Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A new rice cooker

We changed a rice cooker.
And --- a new rice cooker made Yuki cook rice by himself.
Do you understand the situation?

To tell the truth, I didn't need to buy a new rice cooker, I was satisfied with the previous one.
However, Yuki "suddenly" (though it's my opinion) seemed to want to change the rice cooker to more skilled? technical? expensive? one.

Usually he doesn't eat meal at home except breakfast. However during the Obon vacation he had meals almost three times a day at home.
It means after I cook rice with a rice cooker, I keep the rice for a while to the next meal.
And he noticed.
It is delicious to eat rice as soon as it is cooked. However it is not so delicious to eat the rice which is kept warm for a while. And it must be improved by changing the rice cooker. (Actually the previous one was more than 10 years old.)

So he started searching, and nobody couldn't stop his idea, even though our elder daughter was with us. Because she is proud of her "new" rice cooker.

So I gave him a deal.
When a new rice cooker arrives, "you" cook the rice at first by yourself.
He accepted it.


So he cooked the rice with the rice cooker by himself, and probably it was the first time for him to cook rice by himself. (probably must learn it at home economics lesson when he was an elementary school student, because I remembered it.)


The rice cooker came the last day of his vacation.

It means

He said
I accept the rice as soon as it is cooked is delicious even though it was cooked with the previous one.

Unfortunately he hasn't eaten the rice which is kept for a while yet, because his usual days have started.








Monday, August 29, 2016

Tomomi's exhibhition was a sucess

Tomomi's exhibition was a success.
Because of the place which is near to the station, and is along a street, many people could drop by casually. So a person bought one of her work. ( It means he is not our acquaintance). And two of her works are dealt as  commercial work at the gallery.
And she got an invitation to an exhibition at Tsukuba.

 Of course Yuki and I are very happy that some of works were sold.
However what made us most relieved was --- that
this time she carried in and out their work by herself -- it means she rent a car and drove to and from by herself.
For exhibitions before, the work were too big to carry in and out by herself.  So she hired a porter. Of course it is expensive. This time she did it by herself.
You might sound strange.
Actually she got a driver license, but she doesn't drive so often. From our view she doesn't get used to drive yet.
When she comes here, we make? get ? her drive. I know sometimes she rent a car in Tokyo.
However this time she had to go to Ginza where is in the middle of Tokyo.
So we were really worried.  We were going to go to Tokyo by car, and let her drive our car --- but "we know" she needs more experience.

I know she is becoming 29 in winter, However she is still a child.

Additionally our younger daughter M has also a driver's license. When she got the license for the first time, she would come here and drive. At that time, probably she drove better than Tomomi.
However since her husband appeared in front of her, she has not driven for more than three years, because he can drive.
When she comes back here, she seems to want to drive, but Aakari is always with us, to we don't let her to drive. I know we are really grand parents.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A sushi restaruant

Last week a new sushi restaurant opened nearby. It's not a conveyor-belt sushi bar. It's traditional sushi restaurant. And actually it "was" a good-quality restraint. -- it means, yes, we went there.
There we can also take other dishes in addition to Sushi at reasonable price.

This is little fish with eye == (I know a friend doesn't like it)

And we ate the seasonable fish "sanma" this year for the first time.

Of course we ate Sushi. It was a good quality,  and compared to other "traditional sushi restaurants"  probably they serve at a reasonable price.

And the biggest advantage is  -- Yuki can drink there, because we can walk there.
We are happy to enjoy cuisine around here easily.
On the other hand the disadvantage is  --- I have to balance our house budget more severely.
Having dinner at a traditional sushi restaurant is one of our luxury diet.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Yesterday I had lunch with a friend.  A half of year has passed, since we last talked together. 
She became my first friend when I came to Utunimiya about 30 years ago, it means we've known each other for about 30 years. What is interesting is we don't have in common expect being the same age and female. I think so our relationship has been kept . every time we see, we appreciate our life style each other.

However both of us are getting old, so this time while we talked about our current situation, and thought about our pension life. Actually her husband has already retired so their pension life has started. She also retired earlier because she "had to" nurse her mother-in law. Last year she fit free from nursing her, and now she is pursuing a garden making world. This Sunday she will take an examination to get a licensees as a gardener.
So we eate stake to get stamina .

This restaurant was not too casual, not too formal, and not too noisy. We had a good time here.
Well well, what am I pursuing? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tomomi's exhibition in Ginza

This week  my elder daughter is holding her individual exhibition. Fortunately she holds annual exhibition for  five or six years.
This time her works are not so big.
However this work is as tall as her height 145cm, (Yes, she is very short. One of the reasons when she won for the first time was "we can't believe such a short woman made such a big work")

These are small  works.
There are other works on display.
We wish "all" works would be sold, and we hope some works will be sold. (Is it a correct way to use wish and hope?)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

At home

Thanks to the typhoon or because of the typhoon, yesterday I stayed home all day without doing something.
I blended in some aroma oils and made up.
We used some aromas for softener, bug repellent, sweat, air fresher and swelling of foot (or aching muscle) .

After doing it, I take a bath with black salt and a kind of aroma oil.---

with facial mask.

And I tried to take a nap in the bed, however yesterday the big typhoon caused many cancels, it means some of my fries were "free", and they called me. So while I was in a bed, I was talking with friends on the phone --- probably for three hours. (two friends called me in turn.)
And because of typhoon Yuki went back very earlier from Tokyo.
So we had dinner together at home.
Today I'll go to Tokyo to see my daughter's individual exhibition  -- with these rice balls.
This summer I (or we) used money than I expected, so I "try" to save money without having lunch at Ginza.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Typhoon is coming, so I canceled visiting Tokyo.
Probably I'll go tomorrow. This week my elder daughter holds her individual exhibition in Ginza. And today Yuki is at Tokyo, so "we" were going to see her exhibition together. So we will see it each other.
On the other hand last Friday we went to GINZA to meet our young friend. He stayed with us here in Utsunomiya when he was young. He is Turkish. Three years ago he came to japan  to work, and this September he is going to go back to Turkey. We wanted him to stay with us again, but we had a happening, so we couldn't arrange  the schedule. So we went to see him in Tokyo.
We had dinner at a Turkish restraint in Ginza which he recommended.
It was the first time to have Turkish cuisine.
Do you know that Turkey is  the origin of yoghurt. In all dishes yoghurt is used very well as a secret ingredient.
Of course we had the typical dish "shish kebab".

And "I" enjoyed belly dance.

I've heard of the word "belly dance", however it was the first time to see it and to do it.
Thanks to him we had a good time in Ginza.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


It is the last day of our Obon vacation, and finally it is a usual Sunday.
Yuki went to golf. For him it is the first time to go golfing during this Obon vacation.
I made pre-cooked dishes for this coming week.
And I tried to weed -- but didn't do it. It's too hot. Anyway  I cleaned and dried this little pool.

I organized and cleaned all rooms, and relaxed with OKYU.

You see some rashes, it's not by OKYU. Every time I go to the garden mosquitoes bite me.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

one day vacation

Today, it is only day for us to do nothing. Tomorrow we are going to Tokyo to visit our friend.

Finally (if you are foreigners, probably it's hard to understand why I used the word finally. ) we had eel.

During summer on  Japanese calendar  we have eel-day once or twice. However this summer we missed the day and didn't eat eel yet.
So finally we ate eel. This eel is Japanese eel, not Chinese eel, so it's a little bit expensive.  So we had a luxury time today.

And while Yuki went practicing golf , I had 100-minute massage. What a wonderful time it was.

Well my power seems to come back -- a little.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Obon vacation

On 15 Thursday  my son-in-law's mother passed away. She was 67 years old. After my daughter married him three years ago, she had been caught by cancer. At that time she was told that she would have one year live, however she had fought cancer for three years. She lived in Sendain where it is 250 km north of Tokyo, alone. Her only son who is my son in-law and my daughter live in Tokyo. So, she fount cancer almost alone.

Her first grand daughter was giving her the power to live. And she ran a big beauty salon, it was also something to live. Actually until a week ago she was at her beauty salon.

Since Akari was born, she came to my house once a month, one reason was that my daughter visited her mother-in-law, but Akari always cried in the hospital, so I and sometimes my husband and I were taking care of Akari. Here Utsunomiwa is in the middle between Sendai and Tokyo.
Thanks to her we often saw Akari,

During this Obon vacation Akari had to stay with us for three days without her mother. Of course it was the first time for her. She made it. Sometimes she cried, but when I said 'mom was in hospital', she stopped crying.

The busy and sad week has almost finished. On the other hand thanks to her we had good time with Akari, though it was a little hard job.
I'm sorry for her loss.

Monday, August 08, 2016

This weekend

This Sunday I was alone. So I went to a concert by myself to seek for coolness.
I thought that I might felt loneliness to go to Sunday's concert by myself. However than I expected people who come by themselves were not fewer.
This band members are all pro musicians, and usually are connected with Tochigi prefecture. This band is run by supporting members such as Tochigi prefecture, some companies. 

Probably it was the first time to listen to Swan Lake without ballet.

I didn't notice "dora" is used in this tune.
Can you see the  big round instrument in the back of the stage?
I don't know what dora is in English.

It was a good time. After the concert, Yuki picked me up, so I dropped by at a conveyor-belt sushi to seek for coolness and prevent a lack of appetite. (It's a good excuse not to cook at home).


Friday, August 05, 2016

Vending Machines

The other day I read an article about vending machines in Japan.
You can find vending machines everywhere in Japan, from Buddhist temples to the top of Mt.Fuji. Most of them sell hot and cold beverages, or cigarettes. Some of them, however, sell unusual products. For example, fresh food items, like eggs, lettuce, or strawberries. Others sell clothes, like T-shirts and neckties. Some machines have unique functions too. They can provide beverages for free in times of disaster. These are very helpful to people during emergencies.


Hm. it's interesting.
Today I'll talk about this article.

Yes, we can find vending machines everywhere in Japan. And actually they sell hot and cold beverages, however in summer most of vending machines are modified to the summer specification. It means, it's sometimes difficult to find something "hot" in vending machines. (I prefer to drink something hot even in summer, so I've sometimes experienced it.)

And the number of vending machines selling cigarettes is decreasing. Because the rule to buy cigarettes got strict. we can't buy cigarettes without special card called "taspo". Yuki smokes, but he doesn't have the card, so he usually buy cigarettes at a convenience store. It might be good  to have strengthen the law. higher prices of cigarettes and inconvenience of purchase brought him to less smoke. On the other hand one of kids' assistant jobs for fathers disappeared -- to go buy cigarettes instead of their fathers.

Well, well, I don't live in a big city like Tokyo, but this Utsunomiya city is not in rural area.
However it is surrounded by famer area. So sometimes I see some vending machines which sell eggs and some vegetables which are tolerant of heat. So you might find vending machines which sell fresh lettuce in some highland regions like Nagono prefecture. Additionally Tochigi prefecture where Utsunomiya city belongs  is famous for strawberries, but I've never seen vending machines which sell fresh strawberries.

And I've see vending machine which sells some clothes in inexpensive hotels which is called "business hotel" in Tokyo not "expensive" hotel. Usually  in "expensive hotels" there are some brand-name shops. so in such hotels probably there aren't vending machines.

And what is the most interesting is the last sentence.  I've heard of it, but I don't know how they operate. So I did a search.
The vending machines which are put in the public facilities seem to have such a function. They seem to have a special sticker with "deserter response".  And when administers ask the vending machine company to let beverages free, the company's workers come and manually shift them into free.
When I find the sticker, I'll update this blog.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Talking about politics

To tell the truth I'm no good at politics all at, additionally I was really weak at social studies and it was one of the reasons why I went into Sciences.

However the other day I "had to " talk about politics in an online-English class.
The article on the day was "Tokyo Elects First Woman Governor ". The article itself was not difficult.

However, as the discussion started , I got stuck.  My English was really bad, probably what I was talking must have been Greek to the teacher.
And if I had talked about it in Japanese, it would have been Greek to others and even to me. (Chin-pun-kan-pun in Japanese)

So here I'd like to put my thoughts together. (which means, I try to think about this article more deeply) 

1 Many politicians promise to “clean up” politics and fail to do so. Do you think that voters still respond to this kind of message? Why or why not?
2 Why do you think that many politicians are involved in corruption scandals?
3 What is your opinion about the Olympic Games?
1, I hope we still try to believe someone "cleans up" our politics.
Because --- though in Japan's case, I believe Japanese people have originally humility and prefer a steady life to an adventurous life . Because our origin was agricultural people. Peace and "simplicity and fortitude "  (shitsujits gouken in Japanese) split underlie .it means there must be some politicians who won't be seduced by money and an appetite for glory.

2 of course politicians do not have bad manners do not behave badly either. On the other hand because of the Internet just a small accident tends to be reported quickly and get blown up.
Additionally, the number of people who show their interest to a tiny thing is increasing. I don't know why? We see a decline in ethics on the both sides which people who cause scandals, and who make fun of scandals.

3 Anyway I hope to keep hold Olympic Games with fairness. It can't be helped that Olympic Games play commercial roles. People can't do anything without "suitable "money. And I hope Olympic Games are not used as a part of means of politics. Just they should be hold to seek the peace world.

I tried to put my thought together. It was very difficult. because I couldn't come up with anything concrete , associated with my real life.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


I went to the movie alone, and watched  Sazanami. (45 years) .
I prefer the title of Sazanami this time. Sometimes the Japanese titles sound strange, however this time the title of 45 years is "direct", on the other hand Sazanami is very emotional title.
Sazanami means "ripple".
The mind of the main character has rippled since a letter reached to her husband.
It was a good movie.
In my opinion I prefer the movie which finishes with smile, this movie --- unfortunately it is finished with rippling (it doesn't show a concrete ending.)
And I realized 45 year marriage sometimes is broken by a sudden "small" event.
And I knew a culture.
In America or Europe? senior couples celebrate their 40-year marriage  with "friends" not their family. In Japan we have KINKONSHIKI which is a celebration to celebrate 50-year marriage. However usually it is celebrated by their family. ( I don't know whether my daughters will celebrate our KINKONSHIKI in 20 years.)
 GINKONSHIKI is a celebration to celebrate 25-year marriage. We didn't celebrate it, and probably my daughter didn't know when it came.

Monday, August 01, 2016


Suddenly it has gotten hot, hasn't it?
Yesterday (Sunday) we went to NIKKO to escape that heat.
At Nikkou it was 23 degrees Celsius, probably in Utsunomiya it was over 35 degrees Celsius.
We visited British embassy villa and Italian embassy villa memorial park which has started to open since this spring after they were renovated.
This is the Italian embassy villa.
We visited there about 8 years ago. At that time it wasn't open the inside, and the outside was very old. The reason why we visited there, this villa was designed by Antonin Raymond who was a very famous architect.
And -- my younger daughter needed to sketch this architecture to pass the entrance examination to the college. She passed it, enrolled in, graduated, and this winter she got the license of second-class architect. 8 years passed since we visited there for the first time. of course this time there were two of us -- Yuki and me. At that time there were three of us -- Yuki, M, and me.
If we visit again, probably there will be four Yuki, M, me -- and AKARI. (or five including our son in-law).

And we also visited British embassy villa. there we had scones and tea which are cooked with the same reship and served with the same tea leaves used by current British embassy in Japan.

From there we see beautiful and calm "cyuzenji" lake.

The scone set is a little bit expensive, but the entering fee is really inexpensive.  It is 300 yen an adult.

Around this Cyuzenki-lake area, seeing KEGON-fall is very famous, but it's a little bit expensive.
So if you visit Nikko for the second or third time, I recommend to visit here.