- - - 5/31/2009 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 8:18 pm

This months mountain was Takamatsusan in Tanzawa. It was a warm but fairly cloudy day, and I had just played in a futsal tournament the previous day so was a bit tired. Still, this time of year there are a few surprises waiting in the mountains…

There were a few of these strange looking flowers.

The mountain trail went through various types of terrain and scenery:

I came across a snake and tried to play with it. Im not sure what kind of snake it was, but it didnt look poisonous so I pet it a few times as well.


- - - 5/23/2009 - - -

Rock Wall, Again

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:12 am

With nothing better to do at the moment, a friend and I went to the outlet mall. We played in the Lego store for a while, and also I climbed the rock wall again.

- - - 5/17/2009 - - -

Thai Festival 2009

Filed under: — Andy @ 11:17 pm

Some friends and I went to the Thai Festival in Yoyogi Park. Like the festival I went to 3 years ago, there were lots and lots of people and overly expensive Thai foods and fruits. However, there were some stands selling cheap Thai curry paste and such.. well compared with other stores in Japan.

- - - 5/15/2009 - - -

Hungry Cat

Filed under: — Andy @ 10:42 pm

One day when going into the kitchen to make lunch, a cat was also there looking for some food. I startled it, but it didnt quite run away and decided to take a nap in the living area. I made my lunch, noodles and natto, and when I went to get something to drink watched as the cat slowly crept towards my plate.

- - - 5/12/2009 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 12:53 am

Two of my friends and I decided to take a trip down to Yokosuka to see Sarushima. Translated ‘Monkey Island’, it is only a 15 minute ferry ride from Yokosuka, but doesnt have a single monkey on the whole island. Although the island is small it does have a nice hiking path and a lot of nature…

Our ferry over, the Sea Friend 1, was filled with lots and lots of elementary school students.

Here it is, Saurshima.

Yoko and Koga …


- - - 5/6/2009 - - -

Sakura Dango

Filed under: — Andy @ 11:52 pm

Here was my latest challenge with Japanese sweets: dango with sakura-anko

- - - 5/4/2009 - - -

Fuji and Tsutsuji

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:45 pm

May 4th is ‘Green Day’ and a national holiday in Japan. For green day my friend and I went to go see some flower festivals. The first place we went to was Kameido Shrine. Although I have been to the shrine before, this time we went to see the Fuji (Wisteria) that the shrine is famous for. Unfortunately, the flowers were finished early this year and there werent that many left. Yet, the festival food stands and crowds were still there.
We then went over to Ueno to find the Tsutsuji flower festival. On the way we took the walking path through old Ueno and ate lots of interesting snacks along the way, one of them being ‘ogyochi’? jelly. Once at the Tsutsuji festival, once again there were lots of people and food but few flowers left. The Tsutsuji were also finished early this year.
On Green Day in Japan, many parks have free entrance, including the Ueno Zoo. Besides the masses of people, we strolled around the zoo looking at all the animals. Lastly, we walked through Ueno Ameyokocho shopping street.

Kameido Shrine



- - - 5/2/2009 - - -

Rafting in Gunma

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:56 am

Also for the duration of Golden Week my friend Suzuna came back to visit :)
The most exiting thing we did was go white water rafting in Gunma… thanks to my friend Tatsuya, his car, and special cheap highway fares. I have gone rafting before many times in the states, but this was the first time to go rafting in Japan. Besides being a bit expensive, it was still a lot of fun. The water was cold so we all wore wetsuits. Everyone, except me, also rented water shoes. I decided to use my ‘uwabaki‘ shoes that I used when I was teaching at the elementary schools. Unfortunately, my feet were really cold as the shoes do not have insulation and when we went in the river for a swim one of my shoes fell off and sank to the bottom of the river.

This time of year in Gunma was also great for flowers. The apple tree flowers were in bloom, and the sakura flowers were starting to fall. On the way back we also stopped at a ski slope turned into a Suisen garden.

At BigWave rafting!

Me holding my one remaining uwabaki shoe.

Lunch was at a cafe that specialized in cheese topped curry.

Apple blossom

Suisen flowers…

- - - 5/1/2009 - - -

Tempura Party

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:40 am

Golden Week 2009.
The first thing we did was have a tempura party at my guest house. The reason we made tempura is because my Thai friend likes tempura.. and she will be going back to Thailand the next day.