- - - 5/27/2012 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 10:30 pm

For Memorial day weekend I took a trip up north to Yamagata prefecture to do some mountain climbing and go to the famous Zao onsen. We went up to and then hiked all the way around ‘Okama’ or the big crater lake of Zao. After that we hiked to Mt. Kumano and then all the way down to Zao hot springs town. It took us a lot longer than we thought to make the journey and it stared to get dark before we made it all the way down. When we finally made it to Zao we were very tired and decided the local specialty of grilled mutton was the perfect way to replenish some energy. Finally we relaxed in the famous waters of the onsen where long ago "a wounded warrior is said to have drawn an arrow out of his body and cleaned the wound at a spring only to find that the injury healed miraculously quickly and well”.

The crater lake from above

Starting the journey to the lake

Above the lake


- - - 5/21/2012 - - -

Solar Eclipse

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:18 pm

The full 2012 solar eclipse was visible from the Tokyo area, but unfortunately it was quite cloudy so there were only intermittent periods between clouds when the eclipse could really be seen.

- - - 5/20/2012 - - -

Handmade coin purse workshop and BBQ

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:11 pm

Near my house there is a very small but nice leather workshop. My friend is currently in the process of making his own pair of leather shoes, and told me about a short workshop where I could make my own leather coin purse. I like making things and plus there was a BBQ afterwards so I went and made my own coin purse.

My completed green coin purse.


My friend on the right is currently on his second pair of handmade shoes. He claims they are the best fitting, most comfortable shoes he as ever worn.

- - - 5/16/2012 - - -

Takao hike in the Spring

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:43 pm

I took a day off of work to climb Mt. Takao with some of my long time friends from Okinawa.

- - - 5/6/2012 - - -

Homemade Ramen Party

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:38 pm

Ramen is one of the most popular foods in Japan. Every shop has its own unique ’soup’ and preparation. After eating an atypical amount of Ramen one week and seeing a Ramen special on TV, I thought I would try my hand at making my own Ramen. It was a great excuse to have another house party.
For my ’soup’ base I used a chicken carcass, pig feet, pork skin, and pork meat, along with various vegetables and other ingredients. I also wanted to use pork bones, but it was harder to find than I thought. I made the soup and let it simmer a good 24 hours before our Ramen party. My Ramen was actually pretty good for a first try.

The finished Ramen

My ’soup’ in progress

My ‘chashu’. Marinated meat atop most ramen.

- - - 5/5/2012 - - -

Ofuna Kanon

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:46 am

After seeing it from the train countless time on the way to Kamakura, I finally decided to get a closer look at the Ofuna Kanon.