Monday, March 30, 2015

A certain cafe

Last Sunday, I attend a Toast Master's meeting after so long. And I made a speech.
In Toast Master's meetings, if you make a speech, the aim if the speech is set every time. In my case the aim of this speech is to enjoy audience introducing your real experience.

So I introduced a certain cafe, though I didn't tell about it I wanted to keep the cafe as my secret cafe.
On the other hand introducing the cafe I love and I happened to find is a little bit exciting because it's interesting how the audience will shows their reaction to me.

I know some people are interested in cafes but others, especially men, are not so interested in cafes.
After my speech if the male audiences  show their interests to the cafe I introduced  --- I would be happy.  --- And to tell the truth "I made it".

I tried the same thing to my readers. (The speech is done in Japanese, but here I have to write the contents in English.)

 A certain cafe is in the countryside of Utsunomiya. It takes about 30 minutes from the center of Utsunomiya.
So even if you like cafe, without a big interest you won't go there.

In the cafe they served a really good quailty of coffee. Here in Utsunoyima there are some famous coffee shops where they use Store-Roasted coffee beans. (Actually Karaku I play the piano once a month is one of them.) And the cafe use the beans the master get from a coffee shop.(unfortunately it's not Karaku). So you can enjoy good coffee.

And you can also enjoy listening good music with "good sound".  The master is an audio maniacs.
Though I don't know the detail, the master uses a special audio machine. -- This made Yuki attractive.

And if you are interested in DIY, you should check the walls and other things. The master and his wife have lived there for more than 20 years. And last year he retired. And they decided to open their cafe doing DIY. It is a really cozy and adult-taste atmosphere.

And -- these days wood stove seems to be popular with people who has their own house. And there it has a wood stove  which is dealt with Barmont Catsle. ( I don't know the detail.)  And both the body and chimney are enameled. ( It seems to be very expensive, and there are not so many around Utsunomiya.)

If you are not interested in coffee, audio, house and stove, --- you should go there. Because you can eat NAGOYA-style breakfast.
What is NAGOYA-style breakfast? It is toast with sweet-beans-jam.
(Nagoya is a big city between Tokyo and Osaka.)

AND --- if you are not interested in this cafe, you should go there to talk to the master -- when you would be retired.  The cafe is only open from 7:00 to 11:30 '(during the morning), though it's open on weekends. So if you are retired and have lots of free time, please drop by this cafe -- if you live in Tochigi.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A cup of coffee plus extra

You can see the sign oh "TSUTAYA", it's a book store. I went out to buy some notebooks (These days they deal with staionery at book stores, and the stationery are more fancy than the ones sold by convenience stores.).

Though I would excuse at first, I went out around 11:00 before lunch time,---
I was not going to have lunch outside,I was not going to have 350yen coffee at the nearby coffee shop. 

However there is a comfortable coffee shop in the book store. It's ok if I wanted to have coffee outside I will do it.

This time I was going to buy just some note books. Unfortunately  I had some extra money in my wallet.

So I paied more money for the coffee and "sandwiches" than the notebooks.

Yes, I happened to get cozy lunchtime. It's difficult save my pocket money. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This is eel.We call this style "UNA-JYU". UNA means eel, and JYU means a square box. It is one of typical Japanese foods. Many Japanese people like tempura and sushi. On the other hand, the people who like UNA-JYU are separated. It means they love UNA-JYU or they don't love (or hate) UNA-JYU. I love UNA-JYU. Some people say why the taste is sweet? I love the sweet taste sauce, on the other hand I don't like sweet-sour pork called SUBUTA, and I don't get used to chicken with fruit sauce.
Yuki likes UNA-JYU, but if he pays same money, he prefers stake. So we seldom have UNA-JYU. Fortunately two other women wanted to have UNA-JYU together, so I had a chance to have eel outside. This is eel, UNA-JYU. That's it. Of course it was delicious and expensive.

Monday, March 23, 2015

One day trip in Utsunomiya

For  about one week our daughter and grand daughter (M & A) was staying with us.
Now A crawls on her "tummy" (she can't crawl on her hands and knees yet.) And she loves to go out like --us.
Last week  Yuki was with us only the Sunday, and it was the day the two of M & A had to go back to Tokyo.  It was sunny, so we went out by car and drove around Utsunomiya.

First we went to a big supermarket, and M was shopping while Yuki and I were taking care of A.
Next we went to a bagel shop in the suburbs (the bagels of which are our favorite) and had lunch near the shop. They accepted A kindly. It was OKONOMIYAKI restaurant. Usual OKONOMIYAKI looks like pancake, this time we ate OKONOMIYAKI with noodle.

Then we went to a temple which is famous for UME blossoms. It is the season of UME blossoms. (then the season of cherry blossoms will come soon.)
When we visited this temple, M was a baby. At that time we took Yuki's parents. It is a good place for elder people and babies together to enjoy nature. There are not so many people, people don't need to walk a lot.

Then we went to a department store near the Utsunomiya station.  While Y and I were having tea, M was able to browse in the department store.  Then M and A went back to TOKYO.
we didn't go back home soon, next Yuki started to browse in a electric shop --- And he decided to change the optical communication system of our house. 
So at the same time M & A arrived their house in TOKYO, we arrived our house.

To tell the truth, browsing a electric shop is not fun for me, however, thanks of it, I didn't have a lonely feeling. I had a usual complain to Yuki, this feeling is better than loneliness.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pollen allergy

Are you suffering pollen allergy?
Here in Japan recently many people (more than half of Japanese) are suffering pollen allergy.
Of course I am, my daughters are, and--- my husband is not.
My younger daughter and I take medicine, my elder daughter doesn't do it.

Even though the suffers take medicine, some people take mild medicine and it doesn't work enough.  Because taking strong medicine often makes them feel sleepy.
In my case I take mild medicine and Kampo (herbal Chinese medicine).

And I take yogurt and Natto every day.
I heard taking bacterai has effect. So I have yogurt-bacteria, and Natto-bacteria. I think becaus of them Yuki doesn't suffer pollen allergy, and I don't need take strong medicine.
The important thing is that you should change the kinds of yogurt and Natto. taking various kinds of bacteria is important. So while I keep making homemade yogurt using keffia bacteria, I sometimes buy Matzoon yogurt.
And of course I buy vairous kinds of Natto.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Early Easter

This week is the last week of this fiscal year, so for some of my students the lesson of this week is their last lesson.
So I did an early Easter lesson for them.

It was the last lesson for three children together, one of three stopped taking my lesson.

I gave this big Easter chocolate egg to a girl who has 4 younger sisters, she will move to another town in spring.

And I put this bunny pot in the entrance hall to celebrate Easter.
Here in Japan, Easter is not as familiar as Halloween, so probably it is celebrated or enjoyed at Kids English schools.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The last lesson for an lady

For Ms.K, it was the last lesson today. Now she is 72. Since she started to take my lesson once a week, ten years have passed. Through her life I could watch how we are getting old.
When she came here, her husband had still run his firm. And she had also worked with her husband, using a computer, driving a car. When she was over 65, her eyes got sick, (not aged eyes), so she stopped driving. At the same time her husband reduced the size of his business. Since then he had taken her to my house once a week. Last year he stopped to shut his firm.
Now they have started their retired life together, though most days of the week he takes her to hospital.
Unfortunately her eyes won't get back to be in a good condition. I hope the condition won't become worse than now.

On the other hand, they really get along with each other. What a nice senior couple they are! What kind of couple Yuki and I will become??

These are the side dishes (sometimes main dishes)  for  the last three days of this week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I've just finished reading this book. If you don't read Japanese, you don't know this book.
This book became popular probably a few years ago. At that time, I was not so interested in this book, on the other had I was so interested in another book "DAN SHA RI".
What is "DAN SHA RI"?  Probably I've already introduced it on my blog. DAN means refuse, SHA means throw away and RI means get away. What do we refuse, what to we throw away and from what do we get away? It is our gadgets around of us. It is the book to introduce how to tidy up our houses.
And why I read the book I saw on today's blog is -- it won first prise on Amazon.usa.
The title is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up.
I was surprised to hear that, because though it's my image, American houses are big enough to stock many things, so for them it's easy tidy up their rooms.
Have you read it? If someone have read it, please listen to your opinion after reading it.
Actually, this book was also as interesting as the book of DAN-SHA-RI.
DAN-SHA-RI focused how we decrease the gadgets, and get away the feeling we want to get more and keep more.
I think it is the first step to tidy up our house and re-think our life style.
Next step is written in "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up" . It indicates where is a proper place for us and things.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

The writer is 74 years old.

This is a  comic book I bought recently. Since I became an adult ( though I don't know when  the time of being an adult started ) I haven't bought comic books for myself.
The writer MITSUHASHI CHIKAKO is a woman who is now 74. 
The title is CHISANA KOI NO MONOGATAI, probably a small love story.
Can you see the number of 43? This is the 43 book in a series, and the final book. Since the write was 21 years old, she had continued to write this story. The main characters are two high school students, the boy is tall, cool and smart, on the other hand the girl is very short, and --- an averaged high school girl. It is a kind of four-frame cartoon. The writer is good at poem, and she loves HAIKU-world, this comic book is famous for not only the story but also the poems.

When I was a high school, or junior high school student, I didn't like to read the book, even though they were really popular among girls, because I was so insolent and sharp that I looked down the poetic and pure world.

I didn't know that this story had continued for more 50 years. And at last the final book was published this winter. I bought one, and it was the first time to read all pages. Even in the final book the characters are still high school students. The mother of the girl whose name is Chicchi wears KIMONO, it looks strange nowadays, on the other hand she is allergic to pollen, such symptom must have not appeared in those days. High school students talk on the phone instead of their cell phone, on the other hand they wear current outfit. In the book the old times and current time are mixed. It's fun,
And of course the pure and simple love stores are continued, I read this book on one go with smiling.
It made me relieved,and I'm nostalgic for my old days.
If I were more biddable, I must have become an different adult though I'm I.
To be surprised, even Yuki read this book, of course it is the first time and the last time.
This book gave  us nostalgic feeling when we were old. ---- Since we knew each other , 35 years have passed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

HIna dolls have gone.

As soon as I did morning house chores, I removed the HINA dolls to the closet. It is said if you keep HINA dolls after the day of MOMO NO SEKKU, the girls in your family won't be able to marry.
Now, our elder daughter is still single, and of course our granddaughter AKARI is also single.

And I put ornaments of Easter on the shelf.
Can you see a Kewpie in a plastic bottle?
I like it, which used to be my daughter's.
Easter-- eggs -- mayonnaise, --- so Kewpie mayonnaise.
Here in Japan, Kewpie mayonnaise is very very popular and common.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Breakfast at a cafe

This morning Yuki and I went out for breakfast at a cafe which is in more rural area and open from 7:00 to 11:30. (It means only in the morning.) Today Yuki went to Tokyo, so On the way I took him to the Utsunnomiya station, I decided to"drop by" this cafe. To tell the truth, it's an absolutely opposite direction. Anyway I had to drive a car, so it was a good excuse to have breakfast outside.

The cafe was actually open. It was already warm by this wood stove.

We ate sweet bean paste with toast. 
This style is popular in Nagoya which is a big city between Tokyo and Kyoto.
 This cafe is managed by a senior couple. His wife often goes to Nagoya, and she is into this breakfast style with sweet bean paste with toast. So they decided to serve this breakfast.

This cafe is modified from their house by mainly the husband's DIY. However probably he had been thinking to open a cafe after he retired. The stove has been used for more than 20 years, so it is not bought for this cafe, it is a kind of their life style. These days wood stoves are becoming popular, however 20 years ago, they were not so popular in Utsunomia. Of course it is a reason why they got the wood stove when they had this house built. The wife was born in Hokkaidou, where wood stoves are popular. However keeping a wood stove is not so easy, through the stove Yuki and I felt their unique lifestyle.

Well, well, as you know we? or I love cafe.
And Yuki and I are thinking about our retired life.

It might be good to open a cafe, open a live house, open a gallery.
Who cooks every day? who cleans everyday?  --- And who gets up early everyday?

This time what was surprised us was that they has kept getting up early even since they started their retired life.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A stage play

Yesterday, it was Sunday. It was cold and rainy, so Yuki canceled to go golfing. And he went to see a stage play with me. For him it was the first time to see a play, since he graduated high school. It means he had never seen play acted by theater groups.
I confess to have been a member in a theater group when I was in a elementary school, a junior high school and a high school. The word "confess" sounds exaggerated.
Before I entered into a college, I declared to enter a professional theater group in front of my parents because I loved playing and I wanted (probably) to be against my father. So one day I went to a professional theater to take the entrance exam. However--- I didn't have balls of brass to go into a play word shifting away a mainstream of life ( at that time I thought going to usual college was a mainstream of life.)
Three months later I went to preparatory school to go to a "usual" college. I didn't directly go on a college, it takes one year.

In Tokyo there are many professional and armature adult theater groups. On the other hand here in Utsunomiya there are a few armature theater groups though some member in the groups are professional and play as a member of a professional theater group in Tokyo.  Additionally it is only one group to have their own theater.

Yesterday it was a festival day focused on such theater groups. All theater groups in Utsunomiya showed their stage play in turn at Utsunomiya Cultural hall which is a public hall.
All of players were are full of life, so we could bask in lots of "cheer beam", which means they cheer all audience up by their powerful plays.

At first I wrote "Yuki and I" went to see it, it means the lunch was RAMEN. I don't like RAMEN very much, however the restaurant we visited yesterday was very good, they served my favorite thin noodle, and salty soup. It was delicious.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Tomomi's exhibition has finished

This year our elder daughter Tomomi  was able to hold her individual exhibition thanks to many supporters. I appreciate everybody. She is lucky to use a big workspace to make her works at college, she is lucky to get a chance of good connection, and "of course" she is lucky to get "warm eyes" from her parents and her grandmother's.
Thanks  to everyone.
When she decided to pursue herself in art world, I was really worried (though even now I'm worried about her life financially.) about her life. It was 6 years ago. I wrote my feeling on this blog. Some people recommend to her style, and some people accept my anxiety.
Anyway what we can do is just to watch and pay her cell-phone fee. (Are we indulgent parents?)