
I usually watch NHK's morning drama's rebroadcast at lunch time. When I watched it yesterday, there appeared information that it will rebroadcast from 12:20 instead of 12:45 today.
But today I totally forgot about that. And unfortunately I missed today's program.
It is getting cold. They say it will snow tomorrow.
It was fine and cold, but not so cold as yesterday. My colleagues said "it is warm today." But I felt cold.
They say it will be cold tomorrow again.
On my way home I went shopping. I have been wondering where to go, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Yokohama, Kamioooka, Yokosuka chuo, or Kurihama. After all I chose Kurihama because the destination of the train was Kurihama and in any case I had to change the train there.
I bought some stationeries and foods for breakfast.
The Economic Revitalization MinisterAkira Amari resigned tonight due to the political fund mishandled scandal.
It was fine and cold.
I went to post office on my way to work.
During lunch time I went to ophthalmologic clinic to make an appointment after work. On my way back to office I happened to find a tax office. There were many people waiting to ask about final income tax return.
After work I went to the ophthalmologic clinic to examine my right eye which I have felt something wrong for a few weeks. I doubted the myodesopsia. They checked the sight and the fundus of the eyes. Fortunately it was not serious but unfortunately it may not cure by treatment. We just have to see what will happen. It cost yen 2,180.
I came home later than usual, but I could receive the delivery from mail order company.
It was fine and cold.
In the early morning I saw the beautiful moon.
In the evening I saw the beautiful moon again.
When I came home yesterday, there was the notice of being in charge of the garbage station of the residence area. There are about 30 households and one household is in charge of one week.
It's been seven months since I was in charge last time.
When I came home I remembered that I was in charge of the garbage station this week. So I went to see there again.
It was clean yesterday and so it was today.
I hope I will remember about it when I pass the garbage station every night so that I do not have to go back to see there for the rest of the week.
It was fine and cold today. Mt Fuji looked so beautiful covered with snow in the morning. Sunset was also beautiful with orange.
On my way home JR Yamanote line inside round was stopped due to inspection for the door problem at the next station. I waited for a while, but decided to use outside round.
There are 29 stations in 34.5 km loop in the Yamanote line and to run a circle it takes about one hour.
My stations are Shinagawa and Ikebukuro which are just opposite side and it takes about half an hour from each station.
To be precise, between Shinagawa and Ikebukuro there are 12 stations and it takes about 29 minutes. Between Ikebukuro and Sinagawa there are 17 stations and it takes about 36 minutes.
Whenever we passed the station up to Nishinippori, the train the other side was stopped or people were waiting in a long line.
Sometimes it is hard to make a decision.
But today I am glad to do so because I could sit.
It was fine but very windy and cold. Mt. Fuji looked very beautiful covered with snow. The sunset was also beautiful.
I could do something I wanted to do.
But there are still many things I could not do.
I was going to grocery shopping but didn't.
So I stayed home all day long.
It was fine but cold.
I walked to the station this morning to enjoy dinner with alcoholic drinks tonight.
I usually come home directly from work because my commuting is long. Without any overwork, I come home between 8:30 and 9:00 pm. And I usually take 7:30 am train to go to work.
If I drank, I cannot drive. If so, I need to take a taxi, and I need to walk to the station next day.
So I usually do not go out for dinner or at least avoid drinking during weekday.
This morning I could get up early and walked to the station so that I do not have to walk to the station to get my car tomorrow.
I went to a restaurant which opened last year. I was very looking forward to tasting seafood platter there. The course dinner was delicious, but there was a group of 14 people or so and they were too noisy!
I was disappointed about that.
It was fine but cold.
Today is daikan (大寒) one of nijyushisekki (二十四節季), the 24 solar terms. The last one was shokan (小寒) on January 6, and the next one is risshun (立春) on February 4.
Daikan literally means big cold and this is the coldest season of the year.
Between shokan and risshun is called kan no uchi (寒の内), which means in the cold.
It was another cold day but fine. Mt. Fuji was beautiful with snow.
Since we are in the mourning, there were fewer new year's cards than usual. However to my lucky I got two cards for the third prize which is a postage sheet of 82 yen and 52 yen.
I need to write winter greeting cards to those who sent me new year's cards soon.
It was windy in the morning, but fine and cold.
There are still some snow left in Tokyo.
Even if it is cold, the Kawazu zakura has already started blooming at the station.
There was an announcement of Akutagawa awards and Naoki award. I did not know any books of them.
It was very cold.
When I left home, it was sleeting. Because of snow in Tokyo trains delayed for more than an hour and it took about four hours from my house to the office this morning.
When I got to Ikebukuro it was raining.
In the late aftrnoon the sun appeared.
There are some snow left.
It was cloudy and chilly today.
I got up early to enjoy asaburo (朝風呂) morning hot springs.
Breakfast was volumy, and I enjoyed a variety of dishes.
After changing to kimono, I walked around the some floors of the hotel where looked like a museum or an art gallery.
At the lobby, a woman was playing the koto (琴), Japanese traditional music instrument.
Kagaya (加賀屋) is really worth visiting and staying.
We left the hotel around 11 am. On our way back to Kanazawa, we went to Chirihama (千里浜) drive way where we can drive on the beach. It reminded me of Daytona Beach.
At Kanazawa we visited the Ohmicho ichiba (近江町市場), which is fresh fish market. It seems kaisendon (海鮮丼) seafood rice bowl is very popular there and many people were waiting in front of sushi restaurants. We ate lunch there.
After that we visited the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. I did not understand the exhitions well, but we enjoyed taking pictures from the pool.
We took 5:09 pm Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki arriving at Tokyo at 7:44 pm.
On the train I ate sasazushi (笹寿し) for supper.
It was a nice trip.
It was fine in Kanto.
I left home around 6:30 am and went to the Kimono-style Miya to change kimono. Then eight of us went to Tokyo and got on Hokuriku shinkansen Kagayaki (北陸新幹線 かがやき) bound for Kanazawa.
It was cloudy on the way and we were worried about the weather in Kaga. When we got to Kanazawa, the sun appeared and I felt we are lucky.
We enjoyed walking around Higashi chayagai (ひがし茶屋街). There are many small shops dealing with gold foil and sweets.
Then we visited the Kaga yuzen (加賀友禅) factory. Kaga yuzen is one of the most famous Kimono print arts in Japan. To my lucky I could experience how to draw lines and paint.
When we got on a taxi, it started raining so we were lucky not to get wet.
At night we came to Kagaya (加賀屋), which is known as one of the best Japanese hotels in Japan.
The hotel buildings are so big and modern and it was different from my imagination.
The dinner was delicious and hot springs were very nice.
We went to Karaoke too.
We had a nice day.
It was another cold morning and the windshield was frozen again.
At lunch time I usually watch TV program by smartphone. However there were big earthquakes happened in Hokkaido area, the program was postponed tomorrow.
These days sunsets are so beautiful. It was orange today and I could not help taking a photo.
However the photo was not so beautiful as the reality.
It was the coldest morning in this winter today.
Windshield was frozen.
I got a winter greeting card, kanchu mimai (寒中見舞い) today.
Usually those whose family had a dead person in a year do not send new year's cards for the next year. Instead they send mourning greeting cards, mochu hagaki (喪中葉書) to let the people know that they are in the mourning and cannot celebrate the new year therefore they refrain from greeting the new year.
If they received the new year's cards because they did not inform them, they write winter greeting cards during the cold season to say sorry for not inform them during December.
Today my friends who knew about my mourning by my mochu hagaki sent me the winter greeting card instead of new year's card.
I am glad to receive it.
It was a very cold day. In Tokyo it snowed early in the morning. This was the first snow, hatsuyuki (初雪) in Tokyo which was later than usual. .
Today was the first day of working after the winter vacation.
I went to buy the commuter ticket at the Shinagawa station.
Learned from the failure last time, I was able to be reimbursed the fee to Shinagawa by buying the ticket to the ticket selling station.
At office many people traveled during vacation, therefore many sweets were distributed as souvenir.
It was fine.
It is a national holiday called seijin no hi (成人の日), Coming of Age Day. It had been on January 15 until 1999, but now it is the second Monday of January.
Japanese become adults at the age of 20. Drinking, smoking, and voting used to be main characteristics of being adults, however the age of voting will be 18 years old from June this year.
There are 1, 210, 000 new adults this year, which is the least ever.
Traditional costume on this day is furisode (振袖) for women and haori hakama (羽織袴)for men.
January 11 is known as kagami biraki (鏡開き), which literally means mirror opening. We eat rice cake which is decorated as kagami mochi (鏡餅) on this day.
I came back to Japan.
Since the flight from Chicago delayed for an hour, we arrived at Narita later than schedule. Therefore there is no more train goes to my station tonight...
On the plane I watched four movies: Learning to Drive, The Walk, Bakuman, and Mistress Amerca.
It was fine and warm in Miami but it is snowing in Chicago.
There was something wrong with the plane from Miami, and we needed to wait inside the plane for an hour before leaving.
There is one hour time difference between Miami and Chicago.
From Chicago to Narita it takes 12 hours and 9 minutes.
This plane is not so crowded and luckily there is nobody besides me.
When I arrive at Narita, it will be already Sunday night.
I really enjoyed my first snow bird trip to Florida.
I met many old friends and by attending two parties I got to know many people too.
I visited St. Augutine, Daytona Beach, and Venice Beach, played golf twice, watched Star Wars by IMAX, made a zigsaw puzzle, tried to translate my book into English though I could not finish.
I hope to be back to Florida more often.
It was cloudy, then rained, and became fine and rained again and became fine again.
In the morning we played golf at the Lakeview Golf Club where we used to play when I was here in 2006 to 2008.
At lunch I ate with my friend whom I wrote about in my book. Her birthday is November 1.
I went to the Morikami Museum to see the exhibition and to say good bye to my ex-colleagues.
And I met another friend whose birthday is November 1.
After that I went to grocery shopping and had delicious dinner.
In 15 days I could meet many old friends and have good times.
I hope to be back here soon.
Thank you everyone who shared time with me.
It was cloudy and chilly in the morning, but turned out to be a very nice weather.
First we went to find a golf set. Our target price was less than $100. After checking three stores, we finally found the ideal one, which was $99.
I felt it is important to have clear goals.
At lunch we ate delicious leftover crabs.
Then we went out for golfing.
It's been more than three years since I played golf last.
It was per 3 short courses of 18 holes.
We enjoyed a lot.
On the way, I could even see a small rainbow.
At night we ate BBQ.
It was rainy in the morning, but cloudy and fine later.
I met my second host mother. We went to my favorite crab restaurant. I did not know there is a market ajoins to the restaurant.
I ate blue crabs with garlic source.
In the evening we visited our mutual friends and enjoyed dinner and reunion.
It's been almost ten years since we all met.
I hope to do something for our tenth year anniversary.
It was cloudy, windy and rather cool. Later it even rained.
I had lunch with my friend at a Greek Restaurant.
After that I came back and went shopping to many places. There were so many cars at each parking lot and it was rather hard to find the spot.
At dinner we ate King crab and stone crab craw using the crab fork I brought from Japan.
It was the first winter day in Delray Beach. It was fine.
I went to see friends in the morning, and visited the Morikami to see some ex-colleagues and had lunch with two ex-Japanese colleagues.
I came home and tried to translate the book.
I had a happy hour with my second roommate of the office.
It was cloudy, slightly rained, became fine, but since I did not go out today, I am not sure.
There was nobody available today, so I stayed home and did laundry and arranged the schedule for this week.
As breakfast we ate Swedish pan cakes.
And I learned about "Wish bone" which I found on the napkins. When people cook the turkey or whole chicken at the Thanksgiving or Christmas, they keep the breast bone which shape looks like upside down of letter V and dry it.
It is a kind of fortune telling game between two people.
First they make wishes, then both of them pull the wishbone. The person who got the large potion will make the dream come true. It seems the tradition started in Roman era and has 2400 history.
And finally I started translating my book.
It was cloudy but became fine.
I went to see my ex-supervisor and my first and last host mother in the morning. It's been three years since I saw them last. During those years both of them retired and enjoy their lives now. Every weekend they meet and go to the Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands to see birds and other animals and plants, and they invited me to join. There were many different birds there. We happened to see our mutual friend there.
After that we went out for lunch at Two Georges Waterfront Restaurant located on the Intracoastal waterway and had their special menu, wahoo sandwiches. The pronunciation of wahoo is similar to wafu (和風), which means Japanese style. So I thought it was something Japanese but it was the meat of fish.
After lunch I visited two ex-neighbors and enjoyed the reunion.
The new year 2016 has begun.
I went to the downtown Delray Beach to see the fireworks of the new year. It started at midnight and lasted for 15 minutes. There were so many people at the downtown last night.
We toasted with champagne and celebrated the new year.
We got up early and went to the beach of Delray Beach to see the first sunrise, hatsuhinode (初日の出). Since there were clouds, we could not see the beautiful first sunrise of the year at 7:08, but it was still beautiful.
I could finish making the zigsaw puzzle, but unfortunately one piece was missing...
I had a good turkey dinner with Japanese sake today.
It was fine and hot here in Delray Beach but I am still not fine and coughing.
The last day of 2015.
December 31, we call this last day omisoka (大晦日), which is the day for general cleaning and preparation for the new year.
How was your year 2015?
For me it was another unforgettable year.
I have travelled a lot to visit many shrines and temples including the pilgrimage to 88 temples in Shikoku, Koyasan, Zenkoji, Togakushi, Kyoto twice and to Nagoya to attend the 10th year anniversary event of Expo 2005.
And I came to the USA twice.
The saddest thing was my beloved father's passing on August 17.
Today I had Thai lunch with my ex-host family and enjoyed catching up.
Then I went to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens where I had worked for two years from 2006 to 2008 and met old friends and enjoyed Japanese tea ceremony and reunions with ex-coworkers.
I have just eaten toshikoshisoba (年越しそば), the passing year noodle wishing a long life.
I will go to see the count down fireworks festival at Delray Beach.
Thank you for your support during 2015.
I wish you a Happy Healthy Prosperous New Year 2016!!