Tag Archives: 日本

Disaster

12 Aug

Every summer we go to a beach resort and stay a few days.
This year we planned to go there from Sunday, August 9 until yesterday (Tuesday, August 11) because all five of us had those days off from work or school clubs.

We checked the weather forecast for those days last week and it said that it would rain a little bit on August 9 and then it’d be nice the rest of the time.
But that’s not how it turned out…

When we arrived at the beach on Sunday, it was a bit cloudy but still nice weather and very hot. So the kids went swimming a bit. If they had known that that’d be their only chance to swim, they would’ve stayed in the water longer.

After they finished swimming, they took a shower and changed their clothes and we went for a walk around.
My second daughter caught a カブト虫 (rhino beetle).

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Then it began to rain.

We went back to the room and ate dinner. And we turned on the TV and I checked the weather forecast.
A typhoon was hitting the east coast of Japan! :(

The forecast said that the typhoon would be gone and the weather would clear up on the afternoon of August 11. The day we we going back home!

And then, while we were eating dinner, an 地震 (earthquake) struck!
The area we were in registered a “level 4 earthquake” on the Japanese shindo earthquake scale. (The Japanese scale goes from 1-7).
It was an unwelcome fright! But luckily it wasn’t strong enough to knock anything down where we were.

The weather forecast was correct. The typhoon stayed the whole time we were there. It ruined our beach trip.
The wind and rain was very strong the entire time we were there. Both the beach and the nearby waterslide pool park were closed.

And then yesterday morning at about 5:30AM, another big 地震 (earthquake) struck! This one had the epicenter in 静岡県 (Shizuoka Prefecture), and registered a “level 6″ (out of “7″) there!
Where we were it registered as a “level 4″ again. Once again, not big enough to do damage where we were…but big enough to wake us up!
I hate earthquakes!

But we still had fun together. Indoors.
We played games, watched TV, talked, and enjoyed time together.

We planned to take the 6:30PM train home yesterday (August 11).
At about 5:00PM, I noticed that the typhoon seemed to have passed and the weather was clearing up.
Just my luck! The weather was miserable the whole time we were there…and then clears up when were getting ready to leave!

Since we had time, and the storm passed, we took a walk around again.
There were many surfers taking advantage of the big waves brought by the typhoon.

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Even though we didn’t get to swim as we planned, we still had a good time.
And as I said, we go to this beach every summer. This was the first time that the weather wasn’t beautiful while we were there.
Hopefully it’ll be nice weather again next year!

Peace Memorials

9 Aug

As I mentioned a few days ago (Click here for the post), August 6 marked the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan) and today is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan).

Today in 長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) there will be a memorial service and a moment of silence will be observed all over Japan at 11:01 AM.

In 広島 (Hiroshima, Japan), there is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial to remember the bombing of the city and help prevent another atomic bombing from happening anywhere in the world.
In Japanese, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is called 「原爆ドーム」 which literally means “Atomic Bomb Dome“. This building was the only building to stand nearly intact in Hiroshima after the bombing. It was originally a museum, now it’s a peace memorial.

原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

原爆ドーム (Hiroshima Peace Memorial)

Here’s a photo of  Hiroshima in 1945 after the atomic bombing. The museum that is now the 「原爆ドーム」 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial) can be seen:

hiroshima-1945

長崎 (Nagasaki, Japan) also has a peace memorial. It’s called 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) and, just like Hiroshima does on August 6th, there’s a memorial service in 「長崎平和公園」 (“Nagasaki Peace Park“) every August 9th.

The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").

The "Peace Statue" at 「長崎平和公園」 ("Nagasaki Peace Park").

To all the beers I’ve drunk before

4 Aug

I don’t claim to be a beer ソムリエ (sommelier), but I know what I like.

I’m gonna try and make a list here of as many of the different beers I’ve tried that I can remember. And I’m gonna try to rate them (with a rating scale of 1-3 stars (★★★). One star () being the lowest, and three (★★★) is the highest).

I also wrote the beer’s country of origin.

The star ratings are simply my personal opinion. Kirin Beer is my favorite. And I think any cold lager is good.

Just so you know where I’m coming from.

  • Kirin Lager () – Japan
  • Kirin Classic Lager () – Japan

  • Kirin Ichiban () – Japan
  • Kirin Strong Seven () – Japan

  • Kirin Tanrei () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanei Double () – Japan
  • Kirin Tanrei Green Label () – Japan
  • Kirin Nodogoshi () – Japan
  • Kirin Enjuku () – Japan
  • Kirin Koku-no-jikan () – Japan
  • Kirin Aki-aji () – Japan
  • Budweiser () – America
  • Bud Ice () – America
  • Bud Dry () – America
  • Heineken () – Netherlands
  • Guinness () – Ireland
  • Hitachino Nest Beer () – Japan
  • Asahi Super Dry () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Draft (red can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Aqua Blue (blue can) ( ) – Japan
  • Asahi Hon-nama Gold (gold can) () – Japan
  • Asahi Cool Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Draft () – Japan
  • Orion Southern Star () – Japan
  • Suntory The Premium Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory Malts () – Japan
  • Suntory MD Golden Dry () – Japan
  • Suntory The Straight () – Japan
  • Suntory Jyokki-nama () – Japan
  • Suntory Gold Brew () -Japan
  • Carlsberg () – Denmark
  • Beck’s () – Germany
  • Yebisu Premium () – Japan
  • Yebisu Premium Full Malt () – Japan
  • Sapporo Draft One () – Japan
  • Sapporo Nama Kuro Label () – Japan
  • Satan () – Belgium
  • Singha () – Thailand
  • San Miguel () – Philipines
  • Corona () – Mexico
  • Samuel Adams () – America
  • Miller Genuine Draft () - America
  • Kamakura Moon () – Japan
  • Coedo Ruri () – Japan

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    "Coedo Beer" from Kawagoe (Koedo), Saitama, Japan

I may have tried others that I’ve forgotten. This is all that I can remember off the top of my head.

As you can probably tell by my ratings, I love beer…and I’m not real picky. But I’ve tried Guinness Beer and I didn’t think much of it. やっぱり、I like lager beer.

What do you think of my list? Have you tried any of these beers? Are your impressions different from mine?  What’s your favorite beer? How often do you have a beer? I have a couple with dinner everyday.

Pepsi and Snoopy

28 Jul

In Japan, keychain accessories aren’t popular. But ケータイ電話のアクセサリー (cellular phone accessories) are. Especially cell-phone straps.

In your country, are cell-phone straps popular?

Last Spring, ペプシ (Pepsi Japan) gave away Snoopy cell-phone straps with purchases of 500ml bottles of Pepsi NEX.

The straps were Snoopy with 「全国おいしいものアクセサリー」 (“All of Japan Delicious Foods“). They featured Snoopy resting on food items from 24 different areas of Japan.

Tokyo’s was the best! It has Snoopy resting on 江戸前寿司 (Old Tokyo Sushi). Osaka’s was Snoopy with たこ焼き (Octopus Dumpling).

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These were given away with Pepsi NEX for a limited-time only and aren’t available anymore.

But now they’re offering Snoopy with 「全国おいしいものアクセサリー第2段」 (“All of Japan Delicious Foods…Second Version“) with purchases of 500ml bottles of Pepsi NEX.

This version doesn’t include a strap for Tokyo nor Hokkaido. But there is one for 横浜中華街 (Yokohama Chinatown)…「中華まん」 (“Chinese Steamed Meat-filled Bun“).

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Anpanman in the Guinness Book

28 Jul

There’s a very popular children’s cartoon character in Japan called 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“).

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2009 has been a big year for 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) and for his artist Takashi Yanase.

This year, Takashi Yanase turned 90 years old, he’s been a professional artist for 60 years, the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) comic started 40 years ago, and the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) television series started 20 years ago. (Click here to see an earlier post I wrote about this).
And now, 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) is in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the “Most Characters In A Single Animated Series“.

「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“) has over 2000 characters, but the Guinness Book only recognized 1768 characters…which still sets the record as the most characters.

Here are some of the main ones:

anpanman-fullMy kids grew up watching 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“). It’s a wonderful cartoon for kids!

Have you ever watched 「それいけ!アンパンマン」 (“Go! Anpanman“)? I like 「バイキンマン」 (Baikinman), 「ホラーマン」 (Horror-man), and 「だいこんやくしゃ」 (Daikonyakusha) best.

Click here to see my post about the 「アンパンマン」 (Anpanman) Exhibit we went to last Spring.

竜巻

28 Jul

Yesterday at about 2:00PM, a 竜巻 (tornado) hit 群馬県 (Gunma Prefecture), a couple hours north of Tokyo.

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About 200 homes and shops had their windows broken and many had the roofs ripped off. A number of cars were flipped over. And other damage like that.

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It was reported that there were about two dozen injuries but no deaths were reported so far.
The worst injury was sustained by an elderly woman who was hit by a bicycle that was thrown by the high wind. She’s in serious condition at the hospital.

It’s unfortunate that people were injured and had their property damaged. But it’s good that there were no deaths caused by the 竜巻 (tornado)!
群馬県 (Gunma Prefecture) is a rural area. If the 竜巻 (tornado)* struck a densely populated area like Tokyo, surely there would have been alot more damage and casualties!

*(竜巻 (tornado) in Japanese literally translates to “rolling dragon“).

日食

23 Jul

As I mentioned in an earlier post (click here to read it), there was a 日食 (solar eclipse) visible from Japan today.

Unfortunately, it was an overcast day (with light rain in the morning), so the eclipse wasn’t easily visible. I wasn’t able to see it at all. But I saw on the TV news this evening that many people with “eclipse glasses” waited for the clouds to part…which they did a little bit before the eclipse ended, so they were able to get a view of the eclipsed sun.

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日食 (solar eclipse) over Tokyo

Today’s 日食 (solar eclipse) was a 100% eclipse visible from southern Japan. From Tokyo, it was about 70%.

The TV news said that the next time that a partial eclipse will be visible from Japan won’t occur for another 26 years. And the next time that a full eclipse will be seen in Japan won’t be for about 300 years!
So today’s eclipse was something special!

The Sea and The Sun

20 Jul

今日は「海の日」 (Today is “Sea Day“).

It’s the Japanese holiday in July to appreciate the ocean and sea life…many people go to the beach on this day.
(You can read my short FAQ about this holiday on my website by clicking here).

We’re not going to the beach today.
My wife and second daughter are at the shopping mall now, but I’m at home waiting for our youngest daughter to come home from basketball practice at her junior high school (she’s on the girls’ basketball team) and my oldest to come home from her part-time job.

My youngest daughter will be home about 2:00 and my oldest will be home around 3:00…at which time we’ll go to the mall to meet my wife and other kid.

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On 水曜日 (Wednesday), 2009 June 22, the longest total 日食 (solar eclipse) of the 二十一世紀 (21st century) will be viewable in Japan (and other parts of Asia).

In southern Japan, at just before 11:00 AM, a full eclipse will be visible.
Other parts of Japan will be able to see a partial eclipse.

Over Tokyo at about 11:10 AM on Wednesday, a 70% eclipse will occur.

Here’s a map of Japan showing the approximate percentage of 日食 (solar eclipse) will be visible from around 10:45 – 11:15 AM on June 22 (I got this map from Japan Guide):

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(click to enlarge)

If you will be in the area to see this 日食 (solar eclipse), don’t forget that looking at a solar eclipse without the proper equipment can damage your eyes permanently (and taking a photo of it without the proper equipment can damage a camera).

うな丼

19 Jul

今日は「土用の丑の日」 (Today is “The Day of The Ox“)…which is the day in summer that people eat ウナギ (freshwater eel). Usually the eel is prepared as 「うな丼」 (Eel on Rice).

The うな丼 that I ate today.

The うな丼 that I ate today.

Eating ウナギ (freshwater eel) in the summertime is said to give you stamina to stand the hot, humid days.

I wrote a post about 「土用の丑の日」 (“The Day of The Ox“) last year. Click here to read it.

We are eating 「うな丼」 (Eel on Rice) for dinner today.

It’s quite delicious!

Have you ever tried eel? ウナギ (Freshwater eel) is different from アナゴ (Saltwater eels).

ウナギ (Freshwater eel) is richer tasting and, in Japan, is usually prepared with a sweet sauce and eaten on rice. アナゴ (Saltwater eel) is the eel that is used on 寿司 (sushi), in Japan.

Both are good…but I think ウナギ (freshwater eel) is better.

Recent news

19 Jul

A few things:

  • The world’s oldest man, Henry Allington from England, died today at the age of 113 years and 42 days.
    He had been the world’s oldest man for only 29 days before he died. Before Mr. Allington, the world’s oldest man had been Japanese Tomoji Tanabe (died at age 113 years 274 days). I wrote a post about Tomoji Tanabe when he died…click here to read it.  Now the world’s oldest man is Walter Breuning from America. He’ll turn 113 years old on (2009) September 21. (The world’s oldest person is Gertrude Baines, also from America. She’s 115 years old.)
  • As with most kids all over Japan, my daughters began their school’s 夏休み (summer vacation) today. They will return to school on August 25…so they’re off from school for about five weeks.In Japan, the new school year begins in April, not after summer holidays…so they’ll return to the same class.
    Also, in Japan, kids get alot of 宿題 (homework) to do over the summer.
  • My oldest daughter also started her first day of work at her first part-time job today. She began working at Domino’s Pizza.
  • To attract families with kids to travel by 新幹線 (bullet train) to go somewhere during their 夏休み (summer vacation)…新幹線 (bullet trains) in Japan have been painted with pictures of characters from the 「ポケモン」 (“Pokemon“) cartoon.

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  • The fast-food chain, Lotteria, in Japan has started a “money-back guarantee” for it gourmet 「絶妙ハンバーガー (“Zetsumyou (Exquisite) Hamburger“).  If you buy one and don’t like and return more than half of the burger, they will give you a new one (in case the first one simply wasn’t prepared properly)…if you’re still not satisfied (and return more than half of the second one), your money will be refunded.

zetsumyou

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