- - - 4/29/2009 - - -

Beautiful Mountain Cllimbing

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:19 am

This month is a great month to go mountain climbing. It is not yet too hot but not cold anymore, the air is still clean, the mountain flowers are starting to bloom, and all around is the new green of spring. Hiking around some of the mountains in Tanzawa last Sunday became one of my favorite mountain climbing experiences.

Hiking up was not that easy.

There were some beautiful Sumire flowers along the way.

I went through a very interesting tunnel of plants.

Looking down at the city. Notice the bright green starting halfway down.

Admiring Mt. Fuji

More pictures: (more…)

- - - 4/27/2009 - - -

Visa Extension

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:56 pm

Well, my visa will expire soon… May 6th… and I still dont have a new job. However, I am not quite ready to give up and leave Japan just yet. So I took my passport, my brand new passport that finally arrived in the mail, and went to the immigration office to see if there is anything that I could do.
After a bit of trouble, they gave me a special 3 month extension. That should be enough time to find a new job, and if not then maybe it really will be time to head home.

- - - 4/20/2009 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 10:55 pm

I updated some posts from last week. Also, as far as my job hunting is going… well, I still have this week left. I have a few more interviews, but after that I am just waiting for replies. I may be able to extend my visa but it is uncertain, and I still havent gotten my passport back from the US Embassy.

Yet, I am not worried. I will just see where life takes me next.

- - - 4/19/2009 - - -

Futsal Team BBQ

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:49 pm

Here a picture of my futsal team after a day of practice and a BBQ at the park.

- - - 4/18/2009 - - -

Earth Day

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:47 pm

Last weekend was the Earth Day festival at Yoyogi park. As usual in Tokyo, the festival was packed with people and overly priced goods. Knowing this, I went with two of my friends to check it out anyway. There were some interesting booths, some interesting looking foods, some interesting new products, and some booths that in my opinion have nothing to do with earth day. There were also bands playing and a booth where you could make your own chopsticks for free out of bamboo.
Lastly, we all celebrated Earth Day by eating one of its delicious animals.

Earth Day sign

Some eco (Japanese use the word as a short form of ecological;earth-friendly) mascot

Koga and my friend from Thailand

Selling homemade cookies and such.

Kids could try cutting trees… im not sure how this is eco-friendly.

Making bamboo chopsticks

Im not sure what im doing

After all that earthy stuff it was time to eat Tonkatsu ;)

- - - 4/13/2009 - - -

Yomogi Mochi

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:29 pm

On the way back from the park we collected Yomogi, which is a green bitter-leaf grass often used to make… Yomogi Mochi. Which, when we got back, we made. The yomogi had to be cleaned, cut, boiled, squeezed and ground up. I then made the mochi to which the yomogi was added, and the anko filling I had previously made. The completely homemade Yomogi Mochi was a success:

- - - 4/12/2009 - - -

Shikinomori Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:23 pm

At the very end of sakura season, some friends from my building and I decided it would be nice to go to the park for the afternoon. We collected some rackets, balls, and frisbees and headed out. At the park we saw some flowers, played some games, went down the long slide, and saw the sun set. Then, as we walked back home we searched for some Yomogi…

Koga, Yoko, and Yumiko



Kids playing on a natural dirt slide

The sunset

- - - 4/9/2009 - - -

Yoyogi Sakura

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:25 pm

It has been 3 years since I have seen sakura in Tokyo. This year the flowers and weather have been extremely nice, so I tried to get out and see as much as I could. I met another friend for lunch at Yoyogi park. We found a nice bench and ate lunch and sweets while watching the sakura petals begin to fall.

- - - 4/8/2009 - - -

Chidorigafuchi Sakura

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:20 pm

During the week, I met a friend and we went to Chidorigafuchi and Yasukuni shrine. These two places are in the middle of Tokyo and usually very crowded, but even in the middle of the city the sakura is still quite beautiful.


- - - 4/6/2009 - - -

Night Sakura

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:16 pm

During the 1 week sakura season, friends gather and go the park to sit and have a party under the sakura trees - hanami. The first hanami I went to was at Inokashira park in the evening. I met a bunch of my friends from Okinawa, and we talked, ate, and drank till the park closed.

- - - 4/3/2009 - - -

Sakura Season

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:46 am

Well, it is the beginning of April and that means sakura season. Japanese people will be going out in herds to the parks and rivers to see the beautiful cherry blossoms. Usually it is a happy time where everyone meets with friends and drinks a lot. Yet, I am not so happy…. I now have less than a month for my, so far completely fruitless, job hunt. Also, I went to the dentist today. I have been going twice a year since I arrived in Japan. Yet today, for the first time in a very long time, I had a cavity. It wasnt very big but then again not very small either, and having a tooth drilled and yet another filling was something I didnt want to have to do again. Lastly, my friend moved very far away. :(