Thursday, April 26, 2007

The way to my home from the most convenient station.


Here is the most convenient station from my home.Trains come very often as every 10
minutes in daytime, and it comes every 5 minutes in rush hours. I used to take this train line when I used to go to the middle school, and to go to college. At that time, trains used to came every 15 minutes. It's getting convenient more and more.


After I left the station, I see one bridge very soon. You can see mountains around you closely in Kyoto-city. The view have been lost little by little because of many new buildings. When I was a child, I could see mountains all 360 degrees around me. But the buildings block the view off today.


Many houses built so close each houses along the river. It's hard for American to believe the buildings are so close each other, isn't it? Most of cities excrude rural area are like this in Japan. We have to be very careful to not make noise to not bother neighbors, like don't talk loudly, don't take a shower or a bath after 12am.


After the river, pass through this small shopping area (<--),


(-->) and go into residential area. Again, houses, houses, houses.


(<--) This is a small park for children. I used to play with my friends, or with my brother here when I was a little child. I can't forget that I slipped on the slide when I was trying to walk on the slide (I know I was stupid), and hit my lips, and cut it, bled a lot :-(


(-->) I remember my friend fell off from one of the swing, and the swing was swinging. The swing hit my friend's head. She ran into her home in rush crying so hard. You know, a park for children is actually dangerous place. ha-ha-ha.


(<--) This is a street in front of my mother's house. I could see mountains all the way back of the street 5 years ago, but anymore because of the big apartment. The residents of this area struggled for stopping to build the big apartment, but couldn't stop it. We guess the top person was given some money from the builder :-(


(-->) This is my mother's house. I lived here for 35 years except for the time of I was with my ex-husband, that was for 6 years. The house is getting old, it knows about me since I was born.


(<--) My mother's small garden. She loves plants. I think most of women prefer flowers or a plants which bloom a flower. But my mother prefer plants which don't have a flower. She says she feels sad when a flower fall off.

I hope you enjoyed to see the area where I live!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shijo-Kawaramachi-Karasuma



This is a Starbucks in Shijo, Kyoto! Many Starbucks in city area, and Macdonalds are everywhere just like in the USA.
Many and many of buildings which have shops, offices, restaurants and fancy department stores in this area. We usually get together in this area or the area of the Kyoto station when we see friends. This area is really large as it's impossible to see through all of them in a day, because it's not only one street.
You might notice that there is not a tall building. It's because there is a law that we cannot build a tall building to protect a beautiful view of Kyoto. Kyoto is a city which has mountains around. We have a traditional mountain called "Daimonji". We think that it's silly to break a view of the Daimonji.




I went to enjoy "Ganban-yoku" which means it's like low temparture sauna with my friend. There are many flat bed sized stone on the floor, and the stone is hot. Put a bath towel on the stone, then lay down on it. This was my first time to experience the "Ganban-yoku", my friend told me that she loves it as she enjoys it every week. It was very comfortable! I sweat a lot though, the sweat is only requid that does't contain oil. So after I sweat, I didn't need to take a shower becuase I felt like that I just took a hot spring, and my skin was very silky smooth.
For your more information, here is the website of the "Ganban-yoku" place. You may be asked to install Japanese language to see this website though, just click "cancel", so that you can see pictures of the place.
Yume no Iyashi




And then, we went to have lunch at my friend's own restaurant! She opened her restaurant in the last year, I was really looking forward to visiting it. Her husband also owns Soba restaurant that he makes soba from soba powder. I have been in the restaurant, and it's very! really! delicious! The soba is not usual, or common, something very special!!
Usagi-tei
Again, please enjoy the pictures of her restaurant! I will bring other of my friends here, it's really! special!! I am green in envy her because her talent of cooking is very special.




After that, we went to join "English conversation cafe". This is a cafe that at least one English native speaker always stays, and make free conversations in English. I usually join the English conversation club which is held in the library by volunteer American people in Virginia. This group is also for making free conversations in English for English learners. It's similar to the conversation club though, there is a big difference between the Virginia one and the cafe one. Many people who came from other countries get together at the Virginia one, but only Japanese get together at the cafe. I think most of Japanese think that it's kind of shame to make a mistake, so to not make a mistake they do nothing. In the cafe, they would like to practice to speak English, but most of them don't speak. So the English native speaker (kind of an organizer) need to speak a lot or need to give them a topic to talk all the time. But the Virginia one, it's totally opposite. Many members try to discribe themselves, they are very participate in possitive mood. So the organizer sometimes need to control them.
The cafe charge us $10 for an hour including one drink, $20 for a few hours. English can be a big business in Japan! For now, there is only one English conversation cafe in Kyoto.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I am in Japan now.

I could come back to Japan without problems on the last Saturday. It was a long flight, but I relieved everything went smoothly this time, except for the beginning.
When I arrived at my mother's house, she was taking a bath, and naked. ha-ha. I was expecting to see her got older a little, but she wasn't changed at all. The house looked so small since I got used to be in the environment of "everything is bigger!" in the USA.


My mother is bent upon Korean drama now. Korean drama is very popular in Japan since more than 3 years. She put 2 big posters of Korean star on the wall, has many DVDs of the dramas, subscribed a magazine of Korean stars. I feel like the small family room will be occupied by the DVDs very soon. I don't understand what is so attractive though. Anyway, what ever makes her happy is fine :-) The picture shows her list of the dramas that she watches for a week.

What I was impressed after I saw my mother is to take a bath! It's absolutely very nice to take a bath after 3 years! To soak in hot water in a deep bathtub is just happiness!


My cats seemed to forgot me as I expected, they ran away from me once they saw me. I left them for a while, and tried to touch them next day. They looked like "I think I don't know you, but I feel like I know you.". The next day they seemed to remember me. They started to come around me to get pet. One of my cat's personality is really the dog's one. (She is on my lap now, and bothering me to type a little) She was with me all the time making noise from her throat. Her name is Mo, my handmade shop's name "momonmo" came from her name. I am glad that she remembered me quickly.


And what I was surprised next morning after I arrived was a toast! My mother said to me, "put blueberry jam on the toast, and then spread black sesame powder over it". I haven't have that idea of the combination for toast, but she said "it's delicious!". After all, it wasn't that bad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The flight schedule was changed :-(

I am supposed to be in Japan now. But I couldn't fly to Japan yesterday due to the bad weather.
I was checking the flight status since very early yesterday's morning. Although the news on TV was reporting many of flights were canceled or delayed a lot, the airline's website was showing that my flight was on schedule. So my husband took me the airport anyway.

I was allowed to check in, but during the procedure they told me that I will have a bad connection because of the flight delay. I anyway could go to the transit point, but they just put me in a hotel there because I will miss my flight. I had to change the date of the flight, they showed me some options, and I postponed it to this Friday.

I had to cancel a few appointments with my friends and resavation for shuttle bus which takes me to my home from the Japanese airport, with this change of flight schedule. I was so busy to write e-mails about my situation to my friends and made some phone calls to Japan in the last evening, which means morning in Japan.

After everything was settled, I was so exausted. This is my first exprience that I had to change my flight schedule. It's no fun :-( But we can't control the weather, there is nothing I can do about this.

In my area, yesterday's weather was so bad. Very strong wind as I saw some trees fell down on the street. Some of schools were closed because a tree fell down on electric lines, the area lost power. Today seems like a little bit better, but I believe this weather is making today's flights delay.

Anyway. I enjoyed to join English conversation club as usual today, and I will have lunch with my friend tomorrow. Also I received many e-mails from both of my friends who live here and in Japan. I appreciate them to show their concern.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tomorrow.

Finally..., the day of my travel has came! It's tomorrow. I am really nervous that I will leave my life here. It's just 6 weeks, but I am afraid to see my house will be so messy when I come back. My husband will never clean the house. I know it.

I left 2 of my rabbits which came from the rabbit organization at a lady who will takes care of them for me. They are not my own rabbits, I am fostering them. So I could ask them to take care of them during I am in Japan. When I left them there..., I missed them so much. It's really sad to see their empty cage at home.

I spent this 2 days for cleaning my house, putting things away, explaining to my husband where I shop and how to take care of rabbits and so on. I made a will, too. I have my husband's will. I thought it might be a good opportunity to make my will for him this time. I don't have a lot of money to give him, but at least it's better than nothing.

My flight is early afternoon tomorrow. I have some things to do before that, we need to go to bank to get notarized the will, go to post office to get some new stamps (the postage was priced up after April 15) and ship an item which was purchased at my hand-made store in the last minute, and go to grocery store to show my husband how much vegetables I buy every week for my rabbits. The grocery store selling vegetable cheaply is on the way to the air port, and every Mondays or Tuesdays are my shopping day anyway.

All of my laggage were filled up by souveniors for my family and my friends. I don't have many things to carry for myself. I hope nothing bad happen on my trip...., it's raining now though...., according to forecast tomorrow will be windy though.... :-(

I am very appreciate my friends here! They invited me for lunch party, gave me a special time before my trip! I will bring you guys a big (?) souvenior! I am looking forward to seeing them after I come back. Thank you very much!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Getting very busy !

The day I leave for Japan is coming! It's almost 10 days later.
I hope my husband take care of our rabbits propery. I worry about he wouldn't give them real papaya, and he is not able to chop vegetable fine for Rusty which lost the front teeth a while ago. I hope they are fine when I come back... and strongly hope they wouldn't forget me during I am away from home. I think my cats which live with my mother in Japan, already forgot about me. It's been 3 years since I left them. They are 18 years old, so probabry this time will be the last time to be with them. It's hard to believe they are so old. They were a little kitten when I met them for the first time.

I started to get souveniors for my family and my friends. I was thinking what is good for them, and asked some of my Japanese friends what they bring to them when they go to Japan. Most of them said "Chocolate. They can buy the same chocolate in Japan, but that is unbelievably expensive there.", other one said "Bloom." Bloom??!! She told me some of blooms are different from Japanese one. I have never thought of it. And other one said that her friends like "Hand sanitizer. We can buy it in Japan, but it's not that common. Especially small totable one.", so I took the idea of "Chocolate" and "Hand sanitizer". Bloom is difficult to carry :-( I don't know why she is going to do that next time when she go to Japan.

I got many soups too! I don't see them yet because I bought them from handmade website which is the same site as my shop is in. Many, many craft people or artists sell their products there. She sent me one e-mail since she found that we live in the same area. The timing she contacted me and her products are very good for the souveniors! Someone's original thing is always nice for a gift or a souvenior. I will see her to receive the items I purchased tomorrow. And I hope my friends like the soap!

Today, I will see my Indian friend to have lunch together. I love her indian food! It's always delicious! She sometimes invites me to have lunch at her home, I think it's because I sometimes fix the length of her new pants. I was thinking if I would go to Indian restaurant by myself before I go to Japan since I don't have indian food for a long time. I appreciate her for inviting me. I may want to compare indian food here and in Japan. I have been in Japanese Indian restaurant, most of them just provide us one kind of curry with different spicy level, and sea food or chicken or beef, or pork for filling. I think the taste is different too. I see many Japanese restarutant here, but they are not Japanese food for Japanese. Anyway I love indian food in this country and the one who was made by real indian.