Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lunch Passport

Recently  an interesting book was published in Utsunomiya. It is Lunch Passport.
There are 85 restaurants in this book.  A person with this book can eat lunch which is usually served at around 1000 yen, for 500 y3n.. It is a discount book.
Utsunomiya is not a big city,  and the downtown is getting deserted compared with the suburb. But  it's easy to walk in the downtown, and it must be fun to walk around with this passport.
Yuki and I were so interested in this book.

So of course we tried to use them on Saturday.
I really understood we are one of those ordinary people, because many people were waiting in line to use this book. The restaurant we went to was a famous Chinese restaurant. We were really surprised that this restaurant was introduced in the book. I asked the owner why this restaurant was on the list. The owner said  "we help to make Utsunomiya an active town and attract people to downtown". Actually because of this book we went out of our way to have lunch like other people.

On Sunday we went out to have lunch to another restaurant we've never been to.
The restaurant was not well-known so not many people were there. But the restaurant was more crowded than usual. The owner said "thanks to this book, our restaurant became better known by people."

We usually don't go downtown, but  these days we see many people walking with this book. This book can be used until the end of June. For a while we must to try enjoy walking downtown with this book.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

being dedicated to our parents

After a long  time I baked bread with a bread machine. I could wake up surrounding by a good fresh bread smell.
In today's news paper the tragedy in Boston was reported. What a sad story it was! A 8-year-old boy who came to cheer for his father was involved and killed. What a sad father he was!  He cannot stop grieving for his boy's death. And the boy must have been dedicated to his parents to come and cheer.
Recently I learnt the word filial. I don't know how to use it exactly. But in Japanese being filial to our parents is OYA KOUKOU. We love the word.
In today's advice column of the newspaper was about being filial. The adviser said to  a woman who is in her 70's, and is really worried about her daughter in her 40's, "you enjoy your own life. You need not to be involved in your daughter's life. Showing your happiness of living by yourself is the last thing you can do to show your love to your daughter. After parents pass away is the time when kids show their appreciation to their parents."

Actually, seeing my mother and my mother-in-law who are living actively and happily makes me relieved and happy. On the other hand I often want my daughters to come back  home. If we lived together again, many troubles probably would happen.  But I want to go out somewhere with them though I don't often go out with my mother or my  mother-in-law. Anyway a ten-day holiday is just around the corner. I'll go to meet my mother and my mother-in-law. Because I'm filial to my mothers.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Have you ever get a massage at a company or clinic?
Last fall I had a bad neck ache. I went to a bone-setter instead of an orthopaedic. A few years ago, I also had a bad one, at that time I went to an orthopaedic, but there I got some cold compress, painkiller, and got electric cure with warm heat. So this time I went to a bone-setter. Since then I go there once a week.
There I get 15 minute massage with finger pressure and kind of chiropractic, 15 minute electric cure and 15 minute riding on a whole body rolling machine.
These things are kind of treatment, so I can use my health insurance. So it's reasonable.

In Japan there are various massage styles, such as Thai massage using oil and aroma, Korean massage using something, acupuncture, and so on. I sometimes (once or twice every six monthr) get  an one hour chiropractic massage which comes from America, though it is expensive because it's not a health insurance treatment. The chiropractic massage makes my body soft and stretched with pain. I like it, it means massage without pain makes me feel short on fun.

The other day I went to bone-setter. There I met one of my friend. The bone-setter was so crowded that we had enough time to talk together. Going to clinic with high fever is not fun, but going to bone-setter  is fun if I have a time. Until summer comes I seem to need to go to bone-setter.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Cherry blossoms

This year cherry blossoms started to bloom earlier than usual. Though they has started to fall, we could enjoy seeing cherry blossoms last Sunday.

Can you see the tree? It's a weeping cherry tree.
The interesting thing is the place. It's in the center of the ground of a elementary school.

The day we visited a small festival was held. It was fun.
This tree is called KOUSHI-zakura. Zakura means Sakura, cherry blossoms. KOUSHI means being filial, or  a devoted kid.
It has a folk story. Once upon a time a sick father and a son managed to live together. The father had knew his life would be not so long. There was a cherry tree by their house.It was winter. He wanted to see cherry blossoms before he died. So the sun wished strongly if the tree could bloom. One warm winter day, the tree bloomed, and on the day the father passed away. So the tree was named after the devoted son.
In the backyard KATAKURIs were blooming. Do you know the flower of KATAKURI?

We used to get starch from the stalk of this flower, so in Japanese starch is called KATAKURI powder. Now it's difficult to get from them, so starch is mainly made from potatoes or sweet potatoes.
On the way home we dropped by a private home which was opened just for two days.
There was a BUDA statue in a wonderful garden.
It' was a wonderful weekend. Now a new week has started. let's enjoy this week.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Dinner with our neighbor

The other day Yuki and I had dinner with our neighbor Mr.M &Ms.M in our house.
I don't know whether you believe or not, it was the first time to have dinner with four of us. Ms.M and I sometimes have a tea together at each house or at a cafe. But for Mr.M it was the first to eat something at our house.

Probably not so many Japanese people have dinner with neighbors together. Do you often have dinner with your neighbors?
Why we invite our neighbor?
We got a lot of meat from my friend who lives in Sendai. The meat was brand meet called SENDAI beef. It seemed to be difficult to eat all of them up with Yuki and me, and it was delivered on frozen condition so that it was difficult to  cut and share them with my friends.

We had a really good time with Mr. & Ms. M.
Did I tell you? I have been caught with empty nest syndrome a little. But fortunately I have lots of friends. And Yuki is also making friends through playing golf and playing the guitar apart from colleagues.
But we also want common friends. I know some Yuki's friends, but from them I'm Yuki's wife, and Yuki know some my friends, but he is Mieko's husband. We want have common friends directly. So We were really happy to talk with Mr. & Ms. M.
If we have common friends, our senior world will be more fun.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Cherry blossoms

Here in Utsunomiya, now it's the middle of cherry blossoms season. I don't know why Japanese people love cherry blossoms, but I love cherry blossoms.
When our daughters lived with us, we would often go on a picnic to see cherry blossoms with lunch boxes in this season. Since they left Utunomiya, Yuki and I have gone to see cherry blossoms in HACHIMANYAMA park. It is one of our annual events. (Seeing colorful leaves in fall is also one of them.)

In the early morning of last Sunday we went to see them. We were lucky because we could see them before it started to rain.
We saw cherry blossoms quickly (because it was cold, and we were hungry), then we went to a good restaurant to have breakfast.  The restaurant is a little bit expensive, but on Sundays they serve breakfast at a reasonable price.

Bread is better than the songs of birds.