Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our vintage shop is open!

We just opened our vintage shop! I'm soooo excited about this! We only have 3 things up now but we will be adding more!

I just adjusted all the front pages of my etsy shops to include this shop and it really got me thinking...I mean I can't believe we have 5 online shops (4 etsy and our yahoo store). I NEVER could have imagined it yet I'm so happy. Well...gotta shopping to do!! (^__^)

You can click on the picture to be taken to my shop.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I love this time of year!!! "Hotaru" or fireflies (or as my honey once asked me....what's that bug with a light on its ass?) are easily found. It literally is like walking among fairies! The other day my honey and I went searching for them and we found a few but it was strangely cold and with typhoon like winds so we aren't sure if were too early or the weather was making them hide. But it is magical when you do see them. We are lucky to be living in the countryside which almost always has fresh running water which my honey says is almost the only place you see them. I do know that I don't see them near our apartment (or my work)...we have to walk into the darker countryside areas to see them and indeed there is always fresh running water nearby.

Btw-this picture was taken (not by me) in Nagoya and NOT digitally enhanced but I am guessing that the person used a special lens or camera or something cause I wouldn't ever be able to take this kind of pic!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I've been busy and sad

Well....I haven't blogged in a while because I've been both busy and very sad. My mom's husband, George, passed away May 15th. He had cancer and we were told that he had 6 months but he died within about 6 weeks so we weren't prepared for how soon it would happen. Needless to say I've been on the phone a lot to my mom and supporting her as much as I can from Japan. I better stop writing about this before I cry.

We also have been busy trying to and finally getting tickets to Canada to visit her in August. It is only May but there aren't many tickets left!! But we got ours so that is good.

I've also been running around trying to get my spousal visa (I have a working visa right now) and there are so many papers to get and sign etc. But finally we are almost at the last step for that one.

We are also preparing to open yet another store....vintage!! We are in the process of buying and preparing items so I'm not sure when we will open but I 'm very excited about this as Japan is a treasure trove of wonderful old things!! I feel like telling my older students not to throw anything me instead!!! Hmmm....that could be a business....going and collecting things! Anyway, when we open I will post it here.

Tonight I got to watch my favorite Japanese TV show called "beforeafter". I LOVE this show!! And I found a clip on youtube!! This is a reform show but I don't remember seeing this kind on TV back home. Basically the family lives in some UNBELIEVABLE house and they usually pay around $100,000~$150,000 and basically they get a new house. You can't buy a house for that little so it is amazing!! They sometimes basically tear it all down to the very basics structure. They have an architect come in and do it all. The "after" usually makes the family cry....I really wish they could do it to our place but 1) we rent and 2) our place is good. If you have some time (each one is about9 mins) watch the clips!!! Each segment is a separate house but it gives you a taste of what the show is about. Oh and in the first clip....the father and brother climb up into their beds and then you see the sister climb into bed...that is actually part of a closet she is sleeping in!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Perfect Mix-Matcha And Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!! I blogged previously that carnations are the kind of normal flower/gift for mom but since I hate carnations I just couldn't give my mother-in-law any. So, we looked around on line for something fabulous and we found this wonderful site that makes everything with match (ground green tea leaves). We had so many things to choose from:
A matcha set

A roll cake with matcha and fresh cream.

A New York style matcha cheese cake

A sandwich cookie made with butter cream, matcha and raisins.

Matcha daifuku-sweet beans with matcha in mochi (rice cake)

We decided on this set since there were lots of things included

This set includes: matcha chocolate, matcha daifuku, matcha pudding, cookies and dorayaki (a pancake like sandwich filled with sweet beans and matcha). We are sure his mom is going to be super happy!!

Things I didn't know about Japanese baseball

So, I'm watching baseball while eating lunch (not my choice I might add) and I realize that the Giants have 4 foreigners on their team. This is not allowed for Japan has a rule that teams may only have 3 foreigners on their team. But it turn out that the guy in the picture, Alex Ramirez, is considered to be Japanese-at least when it comes to baseball. Apparently there is another rule that states that if a foreigner has been here for 10 or more years, he is considered to be a Japanese baseball player rather than a foreigner baseball player.

So...we are eating sushi and watching the game and it looked like Alex hit a home run and my honey was getting all excited as the camera followed the ball. We couldn't quite see where the ball went but finally my honey said...."ah too bad he didn't hit it". I'm like "hit what?" It turns out that if a baseball player hits one of the advertisement billboards that are located high up around the stadium not only did he get a home run but the company advertising on the billboard he hit would give him $10,000. I asked why of course and he said that normally people watching the game on TV never see the advertisers on those boards so if a player hits a home run, they replay that over and over again which is kind of like free advertising so it is their way to say thank you to the player.

Does this happen in any other country? Do advertisers give money to players who hit their boards?

Friday, May 8, 2009

If you thought $20 was too much for a watermelon....

If you thought $20 was too much for a watermelon then I'm guessing you would never pay $150 for one! That is right....$150 for a heart shaped watermelon. It is limited...only 5 buy it now!
I told you fruit prices can be crazy in this country!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Noodles anyone?

Summer is coming and that means somen noodles!! I used to love eating these noodles but can't due to wheat allergies. Anyway, they can be found anywhere and are eaten cold so they are quite refreshing in the hell that will soon be upon us (also known as summer).
The interesting thing about these noodles is how they can be eaten. As I mentioned these noodles are often eaten chilled. Well...back in the day there was no way to chill them except by using water so the noodles would be carried down long flumes of bamboo in ice cold water and you would pick them out as they passed you by. You would then dip them in some sauce before eating.

Most people don't have the space or desire to do it quite this way at home so of course machines were invented!

Sure beats a boring bowl!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Golden Week.

I am on the train to the city to do some shopping and maybe eat some delicious yakiniku.

The other day we went to the mall and took these pictures.The cheapest whole watermelon we could find was almost 20 dollars and was not big.

The other picture is of a display of new items at one of our favorite stores.They have cute slippers and little...kind of pouch or holder for cool packs so you can keep cool etc.Very cute.

The weather is great right now-perfect for the Dontaku festival which will take place next week during golden week.It is in the city near me and is famous throughout Japan-millions come every year.It lasts a few days and there are shows-concerts and a parade.Though i have lived here almost 11 years I have never really seen it because I do not like big crowds.

Also during golden week in there is a famous pottery festival in Arita which is Saga ken.This is fantastic if you like Japanese pottery.It is a 4 km stretch of pottery heaven! You can get amazing deals on pottery that normally costs a fortune.You can also barter to try to get an even better price which is normally not done in Japan.I LOVE Arita pottery festival and have been a few times.The key is to get up at 4am and get there just when it opens before it becomes super busy-and it will since it is very famous in Japan-this festival has been taking place for more than 100 years.

I just asked my honey why this holiday is called Golden Week and he said because having such long holidays-5 days-is rare and therefore special like gold.He also just told me that Japanese call the Tv time from 7-9 pm Golden time instead of prime time.Hmmm...I learn something new every day!

Well my train ride is almost over-shopping here I come!


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