Saturday, December 31, 2005


Today is the new year's eve called "Omisoka" in Japanese. It's one of the most important day for Japanese people.

Mothers are going to make the new year special dish "Osechi". At night we have crossover year noodle which called "Toshikoshi soba".On TV a very very famous music program called "Kohaku utagassen" is broadcasted until almost midnight.

After the new year came,this is say ,after 0a.m., many people go to the shrine or temples. Some people would go three place of shrines or temples.

Have a wonderful year!!!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Shabu shabu

Today I ate Shabu shabu (also spelled syabu syabu)with my freind.Shabu shabu is one of the pot style dishes, we like to eat especially at winter season. To my regret , I forgot to take a picture of that.

It is very similar to sukiyaki cooked in the pot on the table.Both dishes are served with meet(usually beef) vegetables, tofu, and mushrooms. But meat for shabu shabu is thinner than meat for sukiyaki. You wanna know how to cook it?

At first you need make dashi soup by water and kombu,or you can use dashi stock. Then put dashi soup into the pot and heat,add the vegitable in,since the meat is very thin, only you can cook for a few seconds.

As you eat with dipping sauce like sesame sause or ponzu sause.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

kagami mochi

This is one of the decoration for the new year which is called "kagami mochi"."kagami" means mirror,and "mochi" means rice cake.

"Kagami mochi" consist of two of rice cakes-small one put on the bigger one,and a tangerine called "mikan" or Japanese orange called "daidai" on the top of the ricecakes.We offer it to Buddha and god at the New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

teachers are running!!!

As I wrote before, we exchange new year's greeting cards in Japan. Postmans make sure to deliver cards on January 1st if we post until December 25th.I should have write earier,but now I am struggling to do that. Although I have to say that I am using PC to make new years cards. It is much easier and quicker. Almost done:) If I post them tomorrow, should be O.k.Hopefully.

We have to do not only greeting cards , but also other things which are prepared for the new year. For exmaple , cleaning up all over the house , decorating the houses, preparing for the new year's foods....etc. Quite busy.

About December, using old calender , we call Shiwasu(師走) which means teachers run,that is to say, December is a busy mouth as teachers are running!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Cold cold I am freezing! Especially when I am coming back home at night.

Now at the end of year, this is the season of the Bounenkai (end-of-the-year party). If I translate Bounenkai exactly,it means forget-the-year party. In the party we eat and drink or sometimes sing together at the reataurants , izakaya(japanese style pubs),or somewhere else. We have several Bounenkai by company , pffice, school , friends, and so on. At night we can see many drunken people in the street. For me the season I have to be careful to get fat gradually. Fu...

Most of companies have new years holidays from December 28th or 29th until January 3rd or 4th. Yes! depends on the companies. My friend she is working at shop in a big mall can't take day off until January 5th. So sorry.

Well, it will finish the Bounenkai season soon, but after new years day we will have Shin-nenkai(New Year's party) again....:)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Driving licence

I got a letter from Austria. It is great surprised.It was three years past since we saw last. Sometimes it is hard to keep touch in friends in foreign countries. I feel very happy that somebody remember me in overseas. I want to go to Austria... Someday someday maybe maybe...

Well, today I am little tired. Because I got to up very early to go to the driving licence office renewal my drivind licence. It was the first time to do it for me, because I got the licence about 3years ago.I had to take two- hours class which made me sleepy.

If you want to get one , you have two choice. One is just taking exam. It is quite difficult to pass it. The other is to graduate driving licence shcool. Most of people, actually more than 90%people, go to the school. So did I. It is very expensive, depends on the area, but at least you need more than 200000yen to graduate it,and if you are not good at driving like ME, you have to pay extra money. Oh, I paid a lot....But you don't need worry about it , you can drive by your international licence. Lucky you:) hahaha

I rarely drive, I am just using my licence as a ID. It is too expensive just for that!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

100 th post

To my surprise, this is my 100th post!!! Wow.
For me it is surprising.
I had never kept a diary, even in Japanese.

Actually I have started this blog to have oppotunity to use English.As I mentioned before, I've learned English for years and years, now I can speak English, but it is easy to forget , unless I am using it.

Since I started this blog, sometimes it has been tough to write in English. But I know many people was reading this blog, some of you left comments often, and I got some emails from readers. It made me encorage to keep writing.

I like to travel foreign countries,where sometimes I got friends. Many people are interested in this small contry Japan, but most of them know a little or misunderstand about Japan. I am very happy if those people who read my blog have interests.

Now I want to keep writing as long as I can. I don't know about the future. I am enjoying to write this. that's enough.

P.S. I am happy if you sign on my guest map (see right).

Thank you very much.
Kazumi :D

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's greeting.

Season's greeting.
Happy Holidays.
The other day I saw a big chiristmas tree which was illuminated by the windows of the hotel. It was so good. Many people was taking pictures like me.

It was snowed some place in Japan. More than 200cm snowed in one area just for one night. According to the wether report, here in Japan it will be most coldest winter in 20years .
Oh my god!

Yesterday when I was on the train, I saw many place which was covered by snow. These 2 are the pictures ,not good ones, because it was taken from the train.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Emperor's birthday

Today December 23th is the Emperor's Birthday, so national holiday. We call him Ten nou in Japanese. When Emperor will change , the day will be changed.They will have a public ceremony at the Imperial Palace.I never been those kinds of ceremonies.But many people especially old people are going.

For young people ,I guess, it is important we can take 3days holiday,because this year after 23th , saturday and sunday are coming.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Last night I went to a eating place named "Ootoya(大戸屋)". This is one of my favorite place to eat. They mainly serve Japanese cuisine like home-style dishes. They have many kinds of dishes is not expensive.They have beautiful menus with photo, even if you can't understand Japanese , you can order, I guess. If you come to Japan, try Ootoya, and you will taste Japanese home-style dishes.

I had a kind of noodle(*Udon) stew set tasted by *Miso with a soft-boiled egg, vegitables and some oysters, served with rice and pickles. Price is 735yen(about $6) .
Now it is very cold outside, it is very good time to have something hot.

*miso is soya bean paste. The miso soup is made by dissolving miso paste in hot water. It it necessary Japanese style breakfast.
*Udon are thick Japanese noodles.

[ootoya/Japanese only]

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

taking a nap

In the morning I can wake up easily.
But in the afternoon I always feel sleepy, since I was a student.

The warmth from the sun -maybe it is not too hot, and not too cold, full belly after lunch, boring class like math, there are enough to feel sleepy.

The other day I watched one attempt of high school in TV.
After lunch , they can take"nap break "for 15minutes with listening Mozart.and using a pillow.

Compare with before, the hours of sleep of students are getting shorter because of internet, TV, study and so on. According to report from Doctor, the students who had taken "nap break" could concentlate and study more.

I think it is so useful.
When I was a high school student, if I could take nap break like this high school, I studied more :) Maybe maybe maybe jejeje

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

today's lunch

Today I ate lunch in a very good hotel. It it a Japanese resturant , which is prtty famous.

I ordered the plate which is serve many food little by little. tempura, fish(sashimi/grilled) ,vegitables, japanese pickles, egg omlet, miso soup, rice, fruits. It was a decent lunch (3000yen/about$23.)

The color of food was beautiful.
As I forget to bring my digital camera, it it not so good picture.
But can you see the color?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Only for woman

If you go to the center of Tokyo, you might be surprised that too many people in the trains, especially in the morning. Sometimes more than twice or 3 times as the capacity. Everyone push you, and you can't do anything.

To our shame, there are some people called "chikan" who touch woman's body on purpose in the crowded train.
So to reduce chikan people and to protect women from a sexul crime, some railway companies introduced a new system .
They decided one car of each train for only woman in the morning. (Exactly saying , it is not for only women but also for the boys under 12 years old.)
Isn't surprising?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Howl's moving castle

Last night I watched DVD of the animation movie"Howl's moving castle"

"How's moving castle" is originally a novel written by British author.
Sophe is a 18 years old girl who was changed her apperance to 90 years old woman by a witch.
She went to Howl(he is a wizard)' s moving castle , worked as a housekeeper to turn her original appearance. Then got a big trouble...

The story is totaly different from original novel especially last halfof the stoey, and it is said too hard to understand some story ,so many people have different interpretation. So I can't write story any more:)

Well ,it it the latest film of the director of Hayao Miyazaki.
Actually I like his works so much.
Have you heard his name?

In Japan he is a very famous and popular movie director,
He is the head of the film studio called "Studio Ghibli" which has own musium.
So far he made many films and got many awards.
He got the Oscar 2002 by "Spirited Away".
I love this one. I have seen both in Japanese and in English, then I felt a littele difference , off course not much only a little bit. Sometimes when we wached some his works like "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirted Away", I think we need knowledge of Japanese cultural things or stories. Off course even in English it have much fun.

If you want to try your first Miyazaki movie, I recommend "My neibougher Totoro" or "Laputa: The Castle in the Sky". Especially "Totoro " is good for kids.

The other day I sent DVD of "Spirted Away" to a friend in overseas as a Christmas present.
I hope she like it!

[How's moving castle]
[Hayao Miyazaki]
[Studio Ghibli]

Saturday, December 17, 2005

food from the world

Yesterday I went to Mexican restaurant. I ate Tacos, Tostadas, Enchilada. I like avokado so much. The smell of Tacos was so good. and inside restaurant atomosphere is nice, too. I remember the time I went to Mexico. Just we had to wait for our order for a long time. There was a drunking man who want to talk with us. He was so noisy !!!

Tomorrow I am going to the Irish pub. Ireland is one of my favorite countries.In 2002 I was watching soccer world cup Korea, Japan in a Irish pub. At that time it was so crowded, but I really enjoyed and excited.In Ireland people are drinking without eating. But here in Japan we eat and drink at the same time. That's why it is difficult to run REAL Irish pubs in Japan, but at least I can enjoy the atomosphere, and they have Guiness absolutely! (To be honest I prefer Murphy's ! But I can't find it here.) I will enjoy!

Now we can eat many kinds food from the world. It is really convenience.
There are some supermarket which is mainly selling imported foods. They are pretty expensive, but many people like it!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mao Asada

Mao Asada-
She is a just fifteen years old girl, but many people fascinated deeply by her performance on the ice. She is a figure skater, last mounth she captured title of Grand Prux in France. But to her pity, she is too young to go for Olympics in February in Turin, Italy. Skating Union regulations require for senior championships a skater must be 15 by the previous July 1. She just turned fifteen on September. It is so pity. If only a few mouths earlier she was born, she could fulfill the rules.

Many people feel sorry for not only in Japan, but also in overseas. ABC has reported about her. Actually although the rule was set for the medical aspect, but some people expected, if possible she get title of Grand Prix finals , she might have a possibility.

Besides Mao Asada, we have some very popular and famous skaters.
Tonight we have the Grand Prix finals in Tokyo.
It must be very exciting .

[about Mao Asada]
[mainichi news]
[abc news]

Thursday, December 15, 2005

mobile phone

I am going to buy a mobile phone. Because now I don't have one at the moment.(sometimes I am useing my my mother's.:) All my friend except me have their own mobilephone. It is very rare that young people like me doesn't have it.

Before I had one.I liked a lot. Sometimes I paid more than 20000yen (about $170) in 1 mouth. Oh my god. Now I don't like so much. Because compare with before some people are tend to be late for appointments easily, because of mobile phones.
But to be honest once I get my phone again, I am sure , I am gonna be addicted it like before. So I am afraid that.

But it is high time to have mobile even me. Yesterday I went to get some brochures.
There are 4 companies now in Japan. (It is going to increase.)Each of them has more than 10 types. Each has differnt character. For example, high quality digital camera, FM radio, TV, GPS, music player. They have so many kinds. Oh I can't choose one!!! I don't know when I can get .....hehehe:)

[mobile phone companies in Japan]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

English ,,,again

Nowdays I can't wait every Tuesday, because I am so addicted to one Drama which is been broadcasting on Tuesday night. That is the story of the girl who has an incurable disease and her family , boyfriend. I always have a big cry, when I am watching this drama. To be honest , I always cry when I see a touching drama or movie.

But if it is sporken in English, I think I am not crying like this. This is the difference for me to use English or Japanese. Sometimes I am trying to watch movies without Japanese subtitle , which makes me so nervous to understand. One more thing, when I am watching Japanese comedy program, I can't help stopping it. But in English I can't laugh from the bottom of my heart.

Now I sometimes feel my limit of English skill. I wish I could understand English not only my brain but also by my heart.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

onigiri (riceball)

If you go to a convinience store in Japan, you will find this food absolutely.
It is called "onigiri"or "omusubi"which translates riceball in English.
Its shape is usually triangle like in this picture.
(But when we make at home, the shape is ball or triangle , depends on family.)

Unwrapped the package, there is seaweed paper and rice with ingredients like tuna, salmon, bonito flakes. It is so common , handy that many people eat it everyday. I think it is one of our culture. Because sometimes it is written within old story. Nowdays we can see Japanese style convinience stores around the world. But I guess only a few store in overseas are selling onigiri.

Here as companies have competed onigiri's taste and quality, every company has own brand, many kind of taste. We can really enjoy.

Last July one company opened new a Japanese style store in U.S.A. They sell onigiri, too! Since many people don't like seaweed paper, they put sepalate it and rice ball.


famima(Japanese style convinience stores in U.S.A)

Monday, December 12, 2005

a useful book

If you have a plan to go to Japan, and if you can't understand Japanese at all, you might be worry about after you arrive. I recommend the bookwhose title is Yubisashi(The original "POINT-AND-SPEAK" phrase book.) It is a very useful book, which will make you communicate with Japanese easier.

For example, see this picture.
The section of the bottom is written as follows:

Good evening


In English Good evening You can understand it!
In Japanese(writing) こんばんは You might not be able to understand it.
In Japanese(pronounce) kombanwa You will be able to promounce it.

If you pronouce it , you can comminication with Japanese people. But if you feel it hard to pronounce it, just point out, and people can understand what you mean.

This book has many illustrations and pictures which show culture, daily life, souvenior,daily necessites and so on. You can use more than 3000 words.

I really like this series. I have 5 or 6 titles.
When I went to Mexico, I could understand Spanish only a few phrases. But since I have this book of Mexico for Japanese. One of my mexican friend said it is sensational, and everybody liked it so much. I am going to send it to my friend this book of Japan for English speakers.

Now the company published more than 70 titles, but most of these books are for Japanese. They have 3 titles of the books about Japan for English, Korean, or Chinise speaker.

When you arrive to Japan, check this book in a bookshop!
Price is 1500yen(about$12.50)

Japanese only

Sunday, December 11, 2005

first snow ...and winter

Today I visited one of my friend.

On my way to home, I saw the snow.
It is the first time to see snow in this year.
I felt the winter has already came.

Actually the end of this year is coming soon.
We can watch some TV problem which show the popular somgs or thr trends of the year.
One company have selected the words which were popular in this year.
The rest of this year is less than 3weeks.
I can't belive it.
I have to write nengajo(new year's greeting cards).

Saturday, December 10, 2005


About English..

In Japan usually we start to learn English when we enter junior high school, 12years old.
But most of Japanese people don't speak English so well.Many people go to English conversation school after their jobs. To speak and listen is harder than to read and write for us. The Exams are usually stressed on to read and write. (although nowdays it is changing...)

The other day I spoke a man who came from U.S. As he has a Japanese wife, he could understand and speak Japanese very well. But to my surprise , he has learned Japanese just for 3years!!! Unbelieable..

Well, it is not so easy to have a situation to speak in English, if we are in Japan. Compare to before, the number of foreign people in Japan is increasing. Even that it is difficult, I think.

But we have one more problem which is come from Japanese culture.
It it quite hard to say I can speak English. We maybe think the goal of speaking English is to speak so fruently . In addition that, we care mistakes,and feel embaranment if we made mistakes. That's the problem.

I think I can speak English , but not enough to say perfect.
But I want to say ''I can speak English "with full of confidence. Someday..

Friday, December 09, 2005

Madonna loves...

I have read an essay written by a Japanese woman who have been living in France for many years. She wrote as follows; Whenever she came back to Japan, she was surprised because toilets in Japan are incredible. They are always made progress by the companies. For example, heated toilet, automatically flushed, washlet and so on.

The other day Madonna, needless to say she is a top singer, came to Japan for promoting ,and had interview.
It has already 12 years passed since she came to Japan last time, but she said she really like Japanese culture, food, etc, and I was surprised that she said "I've missed the heated toilet seats." So there are no heated toilet seats in U.S.A. maybe.

If so, when you come to Japan, you might be surprised the technology for the toilets in Japan but at the same time you can see many Japanese style toilets which have no technology at public restrooms.

about Japanese toilet

Madonna's interview

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas season is coming.

Now we can see the christmas illumination every where. I like atomospere of Christmas. Although most of Japanese people are not Christian.
Like other event, the Christmas is very commercial one here. Usually , department stores open on the day, not like in U.S.A. or Europian contries. People buy many present, have special dinner.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Black sesame icecream

Here is one more something Japanese taste.
This is black sesame icecream of Haagen-daz.
It is sold for only limited season.
I guess no these stuff in overseas.
This picture is not good to show.
Can you see the grey color?
Actually it looks no good.
But taste,,,, umm sesame...
For me it is Ok, but my friend said disgusting.

Monday, December 05, 2005

pay in the restaurants

Tonight I went to the restaurant with my friend to have dinner.
It is a type of restaurant which is called family restaurant in Japanese. It has reasonable price menu , good atomosphere for family, has variety of menu.... It is almost same as like ihop, Denny's in U.S.A.

But one thing is totally different.
In U.S.A. when you want to pay , you maybe call your server for the check, then you give money or card to the server, sometimes you will wait for your change or card at your table. Then you leave some money or write tip amount on your check for your server.

But in Japan it is easy.
We don't have any tip system usually. You don't have to worry about tip.
After you get the check, you just go to the casher counter, then pay exact money.
I don't know very very good restaurants ,and maybe at hotels service charge might be add.
But usually you don't need it.

When I went to U.S.A, we had to think about tip at the restaurant. Usually 15%-20%. At some restaurants they add tip because they knew we were Japanese. They knew some Japanese didn't leave any tip, because we don't have it. I know the salary of server was from tip. But many Japanese don't know it. So it might happen.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lottery (takarakuji)

We have some big lottery called "takarakuji" in Japanese. Now they are selling "nenmatsu-jumbo(means big lottery at the end of year )". The 1st prize is 200000000yen(about$1660000), if you buy consequence you might have a chance to get 3000000000yen(about$2500000).

The other day I bought some "nenmatu jumbo takarakuji" in a famous shop where is said many people win. Sooooo many people. Guess how long I waited for getting lottery. The answer is 75minutes. hahaha. It is OK. I bought dream...
If I win, ... If I win, ....

Saturday, December 03, 2005


The other day I went to the concert of "Mr.Children" which is my favorite group. Oh not just my favorite, the most. Actually this blog's name "Dear wonderful world " is the title of one of thier songs. It had already passed more than 3years since I went to their concert last time, I was so excited. As the vocalist was sick 2years ago-I don't know the name of sick in English, they cancelled the previous tour. So that's why I could't wait it.

It was amazing, it took place in Tokyo Dome which is a very big baseball studium. Fortunately we got the seats in good positions, we could see them directly, no need glasses. I bought the T-shirt. I had areally really good time. It is like a dream.
I sang with joy, jumped a lot. Fuuuu. I wanna go again. Today I bought their DVD and watched. So I can enjoy for a while

When I was learning English, my teacher would say "learn by heart your favorite English songs!" At that time I was trying to remember ryrics of the Beatles, and so on. So I just reccomend if you are learning Japanese, try Mr.children's song. Most of thier song are very positive, make you feel happy, although not every song, some song are very sad... Before I reccomennd one friend from Korea. Now she is a fan of them.

Japanese only

some more green tea stuff

I want to show you some more green stuff.

This is a cake (left) which called "kasutera" was originally imported from Portugal and Spain in 16 th century.It is made with many eggs , but this one made with green tea, too. This picture is not good to show the color of green, can you see that color?Original kasutera's color is yellow.Green tea kasutela...I think it is rare.

One more thing(right) chocolate with green tea taste.This is the chocolate whose name is "Melty kiss".Only winter season they have special taste with green tea.

I ilke both of them. They are sweet , but a little bit bitter,that's nice.
How much do I like green tea!!! I don' t know. Oh , I just wanna try it.