Archive for June, 2007

Quick trip to Japan…

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So I’m only in country for a few days, but have had a great time.  Unfortunately, I took the world’s worst pictures at dinner last night…at least, I thought they were fun and artistic last night, but now they make me dizzy.  Six of us went to dinner (Jim, Mary, Richard, Tim, Ken and myself) at a place I’m hoping to be able to find again.  It was such good food!  From sashimi, omelet, fried cheese (with mayo for dipping, of course), kimchi, fries to pizza, we tried everything.   I should have taken some pictures of the food before we ate it!  I don’t think I’ve figured out my pixelation problems, though…sorry.

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Back home, my kitchen countertops are (hopfully) getting finished.  Over the last trip (and for a bit longer) the outside of the house was painted.  While the tan (a.k.a. latte) isn’t that far from the peachy color the house was before, the new green door and fresh paint makes everything look so much better! 

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While I’m going back in time, the weekend before I flew here, I spent the majority of Saturday typing as fast as I could while preparing for the Luminary Ceremony at the Central Kitsap Relay for Life.  The ceremony was great – big thanks are owed to the volunteers from Girl Scout Troops 144 and 612, the three Jim’s from Peninsula Pipes & Drums, Nose Ormsby and Angela Martin, as well as all of our name readers!  My personal kudos goes to Lori Carlson for volunteering to co-chair with me.  With all my work committments, it wouldn’t have been successful without her!  It was a dreary weekend, but the heavy rain held out until the awards ceremony on Sunday.  I have been told there are a few Relay for Life events here in Japan, too.  Here’s a quick shot of the Surivors releasing their balloons before walking the first lap of the 24-hour relay. 

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 …and here’s how tired you feel after the event – so tired, you don’t sleep in the tent, you fall onto it.  Actually, Jacob is attempting to pack up the tent at the end of the event.  Incidentally, his Japanese studies are two years more in-depth than my own…

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Weeks two and three…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sorry for the apparent pixelation of some of my photos.  I think I changed a setting on my new camera and that’s where things went wrong. 

I’m back in the US, but I wanted to post some of the other pics from the trip.  Apology stands…

While I was in Japan, I tried several drinks from the many drink vending machines.  This is one of the machines in a JR station – you can use your train pass proximity reader to make purchases. 

And a close-up of one I just don’t think I’ll ever try…

The flower exhibit at the National Museum of Science in Tokyo was amazing – even if we couldn’t read 99% of the signs!  The exhibit included information about reproduction, pigmentation, dyeing, arranging, sped up video of many flowers blooming, etc.  There was a gift shop.  I just realized I left the magnet I bought on the fridge in the hotel room.  Bummer! 

Here’s one of the signs:

 

We also went to Yunessen.  I’ve realized that no one is very photogenic when relaxing in hot springs…but here’s a picture of the creepy one where these little fish come and eat the dead skin off your feet.  The feet with the fish – Juan’s on his second trip.  The pale one on the right with no fish – mine.  Guess I exfoliated my feet enough walking on stones that day or jumped too much for the fish to hold on!

 

One Friday after work, Frank and I spotted the sculpture in Chuo Park and figured out (with the help of a nice elementary school teacher) how to get there:

…and a small sample of one of the many hydrangeas we saw:

I met Juan in Machida to drag him yarn shopping.  This was my first time taking the train by myself.  A stranger found me on my way to a connection train to ensure I made it to the right one, since she’d seen me check my map while riding next to me.  On the way to the shop recommended, we found an even better store – Okadaya (blue and white sign in the center).  They had entire floors dedicated to different handicrafts, and a discount card.  I bought 15 of the 21 skeins needed for making a Lizard Ridge blanket.  I figured out that I’m saving over $60 by buying it there than in the US.  While yarn is cheaper, accessories (needles, hooks, counters) are often more expensive.  No Addi Turbos to be found, either.  (Something else to stock up on besides Levi’s and shoes.)

That’s about it for pictures.  As for other tidbits: I won one game of bingo (along with 4 other people) and Mary won a door prize.  I happened upon a great deal on a RAV4, so I bought it and am very grateful to co-workers keeping it for me until I move.  I got answers to questions I had on a crochet pattern – in a mix of Japanese and English.  I used a traditional Japanese toilet only once, while in the Yokohama JR train station.  I didn’t eat sushi for all three weeks.  I’m told this is a crime, especially for me, since I love sushi.  My first meal when I got home – Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger.