Friday, April 30, 2021

20 years

Today marks twenty years since I moved to Japan (pre-blog)

Some days it feels like a long time ago, some days it doesn't.

So many things have happened in that time.

Good...bad...mostly good.

Thankful for this blog and all of those that take the time to read it.

Thankful for this life.

Changing the subject, Tokyo as well as Hyogo, Kyoto and Osaka are currently in a state of emergency (the 3rd one). 

It actually started on Sunday (when we were in Kyoto).

My understanding of this state of emergency is that no one is supposed to leave their prefecture.

Since Japan's constitution says these state of emergencies are "request" only, they can only request that we do not leave our prefecture...

I really think they should create temporary laws so that at least shops can refuse serving those who do not wear masks and arrest the people who insist on drinking/partying out in public.

Tokyo’s case numbers went back up to 1000 yesterday and the variant cases are now 60%...hopefully everyone will take this state of emergency seriously even though it is Golden Week, which started yesterday.

On a happy note, it is shakuyaku season (chinese peony).

I picked some up from our neighborhood florist and am happy they are all blooming.

Hope you are doing well, keeping your spirits up and taking things one day at a time.

Please stay safe and have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

some things I brought back from kyoto

Since SIL is on a cleaning spree, I brought back a few (more) things back from MIL's...some (more) dishes.

I think I may FINALLY try making chawan mushi....

A coffee cup that I originally got from MIL awhile back has a hairline crack, so I brought back a replacement.
MIL's rice cooker...I actually can't believe she has this model, it is so complex!

I hope I can actually use it...need to figure out the manual before I throw out our old rice cooker...

We also brought back our wedding video in hopes of getting it dubbed into a DVD.

So many more "things" that we (mostly Satoshi) have in Kyoto...dunno how we will manage to store and/or get rid of them...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

library book return box

While waiting for Satoshi to run some errands at Shijo Station, I people watched and noticed this library book return box.

There were quite a number of people who stopped to return their books.

And then this guy came to pick up the books.

I thought he would just dump all the books into these blue boxes and be on his way...

Instead, he got down on his knees and took each book out and gently placed them into these boxes.

I was impressed on how well he treated the books.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

49 day service


Friday, we went to Kyoto...we were lucky to get to see Mount Fuji for most of our flight.

Saturday, the 49 day service for MIL went relatively smoothly and we all had lunch together at Touzan which is located in the Hyatt Regency Kyoto.

We've had meals here in the past especially after memorial services for FIL.

This time was pandemic style...temperature check and hand sanitizer when you enter the hotel then temperature check and hand sanitizer when you enter the restaurant.

A mask case to put your mask in...the hotel provided everyone with another mask to use while dining so that you don't dirty your mask.

Take off the mask to eat...put the mask back on to talk...pretty hard to do

Appetizers...(menu provided at the bottom of this post).
Sashimi...those round white things looked like onions but were daikon!
Loved this! especially the combination of myoga & onion.
Main...the sea bream was cooked perfectly and there were also large pieces of takenoko!
Everyone had beer (s) with their meal but I had a glass of white wine and a glass of sparkling wine.
Lots of food...similar menu to what we have had in the past.

I'm thankful we were all able to get together (hopefully it was a safe gathering too).

Thanks for today MIL!

Friday, April 23, 2021

this and that

Kara mandarins...these were tiny and super sweet.

They were mostly seedless and grown in Ehime prefecture.

I'm glad we tried them.

Country Ma'am makes soft type chocolate chip cookies.

This was my first time trying them, and we bought the ones that were chocolate cookies covered with chocolate.

I'm glad we tried these too.

The next part is a rant...

Our main branch of government continues to be out of touch, they don't see any urgency to stop the spread of this virus, and are not willing to give any stimulus to those who need it...the vice Prime minister actually asked the press how much longer he has to wear a mask?! WTH?!

Can you believe that most of our medical people have not been vaccinated yet? scary!

But, they have started to vaccine the elderly?!

Japan only has one vaccine approved by the government...Pfizer.

On top of that, only doctors and nurses are allowed to give the vaccine.

The main branch of government is finally "considering" allowing dentists to administer the vaccine....sigh!

It has been very frustrating to see the rest of the world receive their 2nd vaccine...and talk about maybe needing a 3rd in the Fall.

Japan's cases are mostly all variants now and the numbers are continuing to increase...I think yesterday’s total was 6000

There is another talk of a state of emergency that will supposedly be stricter, but they are not sure when it will start.

In the meantime, most hospitals have reached maximum capacity and there are many cases in Japan waiting it out at home or in hotels for a hospital bed to open up in their prefectures.

I don't understand why the main branch of government cannot make temporary laws to fine people or make more people comply.

I also feel like the bulk of people here are alcoholics & don’t feel a sense of danger...just because the izakaya (bars/pubs) are closed (they are not allowed to operate after 20:00) they need to gather outside in parks or in front of train stations to drink and meet up without masks?! but when interviewed “they are scared of contracting the disease” then stay at home like the rest of us are...

Anyway, I am trying to keep my spirits up and hang in there but we've passed a year of doing this.

These are the things I'm getting tired, our take out rotation, wearing a mask and having my hands get all busted up from alcohol hand sanitizers.

That said, we are heading to Kyoto for MIL's 49 day service.

Hoping we will be safe doing this...

I know there are many with more pressing frustrations and more difficult things to worry & rant about, but I thank you for listening.

Have a safe weekend everyone.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

happy earth day

It's Earth Day today...some places we bonded with nature in the past...

Nezu Shrine, Tokyo...
Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo
Miura Pennisula...Kanagawa
Poppies at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo
Nanohana, Kominato rail, Chiba

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

walking to kugahara

Today we walked from our apartment to Kugahara.

We stopped in at Mother's Meat Plaza and picked up their menchikatsu sandwich..fried hamburger...yum!

First time trying their shumai...there were 3 different types, one had shrimp, one was spicy and the other was plain.

These were flavorful and we enjoyed them as is.

Gyoza...these were so juicy! you had to be careful when biting into them...all the meaty juices would burst out.

The gyoza snob didn't appreciate the wrappers (too thick) but did enjoy the flavor.

We also bought some ohagi from Okano Eisen...we aren't sure if they are related to the shop we went to at Toranomon

Satoshi said he enjoyed these.

They were about the size of ping pong balls and only 100 yen each (tax included)

It was nice to see many flowers in bloom along the way.

We also stopped at Hakusan Shrine to see their carp (super short video)...10,874 steps and the sun is blazing today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

walking from futakotamagawa

Yesterday we had an errand to run in Futakotamagawa and decided to walk home.

We bought some sandwiches for lunch and had them at Futakotamagawa Park.

The park has a Starbucks and the wisteria was blooming.

It was nice to sit outside and eat for a change.

The walk was hot and there was not much scenery...well, there were lions.
And pigs.
There are tennis courts...
Not sure what this statue symbolizes...
There were a few people fishing...good way to keep cool.
All sorts of people out on the walking/running path.
Super teeny death mobile that we spotted in front of the DIY store.
And then we had a second lunch...21195 steps.

We're supposed to hit summer temps today.

Hope you are having a nice week.

Monday, April 19, 2021

tokyo people

Bummed that the song I had attached to this video had some copyright, well don't allow the song on the clips app then!

Anyway...this one is silent...enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2021

this and that

Came across blood oranges and bought some but most were dried!
Satoshi's co-worker also received the early retirement package and they had lunch together the other day.

He gave Satoshi these sweets as a thank you! we hope he enjoys his retirement!

When Satoshi and I were out walking we stumbled upon a new (to us) area...Umeyashiki.

Love the store fronts.

Like this fruit stand that has been in business for over 70 years.

Ookoshi makes all sorts of okazuya, main dishes as well as side dishes and has also been in business for over 70 years.
We tried their kakiage, a fried mix of shrimp and good and not oily.
Saito Seimen which has been in business since 1961 makes noodles.

The cute grandpa that makes the noodles also makes yakisoba (fried noodles).

So delicious!
Sakaeya Bakery is also run by a nice elderly couple.

It is a little farther away from Umeyashiki, but I am glad we got to try them.

Their prices are super reasonable and look at how much custard cream is in their cream pan....filled to the gills.

Nearby Sakaeya Bakery is this pocket park...with a beautiful wisteria tree!
We also picked up Kirin Coffee's atsugiri tamago sandwich...a thick omelette sandwich with a little mayo and okonomiyaki/tonkatsu type of sauce.

We look forward to eating breakfast and lunch, actually just hanging out here when it is safer to eat in.

Satoshi went on two guide excursions last Saturday & Sunday...this is where he was on Sunday...Lake Ashi.
And the Hakone Open Museum...he says it isn't for "play"....yeah, but look how beautiful the weather is.. 

He was scheduled to go to Nikko tomorrow but it has been postponed because of our “stay at home” orders.

Last Tuesday I had a dental emergency....and after some discussion with the dentist, we pulled out one of my molars this past Tuesday because the gum was so weak and every time I would eat something it would be pretty painful with the tooth wiggling around.

There is a wisdom tooth that seems to be coming in, so hopefully it will fall into the extracted tooth's space.

There might be a little loss in translation, but did you know that Japanese in Kansai (West Japan) believe that when your upper baby tooth falls out, you throw it under the house so that the adult tooth will come in straight and strong...the lower baby tooth is thrown on the roof of the house so that the adult tooth will come "up" straight and it was also believed that it would come in strong like a rat's.

I'm sad that he had to pull it out, but glad there is no pain now...and how cute is the case that the dentist put my extracted tooth in.

Japan's case numbers have taken off due to the variants.

Unfortunately, in the past couple of weeks this non-aggressive type of state of emergencies have not been working.

On top of that Golden Week is coming up and it doesn't look too good with people all antsy to travel and get out and about.

Have a safe weekend everyone.

2-4-3 Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3738.2036
Closed Sundays
Hours: 9:30-18:30

Saito Seimen
2-1-4 Kamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3732.2621
Closed Sundays
Hours: 10:00-18:00

Sakaeya Bakery
1-11-9 Omori Minami
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: n/a
Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:00-18:00, Saturdays 6:00-14:00

Kirin Coffee
7-7-20 Omori Higashi
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6424.4275
Closed Mondays
Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays 7:00-20:00, Saturdays-Sundays 8:30-20:00