- - - 5/31/2011 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 3:50 am

Since I couldn’t make it back to Yokohama Monday night, I took a sick day for Tuesday and explored Kobe…

Kobe’s china town.

Since Kobe was one of the first ports opened up to the western world, there was a lot of western influence on the city.

This statue shows the exact time of the Great Hanshin earthquake

Ikuta Shrine

Soraku gardens

I found a very Kobeish cafe for lunch.

The water science museum… for kids, but I still had fun.

Known as the Weathercock house, it is one of the famous foreign residences in Kobe.

Lastly, I couldn’t go to the Kansai area without eating Takoyaki.

- - - 5/30/2011 - - -

Kobe’s Night View

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:44 am

After Tottori and after the typhoon had passed, I headed over to Kobe where I met up with another friend. We then went up the cable car to see one of Japan’s three famous night views:

I have now been to all three famous night view places!



- - - 5/28/2011 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 3:31 am

It was Memorial Day weekend and I had 4 days off work. Well… 3 and a *sick* day.

For the first part of the weekend I went to Tottori again to visit some friends. Unfortunately, a typhoon was also heading to Japan for the weekend. We had lots of rain which was followed by lots of rain+wind. We did, however, go visit ‘GeGeGe no Kitaro‘ street. Other than that we did a lot of talking and baking sweets.

At GeGeGe no Kitaro street.

‘Eyeball Father’ sweet shop

I got to try on some geta and shake hands with Kitaro.

Looking at how close the typhoon is getting.


- - - 5/22/2011 - - -

Another Okinawa Weekend

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:46 am

Okinawa… again :)
As always, the trip started and ended with the eating of Okinawa Soba. Saturday morning we couldn’t think of what to eat for breakfast, then I remembered a place Ken took me to once that serves a good American size french toast. That evening after dinner I remembered another place that Ken took me to once - JET. Probably the only place in Okinawa to hear great classic rock, live, with no cover charge, by three of the most talented Japanese old guys you will ever see.
Sunday was a bit more relaxing as we headed out to Ikejima beach for a swim. This was followed by a special massage [see picture ;)]. Also, since last time I went we made our own Okinawan glass cups, this time we tried our hand at pottery to make our own bowls.

The mandatory Okinawan Soba

French Toast at ‘The Rose Garden’

Rocking at JET

I had three people massaging me at once. Quite an interesting experience at Shima Spa.

Deciding what to make.

My attempt.

Finally, we had Okinawa Soba again before I heading back to Yokohama.

- - - 5/15/2011 - - -

J2 Soccer Game in Shonan

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:49 am

I went with a friend to see a professional soccer match in Japan. Well, a J2 league match which is not as professional as a J1 league match but still pretty good. If a J2 team does well, then the following season they move up to the J1 league. Learn more here.
Anyway, before the match my friend and I went to a cafe in Kamakura. The cafe had some pretty good Malaysian food, and Kamakura is just a nice place in general. Afterward, we headed over to Hiratsuka to the home stadium of the ‘Shonan Bellmare’. They were playing against ‘Sagan Tosu’. Bellmare won with a final score of 1:0
It was not an incredibly exiting game, and I thought that Sagan Tosu had a better team and played a lot better. They had a lot more chances but just couldn’t finish.

At the Malaysian cafe.

‘Shonan Bellmare vs Sagan Tosu’

- - - 5/14/2011 - - -

Takao with Lisa #2

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:31 am

The last time I climbed Mt. Takao was a year and a half ago in the fall with my Swiss friend and his young daughter. I finally got to meet up with my friend again to climb Mt. Takao, and again he brought his daughter, now 2.5 years old. Lisa is still just as cute and just as outgoing. She climbed up the mountain mostly by herself and also made some new friends along the way. Also, just like before she enjoyed picking up rocks, sticks, and leaves along the way. I enjoyed catching up with my friend and hope to go climbing with him and his daughter again in the Fall.

The green of spring was still very beautiful.

New friends to talk with and race up the mountain.

This picture was taken by Lisa after she stole my camera and ran around taking pictures with it. :)

- - - 5/8/2011 - - -

Oiso to Takatori hiking course

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:12 am

It was a beautiful Sunday, and I slept in. It was too nice to stay indoors but too late to go climb a mountain. A quick search of short hiking courses near where I live turned up an interesting result. A few minutes later I was off to Oiso to hike up Mt. Takatori.

First stop was a bell at a shrine, which I of course rang.

It was then a short walk to ‘Rokusho’ shrine. The fairly famous shrine has been there since year 718.

From the shrine it was into the new green of spring as I walked over and down Kamisoroi hill.

Under the shinkansen track.


- - - 5/6/2011 - - -

Golden Week 2011

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:52 am

This year for Golden Week…. I went to work.

Now that I work for an American company, I only get American holidays off work. :(

- - - 5/1/2011 - - -

Daibutsu and Flowers

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:28 am

My friend Misako came to visit from Utsunomiya again, and again we went to Kamakura. We visited the great Buddha, saw lots of flowers at Hasedera, and ate lots of interesting Japanese sweets along the way.