- - - 5/31/2006 - - -

Jindaiji Botanical Gardens

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:19 am

Just like last year I went to Jindaiji and the botanical gardens on the day with free admission. This year was very similar to last except that the flowers bloomed a little later than last. After a stroll through the gardens we ate the famous Jindaiji soba.

Golden Week 2006 Jindaiji Photo Gallery

- - - 5/30/2006 - - -

Kurayami Matsuri

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:57 am

I went to the Kurayami Matsuri (Dark Night Festival), at Okuni-Tama Jinja Shrine. This festival has lots of floats with dancers that only pictures can describe, as well as really really big taiko drums, and horses running through the streets. Of course, lots of festival foods as well.


- - - 5/28/2006 - - -

Golden Week - Sagamiko to Takao

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:06 am

In spring, the mountains are a bright green color and amazingly beautiful. Lots of different flowers are out and in bloom as well. This trip I went to Sagami Lake and from there hiked up and around mountains until I arrived at Takao.

Sagami lake

The river from the lake towards the sea.


- - - 5/27/2006 - - -

Golden Week - Tsutsuji Garden

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:53 am

Finally I am posting this year’s Golden Week pictures. First up.. Ome Tsutsuji Garden.

I would never pass up a chance to make noise.

- - - 5/24/2006 - - -

Server and Being Sick

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:22 am

Recently my server has been having a lot of problems which has made my site periodicly unavailable. Beyond that, I have been slightly sick recently which has led to a lot of sleeping and not much updating.
In other news, today after school I will have a telephone job interview… all in Japanese. [Update: The intervew was not so great.] :(

- - - 5/14/2006 - - -

Jeremy’s Visit Photo Gallery

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:10 am

Jeremy’s Visit Photo Gallery

- - - 5/10/2006 - - -

Master of Japanese tops

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:39 pm

This guy, performing at the park, can do amazing things with Japanese tops of all sizes!

- - - 5/9/2006 - - -

Part 5: More Kyoto

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:34 pm

We of course went to ‘Kinkakuji’ or the Golden Pavilion. It is probably the most famous thing in Kyoto.

Jeremy flipping coins into the bowls for good luck. Neither he nor I ever got one in though. :(

The Zen rock garden at Ryoanji, a place to sit and meditate.

Sakura trees were in full bloom everywhere.

Jeremy and the temple gate guard.

Beautiful old Japanese temple grounds.

We took the train to Arashiyama to see even more mountains, nature, and temples.

Back near the station at the top of Kyoto Tower. The light is coming from Kiyomizu Temple.

- - - 5/8/2006 - - -

Jeremy’s Visit – Part 4

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:32 pm

The weekend before Jeremy left we took the shinkansen down to Kyoto to see the sights. I absolutely love Kyoto. There is an endless amount of temples, shrines, and history to be found everywhere, not forgetting to mention great food and sweets. We also went around the time of the cherry blossoms which made the experience even more beautiful.

This couple was dressed in traditional Japanese clothes and had the traditional umbrellas to match.

The famous Kiyomizu Temple.

Jeremy wanted to see what a Japanese cemetery was like.

Jeremy touching the love rock.

Read carefully. Yet another example of quality Engrish.

The famous cherry tree at Yasaka shrine.

- - - 5/6/2006 - - -

2 Years!

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:52 am

It is amazing how fast 2 years can pass.
I have been many places and seen many things.
I have had lots of fun, but now the fat lady sings.

Now that my job is done, I dont know what to do or where to go.
Will 2 years turn into 3 or 4?
Will I forever be in Japan working but poor?

I need a career, I need an actual life.
I want to become wealthy and have a nice wife.
I’d love to travel the world and behold all that is there.
I love hiking and nature and lots of clean air.

Maybe I’m afraid to leave, afraid of things new, afraid of the future, and afraid of what to do.

2 Years - My life hasn’t changed.
Going on 3.

- - - 5/4/2006 - - -

Part 3: Ueno

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:56 am

Unfortunately, it was a little late for the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park.

The Ueno Zoo was one of the places Jeremy wanted to go to. For this picture I made funny faces at him until he actually smiled.

We saw lots of cool animals, like Ling Ling the panda, eagles, monkeys, giraffes, elephants, etc.

Jeremy and a fake tiger.

Jeremy and a real tiger.


Jeremy spots a porcupine in the trees.

We even got to see a zookeeper chase the giant bird around.

Lastly, we walked though the ‘Ameyoku’ shopping street. We found a really nice Okinawan store and bought lots of interesting foods as well.

- - - 5/3/2006 - - -

Part 2: Jeremy’s week

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:36 am

I took my brother to see some of the famous places like Harajuku.

And Shibuya. Here is the ‘Hachiko’ statue.

We of course went to the game center to play some games. Jeremy enjoyed this game where you punch the bag as hard as possible.

Jeremy is fairly picky when it comes to food. Unlike me, he doesn’t like ‘anko’ or the sweet red bean paste. Japanese noodles like ‘udon’ are no problem though.

The Japanese have also mastered the art of making cakes. This was Jeremy’s favorite cake shop where he bought a countless amount of cakes over his trip.

Akihabara is one of the places where we could spend a lot of time. There are lots of game and anime shops to browse through. Not to mention the biggest electronics store in the world. Jeremy is holding a giant Totoro doll.

All this train riding and walking is really tiring.

- - - 5/2/2006 - - -

Jeremy’s Visit – Part 1

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:16 am

My brother came to visit me and Japan in the middle of April. I had the pleasure of showing him around to see many of the sights and attractions. My brother’s interests seem to be very limited, but I tried to find things he might enjoy. I also, being the shutterbug that I am, took any chance I had to take a picture of my brother.

Anyway… Part 1: Asakusa and the Crane Festival.

Asakusa has many festivals. This one is where a lot of women dress up as white herons and dance down the street to Sensoji temple to pray. We then went over to the paper crane making booth and made cranes. I of course made one really quickly, Jeremy took a bit longer.

Jeremy and I both got fortunes at the temple as well. Jeremy got “best fortune”. I won’t state mine.

We spent the morning looking around, shopping, and eating lunch in the area. This is the famous ‘Kaminarimon’.

We also got to see the performing monkey show. The money didn’t really seem like it wanted to perform though.

Jeremy is touching the statue that is said to have healing powers. One touches a body part of the statue and then your own corresponding body part that you want healed or to be in good health.

We then took a walk along the Sumidagawa River to see the cherry blossoms and the sunset.