Monday, October 30, 2006

Yakiniku (Fired Beef) Dinner

A bunch of us from the volleyball team went out and got dinner the other night. We had the usuals: intestines, stomachs, tongues, raw beef with a raw egg and seaweed… I think I polished off most of the salad (apples, lettuce, tomato, and cabbage) because I was starting to get a little queasy….

Sagano (Japanese Resort Style Café)

For discerning coffee and tea drinkers…. this off the beaten path café is one of the most Western places I have seen in Japan. It is serene and beautiful and I actually want to live here. It’s part San Francisco, part Japanese, part French, a former spa that was converted into a café on the first level and an art gallery on the second level… Exposed bricks, smooth, warm, hardwood floors, tiled fountains, candles, delicate bamboo, tiny little succulents in tiny white pots, and a garden with a beautiful maple tree,.. Oh, and the café au lait comes in a bowl with a wooden spoon. And the bathrooms smell like lavender and rosemary. They even stamp their toilet paper with their logo. I mean, really.

Monkeys! (Arashiyama Monkey Park)

Thanks to Jason for taking me around to Arashiyama’s most scenic places. For discerning monkey lovers…. An up close and personal experience with real live monkeys- running around, chasing and grooming each other, with an amazing view of Kyoto to boot. The brochure cautioned us:
1. “Don’t stare at the monkeys in the eye”
2. “Don’t touch the monkeys”
3. “Don’t feed them outside”

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My half-day trip to Osaka

Amazing architecture, fashionable and stylish city, the clean and beautiful MUJI store…. Everything in the store is MUJI brand, but the label doesn’t show up on anything except for the packaging! Clothing, shoes, accessories, food, drinks, candy, bedding, stationery, towels, beauty products, kitchen appliances, furniture, etc. you’ll find it here!
I have to go back and do some serious shopping. It's the closest thing to New York I can find here so far.


I bought two kimono(s)! (Do you “pluralize” Japanese words?) Anyway, here’s me in a sheer black (summer) kimono w/ magenta colored maple leaves and a golden yellow obi. My other one is purple silk with white and pink flowers. I’ll post more pictures when I go to the Kimono Festival in November…..

Saturday, October 28, 2006

october frenzy

Sorry it’s been ages since my last posting- jeez.... almost a month!! Paul’s been here and I’ve never been happier in my life. Lots of traveling, eating, snacking, drinking, exploring, relaxing, and catching up…. I'll finally download my photos this weekend and try to post some interesting news about me. I have a ton of photos and stories and love this country even more. However, Paul left today and it's got me feeling pretty down. This is our album cover photo when we actually record something.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ine Funaya

Ine is the same village where I taught earlier this week. I went back to the picturesque part of town with Jannie and Bryn. The boathouses (funaya) sit at the edge of the Sea of Japan, and basically act like boat "garages".
The water was crystal blue green and the village was so quaint... narrow winding streets of traditional wooden Japanese homes. You wouldn't believe that the ocean is the backyard to these homes! It's pretty far and out of the way, which is why it is so well-preserved. We took a little boat excursion which brought us close to some of the private houses, fed the eagles and sea gulls that were following the boat, and enjoyed the perfect autumn weather. Seriously, life is good.


Sorry for those with weak stomachs... these are pretty gruesome, but the display was so intriguing I HAD to photograph them. They smelled as bad as they looked.

vending machines

Japanese vending machines- omnipresent, efficient, cheap, and easy to use.

I already posted the ticket machine at my school cafeteria. They are everywhere, dispensing cold and hot beverages, cigarettes, eggs, and... porn. I have a friend who tells me that there is one which sells "used underwear". I don't want to know the details.

Oh, by the way, Happy Belated Birthday Vaso! and Emily!