Archive | Japan RSS feed for this section

Night Zoo

11 Aug

One week in August, Ueno Zoo in Tokyo has a “Night Zoo” event. We went to it yesterday. We’ve been to it before too (click here to see my post about it in 2011).

Before we went to the zoo, we stopped for lunch at 東京駅 (Tokyo Station):

An 「駅弁」 (Train station “bento”) shop. Have you ever had a Japanese “bento”?

You can watch them preparing the bento meals.

The 「銀の鈴」 (“Silver Bell”) in Tokyo Station…a popular meeting spot.

2015-08-10 11.24.48

「チキンラーメン」 (“Chicken Ramen”)

The one on the left says 「有休とります」 (“I’m gonna take a holiday”) to give your boss or co-workers. The other says 「ごめんね」 (“I’m sorry”) to give someone as an apology.

The Ultraman Shop’s “manager”.

The less-photographed entrance of 東京駅 (Tokyo Station).

Break time

The popular Japanese cartoon character “Doraemon” in the small children’s mini-amusement park outside Ueno Zoo.

I have many memories of taking my kids to this 「こども遊園地」 (Kids’ Amusement Park) when they were little.

The entrance to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. We went to the zoo in the afternoon and stayed until the end of the “Night Zoo” event.

We could see the pandas eating, rather than sleeping – as they usually are.

パンダ (Panda)

シンシン (メス) … (“Shin-Shin” the female panda).

リーリー (オス) …. (“Ri-Ri” the male panda).

The polar bear was a highlight for us because it was feeding time when we happened to go to that exhibit…and also, Ueno Zoo has added a new viewing area where we could watch him swim!

Huge ゾウガメ (Giant Tortoise)

コビトカバ (Pygmy Hippo)

Sleeping seals.

The sun was setting and “Night Zoo” began.

 

Review & Giveaway 18: Writing Japanese Katakana

9 Aug

Here’s another review of a book I’ve received from Tuttle Books!
As usual, they have agreed to give (gave) one free copy of this book to a random visitor to my blog!

The book I’m reviewing today is titled “Writing Japanese Katakana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” by Jim Gleeson.

Writing Japanese Katakana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)

Writing Japanese Katakana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)

I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.

The written Japanese language has three scripts: hiragana and katakana (collectively known as “kana“) and thousands of kanji.

The script that is taught in this book is katakana. This script is mainly used for writing foreign words (such as English), onomatopoeic words and also it’s used for emphasis (in a similar way that italics are used in English).

I’d recommend learning hiragana before katakana, just as Japanese children do…so, if you don’t already know hiragana, there’s still time to enter the drawing for the free copy of the (a) hiragana study book in this series. (Click here)

Writing Japanese Katakana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” is a good book for those who wish to learn Japanese. When studying Japanese, you should start by learning to read and write hiragana…and then, you should study katakana next.
Not only will it help you to be able to read signs, menus, etc in Japan…but knowing and using katakana will help you to pronounce foreign words and onomatopoeia in the way that Japanese people understand them.

This book has plenty of spaces for you to practice writing the katakana characters as you learn them…which is the best way to remember them.
It also has you write some example sentences using the characters you’ve learned up to that point.

Writing Japanese Katakana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” can be purchased through Amazon here.

But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give (gave) one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.

To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2015 August 31st:

***** Updated August 31st, 2015 *****

This special promo ended on 2015 August 31st. One random winner was selected and contacted directly by Tuttle Publishers (via email) with the details about the free book.

Thank you to all who entered, but only the winner was contacted.
*****

70th Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki

9 Aug

Today is the 70th anniversary of the 1945 August 9th atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

The 「平和祈念像」 (Peace Statue) in the 「平和公園」 (Peace Park) in Nagasaki.

The 「平和祈念像」 (Peace Statue) in the 「平和公園」 (Peace Park) in Nagasaki.

I first came to Japan in 1990, the year of the 45th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Just as there is every year, there will be a memorial service in Nagasaki today to mark this solemn occasion…and a moment of silence across Japan at 11:02AM, the time that the bomb was dropped on the city seventy years ago.

Review & Giveaway 17: Writing Japanese Hiragana

7 Aug

I have received five more books from Tuttle Books!
And, as always, they have agreed to give (gave) one free copy of each book to a random visitor to my blog!

The book I’m reviewing today is titled “Writing Japanese Hiragana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” by Jim Gleeson.

Writing Japanese Hiragana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)

I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.

The written Japanese language has three scripts: hiragana and katakana (collectively known as “kana“) and thousands of kanji.

The script that is taught in this book is hiragana. This script is mainly used for verb tense, prepositions, etc. but, technically, it’s possible to write Japanese completely in hiragana. In fact, books for young Japanese children are written this way…because hiragana is the first script that Japanese children learn.

Hiragana (and occasionally katakana) is also used to write “furigana, which is a type of “pronunciation guide” that is often written above difficult and seldomly used kanji characters.

Writing Japanese Hiragana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” is a good book for those who wish to learn Japanese. When studying Japanese, you should start by learning to read and write hiragana.
Not only will it help you to be able to read signs, menus, etc in Japan…but knowing and using hiragana (as well as katakana and kanji) helps you to pronounce Japanese properly.

This book has plenty of spaces for you to practice writing the hiragana characters as you learn them…which is the best way to remember them.
It also has you write some example sentences using the characters you’ve learned up to that point.

Writing Japanese Hiragana (An Introductory Japanese Language Workbook)” can be purchased through Amazon here.

But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give (gave) one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.

To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2015 August 31st:

***** Updated August 31st, 2015 *****

This special promo ended on 2015 August 31st. One random winner was selected and contacted directly by Tuttle Publishers (via email) with the details about the free book.

Thank you to all who entered, but only the winner was contacted.
*****

70th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

6 Aug

Today is the 70th anniversary of the 1945 August 6th bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

The 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial).

The 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial).

When I first came to Japan in 1990, it was the year of the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As always, there was a special memorial in Hiroshima today…and a moment of silence at 8:16AM across Japan.

Paper lanterns were set afloat near the Peace Dome in Hiroshima today in a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

Paper lanterns were set afloat near the Peace Dome in Hiroshima today in a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

When was the traffic light invented…

5 Aug

If it wasn’t for the internet, and Google in particular I would have no idea that the traffic light system was invented 101 years ago today.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have even wondered.

But the “Google logo” is a traffic light today…so I figured today must be the anniversary of it’s invention.

1914-8-5

So, I clicked on the link and learned that the first traffic signal system was started in America on August 5th, 1914. Exactly 101 years ago today.

Thanks Google. Learn something everyday.

Travel posters from mid-1900’s to promote tourism to Japan

26 Jul Featured Image -- 12673

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

JP 0

Last year, over 13 million foreign visitors took a trip to Japan. Many of the country’s best attractions, though, are actually hundreds of years old. That means that while they’ve been drawing more international travelers than ever in the 21st century, they were hardly being ignored in the 20th, as shown by this collection of retro-cool travel posters from the early and mid-1900s.

View original 371 more words

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 279 other followers