羽鳥書店まつり A Neighborhood Book Fair
カテゴリ: Japan things
It is in the yard of neighborhood temple.

Oups, I did not take the Buddha statue. This might do. I borrowed it from the carpenter's page.

People are rushing for something and something is this.

Book fair.

Our neighborhood has many publishing related family business, not far from a number of publishers, the "Town of used books" Kanda and waseda. As you can see, having big centers near by, we only have small book businesses going on here. But it seems to be changing a bit these days.


Mr.Hatori is an editor just retired from Tokyo University Publishing Center. He decided to start his own publisher in our town. He was moving in and had to face his long time problem - he just can't stop buying books and now he and his family has no place to live, even in his new house.

He called our town's used book dealer Horo, and they were just astonished and had to tell him to wait because they could not prepare the storing space for this much of books. Then the owner of Horo had an idea. Let's have a book fair at this temple. At the beginning, it seemed like a crazy idea, but the Temple master said yes, our town's independent book store where Mr. Hatori is a regular customer said they can help. So they started to get ready to sell 10,000 books in four days.

More help came as the plan proceeded.
This is the first day of the fair. I am a customer of Oraio Book Store, too and therefore I was there.
Just look at these book craze people. I only bought 20 books together with my two daughters. Some said they bought over 70!

Today was the last day and I went again. I could pick up some pretty good books, still, but most are gone.
I really like my town when something like this happens.


I almost forgot to put this picture of plum blossoms. White and Red are holly good luck colors.


2010.02.14 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

大晦日 New Years Eve
カテゴリ: Japan things
Our neighborhood is basically the town of temples. Shogunate had a great temple on the hill of Ueno and small temples were gathered adjacent area, here.
So it is our family tradition to go around the temples at the New Years Eve, hearing the sound of heavy temple bells.

Bon fire to warm people and throw in an year old religious goods. They are basically holy and you can't just put them with garbage, right?

The number of gongs on the New Year's Eve is 108. At some temples, priest do it themselves, some gather 107 people and some permit everybody who wants to do it. This temple is free and therefore popular.

They searve people warm Sweet Sake. mmm, it was good.

In another larger temple, priests were singing mantra.

I wondered what these people were doing. Almost naked in the middle of winter in front of temple.

It turned out to be young priests performing cold water ablutions.

Then we walked to Kaneiji Temple on Ueno hill, coming back through the Yanaka Cemetery. It was not scary to us. We are too familiar with the place. The blue moon was so beautiful.

2010.01.04 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

Akihabara along the big avenue 秋葉原正月2日
カテゴリ: Japan things
You can go to Akihabara from the JR Akihabara Satation, but this day, Jan.2, we took the root from Ochanomizu. It is one station ride from Ochanmizu, but you can walk along the EL.
The line is very old and the elevated structure is made of bricks. Under the EL are restaurants.
Because the rent is cheep under the EL, here used be shabby bars and diners, but they must have thought the brick-build structure is a kind of fancy and renovated them. Attracting, but feel something is wrong.

This is a part of Shohei bridge. Doves' favorite. We cross a river and go into the town of Akihabara.

Almost all big electronic shops look like this. They deal from the cellphone to camera to PC to refrigerator to washer to cleaner to Nintendo. You name it, but the food.

UFO catcher is a very popular game machine. Stuffed animals inside are not sold in shopsusually, so you have to be good at the game machine or have a talented friend to get one. This too-shocking-pink is the color of Akihabara.

And inside, tiger! tiger! tiger! This is the year of tiger.

So this is Akihabara on the main street.Wait for the back streets view for another day.

I found the "men" making a line on the pedestrian. The placard says "This is the tail." I also found out that they are all fans of a group of idol girls. The line is kind of short, I thought. Oh, but it was around 2pm and the placard says special item sales will start at 9pm! No wonder the line is short. Men, oh men.

This town is always renewing here and there, but the old cheep-build buildings had stayed almost the same. Now a big renovation is going on including the station. Old buildings reflected on the new building's windows.

One good thing, maybe, is we now have all kinds of eating places here, now. Decades ago, going Akihabara meant to starve. No kidding. They even didn't have McDonald's. I still feel uncomfortable when somebody say "Why don't we go Akihabara. I will buy you a drink." Buy me a drink? From an automatic vender?
2010.01.03 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

A Walk to Tokyo Tower
カテゴリ: Japan things
I am copying Stacy now.

December 31,2009, I and kids walked from Roppongi to Shiba and then to Hamamatsucho.

This is a fancy New year's ornament I found in Roppongi.

And bright green bamboo. It was so rush.The land they are planted a so small an area you can't believe it.

Small shops and trees from old time.

This is the wall of Russian Embassy.
Around the corner they look a bit like jail or something. I remember when I was a student and this place was USSR Embassy, I felt the wall was higher and more overwhelming. Situation changes the impression.

This is Tokyo Tower in Shiba, next to Zojoji temple and large Shiba Park.

Isn't this mechanical structure beautiful? They are building new tower now and planning to put this one away. That is the dumbest idea I ever heard.

The orange color is called Universal orange common to all the structure affecting the flight, my kid has taught me.

They even have the tower shaped fence. Aren't they cute?

And this is Daimon, the great gate for Zojoji temple.
Our goal is here, the Pokemon Center. I found foreign Pokemon fan having great fun here.

So crowded with parents and kids and "grown up kids." My kids are grown up kids because they are 20 and 19, but they had to get something here that I don't quite understand. All I know is Nintendo is very clever.

Sorry I have promised to introduce Akihabara, but did not have a chance to do so. This is Akihabara station. I found so many travelers from other Asian countries as usual.

Then at night, we went for a New Years eve walk, but will make it another story.
2010.01.01 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

こっちは静かな上野 Quiet Sunny Ueno Park
カテゴリ: Japan things
Took a walk to Ueno. Shopping town and concert hall, museums and park including zoo, area.
Museums are on the small hill where used sit a great Kaneiji Temple. Temples are gone because of civil war more than a century ago. Now a few people remember the name of the hill; Shinobu ga oka, the hill of silent thought. The pond's name is very popular; Shinobazu no ike, The pond of unbealable. They come in pairs.
So this is a Japanese style tea shop not exactly it was years ago, but still resembles the traditional mood.
The flag says "Our proud sweet sake." Sweet sake contains an essence of alcohol and mostly sweet rice fermented drinks for the winter. OK for children, too. May be we jumped in if it was colder.

2009.12.30 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

Godzilla! 銅像についてのちょっとした勘違い
カテゴリ: Japan things
In the mid 19th century, Japan decided to be a new modern country and say good-bye to Shogunate through a revolutionary civil war. Then new leaders' next issue was to be recognized as a Westernized country, because they found out the treaty Shogunate had concluded with Westerners was so humiliating that they had to have new one as soon as possible.

This caused many strange and nonsense things to happen and bronze statues in the city were one.

I think they got the idea 99% right. However, it was implanted to our culture in haste, we are sometimes too tolerant to some bizarre ideas, like this.
Godzilla protecting now-endangered-smoking-saraimen.

Even Japanese felt a bit strange when they decided to build this statue at Yurakucho, a business district in the very center of Tokyo, just like the midtown area in Manhattan. Why here? Because the Toho Movie company was (or is?) here. But it is rather hard to find out, if you are not a smoker.


Then another shock has hit us; TOO SMALL!

It gotta look like this.

I love the cute little Godzilla, too, though.
2009.12.08 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

Sweet soup and the taste of ghost お汁粉
カテゴリ: Japan things

What's this?
A kind of sweet bean soup my kids made. Very traditional.


I was thinking if there are any western soups that are sweet and you eat it like cakes, but can't think of any. It's rather like pie. You eat meat pies as meal but eat fruit pies and cream pies as desserts.

So this, small red beans made into soup with sugar and you add grilled rice cakes in it. Today, my kids tried more country style one with some sweet potato gnocchi in, but the potato they used happen to be the purple one. It got to be yellow if you want it right, but OK because purple ones are supposed to be more healthy.

And they were talking about my mother-in-law's expression about not enough sugar in it; she says, "Taste like ghosts." Yes, it probably means it tastes very thin that you can't get it, but including I, we feel a kind of funny when she repeats, "Sorry kids. I should have be more careful. It tastes like ghost!"

If you are interested how the ghosts tastes, put your small red beans and water in a pan, let it stand overnight, boil once, throw the hot water away and check if beans are not bitter. Then add fresh water and let it boil till the beans are soft. Then add a few spoons of sugar . Be careful not to make it sweet. Just add a pinch of salt. Taste it. Tasteless? OK, now you are tasting ghost!

2009.12.06 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑

Eco and warm /こたつ
カテゴリ: Japan things
How do you warm your house?
We do have air conditioner and it is working fine (Yeah! It is Made-in-Japan-state-of-art thing!) but like most people, we prefer Kotatsu.

This is an example of Kotatsu at the sales display. It is a low table with a heater unit inside and you cover it with thick kilt cover that warm air wont get out.
The government suggests you to use blankets and over-cover and a kilted carpet and sometimes an aluminum sheet to improve the heating efficiency. Great.
Earlier this year, my husband have fixed our old Kotatsu. He went out to Akihabara and got a new heating unit and replaced it with the old one. Akihabara is originally and basically the town for electricians. Even now you can get every kinds of electrical parts there in addition to all Manga, Anime and figures. Otakus are new comers.
So in this space, you put your legs. Warm legs make your whole body warm. Make yourself comfortable cuddling on the carpet, though it is not what samurai should do. Many mothers disagree with kotatsu because you get lazy and makes the posture of kids bad. My in law is. But I love it!
Even this guy knows how to use it.
Well, in Japanese Children's song "Snow", they go "dogs get so joyful an' running around in the yard and cats curl up at Kotatsu when it snows." I really wonder what "at" here actually means; on or in. In my house, it is forbidden to climb on the table, cat or child (we just told both of them not to do so and they understood. Sometimes cats are better than kids. Smart for the alley cats, aren't they?) so they get "in" the kotasu, except this guy, "the Director". He uses kotatsu this way, just like humans.

猫はこたつで丸くなるのは、こたつの上? こたつの中? 

He got his mane "the Director" because tells me when to get up, eat and sleep. He also watch house and tell everybody when to take a break, before they notice they have worked too hard.

In Japanese superstition, old cats change into something supernatural much similar to human called Nekomata. He might be going that way. Just sorry for him he's got a bobtail that can't get his tail separated into two to gain some magical power.
2009.11.30 / コメント:: 0 / トラックバック:: 0 / PageTop↑



ナカイサヤカ/Sayaka Nakai

ビジネス・メール翻訳のWhoopee! Mail の翻訳者チームにいます。自動翻訳みたいにちゃっちゃっと使えて早い。だけど訳しているのは少数精鋭の翻訳者チームなので、お仕事のテキストも安心です。
I am a translator, English to Japanese/Japanese to English.

ASIOS の会員・運営委員です。今後はここでも超常現象系のお話をするかも知れません。ことしもASIOSからはたくさん本が出る予定です。
ASIOS is the Japan's skeptics in action.

I am translating and publishing Children's books from English to Japanese. Are you searching a way to publish your books in Japan? I, may be, can help.

毎月第1第3金曜日に< a href=”http://www4.plala.or.jp/yosikawa-culture/index.html”>吉川カルチャークラブで、とってもやさしい英会話を教えています。月1回から2回で若くなくてもちゃーんと伸びて、しかもネイティブっぽい発音になるというちょっと不思議なメソッドです。

Hello from Tokyo
Find out what I found out in Tokyo.
I speak, write, think in English. So ask me!

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