- - - 5/29/2008 - - -

School Lunch

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:20 am

One of the good things about working at an elementary school is that I get to eat the school lunch. Unlike the States, at Japanese elementary schools everyone, even the teachers, eat the school lunches… there is no choice. Besides the milk everyday, that I cant drink because of stupid lactose intolerance, I really enjoy the food. It is mostly Japanese style, well nutritionally balanced, and different everyday. However, today was a very special menu - something that I really want expecting. The special food was ‘whale’. At the top of the picture, fried in sesame seeds, it was tough and a bit chewy. Although I have eaten whale before just to try it, I am still an American and dont feel that it really is something that should be considered food. It seems that Japan is the only country left in the world that eats whale, and tries to keep the tradition of eating whale alive by feeding it to their children in elementary school.

- - - 5/22/2008 - - -

Sanja Matsuri 08

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:50 am

Last Sunday I went to go see the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri with a friend. It was my second time to see the festival so I mostly went for the food and sweets. Afterwards we met a friend of my friend and we went out for yakitori and drinks.

- - - 5/17/2008 - - -

Rikugien with Mr Hara

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:28 am

Since I had returned to Kanto, I got an offer from Mr Hara again to show me around to some of the special places and foods in the area. This time he took me to a famous garden called Rikugien. When we got there we took a little walk and ate matcha and Japanese sweets by the lake. Afterwards we took the free tour of the garden. My Japanese has improved a lot since the last time we met, but the tour was a lot about Japanese history and old famous people that was really difficult for me to understand so it was nice to have some people to translate for me.
After the garden we went out for lunch at Sasanoyuki, which is a very famous and expensive restaurant that only serves dishes made from tofu. We got the course and I enjoyed all the different tofu dishes. Afterwards, we went for dessert in Kameido. On the way we stopped in at Kameido Shrine which is very popular for students who want to pass entrance examinations. Dessert was Kuzu Mochi at Funabashiya. I have had KuzuKiri before but it was my first time to eat Kuzu Mochi and it was really good. I look forward to the next time.

- - - 5/6/2008 - - -

GW08 Takao

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:31 am

On Tuesday, the weather was beautiful and clear. So I went out and did what I had done every Golden Week before I went to Okinawa… climb Mt. Takao. The climb up was great, and from the top I could see the tip of Mt. Fuji. No matter how many times I climb Mt. Takao, I always enjoy it.

- - - 5/5/2008 - - -

GW08 Giant Kite Festival

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:55 am

On Monday I went to go see a giant kite festival. When I say giant kites, I mean giant kites - that takes 20 people to set up and 50 people to run with the rope. Even then a lot of the time it just fell right back down to the ground. The weather was overcast but quite windy so good for kiteing. There were various teams and also medium and small kites. As well as many people flying their own small kite.

One of the giant kites.

May 5th, Boys day = Koinobori

A man from the local kite club flying his kite.

A team talking strategy with their medium sized kite.

A giant kite on take-off.

Taiko drummers encouraging everyone on.

- - - 5/4/2008 - - -

GW08 Cafe with Kayo

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:30 am

On Sunday, I met my friend Kayo to go eat sweets at a famous cafe in Ebisu. Again, it has been over a year since I have seen her and I always enjoy eating sweets and hanging out with her. The cafe was called Hoco and the theme this month is Matcha! It was really delicious, but I still think she makes the best sweets at her cafe.

- - - 5/3/2008 - - -

GW08 Walk with a Friend

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:26 am

Since I started teaching on the 1st and 2nd, I only had 4 days off for Golden Week this year - Saturday through Tuesday.

On Saturday I met a friend from the Japanese school 2 years ago. She is Korean but we both speak pretty fluent Japanese so there were no problems communicating. We walked around Shinjuku, ate lunch, and walked further south to Shibuya through Meji Jingu. It was great too see someone from school again.

As always, when I go to Meji Jingu there was a wedding.

- - - 5/1/2008 - - -

Showa Day at Shinjuku Gyoen

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:08 am

Since it was Showa Day (April 29th) there was no entrance fee to the parks and gardens in Tokyo. I decided to go to Shinjugu Gyoen with a friend to take a walk and see the new green of the season.

Shinryoku - New Green

There were lots of people, familes, and couples visiting the park as well.