Tuesday, January 31, 2006

more about wedding

Already one month has passed in this year... So fast!!

I am still tired because of my friends wedding on last Sunday. From afternoon to night I had many glasses of alcohol;)I like drinking with friends , but it lasted too long for me this time. Haven't I mentioned so much about wedding?

In Japan the wedding ceremonies take place in many ways, depend on religions, area, and personal interests. But I guess , in general, they are less casual than Western style. Actually I never attend the wedding ceremony in other country and of non-japanese couples wedding. So I can't compare but, my French friends said so , we have many rule like oshugi which I wrote a couple days ago.

Nowdays many couple have a ceremony in a charch , even though they are not christian. But still some people prefer the ceremony of Shinto or buddist style in shrines.

My friend had the ceremony in like a memorial hall which is popular place same of banquets of hotels, resturants. They were married in front of their friends or relatives , which is called "Jinzen-shiki(Jinzen-style)" , hold nevertheless religions.

After that ,the reception wedding party was hold.
It depends on couples. For example, they introduce their profile, Someone-usually the boss of the couple have a speech, they cut a big cake , the friends sing some songs.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

wedding +Furoshiki

As I wrote, I attended my friend's wedding. It was so nice, I really enjoyed, i had wonderful dinner , it was so touching ,but just I drunk too much, I think I am gonna sleep now!

But before going bed I want to show you "Furoshiki" which I wrote a few days ago.It is traditional cloth to wrap something. I haven't before. But today at my friend's wedding I got "Hikidemono(the present from couple)" wrapped by "Furoshiki" . The design is so cute. Here it is!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

valentine's day

As you know, 14 th of feb is valentine's day.
In Japan it is supposed that women give chocolate to men. It is a good chance for women to express their feeling love to men. Today when I went to the mall, it has already started to sell many kinds of chocolate . I don't remember exactly , but I guess in Europe it is not like that. maybe everybody to everybody like family.

Anyway it is so commercialistic like other events.

Friday, January 27, 2006


The season of strawbwrry is coming soon. Most of the food company have produced something strawberry taste stuff. In the stores we can find those kinds of stuff so many. Some of them are seasonal. I found the article about strawberry buffet, which you can eat strawberry cakes and deserts. I like strawberry a lot.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


These are cute envelopes, aren't they? They are special envelopes called "oshugi-bukuro". I have just bought them today for my friend's wedding on this weekend. I am going to write my name on the front bottom of the envelop to bring it.

In Japan , person who is attending wedding ceremony is expected to bring some cash in the special envelop "oshugi-bukuro" for the wedding gift. This custom is called "oshugi".

So how much you have to send as a gift? What do you think? It is depends on your relationship and position with the couple. I think the average is 30000yen(about$275), if you are friend of the couple. I am going to send my friend 30000yen for the "oshugi". It is OK but when some friends married almost same time, it was so hard to attend.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

this weekend

I am going to attend to my friend's wedding party this weekend. I was thinking to dress kimono at first, but I changed my mind, because to wear kimono , I have to go to hair salon , because I can't wear by myself, it takes a time.

Now on wedding party many youg people prefer western style celemony with white wedding dress and black tie. Some people have a ceremony overseas. The friend who invite me is man , I think he will wear jacket with black tie. So far I have attended friends' wedding perties several times. But I never seen very Japanese style wedding. It might be just coincidence.

I will be able to see some friends whom I haven't seen for a while. I am so exciting!!! It will be llike a reunion.
On Sunday I will write about the wedding party on this blog.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Recently I am listening radio everyday on my way to work. It makes me feel shorter my way. And one more thing it is very good for me because one of radio station called "inter FM" is sporken in English as well as Japanese.

Now I don't have much oppotunity to use English (actually DJ speak very clear English), even though just listening radio are so useful. I don't know when this radio station opened, but I can say that's because the number of Foreginer in Japan is increasing.

Monday, January 23, 2006

plastic bags or Furoshiki

Here if you are shopping in the supermarkets, they will give you plastic bags free of charge. But the goverment decided to charge plastic bags in near future. When I went to Europe , in some countries they ask do I need plastic bags and if I need, they charged that, but when I went to U.S.A. I have never asked like in Japan.

Everyday, everyday if I buy something, always have to throw away some trash. I think it is good oppotunity to think about our environment more.

Once in our coutry everyone had been using "Furoshiki" ,now only some people espscially old people are using, which is cloth to wrap something. It is good time to review our traditional things.


Sunday, January 22, 2006


I was going to some pictures of snow, but it was going to melt , as it was not beautiful , I haven't taken any.

Today I want to write about "Shikishi". Because I hadn't known it is used only in Japan until yesterday.

"Shikishi" is thick and square shaped paper, like a big card, is used for the painting , poem, caligraphy , and sometimes for autograph. In famous restaurants you may find many Shikishi of fanous peoples' authography on the wall.

Last night I was watching the TV program that Jodie Foster was taken the interview about her new film "flight plan " by a Japanese TV personality. She was tring to get Jodie's autograph to find out Jodie was kind or not. At last in ten minutes interview she got four of her autographs. When the Tv persomality asked Jody about autograph for the first time she passed "Shikishi", Jodie said "It is only Japan."


Saturday, January 21, 2006


It have been snowing all the day. Tomorrow I will take some pictures of snow if it remains. Only afew year time in a year it snows in Tokyo , but northen area is snow ing through the winter. (Japan is a small country , but depends on area climate is pretty different.)Whenever it snows a lot, the train perate less than usual. They say "Tokyo is very weak to snow!" Today I would hang out with some friens, but we cancelled just in case!


Friday, January 20, 2006


The cold wether goes on and on. Accroding to the news , it is going to snow.
Not only human feel cold, but also monleys !!!

In Japan there are some monkey park called "saruyama" where many monkeys live nearly naturaly. Every year this season the puctures of "sarudango" are taken. "saru" means monkey, and "dango" means a king of Japanese sweet,and rice dumpling.
Monkeys are close together ,because they are so cold! I heard the boss of the group is in the center of the "sarudango" where is the warmest place....

[Japanese only (but youcan see some more pictures of "sarudango")]

Thursday, January 19, 2006


We often see this yellow bus especially in Tokyo. This bus is called "Hatobus". I just don't remember the name in other countries. But there are those kind of bus in a big city or tourist place. Hatobus is a tourist bus with a guide or at least guidance by stereo. Many people who come to Tokyo as a tourist from other city or countries join half day or one day tour by Hatobus. They have many courses for foreigners with the guides who can speak English.

I have been asked several times about sightseeing in Japan, and I always tell about Hatobus. Oh I just tell you ,I am NOTHING with Hatobus:) Because my sentense is like an advertisement!!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Center shiken

This weekend it is very important for the young people (about 550,000 people) who want to enter a public university, because they have a one kind of exam called "Center shiken(center test)" whichi is managed by National Center for University Entrance Examinations. It means the test season will start.They have been studying for a long time.

When I was a high school student , I took this test, too. As for me I wanted to enter a private university , it was imoportant, but not like other people.

Since this year they are going to introduce "lisning test " in English test.It is first trial for the center and entrance test takers , I guess both of them are nervous now. Many of them are worry about function and quality of IC player that they will use.

To enter public university , they have to take another test, and in case they won't pass the exam, most of them will take tests for private schools. Some people take tests as many as they can. It must be hard time.

Schools starts in April here, when the entrance ceremonies take place everywhere, cherry blossom is usually full bloom, and so beautiful. A little bit more....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Body language

I have been watching the TV program about Japanese. It says one book is now very popular around Roppongi where many foreigner hang out and drink in Tokyo.
The title of the book is "70 Japanese Gestures".

We think we have much less and smaller gestures than American people. So I didn't notice that we HAVE many:) which is very common if you are Japanese. For example, before we eat meal, we always hands put together and make a bow , saying "Itadakimasu"!


Monday, January 16, 2006

The books from blogs

Since 2 or 3 years ago, the blogs have been popular in Japan. Many of interesting blogs which was written by normal people ,,,I mean , no novelist , famous, or writer, have been getting popular ,some of them were published.

For example;
Densya otoko(Train man)
Seikyou no Shiraishi san(Mr Shiraishi who works in student cooperative, he is always answering questions from students with great humor)
oniyome nikki (diary of the man who is abused by his wife)
and so on.

Those books are sold very good.
I want to know these kinds of books are only in Japan or not.
If you know these kinds of books written in English , let me know, I wanna read them.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Today I went to the trial lesson of yoga at the sports club, because recently I don't do any execise at all. Now in Japan execises like yoga and quite popular. The new schools are opening, We can see many articles about yoga in magazines.My impression is that it was so hard for me because I am anatomically inflexible.

I just have write Yoga is NOT Japanese sports. When I was travel Europe 4 or 5 years ago, at the time Yoga was popular around Europe , many people asked me "Show me example", because they knew Yoga were from somewhere in Asia. I think it is mostly from India.

I am thinking to become a member of the sports club. If I can keep going, it is good for my health, otherwise I am getting fat and fat, because during winter season ,food is delicious, there are many oppotunities to drink and eat:)

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Yesterday I saw many friends whom I haven't seen for a while. Two of them said to the rest that they climbed Mt.Fuji last summer.

Mt. Fuji....the highest3776m) and most famous mountain in Japan. It is a like symbol of Japan, which is often used as a Japanese souvenir like postcards, calenders , T-shirts and so on. It is known the beautifyl mountain. When I am in airplane, I am always finding it from the sky.

To climb up Mt.Fuji... I can't imagine, how nice or how hard. Usually it need 2days, I mean , to sleep one night there. As my friends said, it is not so nice and cozy the place to sleep, but they were so tired that didn't mind at all.
Accrding to some web page, to climb to the top takes 4 to 8hours, on the way back from top takes 2 to 5 hours. My friends said it was sooooooooo hard, don't want to try again.

I want to try it, it is very cold on the top, so if possible on summer....
Maybe maybe ;)

In a year more than 200,000 people climb to the top of Mt.Fuji. 30% of them are forginers. So you may try it!!


Friday, January 13, 2006


Today, I want to write about "Izakaya". What's Izakaya? --places to drink and eat like restaurants or bars. They have large food and drink menu. Because we like drinking while eating. After working , it is very common and popular for Japanese to drink and eat with friends or co-workers. especially on Friday night. Some men go to drinking every night. I heard in Amrica, many people don't like to go out with co-workers after working.

There are some famous Izakaya chain where they have beautiful picture menu that easy to order, not so expensive. If you like drinking alchol, in some Izakaya they have a system which you can drink as much as you want by one price.

You wanna go?


Thursday, January 12, 2006


As I wrote before, it is very cold this winter. Especially in northen part of Japan snowed a lot. So far 80 people died already. In one area the traffic have been interrupted because of snow for a while.People who dead was trying to clear snow.


In other hand, there are lack of snow around the Mt.Fuji.


It sounds weird.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Japanese horror movies

I am not a fan of Horror movies, I don't watch it, once I have watched I can't sleep well. These few years in hollywood they remake many Japanese horror movie like these;"The Ring", "The Grudge(The Juon)","Dark Water".
They were very popular here, many people liked.
Have you ever watched them?

Before it was said like the movies made of hollywood were best. But now some movies are acceptd than before, I mean not only japanese movies, but also movies from all over the world. How do you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


When I went to the department store the other day, I saw the "Randoseru" on sale.It is the school bag made by leather for elementary school students. In Japan the schools and offices start April. So the parents have to prepare for that.
I think the new randoseru on kid's back is like a symbol of new pupil .
According to the WEB site, it was originally came from Netherland about 200years ago.When I was a kid it supporsed to have black ones for boys , and red ones for girls. But now there are many kinds of colors.

many colors

Monday, January 09, 2006

Coming-of-Age Day +Dragon Ball

Today is Coming-of-Age Day, I saw many girls in Furisode kimono. I wanted to take pictures of them, but I couldn't. So I will introduce the web which you can see pictures.


Do you know "Doragon Ball"? This is originally Manga by Akira Toriyama, which is broadcasted as a cartoon all over the world. I know about it because it is very popular here but I haven't read it so far. Since I was a kid many people loved it, but somehow I didn't have chance to read it. The end of last year when I stayed my friends house,where I found they have all books, so I decided to read it. All books -42volumes. It took quite a time for me, and this morning 2o'clock in the morning I have completly finished reading it!

Dragonball official site

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Seijin-no-hi (Coming-of-Age Day)

Tomorrow is Monday, but here in Japan many people can sleep late tomorrow morning , because tomorrow is the natioal holiday which is called "Seijin-no-hi"(Coming-of-Age Day).Before it was 15 th of Jamuary , but since 2000 it became on the 2nd monday of January which creats long weekend.

In Japan the people who are twenty years old or are going to be twenty years are invited to attend the ceremony. At the age of twenty....it has big meaning in Japan. For exmple people can get vote, and are allowed to consume alcohol and tabacco.

Tomorrow we can see many young men wearing good suits and many young women dressed Furisode kimono which is for young and unmarried women. When I was twenty years old, I was in Tokyo but for the ceremony to see my friends went back to my hometown. It is a very good oppotunity to see old friends.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Have you looked this gate? It is a gate of shrine which calle "Torii", which devides the place for god and the place for people.I guess the shape of gate is one of the Japanese traditional.Recently I wrote about Japanese new year, which people would go to shrine at this season.People walk through the gate to the shrine .If you come to Japan, you can see this kind of gate in many places.

There is one in Japan pavillion , Walt Disney world , Florida, U.S.It is used like a symbolof Japan.And I saw other place overseas, I don't remember where.


Friday, January 06, 2006


Yesterday I saw "Mario" in the department store.

Do you know him??? He and his brother Luigi are the characters of the very very popular TV game titled "super mario brothers". It is the story of it that those two brothers are going to save Princess Peach in Mushroom kingdom. There are many kinds of enemies, they have to beat them in many stages.

According to the web, the total sales of all searies more than 100000000 all over the world. The computer was named "Family computer" in Japan,and in U.S. the company name "Nintendo" was known as the game itself. So maybe I can say Mario is also very famous Japanese character.

Oh I miss super mario so much. In my house my brother bought family computer so early that when the game was very very popular many of our friends would come to my house. At the time we woke up very early to play the game before breakfast. We were getting so excited my parents prohibited playing it one hour a day....I feel nostalgic. Recently Nintendo released the old version because of 20th aniversary of that game, I wanna play it. It must be so simple, and not so beautiful as present!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

a busy day

Yesterday was my birthday. I don't say how old I am now :)! It is confidential. hehehe.

Since I was a kid, it has been quite busy day on my birthday, I mean, not about myself but also everyone. Because as I wrote before new year holiday season is very important for Japanese people, many people go back to their hometown to spend new year's day with their family. At the beginning of year many people go shrines or temples to pray their health or wealness. Some companies start to work on 4th or 5 th of January.At the airports and big terminal stations we can see many people with souveniors. Actually almost all air flights are fully reserved. In the department stores they have big sale.

Yesterday was busy day, too. But I spent time with family , and had time to eat dinner with friends , got birthday mails from friends. I appriciate those people , and I am grateful to be able to live in health.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


This is another decolation of new year, which is called "Kadomatsu".Usually it is placed in front of house. It made with bamboo and pine trees.

I took this picture in front of one department store, it was pretty big.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Hatsu-uri and Fukubukuro

Today most of department stores open for the first time in this year. It is called "Hatsu-uri". Hatsu means first ,and uri means sale in Japanese. We have biggest sale in the year , like after Thanksgiving day or Christmasday in U.S. We can buy Fukubukuro (is maybe translated "happy bag")everywhere. As I have just checked Fukubukuro in English grab bags...

Fukubukuro is a bag which usually can't be seen from the outside. You can get more stuff than the price of the bag. They sell many kind of fukubukuro,,, for example, clothes, grocery, electrical products.

In a big city like Tokyo many people would wait for long time. I watched on TV many people had been waiting before new year's eve.

As I went to the department store today, I bought a bag of Fukubukuro of clothes. There are some sweaters ,a coat , a cap, a blouse in the bag. It should be Ok. The total original price in the bag is much more than I paied. It is a pleasure of buying a fukubukuro. I like it.

But some friends says those items in the bag must have been left over!

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Happy new year!
Akemashite Omedetou.