Monday, June 15, 2009


In Japan, you always hear about how space is a premium, houses/buildings are built so close together that some are only inches apart from each other.

In Japanese, this is referred to as the area being semai (say-my) (cramped, narrow). The opposite being hiroi (he-roy) (spacious, wide).

Our apartment is quite small, and most furniture is sold by measurements. I never realized how much you had to measure the space before buying, until after I had purchased some items...sigh. Even some of the stuff we bought in Hawaii and brought over had a hard time fitting in.

As for sports, most teams have to share the field with each other, I recently took a photo of these little leaguers, the center fielders are almost facing each other (I circled them in pink). I asked Satoshi, "don't they get hurt?", and he said, "sometimes".

He also said that it cannot be helped because there just aren't enough fields to go around for a team to have their own.

Most fields are not free either, you need to pay to use them. (I think if I needed to pay to use the field I wouldn't want another centerfielder in my face.)

If you also notice, there is no grass in the outfield, somehow practicing out here in summer doesn't appeal to me...

Other examples are the roads. The road that runs by our apartment is actually the width of one car and traffic flows in both directions, most drivers have to pull over to let the other pass, but on a particular day when this l-o-n-g trailer came to pick up a bulldozer thingy, he actually caused a traffic jam.

The long trailer was actually on the side street (where the man is walking), but couldn't put down the ramp to load the green bulldozer thingy, so he had to move out onto the main street.

I was amazed he got back out onto the main street without jumping the curb or falling into the ravine. (we have streams that flow on both sides of the main road).

It took some time and many were impatient, but it was interesting to watch from above.

p.s. recently at the market they had a special of shiso (perilla), I bought a packet of 20 leaves only 98 yen (about US$.98) and made rolled beef with japanese tartar sauce and ume pork. We have also been enjoying this Ravenswood Merlot. I first heard about this brand on Jen's blog and was surprised to find some of their Vinters Blends at Yamaya.

Hope you have a great week!


Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Wakatta yo! I know that semai feeling! :) The road in front of our mansion is the same, but twisty because it's on a hill.

K and S said...

Ooh you live on a hill? That must pose several challenges too, Abigail. Still you are lucky to have that "L" counter :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

So interesting about the space (or lack of it) there, it always amazes me. Dinner sounds delicious. I like Ravenswood Merlot too.

K and S said...

Deb, It was pretty shocking moving from Hawaii to Japan, going from double the space to what we have now...where to put everything?? I want to try some of Ravenswood's other wines too.

Take care.

Jenjen said...

Hi Kat, I'm Jen. Just popping in and say HELLO to you.
Love to read your blog and I will stick along with your journey in Japan, then. Cheers^^

K and S said...

Hi Jen,
Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself :) Glad you are along for the adventures.

Take care.

Rowena said...

That pic of the big trailer if THAT were to clog our street there'd be nothing but chaos and drivers leaning on the horn. Some people are just so impatient!

I've had Ravenswood before and it was an easy-to-drink, delicious wine just perfect to end the day/begin the evening. Like right now, after having "argued" with Maddie all morning about the importance of not running with her cast!

KirkK said...

Hey Kat - I've had friends tell me about the lack of space, but it never really hit home until I saw your photos.

Thistlemoon said...

I am so glad you tried the Ravenswood! I love those wines!

I never realized about the space premiums in Japan! WoW!

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K and S said...

I saw that pic of Maddie, poor thing! Between your garden and the "kids" doesn't look like you have much time to hang by the pool :) Hang in there Rowena!

Glad the narrow-ness is visible in the photos Kirkk!

Thanks for sharing it on your blog JennDZ :) It was a really good wine!

Thanks AWM! Will check it out.

Take care everyone.

James said...

Turkey can be the base for a terrific burger. Westville in New York City serves its Cast Iron Turkey Burger on a Portuguese muffin (no doubt much cooler than what the English created), which also is used for its Veggie Burger topped with mushrooms and spicy tartar sauce.

K and S said...

Thanks James!

Take care.