- - - 7/31/2006 - - -

Doyoushinohi 2006

Filed under: — Andy @ 11:51 pm

When it comes to certain things, it seems I like doing them just like the year before. This year’s doyoushinohi or eel day was no exception. I met the same coworker as last year and we went out to the same unagi restaurant as last year as well. There was one difference though. Josh had just arrived from his stay in China so he was there for the fun as well.

- - - 7/30/2006 - - -

Plum Festival 2006

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:55 pm

Like last year, I went to the plum festival in Fuchu. This year I took the black crow fan I bought last time and returned it, thus completing my 1 year of good luck. After that I bought a new fan for this year. I went with a freind this year and he also bought a fan as well. Lastly, we ate lots of festivial food.

Crowded as usual

My friend and the plums.

Returning my fan from last year!

The temple and our new fans.

Flowers frozen in ice.

- - - 7/29/2006 - - -

Fukushima Photo Gallery

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:08 pm

Fukushima Photo Gallery

Fukushima Part 2

Filed under: — Andy @ 9:27 pm

The next day I got up early and headed out to (五色沼, Goshikinuma) or five colors ponds. I like nature and loved hiking though the area and seeing all the ponds, but unfortunately it started raining. I still got to see a lot of the area before that and took many pictures.

- - - 7/28/2006 - - -

Fukushima Part 1

Filed under: — Andy @ 9:16 pm

Since I had more time after visiting my friend in Utsunomiya, I decided to travel a little further north to the prefecture of Fukushima. The first place I went was a town called Aizuwakamatsu. Once there I toured around the city to see the sights. I saw house of Dr. Noguchi, who devoted his life to science and research to cure diseases, and can also be seen on the Japanese 1000 yen bill. I visited an old traditional sake brewery and museum where there were as many free samples of sake as one could drink. I visited Tsurugajo castle and went to the top to get a good view of the city. Not to mention I ate lunch at what all the locals said was the best place in town. As it got late I made my way to the hot springs in the mountains to spend the night in a ryokan.

- - - 7/15/2006 - - -

Oya Cannon

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:37 pm

I visited my friend in Utsunomiya again but this time we went to go see the Oya Cannon. It is a giant statue built out of one giant oya stone that originates from the area. As you can see though, it was under construction. We also visited the nearby temple that had more carvings, as well as the location of the oldest human found in Japan. Over 11,000 years old. Then we went to the oya mine. The mine was really fascinating. When you enter, first thing one notices is that its pretty cold, which is nice on a hot summer day. Then when you get inside a little more you notice how huge the area is. There is supposedly the space of a baseball stadium all created from mining the oya stone. My pictures did not turn out at all as it was too dark.

- - - 7/9/2006 - - -

Aviation Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:05 am

In Tokorozawa about 40 minutes by train from where I live is the location of Japan’s first airfield, which is now a large park and aviation museum. While I have seen better kept parks the museum was quite nice. There were lots of interactive and historical exhibits, as well as lots of flight simulators and old planes and helicopters.

It takes 3921 balloons to lift me :)

- - - 7/6/2006 - - -

Leaches in the Rain

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:53 am

After many months of absence I finally went hiking with the mountain climbing club again. Unfortunately, the weather was not too great. In the morning it was just cloudy and seemed fine, but by the time we got to the mountain it was raining, and the rain did not stop. In hopes that it would let up we started climbing anyway, but it never did and soaked we were forced to give up. However, hiking in the rain has its advantages. I got to see things I wouldn’t have otherwise, especially 2 animals I didn’t even realize lived in the mountains. The first were crabs complete with pinchy claws. The second… leaches! Lots of them! At one stopping point there were so many leaches squirming around on the ground that it was impossible to count them, almost like the ground was blanketed with leaches. Leaches are also really sneaky… 2 of them found their way to my legs and sucked enough blood out to have their fill. Another member got bit on the stomach, and countless more leaches were brushed off people’s shoes, pants, bags, hats, shirts, umbrellas, etc. It’s amazing how they can find their way to some of the places we found them. All in all, I had an interesting and educational time. The onsen afterwards was especially nice.