Japan Time

Monday, September 28, 2009

Halloween candy, onegaishimasu! <---- (please!)

My favorite holiday, Halloween, is coming up and my school is having a costume party to celebrate on October 24. I would love to give my students and co-workers some good old American Halloween candy, so if anyone feels so inclined to send a package of sweet American-ginormous sized bags of goodness my way, that would be incredible!

Some of my favorites include:
-Sour Patch Kids
-Peanut Butter M&Ms
-Swedish Fish
-Laffy Taffy
-Peanut Butter Cups
-Almond Joys
-Charms Blow Pops

And one of my co-workers, Aya, loves Atomic Fireballs, those red hot/cinnamony candy ball things. So if someone finds those and can include them, she would be eternally grateful.

Wintergreen Lifesavers have become a favorite at my school as well.

ALSO, if one of you Barnes and Noble frequenters comes across a learning-the-Japanese-language book and wants to pick it up for me, I would not be mad about that. I'm still plugging away at my lessons, but I could definitely use extra help. Anything that looks helpful and interesting would be perfect.

Domo arigato gozaimashita!
(Thank you, thank you, thank you!!)

Summer is drawing to a close here in Shizuoka Prefecture.

A surfer enjoys some September waves in Omaezaki.

Going on safari. In Japan.

Last week I went to Fuji Safari Park to see all kinds of animals. Fuji Safari Park is unlike an ordinary zoo - you can drive through the park and see the animals roaming around free (well, not completely free, but not caged up, either).
Of course, it was very crowded and kind of a dreary day, but still a lot of fun.

Look at that freaky bear! The sign says, "DANGER! Never get out of your car! Never open the windows!"

People in a lion shaped bus feeding the lions.

After we drove through, we walked to another part of the park where we saw minature ponies (apparently, they are part of the American stereotype in Japan, so that area had oldies country music playing and the workers were dressed like cowgirls) and white kanagroos. Good times!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sightseeing in Kanazawa.

When I went to Kanazawa a few weeks ago to photograph Chris and Nozomi's wedding, I had the opportunity to do a little sightseeing, too.
On Friday, Chris took me to the Geisha District and old historical areas. Kanazawa is called "Little Kyoto" because, like Kyoto, it's rich in Japanese history and culture.

Then to a fish market with highly overpriced fish:

The one closest to the camera is $120.

We went to dinner with Chris and Nozomi's friends who helped with the wedding at cool place called the Chopstick Cafe.

The food was good but the menu was the best part - chock full of crazy English.

"Vegetables...are very important, aren't they?"

"I bake a fish in front of eyes!"

On Sunday, we went to Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's most famous gardens.

Then to a modern art museum. Actually, I didn't care for much of the art, but there was one really cool exhibit.

It looked like a real swimming pool on the surface, but it was actually just a few inches of water on top, a layer of glass, and completely open in the bottom.

And we took the shinkansen home. P.S. - I love the shinkansen. The ride is so smooth and the seating is comfortable. I love to just relax and enjoy the landscape of Japan flying by.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just a quick post...

...to let you know I'm still here. Had a little vacation from work the last few days and did some fun things, like see the new X-Men movie and go to Fuji Safari Park. I saw lions and tigers and bears - oh my! (I couldn't resist)
I'll post photos soon! But for now, back to studying Japanese. Rough.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nozomi and Chris (and my temporary comeback as a wedding photographer).

This past weekend, I went to Kanazawa to photograph Chris and Nozomi's wedding. I was a little nervous because it's been over a year since I photographed a wedding and I was worried I would be a little out of practice! But everything went really well, and it definitely didn't hurt that Chris and Nozomi are a fun and relaxed couple.
The ceremony was held in a record museum, which was very cool. After the ceremony we had a lot of time to take some photos of just the couple around and in the museum. Since the city escaped bombing during the war, a lot of Kanazawa is very historical, with beautiful temples and old Japanese streets.
The reception was really fun, with a taiko drum performance (the groom played for one song), a small piano performance by Nozomi and her piano teacher, an incredible Indian dinner catered by some friends of the couple, and a lot of sake!