Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter break is starting!

Tomorrow in the evening I'm holding  an event, it is the last event of this year.
My students and my adult friends are coming.
And -- since they leave , my winter break will have started.

According to M (my younger daughter)'s schedule, she will come the day after tomorrow morning. (She wanted to come here tomorrow  evening, but I declined.)
So my winter break means  my family time. (Probably Yuki will be able to a day off the day after tomorrow.)

I'm grinning to my self.
Since my daughters left here, I've been suffering from empty nest symptom. Some one say I've already conquered. I think not yet, of course the symptom got really weak.
Probably since I left my regular job as an engineer, my life seems to have been spent with my daughters. Since they are left I seem not to find a "big" motivation on my daily life, though I enjoy my daily life being free from children.
So actually it is a happy news that they come to my house and stay with us.
On the other hand, I know it will make me tired, because I'm used to the current life with Yuki.

Anyway, though I a little bit earlier

Have a good new year!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
For Yuki and me today Monday is a usual day.
How are you celebrating your Christmas? Or how did you celebrate it?

The day before Christmas Eve, it was holiday in Japan. So many events were held in this city.
It was a "holiday", so Yuki went to golf in the daytime, and I changed Christmas decoration into New Year's in my house. Because this week I will hold two events, so I wanted to organize my house into the style for welcoming a new year.

Anyway at the night of the Saturday, we went out to listen to a concert performed by Utsunoiya university which is a national university in this prefecture.

It was done at a large hall, and it was full of people who are from kids to senior.
The week before last we also went to a concert which was performed civic orchestra and civic choral society,--- it means the members are adults and half of them are senior. So the hall was full of people but they were adults or some families with small kids.
This time, many young people were there, so the atmosphere was completely different.
Anyway we enjoyed both of them.
Did you know that? The tickets of both were invitation tickets. Lucky me!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas week !

This week is called (by myself) Christmas week!
Each class we make ---

They are elementary school student's, and junior high school students'.
High school students' are more artistic.
I'll make more three cooky houses today. And it is the last business of this year.
Well, I'll go out to take a massage at a massage clinic ---the cost is covered by my insurance.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

season word 1221 citrus junos

I searched how to read "junos", it seems to be pronounced  "you-n-us". is it right?
And I also learnt. We call it YUZU. Its origin is China, but here in Japan it became popular. So according to an Oxford dictionary it is introduced its origin is Japanese.
And -- Yuzu used to call YU no Su and actually a few people use this name.
It means acid of Yuzu. --- this pronunciation seemed to be exported, and Yuzu is called citrus junos.
Here in Tochigi, many farmers grow Yuzu, so sometimes I get many for free, and sometime I buy them at very economical price. (I dare not to use the word "cheep")
I use them cooking, bating.
Bathing with Yuzu , full of aroma, (as if I were) a Japanese-style beautiful woman
In winter I always keep YUZU honey.
Yuzu honey, dried ginger, keep away us from a cold.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My English activity in December

Yesterday  I finished my English activity in December.
In the morning I introduced and read some English picture books and did some activities, with moms &kids and one lady who was coincidently  my acquaintance and a senior man.
It was a really  good time.
Then I went to a café  to have lunch.

Because there I had another meeting in the afternoon.
It was a good excuse for me to go out for my lunch.
In the afternoon, three ladies participated in my English chatting activity.
It took one hour.
After that  -- chatting time in Japanese started (it might have been the main.)

A lady was the last time to join us. And a lady was a new member to join us.
I adhered to this phrase
Those who come are welcome, those who leave are not regretted

I seem to get more matured.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I'm all thumbs!!
I'm not sure you see this site.
Anyway I tried making these TOUFU onion rings.

They look completely different, though the taste was "perfect". I know I'm all thumbs!!
They are tasty while they are fresh which means "hot". On the other hand they are also tasty when they are eaten next day.
So I ate fresh one at night yesterday for my dinner.
And today I served the rest for our breakfast, though I warmed them with pan.

Today it is the day for me to do volunteering. I'll go out to the library in 30 minute.
And in the afternoon I hold an English chat meeting at a café. Probably it is the last time that one of my friend attends it. She and I'll go each way. -- It can't be helped.

Monday, December 18, 2017

seasoon word 1214 knitting

Oh, sorry, the photo is not good.
Knitting is made by knitting yarn or the like with knitting needles or machine. In the winter many knitting tools are lined up when you go to a craft shop. Some people give hand-knitted scarves as Christmas presents.
Knit with white yarn, looking forward to seeing my first child,  her first dress
When I had the first baby "t", I was waiting for her birth knitting white yarn dress.
And -- for my second daughter "m", I knitted her cape with white yarn.
They were still kept in the closet. I wanted to let Ah-chan wear them. However she was born in summer, and they are yellow by age partly.
Knit a sweater, got a perfect score at high school, at Home Economic class
I'm not sure that you have a subject "home economic" at school.
Anyway I was not good at home economic at high school. At home economic, we learn cooking, sawing, fixing, etc.
I had to make  an outfit when I was a high schools student. In summer I made skirt, and in winter I knitted a sweater. It was the first and last experience I got a perfect score at Home Economic class.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I did it!

Yesterday it was the day of Karaku, it means I played the piano at Karaku café.
As I tell you, once a month I perform with Ms.U there. It is not a job, it is a kind of hobby for me, and for Ms.U it is a kind of volunteer work.

When we started to perform together, Ms.U was not so popular in Tochigi prefecture, however about 3 or 4 years ago, she didn't have not so much opportunity she performed. Nowadays she seems to be busy, to be asked to recital, to do MC. She extended her business from not only an acting word to reading stories, teaching, MC, etc.
Though she is busy, she enjoys the day of Karaku with me. I'm very happy.

Anyway without any cancel, I did it.

And before the end of this month, we will hold an event here in my house.
A new year is just around the corner beyond Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yuki said " I did it !"

Well, well, I almost forgot to tell you, though I think it isn't necessary.
Did I tell you about our winter cleaning?
Here in Japan we have a tradition of winter cleaning instead of spring cleaning.
Probably we want to have a new year in new outfits, and clean houses. Nowadays it is said spring cleaning may be suitable in recent climate.

Once we used to turn over TATAMI mats or change TATAMI mats, re-cover SHOUJI paper --- I have the memory though I don't know I heled or not. These costumes are outdated.
Probably cleaning windows is only one thing to be kept.
However nowadays many new houses are  super-insulated houses. They have windows, but not so many, and not so big.
The older the houses are, the more windows they have.
Yes my house is more than 30 years old, and to prevent from coldness we attached some double windows. So -- there are  --I don't know how many we have.
Until last year we made the day of cleaning the windows on a day in December.
However last year after doing it, our shoulders hurt severely.  I think it caused my chronical stiff shoulder.
So this year we started cleaning the windows little by little. --- Mostly I did.
And before completing it, I came down with a cold , oh no, with sever allergy. So Yuki cleaned the last 6 pair of glasses. Yuki said "I did it! " proudly.

And our winter cleaning is almost finished, the one thing which is left is clean the ventilating fan in the kitchen. It is not so difficult.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday has started.

Now it is in the middle of December. A new year seems to be just around the corner.
Well, well, how was your weekend?
Today's diary is just my whining.

Last Tuesday, when I wake up, suddenly my back neck hurt. I know I'm suffering from a frozen shoulder called "fifty year -old shoulder" in Japanese ( of course if you are in your 60's, it is called sixty year-old shoulder), but my neck doesn't have hurt for more than  7 years ago.
And I also felt sick. I was going to a bone-setter where I used to go however I remembered that when a person feels hurts, they don't to anything, just apply cold or hot compress. Its cost is covered by our health insurance. It took one and 30 hour. and It cost 5800 yen.
So instead of going there, I took an acupuncture therapy which isn't covered by our insurance. The pain seems to be relieved a little, and I didn't feel sick.  Two days later I went to a bone-setter. Because I know I need to get massaged more. So I took 10-minute massage, and 10-minute hot compress treatment by electric gadget.
It cost 460yen.
And in this morning I went to the bone-setter again.
Now the back neck hurt seems to be relieved, however the pain of my left shoulder seems to be worse. I think I need to get  a massage and hot treatment constantly.

Additionally on Saturday I had to attend an one-day training program of my host English company.
Anyway I did it --- and -- suddenly my running nose didn't stop and I felt  heavy in my head. I thought I was finally caught by a cold.
Yesterday most of the day I was "sleeping" not just laying.

Oh, I'll almost forget. While I was sleeping, Yuki finished cleaning the windows of my house.
Our winter cleaning has finished --- no, one thing is left, clean the ventilator in the kitchen.

I had no high fever, just felt sluggish, and heavy in my head.
So today I went to a clinic.
The doctor said "your allergy seems to bet worse because of the coldness and dryness."
I thought autumn was finished so that I don't need to take medicine against allergy. It was wrong.

And both of the doctors said, if your hurt was not so sever, you should do exercise, and when you take medicine, you should do exercise inside to strengthen your immune system.

So from now I'll go out to do exercise in a gym, though I feel sluggish.

Friday, December 08, 2017

T's individual exhibhition

This year my elder daughter T was able to held her individual exhibition in Tokyo like the last year.
As I mentioned about T, I always recall that time I wrote her future on this blog when she was a high school student, and she was a college student. It means more than 10 years passed since I started writing this blog. Anyway she persuade her artist carrier supported by many people luckily.

The exhibition this time was hold in a small gallery. According to her only selected artists in the art world (well, well, the definition of the art world seems to be difficult, anyway it is a little bit different from a commercial art world) can hold their exhibition.
The gallery was very small, and probably it is difficult to be noticed by usual people.

Thanks to her, our family is able to be involved in such an interesting art world.
Additionally for 3-year-old Ah-chan gallery is a familiar word (in Japanese).
Additionally for my mother and my mother-in-law visiting such galleries are exciting.

This time, a big work may be bought by someone (now under negotiation)

She is almost 30, (according to her she is not 30 yet), she has no boy friend (probably), she doesn't earn enough money, she is not independent perfectly (she borrows a house and a parking lot from her grandmother --- she pays for it a little, while she gets pocket money from her).

What we can do is to watch her, and to support her  as much as we can.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

season word 1207 radiative cooling

"Radiative cooling" seems too scientific  to use in a Haiku-poem.
When the phenomenon of  radiative cooling occurs, usually it frosts.
In Haiku word we use "frost descends (from the heaves)" as a winter word.
And as a autumn word, we use "gather dew".

We haven't had the first frost yet, even though we have had very cold morning.

Not frost descent, sever coldness, not to reach the pass

At the dawn of the day with frost, sounds of a mortar bike (for a delivery man of newspapers), GOKUROUSAM (thank you for your efforts)

This is "the" slow life for elderly women

Before I started Laugther Yoga at home, the  elderly women's lives I know are my mother's, my mother-in-law 's and  Ms.J ( she must say that I'm not a elderly woman).
My mother tends to immure herself in her house, my mother-in-law living in an elderly care center attends regular events which are hold at the center, even though she doesn't go out. And Ms. J is always active and do something more than me while she enjoys doing house chores including cooking, cleaning, and gardening.
One reason why I started laughter yoga was to offer a place for elderly people walk out.
HOWEVER --- the women who come to my laughter yoga seem to be very active, even though they don't go out far (because they don't drive themselves).
They are active so they come to my house.  Or they are afraid to get immured, so they come.
Usually three or four ladies come. They are in their 70's and their late 60's.
Two ladies live with their husbands, so there are just two members, and their relatives don't live near them. Though the other lady also lives with her husband, her son's family lives next door, and she and her husband usually care for their 4 grand children from the evening.
Despites of the number of their family, all of the ladies enjoy "cooking" while grumbling.
A lady said "I pickled a whole of Chinese cabbage".
I asked "Is it too big for you of two to eat it up?"
She said "It is Ok, of course fresh pickled Chinese cabbage tastes good, and too much pickled Chinese cabbage is also tasty when they are fried.
A lady said "I minced the all leaves of a big Japanese radish"
I asked "Was it troublesome? and can you eat it up?"
She said "listening to TV (not watching) , I did it, so it was not troublesome. And we always sprinkle some on the rice, so we take enough vitamin, and it is easy for us to eat it up."
The other lady said "I dried 5 Japanese radish".
I said "Wao-----"
All of tasks I mentioned are troublesome for me, however I have to reconsider my attitude.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

going out alone on weekdays in November

Though just December has started, but I feel the end of this year is just around the corner.
Nowadays, on weekdays I try to study English constantly (it is another thing whether my English is improved or not) and try to go to the gym in the morning. And after lunch at home, I organize my lesson materials, voluntary works, and practice the piano. Three days of weekdays I have lessons from the evening. Another weekday I go out to do voluntary work, or play the piano at "the" cafe, or hold an event at home. And the other weekday I schedule to go to Tokyo to visit my mother. However visiting there is once or twice a month. So I have sometimes all-free day.

My daily life seems to be busy, active and meaningful, however I want to have more cultural time (not exercise time, I know the lack of exercise time though)

It might sounds good to chat with friends, or go out together, however, it is troublesome for me to schedule it. So I go out when I want to go out at ease.

In November, I went to three galleries in Utsumoniya.

The first one is a small gallery, which I knew on the advertisement on the newspaper.

I dropped by there.
It was small but very cozy.
Some regulars were chatting there, so I was going to go out quickly after short visit, however luckly "how about having tea together?" I was asked.
So  of course I enjoyed tea together.

Another one is an individual exhibition.
Last month I saw her group exhibition at a city facility, and had an interest. Then I got a advertise post card to this exhibition.
There some her friends were chatting. However she remembered me, so I also talked with her.
It was also good time.
And on the way home, I decided to have a tea at a gallery café.

It was a "café", however there were many regulars who were chatting.
So I hesitated to enter the café, but --- as I guess, I was asked "let's have tea together".

In the café , a small individual exhibition was held. The painter was there, she was 80, and though I didn't know that, she was a little bit famous in Utsunomiya, so to celebrate her individual exhibition some (Utsunomiy) cultural figures gathered there.
I got new information there. Lucky me.
And it is a café, so I ordered 400-yen fruit tea, however lots sweets was served.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

story hour at a temple

Though it is already December, let me tell you a story hour which was hold in November at a nearby small temple.

Luckily we had an opportunity to the nearby temple to attend a story hour.
The words shrines and temples are familiar words for Japanese people, but we don't associate with them.
We visit a shrine when we celebrate something, for example to celebrate Ah-chan three-year old anniversary we visited a shrine.
And two years ago when M's mother in-law passed away, we visited a temple.
So except special occasions, we seldom visit a shrine or a temple -- oh, except the famous shrines or temples as tourist spots.
Usually small temples seems to be closed by their Buddhist parishioners. However this time I saw this poster in front of the temple, and they invite anyone. So we went out.
The opened main hall to the event. We could see Buddhist statues and listened to the main monk's lecture.
It was a good opportunity.
It cost 2000 yen.
Yuki and I talked about the price. The event was good, and it was a good opportunity to enter the main hall.
And the reciter seems to be a little bit popular in this area. So probably the cost is suitable, or inexpensive. Because the reciter usually holds her story hour at the same cost.
I asked Yuki whether he would go to her story hour which is hold at a hall or café at the same cost.
The answer is "no".
So we had a good time in common at this temple.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Season word 1130 duck hot pot

I think "duck hot pot" is not so familiar. Probably when you travel to mountain areas and stay in an Japanese inn, Duck hot pot may be served.
However "KAMO NANBAN" is familiar in this season. I love it.
It is "duck & green leek  soba noodle."
In this article, NEGI is translated as Welsh onions", I usually use "green leek".
And you might have heard "green onion". Green onion is usually "thin" NEGI.  Green Leek, and Welsh onions are thick.
Well, well, do you know the following?
Duck & Green leek soba is called KAMO NANBAN.
KAMO is duck.
And NANBAN is Negi,
 Why we call Negi Nanban?
I was really surprised to know the reason. In Edo period, the first European people came to Japan. They loved Negi. So Japanese people call Negi Nanban. Nanban means foreign countries which is in Europe.
Kamonanban   Grilled Negi smell   bring me smile.
Kamonanban   Old edo sound still leaves  in the word

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Laughter yoga 1128

Today  it was the forth Tuesday, so I hold a laughter yoga club. Three women came. It was very fun.
Three of them, now they are friend, but when they came to my house at the first time, they didn't know each other. And even now they don't know each other well, because anyway we are laughing, laughing and laughing while we are doing laughter yoga.

There are three way to laugh.
One is letting out our voice "hahaha, hohoho, etc -- they are laughing voice" while doing some yoga poses instead of breathing silently.
Next one is reading finny (picture) books, poems, or jokes while adding laughing voice
And when we are getting used to letting out laughing voice, we try to do some funny actions.

Can you see toy stethoscopes?
I got them at a 100 shop. Toys sometimes easy us to laugh.
We made a pair, and one asked to the other "how's your stomach? , how's your back?", and a women asked "How's your brain?"
Everyone did this funny action while having a big laugh.

I know a woman is a very serious woman. However she laughed (not smile) while this laughter yoga.
Of course I laughed.

While laughing we can forget begin annoyed, being depressed, being worried.
Through laughing we can communicate without complaining.

At noon, they go back home without having lunch together, because their retirement husband are waiting? for them.
And they don't need more deeply communication. They are very good at measuring the distance between each of them. (Does it make sense?)

Friday, November 24, 2017

just a random thought, but

I'm not sure the title is suitable for this article, what I want to say is "DOUDODEMO IIKOTO DAKEDO".

In the case of my (younger) daughter and me
She says:"Look at mine, ( me, or what I've done), it is super!( why don't you praise me?)
I say "Oh, yes, it is wonderful, however look at mine ( me, or what I've done). it is super! ( or more super!)
we tend to compete each other without accepting each of them well.

In the case of a father in-law (Yuki) , and a son in-law(my daughter's husband)
He (my daughter's husband) says: I have to go to the office at 7:00 AM even though it is Sunday.
Yuki says: Oh, you are busy, and you work very hard. You are great!
I think but never say that "You had to get to the office at 6;30 the other day, so "I" woke up at 5, and made breakfast for you"

He says: recently our overwork is eliminated very severally, however workload is as same as before, so it is very difficult to manage all tasks.
Yuki says: Yes, it is too bad.
I think but never say ( it is usual. it must be hard for you to manage all tasks, and for housewives it is also hard to manage our house budget.)

Yuki seldom ( or never) compete with his son in-law.
He says "I am already mature, I've already experienced such things. why don't I need to show myself off to him?

Though I understand what he say, I'm  not mature as a mother.

On the other hand,
I accept every thing my grand daughter acquired.
I say ; Wow, you did it. ( though I heard a quiet voice from the behind  -- though I taught it to her, I ignore it)
I say:  Wow, you did it. ( though I heard a quiet voice from the behind -- though I made most of it, I ignore it)

Well, well, the relation ship between a mother and a daughter is complicated.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

season word 1123 grey starling

Is the bird familiar in your country? It belongs to a sparrow group, (though I've just known it.)
I'm not familiar with birds.

yes actually I've seen them --- according to my best recollection.

In Haiku word, migrant birds or just small birds is a season word.

coming small birds, where are your beds, keen chilly night

Grey starlings are not migrant birds, they are called drifting birds. Because they live within the country, and usually live in mountains. however in autumn they drift into towns.

Coming drifting birds, where you'll go back, your home mountain getting less.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Voluntary activites at the library

This month I have three voluntary work at the library. And two of them are finished.
One was hold this Sunday. Until two years ago this activity was hold by four people in turn.
However two of them moved to another prefecture, and one got busy. So only me is left.
Doing this activity is fun, but I feel a little bit loneliness.
So I asked Yuki to help me. He doesn't like to be involved such activities with others, but it's OK to do something with only me.
And on Sundays usually fathers &kids join it. It seems to make Yuki easier to join my activity.
Another one was hold yesterday. I was wondering whether some helper would come or not.
Fortunately Ms.W came and did the activities together. And some mothers & kids joined it.
We had a relaxed calm time, though after the activity Ms.W came back immediately.
And the last one is going to be held this Sunday.
It is a big event, and I'll just take part in it as one of volunteers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The way of Japanese education

I found an interesting article in Japanese which was written by a Japanese writer.
It is written about Japanese education.

Our way of education stands on the way "Every one get a good score or a pass mark even if they study hard. If they don't do that it is because of their lack of morale or surroundings.
So most of activities are don by a group at school. And we don't usually separate class by their grade,.
(About Japanese clam schools are completely different)
So we tend to be recognized for groups' activities.

And, Japanese children (or even adults) tend to be motivated by their mistakes or failure. Because they think their failure caused from lack of their efforts.
American children seem to consider that intelligence is built up by 36% their efforts and 64% their natural gift, on the other hand Japanese children seem to consider it fifty-fifty. It is interesting, isn't it?

I think it is why too smart children tend to be picked up their buds of their morale, however there are not so illiteracy children in Japan.

Monday, November 20, 2017

frog card -2-

Though I'm making my "frog cards" in English, it is really difficult. Because not only by my poor English skill, but also by very vague Japanese phrases or general-purpose Japanese phrases it is difficult to translate one Japanese phrase into one English suitable phrase.
Anyway I'll continue to do it supported by my friend.

I changed one phrase getting advice and again. How about it?


Friday, November 17, 2017

Season word 1116 dried mullet roe

It is said "dried millet roe", "salted sea urchin", and "salted sea cucumber" are three of the most delicious delicacies in Japan. However I don't understand these value, though I have had them.
Anyway my deceased father liked them. Among them, "salted sea cucumber" is very expensive and was not so easy to get when he was alive (about 40 years ago.)
My mother was born in Kyoto. But it is different from "the" Kyoto which is a very famous city. She was born in a village on the outskirts of Kyoto prefecture. The village ( now it is a town) is near the sea. So in winter my deceased grandmother would send "salted sea cucumber" to my father. He was always looking forward to coming it.

Salted sea cucumber, reminds me of, my father's grinning
Dried mullet roe,  without understanding the tasty, 60 years old is just around the corner.

Well I found this youtube.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Karaku and an article

This Tuesday, it was the day of Karaku, I had good time to play the piano and to have a good tea and sweet.
Thankfully, even this time some constant people came to Karaku, a group of women came to listen to us ( I play the piano and Ms.U reads some poems).

There are many people, of course I know, and there are also many (or some ) people surrounded me.
I read this article. It was very interesting.
It might be a way of Japanese thinking, let me introduce it to you in my English.

This is an article posted to the Life Guide Corner by a reader who is in her 50's.
She seem to have some troubles to communicate with one of her friends who is in the same generation.

The adviser says:
You seem to be something wrong. Until now you and your friends seemed to share merits each other, but you seem to feel something unfair recently. It is the time to reconsider your relationship.
You should list up what are merits and what are demerits, and compare them. If merits are more you keep your relationship without any changes, if not you dare not to need to keep it. You shouldn't try to let her character changed. Some people can easily say good-bye, the other people try to fade out their relationship naturally by the way to decrease the number of meeting.
You can find like-minded friends anytime, any age. In a few years when you meet her again, she might be different from she was.
On a moment-to-moment basis considering the merits you should decide whether to keep the relation ship or not.

I tend to adhere to the relation ship once I built, I know it sometimes change to be a one-way communication. This advice is very interesting to me, though I don't like the way of using the words merits and demerits.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Japanese apples

Last week I bother going to an apple orchard on the outskirts of Utsumomiya.
It takes about (just) 30 minutes from my house by car.

In Japan, Aomori, Yamagata, and Iwate are the three famous prefectures for apples.
And here in Tochigi, we have some apple orchards.
They usually get their apples on the market.
However some orchards sell their all products on the spot.

Usually Japanese people prefer hard and sweet apples to eat directly.
Such apples like Fuji and --- I don't remember are on sale at markets.
And a little bit soft and sour apples are gone to factories to be processed for jam or juice.

However I want such a little bit sour and "cheap" apples. So I went there.
Of course they are fresh. 

This is an English site about apples.

This is a Japanese site about apples.

What do I make out of them?
Just eat as morning fruits. And of course I might make some apple sweets.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What was the aim?

As you know, this is Japan. so many people enjoy autumn leaves in this month.
And here in Tochigi we have one of the most famous spots for enjoying autumn leaves. It is NIKKOU.
It means in this season the roads to NIKKO are very crowded.

So --
we avoided Nikko and went to KARASUYAMA to enjoy autumn leaves
However, it was too early to enjoy autumn leaves.

We didn't mind. In Karasuyam  there is a small fall, though in Nikkou there are some big falls.
Some trees changed the color.

We knew the roads were not crowded, however we left home around 7 without having our breakfast.
Because on the way to Karasuyam, there is an interesting café which only serves breakfast from 7 to 11.
Of course on the way home we dropped by at the café.

What is on the toast?  Though you might dislike it, it is sweet beans paste called OGURA ANN.

This style seems to be very popular in Nagoya which is between Tokyo and Osaka.
When the owner's couple went to Nagoya, they were into this style, and decided to serve this type of breakfast in Utsunomiya.
When the owner retired, he and his wife renovated their house and opened this café.

Monday, November 13, 2017

In November

Halloween has gone.

I put away all things and decorate these things on the self in the entrance hall.

This Tuesday I hold a meeting "let's enjoy this autumn" at a café.
Three members came.
We read these books

For me it was the first time Macintosh is a kind of apple's names.
And after talking with them, the main came.

 This meeting is not my job, however I organize it. So I always thing how much attendance fee is suitable. I open the meeting at my house, because I won't let members pay much money but I will serve or treat something delicious or interesting.
This time I thought, it was only me not to pay much money to this meeting.
The value of attendance fee is different according to people, I know it. It is OK, but what made me surprised was the person who won't pay money much seemed to be only me.


Friday, November 10, 2017

season word 1109 master brewer

I'll tell you more about "touji". Begin a brewer is usually a seasonal job. So mainly they are or would be farmers or fishermen.

So usually in Haiku world, TOJI or TOJI comes is used as a winter word.

Toji comes, severe coldness, they are looking forward to,

On the other hand "the first sake" is used as an autumn word.

The first sake, even though I'm a lightweight drinker, brings smile.

And Toji is a traditional Japanese word, however my high school students didn't know it.

Without knowing the word of Toji   Japanese adolescents, they are still "green youth"

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Two art museums

Last week we had a national holiday which is called "culture day".
Though Yuki went to work as usual, and I had lessons from the afternoon as usual, I was free in the morning. BECAUSE the gym I go was closed.
And it is "culture day", so the entrance fee of public museums  were free.
I visited two museums ( there are two public museums here in Utsunomiya), even though they were short visits.
At Tochigi prefectural museum, two artists both of whom were born in Tochigi, and were not so famous, were introduced. The museum is in downtown, and it has enough parking lot. However not so many people visited there. And the people who visited there were mainly elderly and wearing casual wears Most of them seemed to drop by there on the way of their walking. 
Another museum is Utsunomiya city museum.
This museum seems to be evaluated high in the art world (according to my daughter.)
And now they hold an exhibit of Edward Gorey. The reason why I visited there was the entrance fee was free, however some people seem to go out of their way to see this exhibition paying entrance fee.
This place is a little bit far from Utsunomiya station, so, I'm very surprised some people came wearing neat clothes from other prefectures.

The author is also famous as an illustrator  of picture books. So some families also visited there.
People who love arts go out to their way to visit museums in Tokyo in neat clothes.
Here in Tochigi --
It was interesting not only to see works but also to watch people.

Near this museum, Karaku is there. So I dropped by Karaku to eat lunch.
The photo is just toast, but of course, the master served salad, sweets and coffee with it.
Lucky me!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

This is a book written by my favorite author

I sometimes borrow books from the library. How about you?
And now I'm into an author.
She is almost the same age as I am.
At the library, the books which the library hold are usually not the latest books.  And this author is popular, so I have seldom found her latest books even if they are bought by the library. So the books usually I'm able to borrow are written ten years ago.
However they are very interesting and make me surprised that she could write like this on such a stance when she was in her late 40's.
She has eyes to see the next 10 years. So now I can easily understand the books which were written about 10 years. She already wrote about the elderly people.

Last time I met my mother, I had to hold her hands. It made me very surprised.
And even though she is strong, I feel her loneliness a little.

Nowadays the decline of birthrate is a big problem in Japan.
And the lack of nursery schools is also another problem.
And I know the increasing elderly care center is constituting a burden for our government budget. So Our government proceed to recommend to spend days at home by themselves.

I understand the way, and it is producing "lonely problem".

In this ten years, lots of mother and child play center are open to prevent from mother's depressing from no friends surround them.
Actually my daughter noticed it was really difficult to someone to talk nearby, so she used to go a play center when my grand daughter was a baby.

Probably in ten years, play and chat centers for the elderly will open, or I hope.

While I'm thinking about such a thing, I read her books.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

frog cards -1-

I bought an interesting set of cards. It is called "kaeru(frog) cards".
In Japanese "kaeru" is a frog, and it also have different meaning with the same sound (Kanji is of course different.), its another meaning is "change.
 A negative phrase is written on the face of each card. And the positive phrase is written on the revers.
We  or Japanese people tend to mention negative words without conscious.

It was interesting. When I showed the 6 cards of these to Yuki, he was just able to say two suitable positive phrase and I also just two phrases. How negative both of us!

I tried translating these words in English, of course supported by a friend.
It is not completed, I'll continue it.

Friday, November 03, 2017

season word maple

How to pronounce Aceraceae?

Here in Japan Japanese maple leaves are  main leaves which bring joy to our lives in autumn.
Japanese maple which is called MOMIJI is smaller than maple.

The hands of Ah-chan (my grand daughter), got bigger, compared with MOMIJI

The three most popular places to enjoy momiji-gari are: 1. mountains and rivers, 2. locations with traditional Japanese architecture, 3. on the street or in a park
The three most popular places to enjoy momiji-gari are: 1. mountains and rivers, 2. locations with traditional Japanese architecture, 3. on the street or in a park

Visit a park nearby, enjoy momigi-gari, it's good, too (instead of  visiting a mountain)

Than usual, the taste gets thicker, Maple syrup

Of course the taste is the same, and bottles of Maple syrup are imported from mainly Canada.
However "tasting Maple syrup in autumn " sounds "to enjoy autumn more" for us.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

November !!

In a two weeks, a new year will come.
Yesterday this article was introduced on students' newspaper.

The source is here .

When I saw it, the first question is "what is Fido?". Now I learnt it is a dog's name and it was very faithful like "HACHIKOU" which is another dog's name and is very famous for his faithfulness.

Well, however, well, in my opinion, next year is just a the year of the Dog, like this year is the year of the Rooster.

Anyway we have started to prepare for next year.

Additionally, my friend introduced this site to me. thanks.