Travel to Japan

Travel to Japan

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

I’m so glad that I finally went to Japan. Sightseeing was fun, however, I realized my physical limitation. I walked many kilometers at a fast pace every day. My calves are still hurting.
I’m glad my brother’s entire families are thriving and doing well. It’s good to see people I have not met before – such as my niece’s kids Yuuki & Atsuki, my nephew’s wife Nana and two kids Yura & Kanata. I remember I met Auntie Kiyoko & cousin Shigeko over 40 years ago.

I wish to express my utmost appreciation and gratefulness to my brother Kanji and his wife Kazuko. I stayed at their house from March 22 to 27 and April 2 to 5. Kazuko prepared 10 kinds of side dishes for breakfast every morning. Brother Kanji helped wash dishes at home.
I forgot to say to them “May I help you?” or “How can I help?” — I am too damn lazy, shame on me.
We went out many different restaurants for dinners so I can experience different cuisine.

I just love being pampered. In Japan, people are shy, so you initiate “ask help.” Due to my bilingual, I got all the help I needed from strangers in Japan. Thanks, everyone!

What I noticed in Japan:
1) Cleanliness – Everything is spotless. It’s Japan
2) An automated external defibrillator (AED) in many places. Just in case.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest
3) Kei-cars, the minicars (the engine must be 660cc or smaller ) sold almost exclusively in Japan. They could go around and do their daily chores with this car.
4) Ultra high tech in Rail system among others. Yet, very people-centric.
5) see/hear vocabulary “reform old house” in Japan.
That sounds very strange to my ears. I jokingly thought that these houses are criminals and need to be put them in halfway house (reform house, a reform school for juveniles etc.,) LOL  
I am used to seeing/ hearing “remodeling, renovation” in the good old USA.
Reform = to adapt to modern changes in social, political, and cultural life.
Restructure = to effect a fundamental change in (as an organization or system).
Remodel = “restore to a good state of repair.” “to change the structure or form of something
Renovation = is the process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure.
Refurbishment, on the other hand, implies a process of improvement by cleaning, decorating.

Also, Japanese people use many English vocabulary but they say it wrong. For example “buffet” (English pronunciation is bəˈfā where Japanese pronounce it Byuffe)

Have you ever wondered why the Japanese wear those masks? 
I had to ask my niece Megumi because she was wearing a mask all the time.
#1: She suffers from “Hay Fever.” She is allergic to cedar & cypress tree pollen. 25 million people (20% of the population) currently suffer from seasonal hay fever in Japan.
#2: Either you are sick or not wanting to get sick.
#3: Avoid Annoying People in public
#4: Too lazy for make-up.
#5: Fashion.

Travel to Japan  March 21 – April 5

🙂  Tokyo (Ueno, Asakusa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno)

🙂  Yokohama City (Chinatown, Marine Rouge Dinner Cruise, Sankei-en Garden, Minato Mirai)

🙂  Nagano prefecture (Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Zenkoji Temple, Sake tasting tour, Matsumoto Castle)

🙂  Gunma prefecture (Mizusawa Kannon, Ikaho Hot Spring, Mt. Haruna and Lake)

🙂  Commuter trains in Tokyo
Safe, convenient riding environment. Equipped with full-color LED displays, showing train information

😦   Years ago, I was furious about NBC Sports announcer.   😦   What she said was, ‘Japanese toilet is a hole.’ I couldn’t believe what she was saying. Way before that my house already had a Western-style toilet.  🙂

🙂  People are kind, considerate. Everything must be perfect, and high-quality.
I think the big fault of Japanese society is that women have no equality in the workplace – particularly Civil Servant job.

🙂  It’s a mystery to me for a few days.
“Please do not throw trash” however, I didn’t find any trash bins nearby.
You Recycle: Combustibles – Plastics – PET plastics – Alum cans – Glass bottles

🙂  I cannot post family photos on my blog because they value privacy.

Advertisements

Once upon a time,

Japan – Once upon a time,

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

I just got home today (April 5th) from Japan.

Japan is very clean, beautiful, and high-tech. Therefore I felt somehow complicated. It becomes so easy after you try once.
My sister-in-law gave me my old picture on China plate that she found while cleaning my parent’s empty house. It reminded me of most exciting time in my life. It was totally new generation era. I experienced a bit of carefree and eclectic lifestyle.
That my youthfulness is gone now.
Well, youthfulness is a state of mind, youthfulness is an attitude. . . So, I like to feel new vitality, stay curious and excited about life. And, I am trying to mark off my bucket lists.

I met my brother’s family, we had a splendid time; one to be remembered by all who were there.
uh-oh, I forgot to mention that this beautiful family collage was created by Nana (my brother’s oldest son’s wife)

Japan – wonderful gifts,

Philosophical Attitude

March – Philosophical Attitude

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

I’d been complaining about my ruined Birthday in January. I think I have unresolved inner conflict. I need to “let it go…”

I read an article somewhere, It’s said ” Pipe City’s inhabitants are discouraged, lonely, filled with a terrible feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. Some of them have learned that a philosophical attitude helps, to make concrete either soft or warm!”
WOW,

What is Pipe City?
The story of Pipe City (from OMCA website Posted by Alexis Madrigal)
In the winter of 1932-1933, the Bay, like the rest of the country, was deep in the Depression. In cities across America, the homeless gathered into encampments. Oakland’s most famous was Pipe City also known as Miseryville. Roughly 200 men were allowed to live in sections of unused sewer pipes by the American Concrete and Steel Pipe Company.

The camp had a kind of underground government headed by an elected mayor, Dutch Jensen, who administered the area, distributing food and work, and preventing drinking, fighting, and “political” talk. Pipe City became a model for Upton Sinclair’s novel Co-Op: A Novel of Living Together and served as a launching pad for the Unemployed Exchange Association, a remarkable attempt to build a barter economy in Oakland.

At the end of the winter, the company who owned them found a buyer for the pipes, and the residents cleaned up and dispersed.

3/01/18: Drove 180 miles in the heavy storm
3/02/18: Took Cellphone private lesson
3/04/18: Volunteer to clean up the street
3/04/18: Oakland Museum of California
3/05/18: Lunch with my former BofA associate
3/06/18: A bone stuck in my throat, emergency hospital
3/08/18: SF Ballet. Frankenstein
3/18/18: Branden & James Concert
3/21/18: Fly to Tokyo from San Francisco

Photo Gallery – March 2018 events of everyday life

Workout

February  Workout

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

I start going to Planet Fitness, used my “DeskCycle – Bikepedal exerciser” at home, also start my own diet. I lost 7 lbs. My blood pressure went down.

2/04/18: SF Ballet. Sleeping Beauty
2/07/18: Visit Dentist. Fair Oaks
2/23/18: Senior Health Expo. Concord
2/27/18: Noontime Concert. SF
2/27/18: 49 Geary Art Galleries. SF
2/27/18: Venus de Milo sculpture. SF

Photo Gallery – February 2018 events of everyday life

Worst Birthday month ever!

January  2018

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

Worst Birthday month ever!

Why everything is so messed up, this month? I didn’t have a joyous time celebrating my Birthday because it was completely ruined.

I have been complaining that how fat I am becoming. I planned to take Weight Management Program Liquid Fasting, average a weight loss of 3-5 pounds per week, (Hmm,  ) is tempting, seducing, luring.
I don’t know how I can stick to strict diet regimen for a long time. It cost around $5,000. However, I must go to Japan for 2 weeks in Spring, I cannot participate 9 to 12-month program. Instead, I joined Planet Fitness Gym and I bought a “deskciycle” exerciser for myself. Right now, I cannot go to the GYM, cannot use “deskcycle”, too much body aches. Almost, my cold (upper respiratory infection) is over.

I accomplished travel plan while I was sick
1) Purchased Non-stop round trip ticket
2) Hotel reservations completed (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagano)
3) Booked Snow Monkeys tour in Nagano
4) Identified things to see and do (plus admissions, distances)
5) Figured out all details of transportations (lines, timetables, fares)
6) Looking forward to seeing family/relatives

1/01/18: Japanese Tea Garden -Golden Gate Park, SF
It is traditional for Japanese people to visit a shrine or a temple during New Year’s holidays.
1/19/18: Birthday Dinner
1/20/18: Didn’t go to College Basketball game
1/21/18: Cancelled “Gala of the Royal Horses”
1/24/18: Annual Wellness check-up visit

Photo Gallery – January 2018 events of everyday life

Bid farewell to 2017

December  2017

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page,  or press the function key F5.

Family in Japan
My elder sister passed away in September 2017 in Japan. She was a powerful matriarch of the family. She focused on family loyalty and traditional achievement all her life. I was the second daughter, spoiled but not much of attention, with a feeling of exclusion. My sister ordered all family members to not to communicate with me. Finally, she is dead. I have no tears to shed for her. I received emails from my youngest brother a few days ago. It was very sad to find out so many relatives passed away, one died under mysterious circumstances. I feel the transience of life. I determined to live “this moment.”

I need to go back to Japan in Spring to meet with family lawyers and judicial scriveners. My sister disowned and disinherited me after both my parents passed away. It’s very complicated story with unusual family situations and her legal manipulations.

a reason for being
My life in SF & Bay Area – so far, so good. I had a good travel companion this year.
I do have the mental torment of not having “i-ki-ga-i” ( (ee-kee-gah-ee) means “a reason for being” or “to have a purpose in life.”
I like to feel that my life is worth living. There are people whose lives are meaningful even though they may not be very happy. Therefore, HAPPINESS does not always equate with IKIGAI.

 12/03/17: Horse race & Lunch at Turf Club Golden Gate Fields Complimentary invitation from the executive.
12/04/17: SF City Hall “World Tree of Hope”

12/12/17: Steve Martin’s “Bright Star” musical at Curran Theatre SF
12/13/17: Movie: Murder on the Orient Express
12/16/17: Disney’s “Aladdin,” the hit Broadway musical
12/20/17: SF Ballet Nutcracker
12/27/17: Black & White Ball at local venue
12/31/17: New Year’s Eve Bell-Ringing Asian Art Museum

Photo Gallery – December 2017 events of everyday life

Uncertainty

November  2017

If images don’t show up: click the Refresh button on your computer screen. This Circular arrow symbol will refresh the web page.  

or pressing the function key F5.

They say the only certain thing in life is uncertainty

I rather not write it because of a private matter.

Thanksgiving Day
I spent wonderful Thanksgiving Day at friend’s house this year. We prepared everything from scratch except pecan and pumpkin pies. A brined turkey (soaked in a salt+spices water for days before cooking.) was delicious. Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows. Pecan Pie melted in my mouth. Richard, thank you for the invitation. I had a great time with your family.

Celebrate a harvest and to give thanks
In Japan, “Labor Thanksgiving Day” is a national holiday which takes place annually on November 23. A day to show gratitude to any working person, thanking them for their diligence and laborious efforts. So, it’s similar date and name to “Thanksgiving Day” in the US. Therefore, people equate these two as same.
I don’t think they are the same. “Thanksgiving Day” in the US is to celebrate a harvest and to give thanks. It is more similar to Japan’s “Harvest Moon Festival.” “Tsukimi” literally moon-viewing, also known as Jugoya. My mother cooked dinner incorporate all seasonal ingredients. Steamed newly harvested Rice with Gingko Nuts, Chestnuts, Matsutake mushrooms. Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Croquettes, Salt-Grilled Sanma (Pacific saury.) We place offerings (any seasonal fruits/veggie – for the moon) on the window sill. It’s a rather quiet and solemn manner. Very poetic.
You can visit Google Doodle about it. The story of the rabbit who lives on the moon.
https://www.google.com/doodles/mid-autumn-festival-2017-japan

11/03/17: Chabot Space & Science Center – $5 First Fridays night
11/04/17: Golden Gate Fields Horse racing – Breeders’ Cup Turf Club Package
11/12/17: SF Civic Symphony – @ Herbst Theater – Mozart to Mendelssohn
11/12/17: My friend Trudie’s sister Rose’s Big 6-0 B-Day
11/16/17: SF Opera “Manon” music by Jules Massenet
11/23/17: Thanksgiving Dinner at friend’s house
11/26/17: 49ers vs. Seahawks American Football game

Photo Gallery – November 2017 events of everyday life